I'd love to be a real scold about stories like this, but I can't. I'd love to jump up and down and celebrate the fall of another anti-gay religious self-righteous closet case, but, for some reason, the whole thing makes me sad. The religious wars continue and the closet looms larger than ever as a thing of unmitigated evil. Somehow, all of this is just going to make gay people, and homosexuality, look bad, when the real wickedness here is denial, lies, warmongering and anti-gay theology that twists people into doing things that destroy their own lives and the lives of others.
If you haven't heard about it, then here's the story in short: Ted Haggard, one of the leading evangelical ministers in the country, a man who has the ear of President Bush and is President of the National Association of Evangelicals has stepped down from his job after being accused of having sex with a gay hustler.
Ted Haggard, a pastor with five kids, has been accused, by a man who is a hustler in Denver, that Ted has been paying him and having sex with him for three years. Mike Jones, the man in question, say she has tapes and letters, all kinds of physical evidence to prove his case.
The reason he stepped forward was because while Ted Haggard is not one of the most virulent anti-gay crusaders, he does support the anti-same sex marriage amendment and constantly preaches against "homosexuality." In other words, while he was stabbing healthy out gay people in the back, he was crawling around having sex with men, betraying his marriage, his church and his family. And he was betraying the rest of us who are openly, proudly and happily gay while he skulked around pretending to be this big Christian family man.
You know, if you want to find out who's gay, just read the headlines and see who the most homophobic people are. Chances are you'll find them with a boy on the side.
At first, of course, he denied everything. But now, with Jones threatening to expose him with tapes and letters, he suddenly is going underground.
I feel sorry for his family. I feel sorry for the church people who trusted him.
But I also feel that these anti-gay zealots who are out there working to destroy the lives of gay people, working to destroy our families, if they themselves are in denial and are using their closet to work against the very people they are pretending not to be, then they probably deserve to be exposed for the heartless hypocrites they are.
None of this makes me happy, though. I want to celebrate the fall of another person who would wreck my home and my relationship with Jim, but somehow it just all feels too sad. I can't stop thinking about his kids and his wife. This, folks, is why the gay movement exists. To show gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender people that they don't need to hide. They don't need to pretend. They don't need to live in a closet. They can live their lives with integrity.
Or they can end up like Ted Haggard.
TAGS: Ted Haggard, homophobia, anti-gay, evangelicals
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