Religion

Haggard Defense

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As Tim Cavanaugh noted while I was writing my post on the same topic, the Rev. Ted Haggard resigned yesterday as president of the National Association of Evangelicals after a former male prostitute, Mike Jones, told a Denver TV station he'd been having a sexual affair with Haggard for three years. Haggard is married and has five children; his organization views homosexual sex (not to mention adultery) as a grave sin. Jones said he came forward because of Haggard's vocal support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. "I had to do the moral thing in my mind," he said, "and that is expose someone who is preaching one thing and doing the opposite behind everybody's back." Haggard at first said he's always been faithful to his wife and denied ever meeting Jones, then admitted calling him for a massage and buying methamphetamine from him but added that he never had sex with Jones and never used the meth. Haggard missed a chance at mitigation when, in response to Jones' charge that he'd used meth, he denied using drugs of any kind, including tobacco and alcohol.

Sounds like a good opportunity for Jeremy Lott to make the talk show rounds.  I confess I have not read Jeremy's book yet, but I suppose he might say that it's better to uphold moral standards rather than attack them (assuming the standards are valid), even when you privately fail to practice what you preach. Haggard's misbehavior is certainly not conclusive evidence that his stance on gay marriage (or adultery, for that matter) is wrong. But like, say, the weight of an anti-fat crusader, it is not only interesting but fair game given the subject's publicly stated views. 

NEXT: Because I'm...Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute

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  1. Using the “homophobe = repressed homosexual” argument used to be the equivalent of whipping out the Hitler card (ala Godwin’s law). Given recent empirical evidence, I expect this argument to be resurrected, so to speak.

  2. I wish this could be the victory people will think it is. People will celebrate the destruction of a figurehead in an organization – but they don’t realize that the guy will get replaced by someone just as bigoted very quickly. Sure, there might be a short change in attitudes, but that’s all it will be – a short change, at best.

  3. Oh, maybe he’s not as bigoted as he is hypocritical. After all, he *did* consort with a male prostitute and snort meth.

  4. No, no, I don’t think it’s a victory. But I do think it’s hilarious.

  5. I guess any kind of “But I didn’t inhale” joke would be too predictable..

  6. When the “I threw the meth away” story fails to hold up, watch him explain how he caught the gay from the drugs, then check into rehab. Good times.

  7. Wait a minute, why isn’t he using the prepared speech we sent him? He was supposed to blame everything on a drinking problem and then haul his ass over to rehab until we can whitewash this whole matter like we are with Foley! Why can’t he stay with the script that has worked so well for Bob Ney and Mel Gibson?

  8. The more things like this happen, the better for the country. The sooner the GOP can get off of the nutsacks of these fundy-kook organizations they can go back to Goldwater conservatism.

  9. Why can’t he stay with the script that has worked so well for Bob Ney and Mel Gibson?

    In Mel Gibson’s defense (gulp), he was drunk when he screwed up his life and he has entered treatment for alcoholism before.

  10. Chris S. | November 3, 2006, 4:48pm | #
    I expect this argument to be resurrected

    No doubt. Awful canard.

  11. “Haggard’s misbehavior is certainly not conclusive evidence that his stance on gay marriage (or adultery, for that matter) is wrong.”

    No, but there is plenty of other conclusive evidence that his position on gay marriage is wrong or at least based on any evidence conclusive or otherwise.

  12. Being a connisewer of hypocrisy (perforce: I live in the US & monitor “patriots”) I was indeed amused by: its seems Mrs Upright Antihomo Xian Loon enjoyed meth fueled sex jollies, perhaps in ghastly xian orgies, & Father Superior bought $200 bucks worth and claims: his first & last drug buy AND he threw it away, AND other xian creep leaders, ie, Falwell & &….whos that wacko who ran for pres….no, not the midget closet case, the other one- BOTH are bailing on this guy, mere hours after the gannon/guckert fellow traveler surfaced…hmmmmm….like they knew?
    Well, I cant HELP but notice both Jimmy Swaggart & Jim Bakker are back on TV, selling voodoo trinkets to the, uh, faithful, so im sure this guy will be fleecing the sheep again soon enough…..and they vote.

  13. I guess any kind of “But I didn’t inhale” joke would be too predictable..

    Maybe he’ll say, “I didn’t swallow”.

