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Haggard And God

I was all set to sit in complete judgment of Ted. I watched these clips with folded arms and a slight smirk on my face. I was ready. Ready to point and laugh.

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.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 2nd, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
I was like you when I heard from this new Haggard. And I too was surprised when I was actually ok with most of what he said. Except, he's still saying he's not gay. His therapist says (he needs to find a new one) he is a "heterosexual with complications".
From her words, I have no doubt whatsoever that Mrs. H knew he was gay. So now they will work on his "complications". And yes, maybe they love each other and can stay together once they both admit the truth.

Feb. 2nd, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
Those last four paragraphs are so well-written, so insightful, they're deserving of a wider audience.

The sad thing, of course, is that Haggard and his wife will never, ever read your journal. :-(
Feb. 3rd, 2009 02:14 am (UTC)
Maybe I'm a sap, sorry, but my heart broke for the guy. I know he's done a lot of damage with his anti-gay sermons and all of that ... and that is unforgivable ... but what I see is a man in the closet, deeply so, and trying to make sense of something that he (in his world view) sees as repulsive and wrong. Yes, he is limited in his thinking - and his poor wife ... but there I go, feeling bad for him. I don't believe a word he says, by the way - I'm talking about what I imagine it is REALLY like for that guy, and how DAMAGING such a deep closet is.

I know I've told you before about that documentary jesus Camp, Alex - have you seen it? You and Chrisanne NEED to see it. everyone should see it. it's terrifying. But there is footage of Haggard near the end - this was only months before the story broke and he was still living high on the hog ... he was preaching hellfire and brimstone about the gays ... and two of the little kids who went to the Jesus Camp counted him as their idol. These kids are precious. They are small brainwashed creatures - but you can see their innocence and sweetness. They cannot be faulted for the environment in which they are being raised. and two of them go up to Haggard after one of his sermons and they talk to him and they tell him they want to be preachers just like him (it's the equivalent of another kid getting to meet Miley Cyrus or smething) ... and Haggard is sweet with the kids, supportive - but what I mainly got from it is: That guy is FLAMING. He is GAY. GAY. GAY. Like a stereotype almost. he didn't snap his fingers and retort, "girlfriend" but he came pretty close. That is another damaging and horrible thign about such ignorance. You do not recognize a thing for what it actually IS.

The man is gay. Anyone who had any contact with, oh, you know, the boys at happy hour at Side Trax, would have recognized it immediately. but these people rest in ignorance, oblivious, not able to ... SEE ... and yet ...I believe there is something there, something deep, that disturbs them ... and it is not just the Biblical condemnation of homosexuality ... There is something that makes these people turn perfectly normal urges inside out and turn around and CONDEMN said urges from the pulpit.

Fear, self-loathing, hatred not of that feared OTHER - but hatred of THEMSELVES ... It has to be terrible. Haggard is so used to lying that i wonder what it is REALLY like for him. You know me, I want all the REAL deets.

sorry for going on so long. I've been RIVETED by the haggard journey.

-- sheila

Feb. 3rd, 2009 02:17 am (UTC)
Oh, and it's awful of me - but I hoped, when the revelation of Haggard's behavior came to light, that those sweet little scary Christian boys from the documentary would snap out of it. Not that they woudl be like, "Ew, he's gay" but they would realize: "Okay, this man who is a man of God has been lying to me ... therefore all of this is BULLSHIT ..."

Then maybe those little sweetie-pies would have a chance.

I would love a Jesus Camp part II, just exploring those kids' reactions to the upheaval in their church.

-- sheila
Feb. 3rd, 2009 08:33 am (UTC)
I think you're a genius Sheila
I absolutely agree with you. My heart broke as well. I'm not near as pissed off as the rest of the world seems to be at him.

And there's a strange ownership the gay community has to people in the closet. Even if they stay in there themselves, they are quick to condemn others for doing the same.

I mean, let's face it, the real victims of this thing are the children. What kind of life are these kids headed for? They have no idea what truth is. What a real life journey is. And more importantly, one of the main men in their lives is living a lie. I can't imagine.

And YES! I adore Jesus Camp. One of my favorite documentaries.

The end when Haggard stares into the screen and asks us all:

"Do YOU know where YOU'RE husband is tonight?"

I'll never forget the look in his eyes.
Feb. 3rd, 2009 12:22 pm (UTC)
Re: I think you're a genius Sheila
He really thinks he can pray it away. It's tragic.

And yes - that moment in the documentary, with him right into the camera, screaming ... meanwhile, he's doing crystal meth and f***ing a male prostitute at night ... How on EARTH do you lie like that? I understand lying, too, Alex - and a lot of time when I lie, I realize that whatever I am hiding is really the truth (obviously). But it would be like me creating my entire LIFE around being a CRUSADER against the very thing that I am ... That's what Haggard has done.

My God. The self-loathing is something I have a hard time imagining.

Oh, and I know it's silly to feel sorry for him ... but I also felt sorry for Darth Vader as a child because "nobody liked him". So yeah. I'm certifiable.

