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Ted Haggard clarifies his behavior

Timothy Kincaid

February 3rd, 2010

ted-haggardWriting to blogsite Phoenix Preacher, disgraced evangelical preacher Ted Haggard claims:

I am guilty of sin, but probably not the sins you think. Gayle’s book talks about the four lie detector tests I took all demonstrating that I had not had an affair with Mike Jones, had not had sexual contact with anyone in the church other than my wife or had ever groomed anyone in the church for sexual contact. I have never had a homosexual “affair” or “relationship” in my life. Mike Jones’ only lie detector test in November 2006 indicated deception, and he has since refused to take any more. All four of my lie detector tests demonstrated truthfulness.

In comments, he clarified:

I am guilty of sexual immorality and guilty of taking the drugs. I lied in two interviews: the ones during the crisis. But there have been no lies prior to (except my silence while hoping to heal this issue on my own) or after the letters were read to the church the first Sunday of November, 2006. Everything else has been precise, accurate, with an attempt to be biblical and not unnecessairly cause additional embarrassment to my wife and kids.

and

I went to Mike for a massage that ended up being sensual. He told me about drugs and I returned on several occasions to buy them and used them, then, by myself. Never with anyone else. That is what happened with Mike. There were, however, other one time occurances which is why I am guilty of sexual immorality but not of a three year drug induced affair with Mike Jones. Nor was there ever a desire, a plan, or any attempt for sexual contact with anyone in the church except my wife. All of these facts were validated via multiple lie detector tests

He was asked about homosexuality:

I don’t know if this is something you want to share on here…so I apologize in advance if this is off limits…but I’m asking because I have a brother…who I love very much and pray for regularly…who is homosexual. It’s such a tough issue. He grew up a PK and I don’t believe there is a more polarizing sin within “the church”…

Were you born attracted to the same sex?

Is the homosexual allegation part of the story that is correct or incorrect?

If you were born attracted to the same sex…how are you overcoming that desire?

And responded:

As for the questions about homosexuality — I just don’t know. My sin issues were in direct response to trauma in the 2nd grade, but I always had heterosexual orientation and have had a normal heterosexual relationship with my wife. The homosexual portions were my responsibility but were confusing because they were contrary to everything else in my life. Since going through EMDR (Trauma Resolution Therapy) in November of 2006, I have not had any unwanted intrusive thoughts or actions. It doesn’t mean I’m perfect, it’s just that I’ve been able to respond well to the byproduct of the trauma as a child.

And found time to note that while the church has not been universally supportive of him and his wife, others were kinder.

Today Rosie was kind to, helpful to, and supportive of my wife’s decision to love and forgive me. Think of that. While the religious crowd is here insisting on the details of my sin of years ago, Rosie is on nation wide radio encourageing Gayle in her decision to love and forgive me in obedience to Christ. We all have a lot to learn.

Ted Haggard is a complicated guy. And this experience has, I suspect, molded him into someone quite different than he was. I see a more nuanced view of the world and a less assertively confidant approach.

I very much doubt that Haggard’s attractions were caused by newly recollected childhood trauma or that EMDR will prove to have much long term effect. His discussion of “homosexual portions” being in conflict suggests that he continues to view homosexuality as a “lifestyle” or as having attributes sharply different from his desires to have a family and ministry. Nor does he seem to comprehend the idea of bisexuality as an orientation.

But I also do not doubt that he has attractions to his wife which can be adequately fulfilling for a newly humbled Ted Haggard. The experiences he has gone through in the past few years are probably strong incentive to value his relationship. However, I also suspect that any assumption that his same-sex attractions are healed will only open him up to further betrayal of his vows.

And while I am disappointed that he appears to have latched onto this childhood experience explanation, I do appreciate that he has not sought to extrapolate his story (as he believes it to be) onto all other same-sex attracted persons.

If the history of disgraced preachers is anything to go by, I suspect that Ted Haggard will at some point return to ministry in a diminished capacity, perhaps pastoring a smaller church and having a more localized television presence. And his experiences with the judgmentalism and self-righteousness of many in the Christian world will likely direct him more to focus on redemption and acceptance than on sin, punishment, condemnation, and rejection.

Comments

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Priya Lynn
February 3rd, 2010 | LINK

“I also do not doubt that he has attractions to his wife which can be adequately fulfilling for a newly humbled Ted Haggard.”.

