Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Closet Kills

I’ve been thinking about this Ted Haggard thang, and it really makes me sad. I’m happy to see a right-wing, homophobic nut case revealed as a hypocrite; geez, who doesn’t love that, but I feel bad for his wife and children and for his church. I have trouble believing that his wife had no inkling at all that he was gay (but I could be wrong; maybe he was an excellent deceiver), and I wonder what kinds of secrets the kids had to keep in that family, which, in my opinion, is just terrible. I think it was just awful that he spoke about this stuff with a reporter while his children were in the car; sheesh, what must they think of their father!

I wonder how many people in his church have had their faith damaged by his betrayal. I understand his betrayal to be his denouncing of homosexuals while having sex with a homosexual prostitute, and his buying and taking drugs. How could he possible think he could get away with this? I am always troubled by ministers who are elevated by their flocks and the media and spend so much time condemning others; they always seem to fall so far. I was fortunate that I was a missionary kid and saw so much stuff behind the scenes that I tend to be realistic about the demons which can torture clergy. As a result, I think that clergy have to be extra careful about temptation, and once one thinks they are above everything and can take drugs and boink everything in sight, well, it’s time to resign!!!

I am troubled that he is being “ministered” to by people who believe that he chose to be gay. It’s a bit of cliché to say that Society Is To Blame, but, honestly, it was that damn closet which he was forced into by the Evangelical Christian society of which he is a part that was the source of so much of this pain. I truly believe that the closet kills, and that it is unhealthy for everyone when a person must hide who they are. If Ted Haggard had been able to acknowledge the fact that he was gay, he wouldn’t have had to be in the closet; he wouldn’t have married that woman and had children with her and all of them would have been spared this pain. I don’t know what to think about his meth habit; that drug is one of which has held no attraction to me. When I lived in the United States, I lived in areas which were open to gays, areas in which it was relatively easy to be open about one’s sexuality; areas where one could leave the closet with out too much pain and anxiety. But Ted Haggard is part of a community in which homosexuality is a sin and a weakness and total failure of self control, so of course he couldn’t admit to his sexuality without losing everything. From what I have observed, it isn't easy to be openly gay here in Panamá, either, and I really want to see this situation change all over the world. I believe that in the Reign of God people will be able to be honest about their sexuality and that no one will be forced into the closet. The closet kills, and I hope that Ted Haggard can come to terms with who he is, that he will be able to seek forgiveness from his family and flock, and that everyone involved in this mess can find reconciliation with God.


Luiz Coelho said...

If you can recall, I have written a bit about that (The invisible gear that moves the world).

But it is sad. And even in "progressive places", it is still a big issue to come out and admit what you really are.

Padre, I have left you a message at the end of the Iguana topic too...

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Ok Gents, I've just come from dinner at a straightfriends home...he has a 30 year old friend who was a fellow dinner guest who is intimately inexperienced and has been struggling with his sexual orientation his entire life he reports...he is the son of missionaries and has almost always lived abroad. I'm going to invite him to join us here in the next few days (he's got my e-mail address and I invited him for dinner next Sunday afternoon). I would like him to know you folks better...he has many religious type questions that you guys are more clear on than me...I hope to connect him with Goran too (for stark clarity).

Love you guys (and almost everyone else in the world except a few folks that need to see the opening of Fuego Volcano closer up).


Matty Boy said...

Thanks for your thoughts on the subject, Padre. The sex drive isn't the same for everybody, but for some guys it can be a 24-7 obsession, the music playing in the background even when you are thinking about something else. To be conditioned to think this constant force in you life is evil, or even Satan himself, would make your relationship with the world and God a very nasty business.

It's right to pray that he finds acceptance, but given the people who have decided to pastor him, the odds don't look good.

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