  14. who? Mike Jones. who? Mike Jones. who? Mike Jones.

    Probably only fans of Houston hip-hop will get this reference to an idiotic rap song, but it would work nicely as a taunt if this guy ever tries to enter public life again.

  15. It’s all because he got involved with Dungeons & Dragons.

    Ted rolled a 1 as his saving throw against buttsex, so he was demonically compelled to seek it out.

    Seriously, this explanation would work for him.

  16. Note that Haggard wasn’t just against gay as sin: he was fond of suggestively reminding folks that the Biblical punishment for teh ghey is DEATH.

    FoxNews is doing their best to try and soften the story in their blurbs, but the facts are just too weird and the excuses too ridiculous to last.

  17. Another shining example of “a good Christian man” with feet of clay. Another right-wing phony.

    Rush likes the downers, Ted likes the uppers. Why do Karl and Dick, not to mention W., consort with so many drug users?

  18. “Using the “homophobe = repressed homosexual” argument used to be the equivalent of whipping out the Hitler card (ala Godwin’s law). Given recent empirical evidence, I expect this argument to be resurrected, so to speak.”

    Here you go…

    Journal of Abnormal Psychology 1996, Vol. 105, No. 3,440–445

    Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal?

    Henry E. Adams, Lester W. Wright, Jr., and Bethany A. Lohr
    University of Georgia

    The authors investigated the role of homosexual arousal in exclusively heterosexual men who admitted negative affect toward homosexual individuals. Participants consisted of a group of homophobic men (n = 35) and a group of nonhomophobic men (n = 29); they were assigned to groups on the basis of their scores on the Index of Homophobia (W. W. Hudson & W. A. icketts, 1980).

    The men were exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual, and lesbian videotapes, and changes in penile circumference were monitored. They also completed an Aggression Questionnaire (A. H. Buss & M. Perry, 1992 ). Both groups exhibited increases in penile circumference to the heterosexual and female homosexual videos. Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.

  19. “Using the “homophobe = repressed homosexual” argument used to be the equivalent of whipping out the Hitler card (ala Godwin’s law).”

    based on my limited experience, i gotta say there’s a lot of truth to it.

    the most virulent homophobe i met in college was arrested a few years back for stabbing, killing and dismembering the body of another male who was resisting his advances, and then buried the body in his backyard. dude was clearly messed up, but his overwrought “i’m not a fucking faggot” routine was clearly based on his being, well, yeah. and the end result was an insanely possessive, twisted kind of love turned into a horrible crime.

    clearly, cultural revulsion + repression = bad fucking things. this doesn’t mean every homophobe is a closet case, but i’d be willing to bet more than a few are.

  20. Hmmm. Jeremy Lott proclaims the hypocrisy of the Christian right a good thing.

    Christ only gets real angry with 2 offenses in the bible. One was people who used the church for business. The other was hypocrits.

  21. madpad, seems with Haggard Jesus got himself a twofer.

    Seriously, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, and I hope he takes the gay marriage referendum down with him. I do feel sorry for his family though.

  22. I used the think that the “mega homophobe = closet case” argument was a bunch of BS, till I ran into my huge homophobe friend from high school a few years after graduation. The guy had decided to come out of the closet, so I’m thinking maybe there’s some truth to that assertion.

  23. Back when I was an insurance agent, I sold a Prudential health insurance policy to a faith-healer.

    Another example of hypocrisy/theology I haven’t witnessed, but have heard of from reliable souces:
    In country churches, down South in the “old” days, men mostly remained outside. (… having what today might be described as a subdued tailgate party.) But when time for the collection came, male moonshiners would pass some money through the open windows to their wives (during the summer season, anyways).
    Some Bible-thumpin’ preachers would accept it. Some would not; thinking it “tainted.”

  24. Some Bible-thumpin’ preachers would accept it. Some would not; thinking it “tainted.”

    Tainted, eh?

    Totaly off topic, but this reminds me.

    When Mark Twain was having some financial difficulties he accepted a loan from a rich friend of his.

    Another of his friends, a person of, well, progressive sensibilities, did not approve of this other friend’s plutocratic ways and asked the Missouri sage if he did not think the money was tainted and if so how could he take it.

