The latest in the ongoing Haggard opera involves a letter of apology he wrote to his still-reeling ex-congregation, which was read to them today.
Evangelical pastor Ted Haggard confessed on Sunday to a “lifelong” sexual problem, and said he was “a deceiver and a liar,” in a letter read to his New Life Church.
“There is part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it all my life,” he said in the letter.
Five will get you ten that Haggard is still so benighted that when he refers to the “repulsive and dark” aspect of his life, he’s talking about his homosexual inclinations. Haggard’s great tragedy is not that he’s secretly gay or bi; there’s nothing repulsive or dark about either. It’s that he’s allowed himself to absorb an archaic, misanthropic superstition that requires him to hate and refuse to accept himself. The “repulsive and dark” part of his life is the hyprocrisy, self-denial, and dishonesty that his Christianity has inculcated in him, and which has now led to great pain for his family and profound disillusionment for the thousands of parishioners who have had the rug of trust whipped out from beneath them.
Had Haggard, when a younger man and first aware of his homosexual leanings, come out and rejected the religion that teaches hate and intolerance of people like him, odds are that, while he most likely wouldn’t have become a millionaire megachurch pastor and a major public figure with vast political clout, he would be much more likely to be happy and content living an honest life as an openly gay or bisexual man. He wouldn’t have the money or fame, but then he wouldn’t have had it to lose this spectacularly in a sordid scandal. What he might well have is self-respect and personal contentment, which is something money really can’t buy.
I mean, compare the shame Haggard’s experiencing to the positive vibes coming out of Neil Patrick Harris right now.