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Never Had A Clue


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I’ve been reading news articles and commentaries on the Ted Haggard episode and have been surprised to find that the majority of stories haven’t been all that condemning. Although no one is denying Haggard’s homosexual lifestyle or his drug use, almost without exception the articles contain phrases such as “We are all subject to falling to temptation” or “Satan attacks successful Christians” or “Ministers are just people too” and “We should remember David and Bathsheba” or “We must seek for his restoration and forgiveness” or similar banal rhetoric. And these trite phrases have been weaved into columns written by secular and Christian writers alike!

 

In fact, the general timbre seems to be that although Haggard initially denied the allegations and only later admitted he’d been disingenuous, his fall from grace is supposedly only evidence of human frailty or Original Sin or something.

 

Perhaps I’m just jaded, but the man is 50 years old, and has admitted to having an affair with a gay, drug-dealing prostitute for three years.

 

Three years!

 

I wonder, is it possible for a True Christian™ to live a sordid secret life for three years? Does a three-year-long gay tryst held by a respected Christian leader prove that Christianity definitely has problems?

 

Regardless of the real answer to those simplistic questions, I can’t help but wonder a few things from all of this.

 

Let me explain my thinking:

 

During these past three years Haggard has preached dozens and dozens of genuine sounding sermons in a church that claims to practice the gifts of the Spirit. People in the congregation still readily claim to possess spiritual gifts — gifts ladled out by the Almighty — for the benefit of HIS church. One of these divine gifts is known as the gift of discernment. Yet, apparently, not a single one of these purportedly gifted believers had the slightest idea that Haggard was lying. Or screwing around. Or getting high.

 

Not one!

 

This is intriguing to me. Does this prove that Spiritual gifts are bogus? Doesn’t it at least raise some doubt as to the reliability of supposedly God-given powers?

 

Another thing that mystifies me is the assumption that a 50-year-old man would suddenly begin having homosexual tendencies at the age of 47.

 

Is that how homosexuality works? Does a man wake up one day at 47 and realize he’s just got to have sex with a hot guy? Perhaps I’m naïve, but it seems much more likely that Haggard has been gay a lot longer than three years. It seems likely that he would have acted on these impulses once or twice prior to reaching 47 years old.

 

Am I way off base on this?

 

Of course I have no evidence that Haggard’s been having dalliances with anyone other than Mr. Kiss&Tell, but I still wonder. When President Clinton’s cigar was found where it shouldn’t have been, no one doubted he’d been wetting that thing as often as opportunity knocked. Most writers weren't all that forgiving of Clinton. Yet Haggard, who unless he’d been fingered would likely still be out on the prowl, gets the soft touch, so to speak.

 

Another observation I’d like to make is in regards to the relative ease with which this man wore an impenetrable mask before thousands of onlookers. His deception was flawless. To reiterate, had he not been turned in by his lover, no one would be the wiser today.

 

I’ve known people who could lie as well as Haggard, and frankly, those people scare me. If Haggard could be the revered minister of thousands, and the leader of some 30 million as the head of the National Association of Evangelicals, without a single person ever suspecting his duplicity, how many other Christian leaders, past or present, possess(ed) similar talents?

 

No True Christian™ doubts that Joseph Smith was lying when he said he was visited by an angel who gave him golden plates — the Book of Mormon. No True Christian™ doubts that the spiritual experiences of Mohammad are fantastical fabrications. And no True Christian™ doubts that the stories written in the Bible are completely true. The early disciples of Jesus could never have fabricated the stories in the New Testament and Paul’s honesty is unquestionable, say True Christians™

 

And again, no True Christian™ suspected that Ted Haggard was anything but an honest, holy, anointed man of God.

 

This website posts various stories of Christian leaders being caught with their pants down, their hands in the till, with blood on their hands, ect., and without exception the people in their “flocks” are shocked by the information. In every one of these type of cases, that I’m aware of, True Christians™ never had a clue.

 

What do you think?

