Friday, November 03, 2006

Haggard and Me

Today Ted Haggard is in disgrace. The pastor of The New Life Church in Colorado Springs (with a membership of 14,000 people) was outed by a man in Denver who said that for three years Ted Haggard had paid him for gay sex and for methamphetamines. Haggard, also the president of the 30 million the National Association of Evangelicals, resigned both posts pending investigation and admitted that he offered to buy meth, but never used it and never had gay sex.

This is going to be one big mess. Watch for the ensuing shame-fest. Haggard had recently run afoul of Colorado fundamentalist bigot James Dobson's crew for suggesting that perhaps homosexuality and abortion might not be the only social issues that Christians should be worrying about -- adding that there were such things as poverty, starvation and global warming imperatives too.

Now we have neocons weighing and measuring which is worse -- meth addiction or homosexuality. And we have Haggard willing to cop to some association with meth -- which only the most stupid, or damaged and ill-advised people on this planet would touch with a 20 foot bargepole, rather than suggest that for a moment his sexual identification might not be 100% straight.

If it is true that he paid for sex, don't hold your breath waiting for anyone to challenge what I think is a real issue -- that he was unfaithful to his wife. That he violated his wedding vows. Watch for this to get all muddied up between the sides that say he us a damned and vile sinner for being gay and that he has every God-given right in the world to be gay.

Expect no one to address with any consistent message that the groups which rant and rail about homosexuality are those so divorced from and frightened of their own bodies that they see any sexual union outside a proscribed contact as dirty and frightening and worthy of punishment. Homosexuality, because of the likeness of bodies, can be seen as acceptance of self in a deep spiritual way - and to find homosexuality repugnant is to ultimately be an expression of ones shame at ones own body. Watching that hatred is like watching bigots screaming into a mirror.

And here we have it -- or at least it is alleged that we have it ... but the political crapstorm around all of it will probably not address the real issues -- and we will get so caught up in blame -- that we miss the truth of things and the healing that can come from them.

Part of me, for example, is thrilled. "Point your scrawny old fingers at yourselves," I say. "Damned hypocrites. Serves them right. I hope they nail the bastard."

But what fouled glass I am looking through to say that?

Here is my better wish -- if it is true, my prayer is that his wife and family heal from the disloyalty and that -- in an epiphany of self-discovery -- Ted Haggard is lead to accept who he is and undertakes a ministry of healing for any damage he has done to helping build an inclusive Kingdom of God. I will remind myself thus weekend whenever I get haughty, "How would I feel if I loved this man and his family?"

If I do not do this, I may as well place my own soul under the wheels of a speeding train.


Blogger A. Ruth Blue said...

Hi Mata,
I appreciate your comments regarding the whole Haggard scandal.
I searched Google Blogs to see what people are saying about it.
I think he is in denial, lying about never using the meth and never having sex with Jones.
Ah well.
I too am tall and have descendants on my mom's side that were called gypsies. But not divorced. About 20 years behind you in age, but married 13 years so far. And am in the Northeast.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous patz said...

Hi Mata, God tells us not to judge each other for a good reason, I think it is a burden to carry if we are making judgements on others. I like your last comment on this blog, so true.

4:49 PM  
Blogger samtzmom said...

Indeed, he could use this as a way to bring about healing to others. But, you are right, those who were his "friends" will gather round him to throw stones and make sure he is labeled as "one of them." Sad really when grace could prevail and bring about more good.

6:22 AM  
Blogger The Harbour of Ourselves said...

Mata, there's lots i could say about this, but my dear friend Gareth Higgins has blogged wonderously (?) about this situation

go to my links - he is known as the good dr - he says it better than i can....

9:49 AM  
Blogger Noreen Braman said...

The sad part of this, supposing the whole story is true, is how a gay man, because of his religion's beliefs, has been forced into a life of lies and deceit. He may be embraced as a sinner, and even forgiven, but only as long as he swears to never "sin again." They will never address the fact that perhaps it is time to put aside the religious homophobia. But that would involve a theological shift from declaring homoexuality as an evil chosen lifestyle to understanding that it is a biological reality - and thus, was an intention of the Creator. I agree that organized religion has bigger things to worry about in the world, unfortunately, sexual preference is too easy of a target.

11:54 AM  
Blogger toujoursdan said...

Very well put - as usual. I pray for everyone involved and hope that this will shine a light on some that the sexual sickness found in right wing Christianity.

11:46 AM  

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