And I have to say, I believe him.
Well...most of him, anyway.
I know he’s a liar, but so am I. I spent years lying. I know what that’s like. I know what it’s like to be filled with such terrible shame that you go out of your way to create another truth. And sometimes, even that facade becomes more honest than what actually occurred. So, I get that.
For me though, it was the point at which Haggard turned to Oprah and said very plainly:
“Oh that? Yeah. I lied. That was a lie.”
And both the audience and I laughed. We laughed because it was true. It was plainly and simply the God’s honest truth.
I also think he’s right in the fact that sexuality isn’t back and white. You’re not always Gay or straight. There are those people. But there are millions of colors in between. I also know that from my own life. So, I don’t think he and his wife is the problem. Not the main problem anyway.
The big problem we have here is the gigantic Religious Elephant in the room. The wall no one seems to be talking about. Gay people have enough problems fighting the world and it’s phobias about their own sex life without adding to the mix a deity who seems to pick and choose who’s holy and who’s not. We’re not talking about spirituality where you’re safe as long as you practice what you preach, we’re talking about organized religion, where everyone has a big, fat say in how you live your life. This is the problem. Not Haggard’s beleaguered wife, or his unfortunate children, or his lack of funds, or his long journey toward healing, it’s the large finger pointing down on him keeping him from exploring who he really is.
Think about the first time you had sex.
Most of us fell in love with the first person who allowed us to get that close to them. That’s common for most of us...gay, straight, or in between. And when that happens, you go on a sexual journey of sorts. Some explore a bit more than others, but there’s a journey attached until hopefully, you figure out what it is you want and who you want it from.
Haggard will never go on that journey because of the commitment he’s made with God to stay in a marriage with a woman who’s so confused and so uneducated about Homosexuality, she thinks she can still pray it away. And to both of them, his feelings are sinful. I don’t care how they cloak it, they know and believe in their hearts, that Haggard's desires are sinful. And they must be stopped.
Haggard will never find peace until he leaves her, pushes his judgmental God aside, and finds inner peace with his homosexuality. Then, and only then, if he really wants to, will he return to his wife. But for now, he’s still ignoring the fear that’s staring him right in the face.
And that fear is his own reflection.