The San Francisco Chronicle’s Joe Garofoli was talking with Ted Haggard last week about an HBO documentary, about his fall from grace. That documentary, “The Trials of Ted Haggard,” which will premiere on January 29, documents the rise and fall of one of American’s Evangelical leaders in a scandal of gay sex and methamphetamines.
As Garofoli explains it, he and Haggard were talking about his former church and how they could have used his fall from grace as an example on preaching forgiveness. He also said that he thought the church is blowing other opportunities to reach out in other areas:
“I think we’re blowing it right here in California with the No. 1 way evangelical believers are communicating their belief are things like Prop. 8,” Haggard told The Chronicle Friday.
“I think the government should recognize the union between people whether they’re gay or not in whatever the language they choose, whether they call it a marriage or a civil union, it’s up to them. If the government is going to be in the business of recognizing people grouped together as couples, then they need to that across the board. It’s a big change for me.”
“It’s not a change in my view of civil liberties. I’ve always believed this. It’s a change in semantics. I’m saying prior to the crisis, I would defend marriage as the sacred term for the church to use for heterosexual monogamous couples. Now I’ve broadened that and said it’s not worth having a war over the definition of a word. I believe that under civil law people should be respected. And it should be equality under the law. So either the government needs to get out of recognizing that couples are together and make everybody file the same tax returns, etc. Or they need to recognize all of them. I don’t think it’s wise for the government to separate based on what goes on in a person’s bedroom.”
Sounds great, right? Except an hour later an HBO publicity person called. Haggard wanted to clarify that he wasn’t saying he was for gay marriage.
Haggard recently acknowledged that “I have struggled and continue to struggle from time to time with same sex attraction.” How sad. He is struggling all over the place between what he thinks and what he knows.
A man divided against himself cannot stand.