Yes, the current stir in all of blogsphere is Ted Haggard—conservative pastor who, as it turns out, was having a homosexual affair on the side. The irony, and hence the outrage and labeling of “Hypocrite” is that he was extremely outspoken against gay marriage. Against homosexuality, yet practicing it himself.
We think of a hypocrite as someone who says one thing, but lives another. But is that what Ted Haggard was doing?
Walk with me on this. We all have moral codes. Whether a fundamentalist, a Mormon, an agnostic or an atheist. And we all recognize that we will, at some point, breach that moral code. At that moment—are we a hypocrite? We said one thing and lived another.
Or, is there a larger picture that we recognize such a breach will happen, and we take whatever steps we can to resolve the problem. That part of what we say is that we will eventually break our own moral code and yet even in doing so not be a hypocrite because we are living what we say. We are human.
Ted Haggard thought homosexuality was a sin. He preached against it. He campaigned against it. He proclaimed it through every medium available to him. And when he engaged in it, he thought it was a sin, then, too. He recognized he was breaking his own moral code. He purposely did it secretly; he then tried to cover it up. He treated it as if it was a breach of his own moral code.
To Ted Haggard, a homosexual affair was just one of many sins that he will commit in his life. Part of being human. In his mind, he is not so much of a hypocrite as a man who sinned, and knew he was sinning.
And, he will continue to rail against homosexuality. He will say that what he did was wrong—sadly not as much as the adultery as much as the homosexuality. He will continue to say that other homosexuals, just like him, are wrong and sinful, and should be denied rights.
See, a hypocrite would be Haggard coming forward and saying, “You know what? I am a homosexual. All this time I have been saying to not do it, yet I believe it is acceptable to be gay. I am gay. I should not have said what I did, because what I said was wrong.”
No, Ted Haggard thinks what he said was still right. He still thinks homosexuality is a sin. He just thinks he got caught doing something he has always said, and will continue to always say is wrong.
At some point he will crawl out of this disaster and write a book. And in that book, (which will be dedicated to his loving wife who is going through the hell of a heterosexual married to a homosexual) he will recount how wrong homosexuality is. And how he overcame this horrid sin. And thousands of heterosexual Christians will buy this book and say, “See? See? Even the homosexual Ted Haggard knew it was a sin, and he became straight.”
Admittedly, some of me wants to join the bandwagon and call out “Hypocrite.” But the more I reflect on it, the less I see him as such. And the more I wish he was.
Rather than a homosexual basher who had a homosexual affair, I wish his hypocrisy would be a homosexual that bashed other homosexuals. But I don’t think that is where he will land…