Another One Bites the Dust

by

Are my friends and I bad people for cackling just a little at the Reverend Ted Haggard story? I mean, I know it’s not the case that every homophobic man might be projecting a little, but then you hear these stories and raise an eyebrow … I say hats off to the guy who outed him. It was absolutely hypocritical to be campaigning for that sad, tired constitutional amendment when you’re getting some from a man on the side. (Or has he admitted to anything beyond the massage yet?) At least gay men who want to marry their partners aren’t cheating on their wives. I mean, really, what is the worse kind of life to lead? If Haggard is gay (and he may not be, he may just have been experimenting), I hope that he will be able to live an honest life in the future.

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22 Responses to “Another One Bites the Dust”

  1. Michael Lasley Says:

    I’d never heard of Haggard before this. He did, I saw today, admit to sexual immorality. Hypocrisy no longer shocks me. Even if it is a preacher for a huge church and the president of a huge organization. That lobbies hard against the very lifestyle he was participating in.

  2. Al Sturgeon Says:

    He wrote a letter that was read to his church family yesterday that said he was a deceiver and a liar, admitted to dark secrets, and mentioned “sexual immorality.” Not too hard to read between the lines that he’s a practicing homosexual.

    I understand cackling. Not at a person’s pain, but at hypocrisy exposed. That he was so adamant about the sin of homosexuality while practicing it on the side – that makes for cruel ironic humor when exposed.

    I hate that it’s the big news story, but truth be told, it’s Haggard and his ilk that makes it a huge news story. It’s not that I hate it for “my profession” or “Christianity in general” – it’s I hate that a person’s sex life is the lead story on the evening news.

  3. Joe Longhorn Says:

    I’m not going to say you are a bad person for chuckling at Haggard’s situation. I won’t even question your lack of compassion for a fellow human being that is struggling. Nor will I condemn Haggard or refer to him as “ilk.” Seems to me that this is a Christian man that is struggling with sin.

    Don’t Paul’s words in Romans 7 ring true for Haggard?

    14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

    21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
    So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

    I don’t expect that passage to sway you at all, Sandi. But I expect others on this board to read it and see in Haggard’s situation some of their own struggle with sin. It’s entirely possible to know what’s right, to teach what’s right, and end up doing what is wrong.

  4. Sandi Says:

    Al, that’s exactly what it is — hypocrisy revealed. Sort of a glass houses thing. And there is the fact that he was outed involuntarily rather than coming forward on his own. I don’t know anything about sin, being a hellbound godless commie heathen myself, but I do know that it is disheartening to realize that some people out there who publicly foam at the mouth about “homosexuality” are in truth people who hate themselves and the feelings that they have in that direction. I wish they knew that it doesn’t help anyone for them to lead dishonest lives.

  5. juvenal_urbino Says:

    A couple of thoughts. First, about its being the lead story on the evening news, Wolf Blitzer twice last night previewed his story on Haggard with the comment, “And later the story of a pastor’s very, VERY dark secret.” It struck me as odd — as if CNN were saying being gay were something “very, VERY dark.” Maybe he was referring to Haggard’s own view of his secret, or his congregation’s. Hard to say. It doesn’t help that Blitzer is, of course, a tireless and shameless (and artless) self-promoter and tittilator. Anything to get an audience.

    Second thought: I think this is likely to backfire on the gay rights movement in a big way, possibly as soon as Tues. My guess is that Evangelicals will get very riled up about this a) drug-using male prostitute b) getting his hooks into a pastor and c) going public about it to try to influence an election. Taken as evidence that the Rel. Right was right all along — that gays are amoral sex maniacs who’ll do anything to get their militant political agenda passed — it will become a cause celebre for a new offensive against gays. Watch for an uptick from Dobson, et al., in rhetoric about homosexuals “roaming to and fro, seeking whom they may devour.”

  6. juvenal_urbino Says:

    But I expect others on this board to read it and see in Haggard’s situation some of their own struggle with sin.

    Knowing the people on this board, I’m confident some will see it that way, Joe. But don’t you think it’s unlikely that many Christians in the Religious Right, of which Haggard was a leading part, will?

  7. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Hey Joe, not meaning to sound chippy here, but reading through your sudden flurry of comments across the board makes me wonder if you’re having a bad day. You definitely returned with guns a-blazin’ – I don’t know if it’s stored-up anger or just how your day is going…

    If ilk is a bad word, I didn’t mean it as such, nor realize it. I know it means “type” – and Ted Haggard’s religious/political views definitely has a type. I said that to say that their elevating homosexual behavior to front page status leads to his story being front page news today. Their doing. If homosexual behavior wasn’t presented by these folks as the big evil in the world, then this would be a little-known news story. That’s all. If ilk is a bad word, you’ll have to accept my apology.

    And Romans 7 definitely applies to Haggard from where I sit. It is tragic that his beliefs and actions are so far apart. It is sad that most everybody has similar experiences in different areas of life, including myself. But there is a difference in struggling with a sin and climbing on a world stage and virulently condemning the world for something you do yourself. Does the story of Nathan/David sound familiar?

    When Jesus talks of the log in one’s eye while trying to remove a speck from another’s, it’s humorous. Not at a person or his pain, and not a self-righteous laugh, but an involuntary chuckle. It’s downright farcical.

  8. Terry Austin Says:

    If I can make such a distinction, I kind of grimace-laughed at Haggard’s um, haggard PR buffoonery.

    “I don’t know this guy.”

    “Well, I know him, but only a little, and certainly not in the biblical sense.”

