What does Ted Haggard really think?

As most have probably seen, Rev. Haggard is in the news again. For fun, go type his name into the news section of google.com. You’ll find all sorts of news stories and satire. And of course everyone is picking up on the claim made that he is completely heterosexual, that his prior behaviors were only acting out and not evidence that he was gay–something he discovered during an intensive 3 week psychological treatment.

There are two links worth attending to: A Rocky Mountain News story, and the alleged text of an email sent to his church about his future. 

Some of my thoughts:

1. Not clear that Ted is saying he is now completely heterosexual, but a pastor who is talking to the media. Not sure I trust a pastor who is talking to the media about something that ought to be private and confidential. And how could he not know how something like this would be perceived by the media and general population. Does this guy not know how foolish something like that sounds. Even if it is true, it doesn’ really explain anything away. It is just not necessary to make this kind of statement from a biblical perspective. I can only see that someone would say this to try to distance Ted from same sex attraction. 
2. Sexual desire and arousal are more fluid than we would like to admit. There are plenty of studies that seem to suggest that people become aroused by sexual images that they say disgust them. further, sexual orientation and identity are things that are formed by years of shaping and being shaped (private assumptions, social pressures, gender identity, sexual experiences, values, etc.). It is possible to find out that one’s identity is tied up with heterosexual social constructs and yet aroused and seeking homosexual experiences. Both church and culture seem to reject this idea and both support the either/or mentality. 
3. While I’m sure the 3 weeks of intensive counseling was powerful, you really can’t accomplish 3 years of counseling and growth in 3 weeks. You might have lots of conversations and broach many subjects that would normally take weeks to get to in once-a-week therapy, but growth rarely works that way. Insights might come faster, but change?  And actually, Ted’s email suggests he is not done and has only just become the growth process. Good. I hope he really believes that!
4. On-line psychology courses? I’m a purist here. In my not so humble opinion, you can’t learn counseling skills and techniques through on-line course work. Further, I just can’t imagine someone used to being in the limelight being satisfied with private counseling. Maybe they plan to be motivational speakers…


Filed under Christianity: Leaders and Leadership, Evangelicals, News and politics

3 responses to “What does Ted Haggard really think?

  1. on-line psychology? i guess if it is simply academic, not for clinical/practical. All this is so odd.

  2. mikhail

    Evangelicals and christians in general tend to be so obsessed with sex, gender and genitals to the point that you would think that morality = sex and nothing more. Why I suppose in an evangelical’s mind a heterosexual drug dealer is ‘morally’ superior to a gay philanthropist. Christians in general are guilty of being self righteous and are constantly pretending to ‘love the sinner but hate the sin ‘ as if they can really do that -hah.!!!

    May I remind them that the oft repeated mantra of the modern pharasees ‘ love the sinner but not the sin’ is not a quote from Jesus , but a glib semantic invention of some self righteous baptist minister.

    Careful scholars of biblical texts who are familiar with the intricacies of ancient oriental languages are wont to not read their bias into isolated quotations.

    Jesus had no problems with gays ( natural eunuchs born of the mother’s womb). If you are anti-gay or condemnatory of gay people than you are out of sync with Jesus.

    This is what Jesus said:

    KJV Matthew 19:12
    12. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

    No less an authority than Jesus said it is o.k. to be gay, and for you to accept it. Who do you wish to follow – Jesus (of Nazareth) or Jerry (Falwell).

    For more detail discussion of this biblical position on the acceptance of gay people by no less an authority than JESUS – THE SON OF GOD , I refer you to this link :


    Mikhail – a child of the intelligent Universe

  3. Mikhail, your comments were a bit off topic (see my point in the first paragraph). However, you had me tracking with you for the first and second paragraph. I agree with your criticisms of many evangelicals. However, your scholarship in what follows is not, as you say, from careful scholars, but rather from those who have an axe to grind. May I remind you that both sides have big axes to grind. Taking Jesus’ words here to mean he supports gay sex is far from the meaning of the text.

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