    Twain answered, “Why certainly it’s tainted, ’tain’t yours and ’tain’t mine, it’s his”.

  25. Being a Nashville native, it is disconcerting for me to see the names Haggard and Jones juxtaposed in this context, especially when Merle Haggard and George Jones have just released an album of duets.

  26. I bet if you look real close, he will have an awl up his butt.

  27. This poor wretch is lost in self-loathing. He did some awful things in order to cover up his true identity. This he did because of our homophobic, hypocritical society. Puritans, who are anything but pure, chose to be selective about what sins of the Old Testament to inflict on man and Leviticus is a real piece of work. However, they managed to save the ones they like, eating pork for instance. We are a cynical society and his sin is not being gay. If he could have been proud of it, he would never have married and had children. His poor wife and child will never live this tragedy down. Oh, how the mighty are fallen was spoken by King David in Samuel II. He said it upon learning of the death of King Saul and his son, Jonathan, David’s lover. There was no coming out of the closet in those days. I pity Rev. Haggard as I pitied Oscar Wilde. Do not be surprised if he takes his own life through all of this. I can just hear a lot of “straights” saying: One faggot less.

  28. Christianity as defended by the apologists in this forum is TOXIC POISON which damages the natural order on this planet. This stems from your claim that all mankind is fundamentally flawed and requires your particular form of salvation. Your bible has filled your head with TOXIC ideas about right and wrong based on the irrational authority you give to magic (miracles) and fortune-telling (prophesy).

    You say ‘love the sinner and hate the sin’ but your automatic label of ‘sinner’ is nothing more than self-righteous judgment which by its definition prevents you from loving anything.

    SIN DOES NOT EXIST IN REALITY. It’s a manmade construct, a concept in language, used to describe reality, but not the thing itself. Do animals sin? Do trees? Do rocks? Do stars? Why humans, then? Please, give it a rest. It doesn’t make rational sense.

    Belief in the SUPERNATURAL, ghosts and demons and heaven paved in gold, now this is crazy thinking. Try for a change the idea that mankind has a NATURAL place on this planet and that we belong here in nature doing exactly what we do, warts and all. There is no need for a messiah because there’s nothing to save. If ever there was an ANTI-CHRIST idea, this is it. The antithesis of Christianity’s message is that there’s NOTHING WRONG WITH US just as there’s nothing wrong with cats or dogs or ants or worms or dirt or water or air. It’s all part of the natural order of things.

    This is not to say that mistakes can be made, learned from, and improved upon. But instead of harping about right and wrong, try asking the question “Is it working?” Is it working for me to do this? Answering this question can yield different answers at different times, for sure, and will give you insight and integrity without the TOXIC condemnation and irrational fear of eternal consequences. Try it? You might find that it works. You also may find that love, compassion and forgiveness become easier to make manifest in your world.

    Or you can pray in fear for the rapture and an end to it all. It’s your choice.

  29. Boy howdy, Squirt, I do believe that you’re the first poster who has ever claimed that this forum was excessively strong in its defense of Christianity.

  30. Squirt- While I am not an athiest whole souled I think your right on many counts.

    I find it interesting that over time it seems more people have been killed in the name of some god or religion than for any other reason. All these gods supposedly of the peace loving variety oddly enough.

    Also I cringe when I see the feed the children commercials as they show shack towns with kids all over the place. Most of these spots seem to be from South/Central America where the Catholics have a dominate presence. The same catholics thats condem the use of birth control are now asking for my money to pay for all these kids that magically appeared for all these poor parents. They are much like politicians in the they create the very problems they claim they need our money to solve. When if they would in fact just get off their moral high horses and nanny mentalities many of these problems would not be such a large and growing problem that self propagates.

    I live in the supposedly most wealthy country on earth and work for a global corporation and make decent money. All that being said I also realize I can’t afford more than one kid if I plan to care for them as best I can. Why is it that I can see that as a “rich,” American but for some reason people living in shacks without a pot to piss in still insist on having 4 or 5 kids?

  31. “SIN DOES NOT EXIST IN REALITY.”

    true.

    neither do human rights.

    plenty of stuff doesn’t exist like a tree exists. i mean, have you looked at a dollar bill lately? 🙂

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