 

Related articles:

Sex allegations lobbed at Ted Haggard

Church fires Haggard for 'immoral' acts

Haggard video clip

 

http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2006/11...r-had-clue.html

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During these past three years Haggard has preached dozens and dozens of genuine sounding sermons in a church that claims to practice the gifts of the Spirit. People in the congregation still readily claim to possess spiritual gifts ? gifts ladled out by the Almighty ? for the benefit of HIS church. One of these divine gifts is known as the gift of discernment. Yet, apparently, not a single one of these purportedly gifted believers had the slightest idea that Haggard was lying. Or screwing around. Or getting high.

 

Not one!

Excellent point - a similar situation (heterosexual and virtual) led me to the same conclusion in a similar type of church. It was eye-opening to realize that all those years of fear regarding some saint exposing my hidden sins in public was for nothing! It was a major factor in the unraveling of my view towards religion.

 

I'd also bet that Haggard didn't get to his 40th birthday and suddenly realize "Oh my God! I'm gay!" - puh-leeze........ :scratch:

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I’ve been reading news articles and commentaries on the Ted Haggard episode and have been surprised to find that the majority of stories haven’t been all that condemning. Although no one is denying Haggard’s homosexual lifestyle or his drug use, almost without exception the articles contain phrases such as “We are all subject to falling to temptation” or “Satan attacks successful Christians” or “Ministers are just people too” and “We should remember David and Bathsheba” or “We must seek for his restoration and forgiveness” or similar banal rhetoric. And these trite phrases have been weaved into columns written by secular and Christian writers alike!

 

http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2006/11...r-had-clue.html

 

 

This is what christianity is really about. I got the proper english version of christianity which was all about forgiveness, loving your fellow man (no pun), and hating the sin not the sinner. The thing is the big christian factions in the US came from small seperatist groups who thought they should whip them selves for having bad thoughts. They just use the forgiveness stuff to fall back on when they need to protect themselves or their own. Most of their stuff has little or nothing to do with the bible.

 

P.S. I think the whole religion is a crock.

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Excellent article.

 

As to an explanation, there is no logical way out of this. Those who choose this style of xtianity have no choice but to pretend there is no conflict between the events and their doctrines. Very few will wake up to the reality.

 

I must say, using the "where there's smoke there's fire" principal, it is not unreasonable to believe that at some time, Haggard must have been "high" when he preached.

 

You have hinted that the thrust of xtian response is toward forgiveness and generosity. Interestingly most non-xtians seem to feel that his ministry will implode and his marriage crumble. I don't believe that the evidence of similar events in any way warrants this conclusion.

 

I am convinced Haggard will "rise again". I believe the entertainment value of the actor's "performance" is more important to the flock than the "integrity" of the actor. This 180 degree inversion of truth is what has allowed Swaggart and Bakker to engineer comebacks. It is also an extremely disturbing view of xtian morality.

 

Mongo

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Very well said. I have one possible explaination: The Closet. I have known many men that frequented bathhouses and parks for anonymous sex. Were they gay/bi? Not according to them. That one lie, the big easy one we tell ourselves, makes it very easy to tell many others. Orwell described it as "doublethink", that's what it's like being in the closet. You have this need, and I do mean need, for the affection of ofther men. But since the person is using doublethink that need for affection is translated into a need for sex; because sex is easy to find and affection is what you get from your wife. You go, have a trick, then feel terrible about it later. Sure you got off, but you didn't satisfy what you really wanted. So the lie is reinforced, it goes like "Since I don't feel fulfilled that means I really am heterosexual and this is just a singular event caused by ....." The "caused by" can be filled in anyway you like. So for a week, a month, the time frame really doesn't matter, you go on living your life in the same isolated fashion. Always telling yourself, I'm straight; but in the back of your mind you find yourself checking out guys as they walk by. At some point, the pressure builds up and you need a release. So you go back to what you did before and repeat. It's a loop, a recursive life that can only be broken by breaking the doublethought. The solution is simple, accept yourself for who and what you are and know the difference between affection and an orgasam.

I honestly hope he can come to this point. That life is something, although self induced, no one should have to lead.

 

As to the parisioners; they are only seeing what they want to see. The lie is pretty and comfortable. The truth would cause a conflict, so they take the mental path of least resistance.

