Monday, November 06, 2006

I wish Haggard was a Hypocrite

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…


  1. I think you are right on the money on this one. It is to easy to apply the vindictive label "hypocrite" in the effort to have a quick and just verdict. But, part of addressing a problem is to see it clearly in the first place. The jury is still out on the book that Haggard will write. It could be as you say, but he could also come to terms with his sexuality (now that the proverbial cat is out of the bag, he has less to lose) and go the way of say a Mel White.

  2. Haggard calls himself a hypocrite so I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt.

    He, nor anyone around him knows what end is up right now.

    He has said he already tried to get help & it failed. I guess he thinks James Dobson can help him now. Yeah, right!

    There is too much invested in this fortress they have built...he may indeed one day see the light & finally accept his sexuality, whatever it may be...but all the others, will continue on...if he leaves them, they will let him go. But they will not let go of their dogmatic beliefs. If they let go, the cookie crumbles.

    Just my two cents Canadian.

  3. Zoe, I chuckled when I read, “Haggard calls himself a hypocrite, so I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt.”

    True. He does. What becomes frustrating (which will not be a surprise) is rather than take a questioning view of homosexuality, or why it appears to be so controlling in a person’s life, the Christians will close ranks and chant “wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong” including Haggard into the list of “wrong.” Even Haggard will include himself.

    Honestly. Where the rubber meets the road. Do you think One solitary Christian, in reviewing Haggard, even paused to question their own position on homosexuality? Do you think even one solitary Christians, said, “Hey, if he struggled with this, maybe there IS a biological tendency to be gay?”

    They still think it is a sin. He still thinks it is a sin. Nothing changed. Not a bit.

  4. I chuckled when I wrote it. ;)

    And I agree with you.

  5. I'm new here. You write thoughtfully and well.

    I tend to agree with Zoe. We might in effect be splitting hairs as to whether Haggard is, in fact, a hypocrite.

    The fact of his stance against gays and homosexuality - to a point of smug condescension - while living his duplicity screams out hypocrisy to me.

    As I have pointed out, I believe we will see Haggard rise again in the not too distant future, perhaps bigger and ultimately richer than before.

    His transgressions run deeper than his stance against homosexuality. His entire ministry, as I see it, is based on the lie of religion from which he (and others of his ilk) gain very earthly riches out of the pockets of his congregants - surely any number of which can ill afford such contributions.

    We now have a plethora of "super ministers" spouting about a "super god" to millions of abjectly obedient, and unsuspecting minions
    mindlessly seeking their place in eternal paradise. The price of admission is high.