Monday, November 06, 2006
Ted Haggard finally confessed that the allegations were true. It seems he has carried on a life long struggle with homosexual tendencies. Radio and TV comedians are mocking him because of his stand against same sex marriage. Many seem to be happy about his fall from grace.
I have tremendous respect for his coming to grips with this problem. He more or less thanked his accuser for exposing him as a liar and deceiver. This is a time of great grace for this man. I admire his public confession, devoid of theatrics, as well as his Church's immediate acknowledgement and public statements regarding this man's unfortunate circumstances.
As a religious man, he obviously struggled with the temptations of homosexuality, and failed at times. I do not think he is a hypocrite. A hypocrite is someone who lives a double life, willingly, with the intention to deceive. I believe Haggard struggled with sin, falling and rising, with sincere efforts to sin no more. What makes me think that? Because he so honestly confessed his guilt, albeit after a couple of days. The hypocrite would continue to lie and cover up the truth. He obviously loves his wife and family and was intent upon living a well ordered life. Again, his stand against same-sex marriage is not invalidated by his sins. He has proven his belief by trying to live his vocation as a husband and father. His efforts are the makings of heroic virtue.
The man sinned. God in His mercy has allowed this to be brought out into the public arena, I'm convinced good will come from it. Remember how St. John of the Cross warned against esteeming any man for his piety, "For the Devil will show you his faults." Pastor Haggard has humbly bowed down under God's mighty hand, he needs our prayers.
I question if perhaps his homosexuality may be considered purely episodic, which seems likely since his basic orientation is heterosexual. However, there also seems to be evidence it is compulsive and symptomatic, perhaps a means to sexually resolve conflict in his life. It may have it's basis in some form of abuse or degradation in his youth, or something else that affected his sexual maturity. Being good looking never helps, as an element of narcissism often enters in. In my opinion, I suspect his condition is probably a combination of both criteria, episodic homosexuality complicated by compulsive and symptomatic homosexuality. I hope he deals with these questions and presents himself later to help other persons suffering from same-sex attraction.
Perhaps, like St. Peter, once he has recovered, he may help his brothers more powerfully than before. Ted Haggard is not the only married man who struggles with these temptations - the gay community would have men like Haggard leave their wives and embrace the gay lifestyle - that would be seriously wrong.
Ted Haggard and his family need our prayers.