    “OK, I once scored an eight-ball of meth off the dude, but I threw it away.”

    “OK, by ‘threw it away’ I mean ‘ground it up and snorted it.’ But that was my only dealing with dude.”

    “And by ‘dealing with dude,’ I mean I hired him to give me a massage. But just because he’s a homosexual prostitute doesn’t mean we did anything else. This was just dude-on-dude massage therapy.”

    “And by ‘massage therapy,’ I mean…”

    This guy probably pulls his band-aids off real-l-l-l-l-l-ly slowly, too, to absorb the full range of painful sensation.

  9. Terry Austin Says:

    To finish the above warped comment, I want to point out that I don’t find any humor in what happened or that this guy — and to an extent, his family, congregation and cause — has been disgraced.

    But from the time of his first public admission, you could tell this was going to end very badly. And at that point, from a PR perspective, it became a trainwreck-like spectacle.

  10. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Well said, Terry.

    Now, running the risk of encouraging your great wit further into warp-dom, a few examples of what I mean my chuckle-inducing absurdity (like a big religious right name having a gay lover):

    * Ken Starr asking Monica Lewinsky out on a date

    * Bill Clinton hired by Fox News

    * James & Shirley Dobson filing for divorce

    * Terrell Owens telling Tom Brady to ditch the superstar hype

    * Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie having a butt-ugly baby

    * Ted Kennedy chaperoning a party

    * Gloria Steinem having a crush on Howard Stern

    * Michael Jackson signed to play linebacker for the Chicago Bears

    See what I mean? You hear these things, and they’re so absurd that you laugh.

  11. juvenal_urbino Says:

    * Fred Phelps joins NAMBLA.

  12. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Ooh, that’s a good one…

    * Al Sturgeon roots for the Atlanta Braves

    * Terry Austin mortgages house to buy Eckstein World Series jersey

    * Joe Longhorn takes job with ACLU

  13. Al Sturgeon Says:

    * Sandi attends NASCAR event

    * Mikey feels confident he made a point

    * Cubs win the World Series (for DeJon)

    * Juvenal says, “I’ve never heard of that book”

  14. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Oh, here’s a good one:

    * Bill & Hillary host marriage enrichment seminar

  15. Michael Lasley Says:

    Good points, JU, about how this story kinda reinforces stereotypes of gay men. Hadn’t thought of that aspect of it.

  16. juvenal_urbino Says:

    Mikey feels confident he made a point

    lol

  17. juvenal_urbino Says:

    Juvenal says, “I’ve never heard of that book”

    Heh. This is what happens when you have no life and hang out in bookstores all the time.

  18. Terry Austin Says:

    Terry Austin mortgages house to buy Eckstein World Series jersey

    I was gonna make a wisecrack about dressing my kid in it, and then I remembered I haven’t yet told you this one. During the World Series, my near-six-year-old turns to me and says, “Dad, I don’t like the Dodgers. I like the Cardinals.”

    (Idiot that I am, I left the decision up to him.)

  19. Al Sturgeon Says:

    LOL!!!!!!!

    You’re a good dad.

    Who has an even better kid.
    🙂

  20. Sandi Says:

    Al, I think “ilk” does have a somewhat negative connotation judging from the contexts in which I have seen it used. I never thought about it before, but I realize now that I don’t use it when referring to people who agree with me. I don’t know the etymology, though.

    JU, I agree that some on the right will just use this to fuel their anger against gay folks. That’s easier for them than confronting the fact that they might know and love someone who is gay. It’s always the gays’ fault, kind of like it’s always Bill Clinton’s fault. 🙂

  21. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Once again, didn’t know “ilk” was considered bad. Is it because it sounds/looks like “ick?” I really don’t know…

    All the definitions I found on-line are general in nature: (1) type or kind (on Yahoo), (2) a kind or sort of person or thing (on Encarta). Interestingly, the Yahoo example was negative (can’t trust people of that ilk), but the Encarta example wasn’t (journalists and others of that ilk).

    Here’s the thesaurus entry: A class that is defined by the common attribute or attributes possessed by all its members: breed, cast, description, feather, kind, lot, manner, mold, nature, order, sort, species, stamp, stripe, type, variety. Informal: persuasion. See GROUP

    Here’s the word history entry: When one uses ilk, as in the phrase men of his ilk, one is using a word with an ancient pedigree even though the sense of ilk, “kind or sort,” is actually quite recent, having been first recorded at the end of the 18th century. This sense grew out of an older use of ilk in the phrase of that ilk, meaning “of the same place, territorial designation, or name.” This phrase was used chiefly in names of landed families, Guthrie of that ilk meaning “Guthrie of Guthrie.” “Same” is the fundamental meaning of the word. The ancestors of ilk, Old English ilca and Middle English ilke, were common words, usually appearing with such words as the or that, but the word hardly survived the Middle Ages in those uses.

    Now do I think negatively toward the “breed” or “cast” of folks who make homosexuality out to be the great evil confronting the world? You better believe I do. So I do refer to folks of that “persuasion” in a negative sense, former Pastor Haggard included. Nothing personal, just their position. God loves the folks in NAMBLA, too, but we seem comfortable dealing with their common stance and referring to it as such.

    So… in a miracle I guess, I communicated better/more than intended. I do think negatively of the breed of folk that present homosexuality as the great sin. The whole lot of them are just downright “ilky!” 🙂

  22. juvenal_urbino Says:

    “Dad, I don’t like the Dodgers. I like the Cardinals.”

    Sounds like the corrosive influence of a certain grandfather, to me.

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