Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More on Haggard, Sexual Morality, and the Election

The pictures of Rev. Haggard I found online reminded me on an incident a long time ago. I had been on Crossfire debating a member of the Religious Right, and we were screening the tape in my office. A staff member walked by and said, "Who's the gay guy on tv with Debra?"

Rev. Haggard in the letter to his congregation said:

"The fact is, I am guilty of sexual immorality, and I take responsibility for the entire problem."

But he didn't take responsibility -- that was part of the problem. As our Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice and Healing says, "all persons have the right and responsibility to lead sexual lives that express love, justice, mutuality, commitment, consent, and pleasure." It's not hard to see where Rev. Haggard's actions both in his marriage and his outside relationships fall far short of that moral standard.

I have been saddened by not surprised by the statements of some on the religious right that fail to see how their own preached homophobia keeps people in the closet seeking dangerous and immoral relationships. I was heartened though by evangelical David Kuo's comments in Time magazine (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1554908,00.html) that reminds us that Jesus makes no comment about homosexuality at all in the gospels.

There is going to be a lot of commentary tomorrow on what the election had to say about values, religious voters, and the like. Please go out and VOTE today -- let OUR values of inclusion, freedom, choice, equality, and justice be heard.


Cassandra said...

There are many things the Jesus doesn't mention in the gospel-bestiality, incest, polygamy, gluttony. In regards to many of these practices, it was simply understood that they were wrong and not worthy of mention.

Anonymous said...

But, do you know WHY they are considered "wrong"? Bestiality, it can be argued, is wrong because it is cruel to another living thing. However, incest and polygamy are both practiced in the Old Testement. When did polygamy become "wrong"? Who decided that? And, although Jesus never mentions gluttony, per se, he does condemn the exploitation of the poor by the rich (in an indirect way).

I am always curious to know how people come to these "simply understood" conclusions without the slightest idea as to the background of these beliefs.

I am posting anonymously because I don't have time to set up an identity today before I go to teach my undergraduate class on Christianity. I apologize if you are a religious scholar.

Cassandra said...

No insult taken, but I actually have a degree in Theology and Philosophy.

I don't see how my simple understanding of the matter is any less simple than saying that since Jesus didn't mention homosexuality at all in the Gospels, he's probably cool with it. I just don't find that very convincing at all.