Monday, November 27, 2006

Rethinking the Haggard Case

For readers interested in matters of religion and sexuality: Bill Tammeus, the religion columnist for my hometown paper, The Kansas City Star, expressed my thoughts exactly this week on the situation of the Rev. Ted Haggard:

I stipulate that we all sin. But what if Haggard is simply wrong about thinking that part of his life is “repulsive and dark”? If he’s talking about what appears now to be his homosexual orientation, what if he finally were to reject the destructive idea that it’s sinful? What if, instead of fighting for much of his adult life against who he truly is sexually, he were to learn to embrace his sexuality as a divine gift that must, like all gifts, be used responsibly and lovingly?

. . . If people assume their sexual orientation is sinful, there’s no way they can love their truest selves. That means a balanced, loving, authentic, responsible life of service to others is impossible.
It's a thoughtful, humble, terrific column; read the whole thing here.


  1. Thanks for posting this, Cheryl.

  2. I'm delighted to know that the man is still writing! I loved reading his columns when I was in college, when I actually got the Star.

    Good column. Of course!

  3. Regardless what you think about homosexuality, adultery is "sinful and dark." I wonder if you and the author of this article would feel this way if Haggard had cheated on his wife with a female prostitute?

    Imagine for a moment that were the case. Would it be any more palatable if perhaps he just finally discovered that "who he is" is someone physically attracted to someone with a different type of build, or different hair color?

    Either way, he dishonored his marriage vows. Every day the lives of families are shattered by marital infidelity.

    Honoring a marital covenent is infinitely more important than an egocentric desire of self-gratification.

  4. Interesting take, Roadtripray, but I submit you're changing the question here. According to strict Biblical definition, Rev. Haggard did indeed commit two sins -- adultery and homosexuality. But Mr. Tammeus and I were both thinking just about the latter -- whether it *should* be defined as a sin, and wishing we could redefine it as something that's simply a part of one's personality. You are correct in saying that would not change the fact that he committed the sin of adultery, or change the pain that caused his wife and family. But neither Mr. Tammeus nor I were thinking about adultery in this column/post, and his remark that sexuality (whether homo or hetero) "must be used responsibly and lovingly" stands in rebuke to the Rev.'s adulterous behavior.