Monday, November 06, 2006

What sin needs to be forgiven? Weighing in on Haggard

In a letter to his congregation, Rev. Ted Haggard said:

"The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem," Haggard wrote. "I am a deceiver and a liar. There's a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life."

One wonders which part he means -- the part that has been a leader in the movement to deny people who are gay their rights? the internalized homophobia that allowed him to purchase sexual services from male escorts while participating in discussions within the White House denigrating gay and lesbian people? the part about deceiving his wife?

Why do I think what he meant is his own attraction to members of the same sex?

Ted Haggard dramatically illustrates how soul damaging the denial of the blessing of sexual difference is. How different his life would have been had he accepted his own sexual attractions and made decisions about his sexuality that were life affirming rather than so now ultimately destructive to himself and his family.

We're going to hear a lot of talk about forgiveness and redemption by people on the right as they discuss this case. And surely our hearts go out to Reverend Haggard and his family as they go through these difficult days.

May we pray for God's grace that perhaps at least some will see how their own hateful attitudes towards GLBT people need forgiveness as well.

On this election eve, I also need to ask you to go out tomororw and VOTE OUR VALUES. We have an opportunity to send a real message especially those of you in states with ballot initiatives on marriage equality and abortion. Let's be sure the "value voters" in 2006 are US.


fausto said...

He is (or was) a pastor, not a representative, but your points are well taken.

I think his problems were ultimately precipitated by his, and his congregation's, belief that his sexual orientation is a matter of free will and sin rather than a matter of how his Creator made him. However, I think the right and left can agree that his dissembling and betrayal toward his wife and his church, and his dabbling in illegal drugs, are sins in and of themselves, irrespective of his sexual orientation. For those, he apparently has shown contrition and deserves sympathy and forgiveness.

Cassandra said...

Yes, I think you pinpointed common ground that the left and right can share:)

Bill Baar said...

If he had bought straight sex, he'd have been fine today and his secret safe, and the whores and drug dealers prospering.

It's only the male-male sex that's getting outted in this political climate.

Anonymous said...

Well said. Great to find your blog (via technorati)

Kenn (Toronto, Canada)