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Nov 05 2006

Now unemployed and disgraced, Haggard unburdens himself

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.

5 comments

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  1. 1
    PartyGoon

    http://tedhaggard.ytmnd.com/

  2. 2
    Martin

    Nothing at the link, folks. Don’t bother.

  3. 3
    Steve

    One of the many things I don’t like about Christianity is that it brainwashes you into thinking that you’re less than human, if you’re not a heterosexual. When are those people going to wake up and realize that it doesn’t matter what your sexual orientation is? If they want to judge people, they should do it according to how people conduct themselves and the actions they take, not according to their boinking preferences.

  4. 4
    Roger M

    I have had great enjoyment discussing the story @ http://www.dvorak.org/blog/There are both atheists and hardcore believers there.My take? Haggard is totally screwed up because he denied his sexual orientation. The bible is very harmful when it comes to real life issues.Oh, btw, I love your podcasts. Keep up the good work :-)Roger

  5. 5
    I.M.Bruce

    Sure, “Judge not…”, except…(Like the “Thou shalt not kill, except…” point made on this week’s Atheist Experience podcast.)I quite agree with the author (cohost this week; darn good job!) in that the evil in his past is the religious, not the sexual. And that he’d be (poorer but) happier if he’d accepted his sexuality and chosen a different (or non-) religious path.Still, given a choice between wealth and power vs. happiness and poverty…”I’d like to phone a friend, Regis. His name is Faust.PS I’m sure someone’s pointed out the ironic rhyme of Swaggert(sp) and Haggard. Also rhymes with b*stard. And Jim Bakker almost made it; just add a D at the end.

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