Sunday, November 05, 2006

Haggard the horrible

The Ted Haggard affair presents a number of interesting aspects. Air America host Rachel Maddow probably speaks for many gay and lesbian people when she says that it was right for Pastor Ted Haggard to be outed. After all, he was working against gay interests. Well, was he? Not every gay person favors gay marriage. In fact there is a growing body of opinion on the gay left that questions whether this step is actually a good thing.

Haggard declined to oppose another proposition on the Colorado ballot that would extend the privileges of marriage (without the name) to gay people. Here he was actually helping us.

My own belief is that outing people is almost always wrong. There is an additional
wrinkle in this case, though. Haggard was outed by a disgruntled sex partner, not by some gay-liberal busybody group. It was a case of kiss and tell. The hustler told.

According to the hustler's report, he and Haggard had not had sex since August. It may be that a rift had developed between them, and the jilted one was getting back.

I generally tend to resist the stereotype that all evangelicals are stupid. But in Haggard's case it is hard to resist that conclusion. It is not only stupid to take crystal meth, but stupid to admit buying it. That is a criminal offense. Having gay sex is not.

Apparently, some evangelicals think that taking hard drugs us is less bad than engaging in homosexual acts. Their own belief, supposedly, is that any sin can be erased by sincere contrition. But not, it seems, sodomy. That stain remains forever.

Finally, the conservative pundit David Frum (in National Review's blog) seems to think that the only problem is that Haggard was found out. Do what you want, just don't let your supporters down by having your transgression publicly known.

But of course the last act has yet to be performed. That is the one where Haggard calls a press conference and announces "I am a gay American." Then he becomes a director of Soul Force, Mel White's organization.


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