How do you come by this certainty about someone who has lied about his attractions?

Priya Lynn
February 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Weren’t you the one who was not to long ago vehemently claiming no one could discern another’s orientation?

Maurice Lacunza
February 3rd, 2010 | LINK

“My sin issues…” This introductory statement is indicative of Ted’s denial. You can’t have cake and call it pie. It is my opinion that loving yourself and healing is not going to be found in condemnation.

Gay, Bi or “sin issue”, which is it? I hate to quote Palin, but, a pig with lipstick is still a pig. Or something like that.

I just wish Ted and that other guy, who has the lock on his computer, could come to grips with the truth. Love yourself for ALL of yourself. Including your so-called sin.

Rachel
February 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Are we concerned about human opinions, or does anyone else care about what the Scriptures have to say about sins, “orientation”, etc…. you know –God’s Word and “opinion”? Or is that an outdated book?
Rachel

Duncan
February 3rd, 2010 | LINK

No, Lacunza, it was Obama who said that. Palin instead said the only difference between a pitbull and a hockey mum is lipstick. Nice to see both sides of the aisle agreeing on something, more or less.

Burr
February 3rd, 2010 | LINK

God’s “opinion” is just some human’s opinion attributed to him. It’s rather pointless to consider with any added weight.

Timothy Kincaid
February 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Rachel,

If you are a scholar of Ancient Hebrew, Koine Greek, and Aramaic and if you are an expert on First Century and Ancient Hebrew cultures and if you are familiar with the complexities of translation and the difficulties of authenticating texts, then I’ll listen to your take on Scripture.

Otherwise, all you have is human opinion.

John
February 3rd, 2010 | LINK

He went to Mike Jones (a male prostitute) multiple times, but it wasn’t for sex…yeah right.

Someone, please take that shovel away from this guy. The hole he has dug for himself is plenty deep enough already.

Maurice Lacunza
February 3rd, 2010 | LINK

To Duncan:
Yeah, more or less pretty much sums it up!

anteros
February 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Rachel:

Yes. Sadly outdated.

Lynn David
February 3rd, 2010 | LINK

I think it’s time to just forget about Ted Haggard unless he interposes himself between us and our rights again.

Rick Brentlinger
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Rachel-

Thanks for your street ministry.

To answer your question, Yes, there are many gay and lesbian Christians who care about what the Bible says, in context.

Click my name for hundreds of pages of in context information which is faithful to the text of scripture.

After going round and round with anti-gay Christians over the years, we’re not impressed with their out of context arguments which ignore the culture, history, linguistics and religious situation the “clobber verses” originally addressed.

Ben in Oakland
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Rachel– based on this book, human beings used to torture and murder other human beings whom they believed to be witches, and with exactly the same belief that they were doing and enforcing God’s will with which they now pursue, attack, toture, imprison, and villify gay people.

With one small difference.

We now know that witches do not exist.

You do the math.

Steve
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Ted Haggard reminds me of my days as a married man trying to cover up my true attractions, misleading another human into thinking that life was one way when it really wasn’t( and thus wasting so many of the best years of her life), and living a life of self loathing and hate. All of this was manifested as denial. Haggard is still in the denial stage. He remembers the good life as a popular right wing evangelist and wants that back. He and his wife see that there is money to be made from their current situation. She has already written a book. Their story plays well for the media as itis so bizarre and because they hope that it will offer hope to those that really believe that being gay is a choice.
I have no doubtabout what will happen in the long term:
1. He will start fooling around with men again as he has already done on numerous occasions. The urges are temporarily suppressed but they will resurface, will be relentless, and will culminate in him again finding sexual satisfaction with another man. This is not wrong. It is human nature as he is a gay man.
2. His wife will finally realize that this current version of Haggard reality was all a charade. Or, maybe she already realizes this and is just out to bring in some cash. She will likely wake up at age 65 realizing that her best years are over and that her soulmate and husband has left her for another man.
3. Fools and their money are soon parted. We will see yet another church spring up with a slick preacher looking for funds. We will see a bunch of suckers feed into this, support his extravagant lifestyle, and somehow forget that Christ would never, ever have lived this way.
Once you have been a popular pastor of a mega church it is hard to go back to a simpler life. It is even harder to realize that a true Christian is not one who feels entitled to a six figure salary, the big house, etc, etc… A true Christian is one who sheds the material benefits of this world and lives a life of service for others. That simple fact has fallen by the wayside. There are really very few humans (myself included) who can make the sacrifice to adopt such a life of servitude and love for others.