The media has no excuse.

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Screw him. Cut him no slack. It's bad enough already that his name is Haggard. I hate jerks like this who give us sweet gay boys a bad name. You know he's going to say that he sinned, that homosex is wrong, that he needs to repent. I hate it that there are gay people like this, but it does reinforce one important point: we're no different, really, from everyone else - we have our scumbags, too.

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247_haggay.jpg

 

I’ve been reading news articles and commentaries on the Ted Haggard episode and have been surprised to find that the majority of stories haven’t been all that condemning. Although no one is denying Haggard’s homosexual lifestyle or his drug use, almost without exception the articles contain phrases such as “We are all subject to falling to temptation” or “Satan attacks successful Christians” or “Ministers are just people too” and “We should remember David and Bathsheba” or “We must seek for his restoration and forgiveness” or similar banal rhetoric. And these trite phrases have been weaved into columns written by secular and Christian writers alike!

I've noticed this too; they are falling over themselves offering Ted prayers and forgiveness. I did run across one site written by an ex-member of his church that seems to have been set up to expose Ted as a "false prophet" long before his outing by Mike Jones, although the author still says he feels "sorry" for Brother Ted.

From the above mentioned website:

A WORD OF WARNING

 

I'll be honest with you, I sincerely feel sorry for Haggard. He has lost everything. One day he's on top of the world and the next, he's in the gutter. Like the guy from Nacho Libre said, "It sucks to be me!" Although I feel sorry for Haggard, this may not be the best time to drop our guard. So with that in mind, let's take a closer look at Haggard's confession...

 

Firstly, can you really call it a confession? Did he really admit to what he did? Not really. He admits that he did commit "sexual immorality" and that he is a deceiver and a liar. Haggard, your male prostitute (MP) said you had sex and drugs every month for three years. You said he was a liar. So which is it? Did you have sex with your MP or not. You did not clarify this issue. So is your MP still a liar or are you? By claiming that he was lying in some way, you may still be impugning his character. Granted, the guy is a MP, but so far, he's been telling the truth and you have been denying the truth. And we are not asking for any of the gory details, like who was the boy and who was the girl. We just want to know the truth! You keep saying the MP is still lying...about what?

 

You can see into Haggard's heart of hearts by looking closely at the words he chose. He refers to his MP as his "accuser." Accuser? He was your lover, he was your drug supplier and he outed you...but "accuser?" The implication is that Haggard's MP was "accusing" him of something that he did not do. We deserve to know what is true and what was a false accusation. You had the chance to really come clean but you chose a sponge bath instead.

 

Secondly, you say that you have struggled with homosexuality all your life. So are you saying that you have been a hypocrite from your first day in the ministry? Was this your first homosexual affair? How bad were you addicted to drugs? You were with our children for 30 years...DID YOU MOLEST ANY OF THEM? Are we now going to have to endure a parade of people coming out of the closet claiming that you molested them? If so, tell us now. It's a lot easier to forgive when the info willingly comes from the perpetrator rather than forcing the victims to go public.

 

Thirdly, we need to know what the new leaders are going to do about the other homosexual pastors that are still on staff. I believe you know who the other homosexual pastors are, but if you do not, we can help you flush them out. It would be best to clean house now, rather than having to suffer through another meltdown later.

 

Keep in mind, the Board placed three of Haggard's best buddies in charge of his restoration process (James Dobson, Jack Hayford and Tommy Barnett). These are three guys that have known Haggard for 20 or 30 years. Now, they either knew he was gay or they didn't. If they knew, then the "restoration" will be just for show. If they didn't know that he was gay, after being around him for 20 or 30 years, are these guys really qualified? If Haggard has been giving these guys a snow job for 30 years, what makes anyone think that he can't keep it up? They should at least add a couple of guys that would be more objective, who are not too pro or too con. H.B. London of Focus on the Family says, "The process will demand honesty from Haggard and determination from his overseers. It cannot be just a matter of friendship. It will have to become almost a confrontational relationship. You've got to confess your sins and you've got to have a group of people around you who will not let you whitewash the issue."

