11.03.2006

More on Ted Haggard

From KKTV 11 - Colorado Springs:

A sudden about-face in the scandal facing New Life Church's pastor.

After Pastor Ted Haggard went public Wednesday night denying allegations of a homosexual affair, senior church officials told KKTV 11News Thursday evening, Pastor Ted Haggard has admitted to some of the claims made by a former male escort. The church's Acting Senior Pastor, Ross Parsley, tells KKTV 11 News that Pastor Haggard has admitted to some of the indiscretions claimed by Mike Jones, but not all of them.
Which ones? The world wants to know!

Some would accuse me, among others, of schadenfreude. They're wrong. Schadenfreude is a sense of satisfaction in somebody else's misfortune. Schadenfreude would be me being pleased that Ted Haggard broke his leg in a skiing accident. What's happened to Haggard isn't misfortune, it was a choice.

There is no choice in being gay, of course, but nobody forced Haggard to spend his days preaching to a crowd of 14,000 the sinful nature of homosexuality, demonizing gay marriage, and sitting in on conference calls with a White House that rode anti-gay legislation into office. If Haggard hadn't chosen to actively pursue an anti-gay agenda, nobody would care if he had sex with men - though his wife might be angry that he's having sex with somebody out of wedlock.

But he wasn't having sex with a mistress. To get a straight extra-marital affair to count for anything in an election, you have to do something extreme, like choke her.

Haggard set up being gay as a sort of ├╝ber-sin, one far and away worse than breaking the sabbath, eating shell fish, or taking the Lord's name in vain. (That's why we're not writing laws outlawing NFL games on sunday, cotton-poly blend socks, or Red Lobster.) He's become a victim not of misfortune, but of a concerted effort by a significant portion of this country to marginalize anybody who isn't 'stright.'

There are millions of people in the United States that are victims of the same effort - Haggard's victimhood doesn't make him special. The hypocrisy, the fact that Haggard was/is one of the leaders of that effort makes this story noteworthy.

Hypocrisy is the only reason that news organizations as far flung as the BBC are running this story.

For all those who would see Americans as Pollyannas when it comes to politics, hypocrisy always draws a clear and sharp reaction from the American public. We'll have to wait to see what the fallout from this situation will be.

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