What we have here is a narcissistic man who is in major denial, has no morals, who will destroy his wife’s life, and who will continue efforts to portray himself as “cured”. He simply can’t accept the fact that he is gay. What a pathetic excuse for a human.

Rachel
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Hey, hi… I didn’t even know what type of site this was. I came here by accident. But anyway, if you all are nice enough, I might hang out for a while. (Lucky you all… –smile…)

Good grief, Timothy, do you require all that in order to believe historians also?

Just curious, if you all don’t believe in God, (or do you), or that He exists, and therefore does talk, then what’s your take on DNA? I mean we have trillions of strands in our bodies and each one is more complex than a large city. Doesn’t it take a ton of faith to believe that came about by osmosis?

As for the atrocities done in the name of God or religion, I agree that it’s an outrage. And for the spiritual abuses that still go on now, I preach at the preachers –because they are the ones keeping the stupidities rolling.

Oh, and Rick, thanks… I really appreciate you saying that. I don’t get paid and often my efforts just feel like I’m wasting my life. Or like one tear dropped into a huge ocean… However, every time I go out, I find that it WAS worth it –even if that day, just one little forlorn starfish was gently eased back into the water…

Rachel

Priya Lynn
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Rachel, much of what’s in DNA is junk, it doesn’t do anything. Does that sound like something designed top down by intelligence or something that evolved bottom up without intelligence through random mutation and natural selection?

Chris McCoy
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Priya Lynn said:

Rachel, much of what’s in DNA is junk, it doesn’t do anything.

And which Accredited University is your PhD in Biochemistry from?

Just because you don’t know what it does, does not mean it doesn’t do anything.

Alex
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

“Just curious, if you all don’t believe in God, (or do you), or that He exists, and therefore does talk, then what’s your take on DNA? I mean we have trillions of strands in our bodies and each one is more complex than a large city. Doesn’t it take a ton of faith to believe that came about by osmosis?”

Rachel,

I really, really hope you meant evolution and not osmosis. I’ve never heard a scientist claim that DNA originated from the diffusion of water through a membrane…

In any case, the vast amount of scientific evidence for evolution means that very little faith is required to accept it.

And Priya, Chris is right. There is still a great deal we have yet to learn about so-called “junk” DNA.

Priya Lynn
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Chris said “And which Accredited University is your PhD in Biochemistry from?”.

Irrelevant. I defer to PZ Myers. I’m not sure where he got his PhD in Biochemistry from but perhaps from the university of Minnesota where he teaches. You can contact him yourself to find out. Here’s what he had to say about junk DNA:

In the early days when cell biologists were describing satellite DNA and all those other interesting repetitive sequences Arthur Whitely talked about this stuff how he was scratching his head and wondering what it did — there was initially no assumption that it was non-functional, and if Darwinian preconceptions fed into the argument at all, it was to suggest that there must be an underlying utility to such ubiquitous elements of the genome. What led to the conclusion (not assumption) of non-function was observations of its nature and experimental work that showed it was highly variable, and changed and deleted without observable consequences to the organism. It also helped that comparative work showed no discernable pattern to the distribution of the stuff. Junk it was, and junk it still is.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/01/another_junk_dna_denialist_on.php#more

The vast majority of biologists agree much of DNA has no function.

Timothy Kincaid
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Good grief, Timothy, do you require all that in order to believe historians also?

Nope. But those folks who want to tell me what the Bible “says” had better be prepared to back it up with culture, context, linguistics, and history.

Well, come to think of it, if someone wants to tell me about what has “always been true in history” then they’d better have some history and cultural anthropology degrees.

Because we all have opinions and we are entitled to them. But having an opinion without having earned credibility makes that opinion of no greater value than asking the Magic 8 Ball.

Sometimes in our pluralistic society we are quick to honor and respect everyone’s opinions as though they are equally valuable. They aren’t.

