Don Sherfick

Haggard - swaggart III or mcgreevey II?

Filed By Don Sherfick | November 04, 2006 8:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: Jimmy Swaggart, McGreevey, Ted Haggard

This morning as I flipped from channel to channel and URL to URL looking for the latest developments in the Haggard revelations out of Colorado, I flashed back to the late 1980's when another TV evangalist was having difficulties with the sins of the flesh. Wikipedia's entry on Jimmy Swaggart outlines his fall into the abyss with a Louisiana prostitute in 1988, his tearful repentence, and then his 1991 repeat with a California prostitute, followed by more tears (although this time he warned his congregation: "God says it's none of your business"). Jimmy, of course, was more quickly forgiven because his sexual liaisons were with folks whose plumbing differed from his own (and mated perfectly).

Haggard, on the other hand, seems at minimum to have exhibited an ungodly erotic curiosity with respect to his fellow man, as well as meth of the "I-bought-it-but-quickly-threw-it-in-the-trash-can" variety. That will likely bar him from the kind of second chance Jimmy-boy was given. (By the way, for you trivia buffs, Wikipedia's entry on "Christian Televangelist Scandals" has already been updated to include Haggard's distractions)

But I could be wrong. We may yet see Haggard's re-emergance, Bible in one hand and Credit Card Terminal in the other, renouncing his sins, telling us to love the homosexuals but hate their sins and yes, cast your vote to save the institution of marriage. Maybe he'll become the next poster boy for Exodus and its stable of "ex-gays", some of them who may have actually tried meth before they threw it away.

On the other hand, we might see a western version of New Jersey's former governor Jim McGreevey. Writing a book and giving the world some insight into what an awful toll being in the closet takes, this time with an evangelical twist. One might hope for the latter scenario, but I'm not betting anything on it. My Bible says same-sex gambling is an abomination. So does my Credit Card Terminal.

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Marla R. Stevens | November 5, 2006 11:48 PM

I'm betting that he'll lean Swaggart rather than McGreevey. He wasn't even willing to pony up to the whole truth in his so-called confession to his church today, much less deliver the thing in person. This doesn't bode well for his developing the courage to live any sort of honest life. He's already proven himself the sort who tries to hide behind his wife and kids, after all, refusing to get out of the family car for his partial 'fess up, choosing instead to subject them to the slime. His wife's karma's not much better than his but his kids didn't deserve that.

I fully expect to see him take the Exodus route, although probably not formally joining up. He'll get carted off to some NARTH quack at best. Then either Wayne Besen will find him in some queer dive or he'll get caught having more emergency sex somewhere down the line -- if he survives this at all. Frankly, if his statement describing himself as "a deceiver and a liar" with his life "so repulsive and dark" that he has been "warring against it for all of [his] adult life" is at all descriptive of the depth of the ego-dystonicity of the homosexual aspects of his sexual orientation, I hope somebody has him on suicide watch.

Crisis has been described as an opportunity for growth but, to grow, the seed must be in fertile ground. Crisis he has aplenty but I'd not want to make book on the fertile ground part.

But there's another form of denial going on amongst his peers that's just as incidious. Despite how obvious it is that Haggard wouldn't be queer if he had his druthers and that he's surely tried as mightily not to be, his native sexuality still is strong enough to lead him to do things he simultaneously needs and despises. If anything should pull the rug out from under their notions of erasure of homosexuality and bisexuality just being a matter of enough faith, this should be it. Yet there they are, still beating the same tired old drum.

Where is the love?