Feb. 3rd, 2009 01:38 pm (UTC)
Haggart and God
Hi Alexandra and all,

I'm not in the US, but living in the Netherlands, but the name did ring a bell, indeed something with religion, but I think I might not have heard about his fall from grace, or just decided it was not worth remembering.
Khyri made me aware of your blog.

You are right. This is just a guy struggling with all the religious dogma that has been put on him; the indoctrination that everything that is out of the ordinary is wrong.
The problem in how organised religion does instill hatred into the minds of their followers and the simple fact that many people just like to be lead and not think about things for themself.
Just tell people one thing enough time and they will start accepting it as the truth.
Something used to get their agenda accepted by organised religion and war mongerers.

Indeed, he has been one of the people spreading the hate, as probably more people who do not know to handle their own feelings and simply decide to go deep into the closet in denying these feelings. And, as long as you shout how wrong they are, you might even start to believe it.

We all have to get to the point where we accept ourself for who and what we are; you have, I have and so have many more have, though probably many more people will not allow this to themself.
Indeed, we all have to deal with the community we live in and the genereal non acceptance of anything that is not understood as it is not part of what is called 'normal'. Why we all are simply in the closet untill we manage to accept ourself.

We can only conclude the world would be a much better place without organised religion; where spirituality/religion would be only a private matter.
Where people would just accept that we are not all the same and where others would just be accepted and respected as we all would like to be ourself.
Where people would accept that sexuality is not digital, but analog from one end of the spectrum to the other end.
Where people would accept that who we are, our identity, is in our mind. Like where organised religion, that puts the emphasis on the spirit, with transsexuality suddenly starts turning things upside down by stating that the container and not the spirit is what is important.

Like myself, I consider myself to be a lesbian as I'm living with, and loving another woman and as guys simply have not been my cuppa tea, even though I have had feelings for guys; so, basically I'm a little bi. Nothing wrong with that; I'm not digital.
I'm sure, it would at leas be highly unlikely not to happen, there will be feelings towards other people; gals as well as guys. My choice in this is not to act on these feelings. But for someone who has found out that their initial choice has not been the good one, in most cases it will be the best for the person as well as the people involved to accept this and to move on.


Feb. 3rd, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
Haggard & God
I watched all his interviews and the documentary and I see a very sad mad who knows he is gay but just isn't ready to say it himself yet . when Oprah asked what he consider himself to to be gay, straight /bi , he really didn't answer that question , he told us that his therapist said he was a hetrosexual with attachment issues, but deep in his heart he knows he is gay , I see alot of saddness in him , in a spiritual sense I don't think God is done shining his light of truth on Mr. Haggard yet and this story isn't over. I would hope that if he ever does come to terms with being gay that he can bring himself to be a positive speaker for gay rights as much as he was against us for God/money/fame . It will be interesting if that happened would the gay community welcome him as one of our own or turn him away like all his friends & parishioner did ?
Feb. 9th, 2009 08:01 am (UTC)
Haggard and God
Thank you for taking the compassionate high road on this topic. At this point, you are one of the few allowing for human frailty in this situation. The Christian world is preparing the carcass for roasting and the LGBT world is burning the effigy on the same fire.

I am a Christian transgender woman.

At one time, for a long time, I was in much the same place as Ted.

I believed that I was a deplorable, scum-sucking bottom dweller, and I hated myself. I did a lot of praying, seeking counsel, and even several attempts at deliverance to set myself free.

I, too, thought, "THIS TIME! This time I will FINALLY break this stronghold! THIS TIME I will be FREE!" I thought that hundreds times. I was wrong. Hundreds of times.

But I was also ABSOLUTELY convinced that what I was facing was a curse or sickness and that it was against God's will. And so, I would help others overcome their homosexual sin and their transgender sin. And I would make all the standard arguments against those sins. And against myself.

It was true. I knew it.


One day, God himself challenged me to look at what I believed. To study it for myself, not what others said. I went back to reading my Bible to learn rather than support pre-conceived concepts.

I found that I WAS WRONG. But I was a long journey from that point to where I am today.

Ted is in that same place. He can not accept that he is probably bisexual, what his therapist describes as heterosexual with homosexual attractions (double speak to get around using the common term and having to admit that one of their demi-god fits the definition.)DUH! And he can not accept that it is okay with God.

Ted faces one additional, massive, roadblock I am glad I did not face, he is a big name in the Christian world, trapped by his own notoriety, with hundreds of others who will try to keep him in the crab pot rather than see him climb out.

I am saddened that this man will live his life in bondage to religious tradition (one of the things Jesus hated most) and never fulfill his real purpose of bringing relief to those in pain. Ted's education and background under-gird his belief. The people he learned from, and those he has known most of his life all re-enforce his core beliefs. Until Ted is open to a God who has made a place for someone like me, he is not open to a God who loves him as he is.

YES, he was wrong, and YES, he is lying. But he is lying to himself more than anyone else, and he is being re-enforced in those lies by those he trusts. I do not know any transgender person who has not fabricated at least as complex web of self-deceit and public shadow. There are likely other "scandals" lurking in the wings, waiting to continue tormenting him. He can set himself free by admitting everything and accepting that it is possible to be Christian regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )