1/24/2009 Comment on “Ted Haggard Is Completely Heterosexual”
It’s been almost a year since I last commented about Ted Haggard and the heartbreaking situation he is in. I think it’s a shame that his church is so invested in keeping their public image intact that they pressured him to confess ’sexual immorality’, but would not encourage or allow him to publicly acknowledge that he is homosexual. I think it’s a travesty. It’s shameful that they did not allow him to just be honest and “come out”, so that he and his wife could get on with their lives. Their insistence on him being ‘counseled’ and ‘restored’ was nothing short of bullying and abuse. Maybe they actually believed in what they did to him, I don’t know, but it was morally wrong.
It is clear that Mr. Haggard has spent his life trying to succeed in a world where he would never have had a chance if he had been honest about his sexuality. It’s a shame, because his humiliation has surely been scalding and jagged. And, his poor family has been dragged through a terrible mess. It could have been so different if he had been allowed to acknowledge and accept his sexual orientation from an early age. This past year could have been different, too, if he had been encouraged to be honest with himself and his wife rather than being pressured by the anti-gay forces all around him to deny his sexuality and reinforce the ‘heterosexual’ lie he has tried to live.
I also think it’s a shame that he has chosen to present himself as the ‘victim’. He IS a victim, in a way, but not in the way he says. I totally believe that forcing a person to live a lie is a horrible abuse. It is clear that Ted Haggard did not choose to be attracted to men, but he is. It is clear that this man has struggled to deny his attraction to men. But, his belief system requires him to believe NOT that it is his God-given sexual orientation, but rather, that it is a sin that God hates. I don’t doubt that he has been a victim in his life, most likely of emotional abuse that was great enough to force him to hide from himself. Until recently, he succeeded in his hiding his sexuality, at least publicly. But, because of the lie he forced himself to live, he chose ’sexual immorality’ rather than honesty with himself and his wife.
I am not, in any way, saying that a married person should cheat on his or her spouse. I do, however, believe that people whose sexual orientation is one of attraction to their own sex, who are with an opposite-sex partner, have an obligation to be honest with themselves and their partners. If you realize, or finally face the fact, that you are attracted to others of your own sex, you have every reason to be honest with yourself first and then your partner. It is wrong to live a lie and cheat on the person who loves you. Treating the heterosexual partner with dignity and respect requires that he or she be allowed to know what is going on, so they can decide whether or not they want to remain in the marriage.
I realize that people who are homosexuals, in a marriage that is between a man and a woman, are sometimes there because they never really understood that their same-sex attraction was part of who they were, not just some ’sin nature’. If preachers spent as much time talking about adultery and divorce, greed and gossip and gluttony, disrespect of women and abuse of women and children as they spend trying to spin homosexual sexual orientation into a sin-of-all-sins, there’d be a lot different in the church and in the world. One better, how about if preachers were to start talking about love for our neighbors, for the downtrodden, for the poor, for the sick, for the imprisoned? How about if preachers started talking about how we can show mercy and grace in the world rather than trying to make one group of people into monsters who are the face of evil?
Heterosexuals are people. Homosexuals are people. People. Heterosexuals form their primary love relationships with adults of the opposite sex. Homosexuals form their primary love relationships with adults of the same sex. It’s a tragedy and a travesty that people use religion to try to beat people into not being who they are, to the point of thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of ‘heterosexual’ marriages being formed by couples where at least one of the partners is trying his or her best to be what is expected and required by the church or trying to please the family.
Imagine a world where every man and woman is respected as he and she is, a world where heterosexual couples can marry the person they love (as already exists) and same-sex couples are seen as two people who love each other, too, two people who can commit their lives to each other just as the opposite-sex couples already can. People are people. Love is love. Two adults who love each other and want to form a lifetime commitment to each other should be able to do that. They should be able to live just like any other couple, able to talk about their spouses, put up the family photos at work and be fully accepted in society and everyday life, at work, in the neighborhood, and most definitely at church.
In that kind of world, a world of respect and equality for all, there would never have to be tortured souls who are trying their best not to be who they are, trying their best to live a ‘heterosexual life’ when they are not heterosexual at all, people who are emotionally abused and blackmailed by the powers-that-be into totally denying who they are and dragging other people (spouses and children) through the emotionally tortured lives they lead.
Mr. Haggard, stop listening to those who are trying to cover up your poor choices for the sake of protecting their reputations. Be honest with yourself and your wife. Give your wife a chance to move on with her life if she wants to. Give yourself a chance to breathe one breath that feels honest. God does not hate you for who you are. God made you the person you are deep down. You’ve been scarred and twisted by beliefs and circumstances and choices. But, who you are at the core is someone who is loved by God. That is what you believe isn’t it? It’s time to start believing that and living that truth.
.related – “Ted Haggard Is Completely Heterosexual” – by Roy Zimmerman