The Huffington Post has an article on an upcoming HBO documentary on Ted Haggard’s rise and fall.
This Haggard quote really jumped out:
“The reason I kept my personal struggle a secret is because I feared that my friends would reject me, abandon me and kick me out, and the church would exile and excommunicate me. And that happened and more.”
The truth is, and there’s YouTube evidence to back this up, that Ted Haggard rejected himself, abandoned himself and helped create a culture that would send anyone like him into exile. The saddest part of this whole thing is that Ted Haggard has not been free to be who he is. His wife has suffered, his kids, his church. When we are not free to be who God has made us and we are shamed by our culture for what drives us sexually, our sexuality becomes a pathology. Our sexuality is exiled into the dark shadows of our lives, and the beautiful gift of sex and intimacy withers and dies. This is why promoting monogamy in either homosexual or heterosexual relationships is so important. To make room in the tent for monogamous, same-sex relationships will help to prevent these kinds of familial tragedies from happening. Instead of doing meth and hiring a prostitute, Haggard’s sexuality, if allowed by his cultural surrounding, could have been communicated in the way of committed, faithful relationship.
The true hero in this story is Gayle Haggard who has accepted her husband for who he is and remains faithful despite their difficult predicament. I pray that the Haggards will know grace and peace and that somehow Ted Haggard can break free from his fundamentalist cocoon in order to reconcile his sexuality and spirituality. Yes, it’s true, they can live side by side in harmony.