My post about Manhood, Women and Homosexuals was quoted by James Wolcott on the Vanity Fair magazine blog. I keep forgetting that in the larger culture, people like Ted Haggard and the "exgay" world are both unknown and exotic. James, from his perspective, made a very interesting point. It's about the bizarre video interview with Haggard in his car while his wife and kids looked on.
When Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart confessed sin and transgression, it was pure camp psycho-melodrama, tears flowing during the prostrations for forgiveness, Swaggart's chins and lips trembling as he underwent Elmer Gantry meltdown before his congregation and the television camera. Haggard, however, might have returned from shooting a round of golf, he was so matter-of-fact. There he was, sitting in the driveway outside his house, seatbelt fastened, admitting to purchasing meth (not a trifling matter for an evangelical leader) and arranging a massage as if shooting the breeze with a neighbor. The genial lack of affect was fascinating. And I presume the woman sitting in the passenger's seat was his wife--what did she make of all this? Five children, a prominent place in the community, and her husband is copping to buying meth out of curiosity. Once you're arranging drug buys and massages with male prostitutes, I think we've moved beyond the curiosity stage.Indeed. He also mentions the brief interview with the asst. pastor who'll be taking over for Haggard temporarily. The moment I saw this guy talking, the only thing going through my mind was that this guy was the gayest gay in gayville. How viciously will he be preaching against us sinful homosexuals? And how long till he comes out the closet?
The best and funniest person to write about all this is the great Betty Bowers. Make sure you aren't drinking anything while reading this. You'll spit all over your monitor and keyboard.