Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Now-not-gay Ted Haggard

Apparently acted.... oddly with many young men of the church:
"We have verified the reality of (Haggard's) struggle through numerous individuals who reported to us firsthand knowledge of everything from sordid conversation to overt suggestions to improper activities to improper relationships," the Rev. Larry Stockstill told the congregation.
Even as some members tried to modify statements:
Another overseer, the Rev. Tim Ralph of New Covenant Fellowship in Larkspur, said he was "misquoted" recently as saying Haggard was "completely heterosexual." He said he meant to say that therapy "gave Ted the tools to help to embrace his heterosexual side."

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Mustang Bobby puts it into perspective:
One of the problems with growing up -- gay or straight -- is that it's not easy to learn all the social graces and niceities that we are faced with: learning to act like an adult and think beyond yourself is tough enough. Repression of your natural instincts, whether it's through a harsh religious upbringing or a strangling family culture, makes it very tough for any kid to find out who he or she is on their own. What happens then when you're gay is that when you're finally able to accept yourself and grow up, the time has passed; you may have a family and a career that would make it truly impossible to start the maturing process all over again. The damage to Mr. Haggard, his family, and his friends goes way beyond what he did when he was deep in the closet, and the chances that he'll grow into a healthy, self-respecting gay man -- which is what he should be -- are shot to hell before he ever really got the chance to grow up.

And here's a tip: knock off the "weirdo" labeling. If Ted Haggard had been allowed by his church, his family, and his society to grow up as a normal gay man, allowed to explore his feelings and come to understand them as any other person does instead of having to repress them, he might not have turned to the kind of destructive behavior that got him busted in the first place. It's the people who force others to repress themselves that are the "weirdos."
Update: reminder of Haggard and his arrogance, his hatred of evolution and science.

And a reminder for those women who find out their husbands are gay:
Ignorant Hussy writes:
"The first thing you should do is get tested for every STD known to humanity including HIV. If you ever have sex with your husband again, make him wear a condom. (Actually, that's good advice for someone who has discovered their straight spouse has cheated on them.) I know your church has probably told you that it's a sin to use condoms or they aren't effective in stopping the spread of STD, but medical professionals say otherwise. Who are you going to believe about condoms? A book written by bunch of bronze age nomads before condoms were invented?(paraphrasing Richard Dawkins) Or the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the Whitman Walker Clinic?

The second thing you should know, being gay in and of itself is not evil. Your husband's dishonesty with himself and you is evil. Homophobia is evil. Homosexuality is not a disease to be cured. Going to spiritual "restoration" will not cure gayness. Geez, that sounds so Soviet, like going to a re-education camp. My S2BX was filled with self-loathing for years, his homosexuality was the invisible elephant in the home. I knew that he was keeping something from me, that there was some element of intimacy that was missing from our marriage, but he wouldn't talk about. Now that he's out, it's like a giant weight has been lifted from his shoulders. Maybe that was the sensation that I got when he told me. The weight left his shoulders and slammed me in the face."

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