Friday, November 03, 2006

That Haggard look

[Update below: Haggard admits "some allegations" are true.]

A viewing of the film Jesus Camp left one with a rather frustrating outlook on the future of this country as a secular nation of laws and reason. In a terribly ignorant way, the subjects of the documentary were all very -- frighteningly -- sincere and well-meaning, but not gratingly so. Except for one jerk. One character who appeared in the film did not come across as sincere or well-meaning at all. In fact, he was an asshole. That character was none other than the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, Ted Haggard. As any evangelical will be, Haggard is vehemently homophobic and one of his feature issues, of course, is gay marriage. But is appears that Haggard's homophobic jeremiads on the pulpit stay on the pulpit.

Which brings us to this tale, a tale of yet another "religious" leader failing to practice his preaching; a classic case of projection. Ted Haggard has just resigned after a male prostitute came forward and accused Haggard of pay for homosexual sex for a period of three years. Three ass-fucking years. Further alleged is that Haggard would get hopped up on methamphetamine for these wayward trysts, perhaps thinking that, at the pearly gates, a drug habit would excuse the laying-down-with-another-man thing (which means that some of this period would have been during the filming of Jesus Camp, when Haggard met some of the young impressionable kids and condenscended to them in no uncertain terms). Haggard has denied the allegations but the former prostitute says he kept several telephone messages from Haggard detailing arrangements for drugs and sex. Jesus, it seems, is not the only one who saves.

One also must be amused by further claims from the former male prostitute that he is a Christian and how much he suffered in coming forward.
I cried many nights; I got sick tormenting myself about whether I should do this. I finally had to come to peace with myself. ... I had to do the moral thing
It's hard to apprehend that there is any "moral thing" that can be done under such circumstances. Nonetheless, we have the curious tale of two "Christian men," one of whom is a married evangelical preacher, meeting secretly and having homosexual sex for $200 a pop. But, by god, Christians better not let gays get married. Because that would be wrong.

I've got a solution to all these embarassing homosexual scandals that seem to infect the homophobic religious right: start acting like the Christians you say you are. Pay attention to Christ's teachings and not the absurdist tribal primitivism found in Deuteronomony. Because Jesus didn't strut and fret about gay people. And it seems plainly clear that neither should you. If you stopped publicly vilifying homosexuality, guess what? No one would ever care whether you're paying for gay sex or not. Well, your congregation might, but most of America wouldn't, because they don't really care now. The reason it makes the news is not because anyone really cares about this shit. It's news because everyone enjoys relishing the abject hypocrisy of moralizing, self-righteous asspieces like Ted Haggard, who will both decry homosexuality and pay for it at the same time.

Update: That didn't take long. After people started listening to the recorded phone calls Haggard made to his former gay male prostitute, Mike Jones, Haggard now admits that "some" of Jones' accusations are true. I guess we can all extrapolate from that. But I was curious to see a "defense" of Haggard that was offered in the NBC story. The story interviews one member (heh, heh, heh) of Haggard's church, Brooks DeMio, who says he doesn't really know the minister but, by god, this whole thing just can't be true because Ted "loves the Lord" and homosexuality is a sin so, ipso facto, Haggard did not do it and Jones is a liar. Besides, Father Ted has never offered to have doped-up gay sex with DeMio, so this all must be impossible.

But the state of Haggard's ministry was hilariously revealed by his own niece, Carolyn Haggard, a spokewoman for the New Life Church, when she was confronted with this sutuation.
This is really routine when any sort of situation like this arises, so we’re prepared...
Routine. Huh.


Anonymous robb said...

Well, at least some good has come of this event. That good is the following:

Jesus, it seems, is not the only one who saves.

I will enjoy that line all day long...

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's news because everyone enjoys relishing the abject hypocrisy of moralizing, self-righteous asspieces like Ted Haggard, who will both decry homosexuality and pay for it at the same time."


4:29 PM  

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