Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I just HAD to copy the following into my blog, it was just so dead on.

God Hates Gay Evangelicals
Will Pastor Ted's love of hot man sex open the narrow mind of the religious right?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Let's assume it's all true. Let's assume that Ted Haggard is just deliriously, stupidly, crazyjuicy gay. I know, not much of a stretch, but let's go with it.
Yes, Pastor Ted, disgraced former leader of 30 million blithely homophobic evangelical Christians, yet another of those flamboyant semi-insane Liberace-with-a-Bible megachurch preachers, a man who had weekly conference calls with George W. Bush, a man who lobbied Congress on behalf of homophobic Supreme Court nominees, Ted has had so much gay sex with a male prostitute it makes Mark Foley look like child's play (so to speak). Fair enough?

Furthermore, let's assume the reaction of Haggard's stunned flock is also true, that many of his devout Christian set are "devastated" and "shocked" and "pulverized" and "beaten with God's own giant rod of icky homo scariness" (note: quotes not verified) about Ted's utter obvious gayness.

So, assuming all that, what's left? How about one overarching question: Will it make a difference? Will it be enough to effect any sort of ideological or spiritual change among the uptight and the sexually rigid? In short: Will God shake anyone awake?

In other words, will Haggard, one of the most high-profile and influential Christians in America, and his evident love of men be enough to flip some sort of switch in the rigid Christian fundamentalist mind-set and slap them out of their ideological coma and maybe begin to tip the scales back toward, oh, I don't know ... let's say open-mindedness, generosity of spirit, happy grinning homosexual acceptance and an understanding that God doesn't give a flying evangelical crap about gender? Do you already know the answer?

Because this is, in a way, what it comes down to. A massive, hurtful hypocrite of Haggard's stature and influence comes to light, and you can only hope for, well, something. A shift. A hint of awakening, of movement, of evolution. An increase of urgent calls to the gay-love hotline from the GOP. You know, something.

Here's the bad new: Keep on waiting.

And here is your simple proof: Go right now and read some of the white-hot comments in SF Gate's Culture Blog about this very story and be amazed, and saddened, as you enjoy a very revealing snapshot of Bush's America that will make you laugh and sigh and shake your head in wonder. Go ahead. Log on and read. I'll wait.

First, of course, you must sift through all the gleeful comments from all those who cannot help but love to see the epic hypocrisy of one of the nation's foremost gay-bashing fundamentalists laid bare. I know, it's a pretty enthusiastic outpouring. How could it not be?

And then ... ahh, there they are. The Christian apologists. Here is where you read about how "real" Christians are saddened. They are heartbroken. They are apologizing for Haggard's actions, defending him, saying we all make mistakes, we are all sinners who deserve forgiveness, saying gosh golly the good Lord tests us in mysterious and painful ways and we should have love in our hearts, etc., etc., on and on.

(And by the way, man alive, do evangelical Christians love them some forgiveness. It is like some sort of drug. It's like spiritual crystal meth. They cannot get enough. The New Life crowd actually cheered Haggard, through their tears, as his pitiable apology was read aloud to the congregation and as he confessed his "repulsive" sins. They cheered.)

But there's a catch. Because this is what you will not see: You will not see a single comment from a Christian or would-be Christian that says: Hey, you know what? Maybe this gay love thing we've all been railing about and making laws against and rending our flesh over for so long, well, maybe it isn't such a bad thing after all.

It's as sad as it is obvious. You'll find no evangelical, no Christian leader anywhere coming out and saying: Let's do something different. Let's take this shocking Haggard scandal as a cosmic sign, as a big rainbow-colored warning flag that maybe, just maybe we need to look at this gay issue with a little more love and a little less nauseating pseudo-spiritual homophobic dogma. Maybe now is the time to rethink this hateful ideology that has kept us so deep in fear and mistrust and sexual agony for so long. Can I get a praise Jesus?

Yes, I realize it is quite a lot to ask. I realize it would take a Herculean effort on the part of a segment of people entirely unused to nuanced, radical introspection, a huge pinch to the nipples of uptight righteousness. But oh, the possibility.

Or imagine this: Imagine if Ted Haggard himself had the nerve, the brass spiritual cojones to stand his little gay butt up there on the New Life stage and say: OK people, here's the deal: Aside from the fact that I cheated on my wife and lied to the world and jammed homophobia down your throat for years and fought like the devil to make America more uptight and insular and afraid of its own genitalia, I have to say this: There really is nothing at all wrong with feeling deep, sexual love for another man.

Actually (he could add), it can be quite a beautiful thing, rich and rewarding and full of God and life and love. It is not a sin. It is not a threat to marriage, or children, or humanity, or your macho pickup truck, or your tidy minivan 'n' shopping mall life. Let me be your new example. Let me preach a new sort of understanding. And let it begin right now.

Can you imagine? Wouldn't that be shocking? Gratifying? Boundary shattering?

Is it not, alas, just another warm and fuzzy liberal dream? Because here is what we got instead:

"The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar. There's a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life."

And there you have it. "Repulsive and dark," and he ain't talkin' about his lousy haircut or the fact that his kids will be in therapy for the next 17 years or about cheating on his wife for so long, even though oh my God what kind of woman wouldn't notice her husband staring at photos of Brad Pitt just a little too longingly -- oh right, the kind who's married to a very, very wealthy and powerful preacher who has made life so rich and comfortable for her she is willing to overlook, well, just about anything. Just a guess.

Nope, Ted's talkin' about homosexuality. Ted's talkin' about feeling deep sexual urges toward another man. He's talking about how evil and repulsive and disgusting it is to, well, to be his true self.

In other words, he's talking about the kind of sexual repression, self-denial and self-loathing you normally find in psychology textbooks and in movies like "American Beauty" and back at fun, happy places like, oh, say Brigham Young University, where until recently they liked to attach electrodes to students who admitted to homosexual feelings in a loving attempt to try and torture the gayness out of them.

Sadly, Haggard's pathetic apology uses the exact same kind of language. It is, in its way, hate speech. Self-hate, hatred of gays, hatred of the sexual urge, hatred of his own body -- but also hatred of a world, a culture that will not let Haggard live his life as he really is, even though -- and here's the real karmic kicker -- even though he's one of the very people who helped make it that way.

Oh Ted, you poor, lost little gay man. Can you really not see the light? Won't anyone?

5 comments:

  1. This Ted guy is a piece of garbage. He needs to stop running from the truth and just accept he is gay.

    I think all hardcore evangelicals have the same issue. They don't take ownership of their preferences or 'bad' choices. They blame it on the easter bunny or was it santa claus. Anyway you get my point.

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  2. Hypocritical (not to mention homophobic) words from a supposed Christian. WWJD, Slaperton? Call them fags and tell them to burn in hell? Judge not lest ye be judged.

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  3. Slaperton == slapping his meat all day

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