Haggard, Hatred and Homos

Ted Haggard, unfortunately is doing no favors for the gay community.

The embattled (and quite conflicted) man has lost his post as the president of National Association of Evangelicals, as well as his position as head pastor of the New Life Church.

His story made headlines and plunged him head-first into a nation-wide scandal when it was revealed that he paid a male prostitute- numerous times- for sex and methamphetamine… all while supposedly handling his business as Man of God Extraordinaire, devoted husband and father.

In recent days Haggard has admitted to another sexual liaison. He says it was during his tenure with New Life Church- this time with a 20 year old male volunteer. He claims this is further evidence of the “compulsive behavior” that ruled him during “that time” of his life.

Ted Haggard is- at least in part- a victim. 

I truly feel sorry for him.

That being said, I am terribly disappointed that he has chosen not to use his personal experiences as an opportunity to explain the truth about homosexuality.

Instead he prefers to perpetuate a climate of shame and self-hate.

He has been on numerous television shows granting interviews, and even has an HBO documentary airing soon. The emerging theme is the life of a man whose soul hasn’t grown an inch… a man who loves himself no more than he did when he was hiding his true identity from the world, his wife, and his children.

This is a man who truly despises himself for his inherant homosexuality… a trait that he knows all too well can never be fixed, changed or prayed away.

Yet he still pretends to believe otherwise… if he just prays a little harder, reads scripture a little more often… Ricky Martin will suddenly become less attractive to him than Cindy Crawford.

He  claims a therapist told him that he is “heterosexual with complications”.

Dude- You’re gay.

Just stand up and say it.

What a sad, sad existence he has instead created.

He put himself in a virtual prison… and rather than use this massive national forum he has garnered for himself to break out of jail, to finally be free… not to mention freeing thousands of other conflicted homosexuals in the process…

… He has instead chosen to continue living behind bars.

How truly sad.

I realize Haggard has his faults… massive ones… not the least of which has been his being anything BUT a loving, committed spouse. His wife has the right to be absolutely livid with this man… though she claims she knew about his “struggles”- struggles directly related to his attraction to men- for years. She chose to marry him in spite of this knowledge… but he chose to make life-long vows to this woman.

He should suffer the consequences of the damage he has done to his marriage and his family.

However, he has been handed the perfect opportunity to explain to the world- especially to right-wing evangelical Christians- that in spite of all his efforts, all his praying and soul searching…

… He is still gay.

He didn’t choose to be this way.

He simply is.

Ted Haggard has spent the majority of his life struggling with himself, his God, his church, his culture, his country… because the man who he really is… the REAL Ted Haggard… is homosexual…

… And that reality doesn’t play out well in the world he has created for himself- a world full of judgmental hateful bigots.

The resulting damage is catastrophic.

All one needs to do is watch him… I recommend viewing his recent interview with Larry King… to know that this man hates himself as much as he ever has.

He still hopes he can get on his knees and pray his way out of his attraction to men.

Why has he not figured it out, after all these years, that it isn’t going to happen? Why is he not on a quest to learn how to love himself?

Denial is indeed a powerful animal.

If Ted Haggard lived in a world where he was accepted for who he really is… a world in which he could both love and serve his God without fear that his personal understanding of himself as a gay man would sentence him to eternal damnation in hell… a world in which he did not have to hate himself for that which he cannot change…

… Perhaps things would have been a little different… a little better…

I will pray for Mr. Haggard.

I will pray that he stops apologizing for who his is, for who God created him to be… and start living and loving himself.

He deserves that much, if nothing else.

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3 thoughts on “Haggard, Hatred and Homos

  1. I echo a lot of your sentiments… I saw the HBO documentary and the thing you have to understand is this: When his therapist says he’s a heterosexual with homosexual challenges or complications – realize that he is talking to a CHRISTIAN therapist who believes that homosexuality is a sin. If they were to admit that he is a homosexual then they may also have to legitimize it. Look – they are NOT going to do that under ANY circumstances. This is much more a political argument than a question of beliefs.

    They (his evangelical brothers) gave this guy a years severance pay and told him to leave the state… THE STATE! They just allowed him to go back to his own home in Colorado. The dude is selling insurance.

    Haggard I think is coming around some. He see’s the hypocracy in their teachings. He said himself it would be better for him to be Hitler or a murderer than gay when it comes to evangelicals. And he gave that look that says, “How wild is that?” when he said it. He knows his friends have vacated him. I think he understands that he’s gay – but he can’t reconcile it with his scriptural beliefs. He may very well consider this his “cross to bear.” I’m telling you from experience that’s how they get down. Not to mention what of his relationship with his wife?

    Speaking of her, she is awesome. Though justified to bolt, she loves the man unconditionally. He is broke too so she has no monetary reason to stay. She just believes its her place to help. I can’t be mad at that.

    Like you I feel sorry for the cat. And just think of all the other gay evangelicals who are watching this.. I’m telling you it’s more political than religious in my view.

  2. Cmac-

    I already understand that his therapist is a Christian therapist, and I understand that Haggard and his cronies will never legitimize homosexuality. That, in fact, was the entire premise of my post.

    He is so caught up in his own self hatred- born and bred by a bunch of closed minded, judgmental evangelicals- that he is never going to get any peace.

    He is gay.

    He and his therapist, his wife, their religious “support system” (what a joke) can call it anything they want, but it doesn’t change reality.

    As for his wife, I don’t think she’s awesome at all. I think, like him, she is in complete and total denial. Just because she hasn’t left him does not mean she isn’t enabling him, helping to provide him excuses for his destructive views of who and what he really is. If she truly loved him unconditionally, she would be able to love what he really is- a gay man. She, like Ted Haggard himself, is floating in a world that is not a realistic one… she thinks they can pray their way out of his “gayness”… like being gay is similar to suffering depression… as if it’s an illness… something that can be “treated” or “cured”. She is as delusional as he is.

    As long as he continues to surround himself with the same types of people that judged him so harshly to begin with, he will never be able to heal and truly learn to love himself.

    He will always be a lost soul, a conflicted and tortured man. All because of a “choice” he never actually made.

    That is the saddest thing of all.

    I realize this entire issue is politicized… and that often times politics trumps religion.

    That, however, doesn’t make it right.

  3. Indeed I never said it was right either.. I was just saying what it is.

    Where we may disagree – is at the level of what one will do or not do when they feel it’s a issue of God… so you have that as well as the political thing too.

    Its like you told me about Bush and his wealth… its not like he doesn’t like black or poor people, he just never consideres them cause he’s never been that.

    For Haggard to come out in full gayness would also mean he’d have to re-ask a bunch of other questions about his religious beliefs. We both know how hard that is for people to do.

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