One of four ministers who oversaw three weeks of intensive counseling for the Rev. Ted Haggard said the disgraced minister emerged convinced that he is "completely heterosexual."To refresh your memory:
Haggard also said his sexual contact with men was limited to the former male prostitute who came forward with sexual allegations, the Rev. Tim Ralph of Larkspur told The Denver Post for a story in Tuesday's edition.
"He is completely heterosexual," Ralph said. "That is something he discovered. It was the acting-out situations where things took place. It wasn't a constant thing."
Ralph said the board spoke with people close to Haggard while investigating his claim that his only extramarital sexual contact happened with Mike Jones. The board found no evidence to the contrary.
Haggard resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals last year after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. He was also forced out from the 14,000 New Life Church that he founded years ago in his basement after Jones alleged Haggard paid him for sex and sometimes used methamphetamine when they were together. Haggard, who is married, has publicly admitted to "sexual immorality."
Is this latest "development" supposed to exonerate him Ted Haggard, purveyor of faith and leadership and acting moral compass of his congregation because of the fact that he's been declared to be like, completely heterosexual? You know, minus the whole paying-a-male-escort-for-sex-and-meth thing. Does that make it all OK?
Did they "pray the gay away" during these weeks of "intensive counseling"?
Whether Haggard is straight, bi, experimental, or g-g-g-g-GAY is of no importance here. It is this evangelical movement, the Preznit's "base," that has quickly gained control of the GOP, shaped the Republican agenda, and manipulated and motivated to vilify and demonize a particular group of people for the purposes of political gain. It's this group of people, the Preznit's self-proclaimed "base," that has had a heavy hand in shaping public policy during his administration.
And yet, Haggard is the embodiment of everything these people stand against. But somehow, people like James "He will continue to be my friend, even if the worst allegations prove accurate" Dobson manage to find the compassion and forgiveness that they should be showing to their fellow human beings rather than just toward people just like them.
The "Ted Haggard is not gay" announcement also begs the question: How many same-sex encounters does one have to have in order to be officially gay? Is there some kind of threshold you have to cross? Is there a checklist or something? And if you have to pay for gay sex, does that mean it's not real?
My fellow BARBARian, Generik, also shares with us his point of view.