Ted Haggard’s Conflict
By Adele Sakler
Even though i do not always agree with Andrew Sullivan, i still love his writing and perspective. He often challenges me, which is a good thing, even if i don’t rightly admit it! Today i found a beautiful commentary by him on the Ted Haggard saga and really resonated with what he said. i experienced a lot of what Sullivan communicates and my prayer is that we will lift our brother in Christ, Ted, and his family up in prayer. Let’s not treat him in kind as to how his church and others have treated him. i think Ted is in major denial about his sexuality and really conflicted in reconciling his faith and his sexuality. i think many of us can identify with him on that alone.
Ray Boltz’s ex-wife, Carol, is an ardent supporter of our community and maybe one day can reach out to Haggard’s wife. She blogs at My heart goes out . . . and has come full circle in her journey as a once married woman whose husband came out.Ray Boltz was once a very successful Contemporary Christian singer back in the 1990’s. i have corresponded with Carol via email and she is a lovely woman!
Here is Andrew Sullivan’s thoughts:
“I watched the whole thing. I feel for Haggard – because he is trapped between who he is and his internalized belief that God cannot love him for who he is. But God can love him for being gay. And does love him for being gay. This is hard, I know. Accepting God’s unconditional love for me was the hardest part of keeping hold of my Christian faith. My childhood and adolescence were difficult to the point of agony, an agony my own church told me was my just desert. But I saw in my own life and those of countless others that the suppression of these core emotions and the denial of their resolution in love always always leads to personal distortion and compulsion and loss of perspective. Forcing gay people into molds they do not fit helps no one. It robs them of dignity and self-worth and the capacity for healthy relationships. It wrecks family, twists Christianity, violates humanity. It must end.
Haggard’s betrayal, his lies, his compulsions, his deceits are the excruciating function of this human dead end. What we have to do as Christians is open up this always-closing door, to find a way past the abstractions and neuroses of fundamentalism to a more honest and more human acceptance of gay people as God-like. Gay people, like all people, need love. We need family. And yet we are uniquely and cruelly denied these things. And no love and no family can be genuinely based on the deceit or self-hatred that are the alternatives.
That is why I am so insistent on marriage. It alone heals this deep wound and brings gay men and women into the human family where they can finally be allowed to flourish for who they are, rather than to become the contorted, distorted shapes the rest of the world is comfortable with. Anything else actually sustains the wound, because it imprints the indignity and perpetuates the pain.”
Adele Sakler currently resides in Richmond, Virginia and blogs as Existential Punk at www.ExistentialPunk.com and is the creator and site administrator of Queermergent at Queermergent.wordpress.com. She is currently going through long-term treatment for Chronic Lyme Disease, other tick-borne diseases, and heavy metal toxicity.
Adele has been a Christ-follower for 20 years and an “out” queer woman for two and-a-half years. Her involvement with the emerging church and Emergent Village has filled the better part of 10 years.