 

http://www.in-sheeps-clothing.org/home.html

 

Read the rest of it, and you'll find out other accusations, such as that two years ago a pastor at Haggard's church claimed to have evidence of homosexual activity amongst staff members. Who knows what info is out there to be discovered?

 

 

The way I look at it...if Ted comes clean, and admits and accepts his orientation, then he is taking a step in the right direction; accepting himself for what he is, not what some dogma says he should be. Much of this is the fault of evangelical Christianity anyway, for shaming people into pretending to be what they aren't. But if Ted continues to "submit" to the counsel of those chosen to guide him into...what? Repentence? Renewal? Restoration?...and keeps on playing the game and pretending it's all just temptation to sin, then he deserves all the scorn that many heap upon him. I wonder if the Sheeps Clothing site will be correct, in that Ted will become a spokesperson for the gay community? But would the gay community accept him, after the hurt and condemnation he formerly poured on them? I haven't even checked out any GLBT sites to find out their view of the story. Does anyone know what the reaction is in the Gay community over this ? Anger, or understanding? Willingness to forgive, or pleasure in seeing Haggard get exposed?

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What an asshole that writer is. What a homophobe. What a goober.

 

There it is again...homosexuals are child-molesters. They never stop with that.

 

I have a new slogan for a great bumpersticker: Christian Crooks - Follow the Money Trail.

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I wonder if his flock has been going fairly easy on him because they don't want to admit how badly they were fooled.

 

Maybe statements like "Satan attacks successful Christians" is a way of making Haggard a victim of powers beyond his control, instead of the remorseless, devious, pathological liar that he is. Maybe it's also a way of his followers and adherents to turn themselves into victims, not of their own blind stupidity, but of the same greater supernatural power.

 

It's bullshit, of course - Haggard is a lying sack of shit, and any of his followers who cover for him are only enabling the continuation of a lie by minimizing it - but I can say, personally, having been deceived by a lying sack of shit fundiegelical myself, it's pretty humiliating. It's humiliating to realize that you fell for something that deep, or that you loved or cared about someone so utterly horrible, and in the case of Haggard's followers, fell for it for so long. Who'd want to admit that?

 

I'm still waiting to hear someone stand up for once and not be a fucking pussy, and come right out and just say, look - what this asshole did was wrong, and he doesn't deserve to be our leader anymore.

 

Xian forgiveness just allows for bad men to keep doing bad things, and keep getting away with it.

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What an asshole that writer is. What a homophobe. What a goober.

 

There it is again...homosexuals are child-molesters. They never stop with that.

 

I have a new slogan for a great bumpersticker: Christian Crooks - Follow the Money Trail.

 

Fair enough Roman, I don't want to suggest that gay people are pedophiles (completely untrue) but I cannot help but wonder whether the demise of Jesus Camp was more related to Haggard's association with it than with the publicity of the movie.

 

The two events were so close together and Haggard is a deceiver and liar. To me it looks like damage control.

 

Am I being unfair?

 

Mongo

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The reaction of the gay community - I went on a search and I'm browsing a gay forum called justusboys.com/forum

 

So far, they're laughing at him.

 

troubled by the hypocrisy of Haggard's public support for a Colorado initiative to ban same-sex marriage. And you know you're in trouble when you've ceded the moral high ground to a drug-dealing prostitute.
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The part that gets me is the ongoing and willful cover-up that Haggard engaged in.

 

Let me explain. All of us who where once Christians know what it is to want to do the "right" or biblical thing, but were continually frustrated as our "flesh" was stronger than our will. This I can empathize with Haggard on. It's an unenviable situation.

 

Where I cannot empathize with him is his willfully dishonest rallying of the troupes against homosexuals when he was one himself.

 

It's kind of like the question of 1st or 2nd degree murder. Does the jury believe that the convicted killer premeditated and planned and connived the act, thus making him more despicable, or did he just act without thinking in the heat of passion?

 

The man falls in the first category; he is despicable. Not for being gay, but for disingenuous gay bashing.

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