I found it amusing during the recent Perry v. Schwarzenegger case that the witness for the Prop 8 supporters, David Blankenhorn, seemed shocked that the attorneys wanted evidence, proof, for his opinions. And when he couldn’t site an actual study or an anthropologist or actual scientist, then his opinion was considered to be worthless.

So you are, of course, welcome to your views. And you can even think to yourself that they are God’s views.

But to convince me that they are what the Bible says, you’ll have to be qualified.

Chris McCoy
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Priya Lynn said:

I defer to PZ Myers. I’m not sure where he got his PhD in Biochemistry from but perhaps from the university of Minnesota where he teaches. You can contact him yourself to find out. Here’s what he had to say about junk DNA:

The link you posted is a rant against a proponent of Intelligent Design I am no such beast.

PZ Meyer’s post is dated 23 Jan 2008.

Here’s a link to an article from a respected source dated over a year later, 21 May 2009, showing that new research shows that not all “Junk DNA” is actually junk.

All definitions of “Junk DNA” that I have been able to find in half an hour of googling all indicate that “Junk DNA” is used to categorize DNA for which there is no currently known function.

So again I stand by my assertion, just because scientists don’t yet know what certain areas of DNA do, doesn’t mean they don’t do anything, or are worthless.

Richard Rush
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Rachel said:

Just curious, if you all don’t believe in God, (or do you), or that He exists, and therefore does talk, then what’s your take on DNA? I mean we have trillions of strands in our bodies and each one is more complex than a large city. Doesn’t it take a ton of faith to believe that came about by osmosis[sic]?

I think we would all agree that humans are laughably simple beings compared to a god who must be infinitely more intelligent, skilled, and powerful to have created the universe. So, here is an old question that people seem to prefer to expend as little time as possible contemplating: Where did God come from? A common answer is essentially that God is eternal, and thus has always been there. And then they change the subject. I think all the answers I’ve heard are designed to avoid serious consideration of the question.

If you want to assert that God just suddenly appeared, then that is not nearly good enough for me. There is just not a single shred of evidence for that (and Bible verses don’t count). So, if God didn’t just suddenly appear, he must have developed by some form of osmosis evolution.

If you cannot believe that life on earth could have developed via evolution, how can you possibly believe that an infinitely more intelligent, skilled, and powerful God just came into existence by poof!, or by a form of evolution?

Priya Lynn
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Chris, that sequences of DNA are highly changeable and can be changed or deleted with no effect on the organism shows that those sequences are indeed junk. That some DNA was mistakenly assumed to be in this category doesn’t change that fact.

Timothy Kincaid
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Unless Ted Haggard has said something about DNA sequences, we are off subject.

Steve
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Agreed. I don’t think Haggard is concerned about DNA now other than to make sure any foreign DNA with an XY chromosone doesn’t end up on his underwear.
After my earlier comments I realized that I probably ought to display more empathy for this guy who is setting himself up for another round of self destruction.
Could his story be plausible? Sure, but my gut instinct tells me that it is a bunch of crap.

Rachel
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

You’re right –off subject– unless of course, Ted would say that his DNA caused him to “sin” in the way he did. But –I agree –his story seems suspicious.

Btw, my term “osmosis” was a bit of a mockery (sorry) toward the faith of evolution; but okay, I’ll use the terms you like.

As to DNA being junk, hmmm… not quite…! But then –how about the human eye? It has been deemed impossible to have evolved. Kinda like how it’s impossible for a computer, a watch, or even a mousetrap to evolve into a functioning contraption. So –the human body…?

As to your requirements of me –in being willing to discuss with me– oh, well. (Shrug.) But does it count that my dad actually is a well-known cultural anthropologist with a Ph.D. in it from the University of Hawaii, is also an ecologist, and is also a Bible Translator? I mean, I’ve for years proofread most of his published articles, some of his book chapters, and did type his huge dissertation back in 1985. And of course, I’ve always been one of his “students”, so I must know a little. –Just curious (though true –not very relevant)… but since you mentioned languages and anthro., I thought maybe I should respond to it.

Rachel

Timothy Kincaid
February 4th, 2010 | LINK

Rachel,

A debate over evolution is also off topic. Perhaps you’d like to discuss it over at the Super Uncle thread.

It is cool that you have assisted your father. I’m sure you can add to the conversation. We very much like to have diverse viewpoints, especially those which are informed by the experience you have.

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