I have seen, even starred in my own version of, this movie before.
Apparently balking at the idea of a spectrum of sexual orientation, Rev. Ted Haggard – you remember him? – has emerged from a mere three weeks of counselling, at a treatment centre, confident of his heterosexuality and that ‘acting out’ behaviours are to blame for his sex-and- drugs-for-cash trysts.
Frankly, I couldn’t care less what his sexual orientation is. I fear, however, that he may slip beneath the radar for awhile longer and then re-emerge as a venomous anti-gay crusader again (gay as in one’s sexual orientation, not adulterous hook-ups with sex-trade workers).
May my fears be unfounded.
A word of caution, in light of the details in this article from the Denver Post. Given the abundance of temptations on the internet – in Pastor Haggard’s junk email box alone! – is it really a good idea for Mr. and Mrs. Haggard to pursue, without a congregation to lead these days, Master’s degrees “through online courses”?
My sincere wish would be for Ted Haggard to move on from his personal nightmare, if that’s all it was, but to do so with a lot more compassion and understanding. While the sexual behaviour he engaged in may, or may not, be contrary to his dominant sexual orientation – and the over-arching sin (as defined by his faith), surely, was adultery – he might want to back off criticizing those whose dominant sexual orientation is
gay homosexual and help The Church be able to speak, and be welcoming, to anyone.
In the meantime it seems he will be using the tentative abstinence techniques of the one-day-at-a-time program to distance himself from his recent past.
I am called to wish him well, which I can do, subject to the hopes and reservations I’ve expressed. But – thanks to his wide audience before and since this scandal – the world, both fundamentalist and secular, will be watching!