Sunday, November 23, 2008

He's back: the new deceptions of Ted Haggard

The odious Ted Haggard has re-emerged from under the rocks where he sought refuge after being exposed as a closet homosexual and drug user.

You will remember that Haggard was the president of the National Association of Evangelicals as well as the pastor of a mega fundamentalist church in Colorado Springs. Haggard regularly preached sermons attacking gay people but then spent his off-hours buying sex from a male prostitute and using methamphetamine -- a drug which is often used by individuals who are sexually repressed and want to loosen up. Haggard claims that he only bought the drugs but didn’t use them. No one believed him.

After Haggard was exposed as a liar and a hypocrite he started with the tearful confessions in the hopes of saving as much of his ministry as he could. At the time Haggard referred to “a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark and I’ve been warring against it my entire adult life.”

However, Haggard, who lied repeatedly during the outing process, is now concocting a new story that conflicts with what he said before. Remember that he previously said he had been fighting his homosexuality his “entire adult life”. I take that to mean from puberty until his exposure. But recently Haggard was invited to preach at a church in Illinois and told them something very different from his previous claims.

The first new facet to his story was that he claimed he was molested when he was 7-years-old. That was never claimed in his previous versions of the story. But for fundamentalists this claim is important. It verifies what they believe about sexuality -- that one is “recruited” into being gay. Thus Ted portrays himself as a victim and not as a “liar and deceiver” as he previously stated. According to one report Haggard claimed the alleged molestation was “an experience that ‘started to produce fruit’ when he turned 50.”

In this new, revised version of the fall of Ted Haggard he was not “warring” with his sexual attractions his entire life. Instead it was the results of him being molested which only “started to produce fruit” almost half a century later. Right! I suggest his first claim that he was “warring” with his sexuality his entire life is more consistent with the facts than his new claim that it only started when he turned 50 and then it “started to rage in my mind and in my heart”. One thing hasn’t changed, Ted Haggard is make to being a “liar and deceiver”.

Haggard is playing up to the lies fundamentalists tell themselves about sexuality. They can’t accept that sexual orientation is so deeply rooted in a person’s being as to be unrelated to any specific event. They want to see homosexuals as sexual vampires converting the young. But the evidence from studies of human sexuality indicates that sexual orientation exists long before individuals become sexual. The orientation may direct the sexual acts but the sexual acts don’t drive the orientation. Fundamentalists believe the complete opposite of what most experts in human sexuality say is true.

My guess is that Haggard is still as gay as he ever was. He will claim a miracle cure just the same as he previously claimed he was heterosexual all along. Most of his life Haggard successfully convinced people he was straight when he clearly wasn’t. All he has done is gone back to the same charade. And fundamentalists have to be believe him because it verifies their view of sex, sin and salvation. That none of it is true is not important. Believing it is true is all that matters.



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