Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Three Weeks?!

It is now reported that the Rev. Ted Haggard is completely heterosexual after going through a period of intensive counseling for three weeks. Three weeks?

Haggard, who carried on a lengthy 3-year sexual relationship on the DL (that's Down Low, for you non-hipsters) with a Colorado Springs male prostitute while also taking Crystal Meth (a seriously addictive narcotic), now says that after counseling he has the realization that he is heterosexual after all.

The Rev. Tim Ralph reported said that of Haggard, "He is completely heterosexual. That is something he discovered. It was the acting-out situations where things took place."

In some ways, you may mistake what Ralph is saying by thinking what he said means: "He is a virgin. It is only the acting-out situations when he had sex, where things took place. He is still a virgin." Sure, that doesn't make any sense, right? It's even laughable too. But you have to understand the context of the situation to understand what Ralph (and Haggard) are saying. In effect, they are convinced that reparative therapy is legit and say that, in reality, there is no such thing as a sexual orientation, you are only homosexual when you are engaging in an act of homosexuality (except in this instance, but more on that in a minute). So, if you don't have sex with someone (even if you do), when you're not having sex with that person, you're not a homosexual.

Interestingly enough, this is how many evangelical Christians who are also gay and lesbian are able to handle their dual and contradictory lifestyles. When they are not doing the gay thing, they aren't gay. So each situation and sexual activity can be one that is forgiven after each instance thereby allowing for said person to "no longer be gay once s/he's convinced that confession of said sin has occurred.

So Haggard has gone three weeks through a counseling program to end up saying that he is heterosexual and has discovered, that he's always been heterosexual.

There is, of course, something they're not telling us. With similar ex-gay reparative therapy, it is admitted that homosexuality is such a strong pull on those it affects, that to reject it will take a lifetime of realizing that they could slip. It is akin to Alcoholics Anonymous when a former alcoholic says each week at meeting, "Hello, my name is John and I am an alcoholic." Even if John hasn't had a drink in 15 years.

But Haggard isn't saying what the alcoholic John is saying. Instead, in his mind, he's not a homosexual because he isn't having sex with a man.

And, Haggard is saying something else. Even when he was having sex with another man, he wasn't a homosexual then either. "He was only acting out." Hmmm. That is almost as funny as when President Clinton said, "I smoked pot but never inhaled." Or, it's like a teenager who gets drunk, causes mayhem, but instead of taking responsibility, a parent or community leader might say in the teenager's defense, "Cut him some slack, he was only acting out." In Haggard's case, he isn't a teenager, he is responsible for his decisions and actions. Instead of owning up to his mistakes, he is simply in denial and has found a counseling center to say something that supports his ludicrous claim.

I wonder why the media reports say nothing of his 3-year crystal meth addiction? I have friends whose crystal meth addiction have left them incapacitated and financially and emotionally bankrupt. Surely there is something else there too.

In my opinion (and yeah, this will sound harsh), it's all a "story" for our ears with nothing to substantiate his claims. This way, he can go about his life and the various evangelical reparative therapies can go about their lives- as soon as Haggard just moves away and begins a new life.

And yet, it is also kind of sad too. For such a community whose leader has fallen, they have recommended that he exile himself rather than bring him back into the fold to nurture him back to health. It wouldn't bother me so much if Haggard had recommended his own exile; but that's not what they're telling us. They are saying, in effect,"We think it's best for Haggard to leave." And to say something like that almost seems hypocritical to me. Afterall, one's community is tied with one's faith, right? And so, he lost his job and has been asked to leave and begin a new career, and to do it somewhere else than in Colorado Springs without the help and support of the 14,000 member church he founded and nurtured to life. And that is what doesn't sound very Christian to me, even if it's probably the break he needs to get on with his life.

All in all, I think this whole situation has come about and been handled badly by everyone. Instead of supporting him, his church and friends have exiled him. Instead of Haggard admitting to anything, he denied everything until what could be proven, was proven. Three weeks of therapy and no mention of his drug addiction leads me to conclude that if we were to read in the papers tomorrow that he jumped off a bridge and killed himself, it wouldn't surprise me in the least.

In my opinion, he needs serious emotional, psychological and spiritual help. And he hasn't gotten any of it. It has all been one show after another, it seems. Instead of exiting the situation so that evangelical Christianity isn't scarred, he should be getting the addiction help he needs by the very people who love and support him. And that'll take longer than a stay in a 3-week ex-gay rehab center will do.

And he also needs to come out and be honest with everyone, including himself.

Go here to read the news report.

No comments: