November 5th, 2006
Rev. Ted Haggard apologized in a letter to his congregation (PDF: 124KB/5 pages):
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. for extended periods of time, I would enjoy victory and rejoice in freedom. Then, from time to time, the dirt that I though was gone would resurface, and I would find myself thinking thoughts and experiencing desires that were contrary to everything I believe and teach.
Repulsive and dark. Such is life in the closet. It is a life of fear and self-loathing, of obsessive secrets and dangerous behavior, and it manifests those fears in lying, cheating, and seeking physical comfort with a paid prostitute.
Ted Haggard clearly didn’t choose to be gay. This much is obvious. He says he fought against it his entire life. But he did choose what to do with his sexuality, and he chose a very repulsive and dark path. In doing so, he makes the same mistake that many others make who denigrate gays and lesbians. He confuses his own sexuality with the dark choices he made.
He’s suffering right now, but he’s not the only one suffering. His wife, Gayle, has pledged to remain firmly by his side. I wonder if she really knows what she’s up against. And I wonder if he will be honest enough to tell her. And there are his five children who now have to live with the shame of knowing that their father cheated on their mother with a prostitute while he was away in Denver “to write.”
Will he do the right thing and honestly examine his life and the events that have led up to where he is today? He has acknowledged struggling with his sexuality his entire lifetime. Will he pretend that somehow this struggle will go away? Will he lead his wife in that illusion?
Or will he realize that God did not create him to be a repulsive and dark man? Will he come to realize that he is not repulsive and dark, but that his choices were?
I hope he discovers that there are far better choices, and these choices include honoring God by living in honesty and integrity. He may yet discover, as millions of gays and lesbians have, that when there is nothing to hide and to be ashamed of, purely physical sex with a prostitute will lose all of its dark allure. Love does not grow in the dark, and there is nothing as repulsive as a life lived duplicitously.
Freedom from the closet means freedom to accept options which are far, far better than those offered by prostitutes, bathhouses or anonymous sexual encounters. Millions of gays and lesbians know this freedom, and they freely choose the better options which give love, joy and happiness to their lives. When you are not constrained by the closet, the options are suddenly and gloriously numerous.
Ted Haggard can discover all this if he chooses to turn away from the darkness of the closet. The closet’s closed door ensures an all-enveloping darkness. It’s time to open that door and step into the light.
Ted Haggard: “I’m Not Gay”
The Megachurch, Mike Jones, and the Suspension of Disbelief
“There Is A Part Of My Life So Repulsive and Dark…”
Blessed Are The Opportunists
Haggard Resigns; “I Know What You Did Last Night”
Prayers and Assistance for the Haggard Family
I Did Not Have Sex With That Man!
Jones “Fails” Lie Detector?
Fall of the House of Haggard
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Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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