Saturday, November 04, 2006


The Irreducible Complexity of Pastor Ted

Writing of Pastor Ted Haggard's fall from grace with a male prostitute, David Kuo, the author of Tempting Faith, writes on his BeliefNet blog J-Walking: "The allegations against Ted Haggard make my heart sick. But there is an irreducible complexity to the Kingdom of God that puts everything into perspective... "

And, in what may well prove to be the worst (unintended) double entendre on the Haggard affair, Kuo also observes that "Jesus’ earthly representatives have a long history of blowing it."

For RSR, there is a certain poetic justice in the fall of Pastor Ted. That a man who was the national leader of a movement to ban gay marriage should be paying for the services of a male prostitute is something that even we could not have imagined.

However, we think Andrew Sullivan has it about right when he says:
I'm afraid I feel for Haggard. This is what happens to a man psychologically and spiritually destroyed by actually advancing a lie he knows to be a lie about homosexuality as a "chosen lifestyle" while being gay himself.

His denial of reality, his inability to cope with the world as it is, is often part of the same fundamentalist psyche we see exhibited at all levels of the Rove machine - and, dangerously, within the president himself. Denial is a very powerful psychic force. When combined with addiction, it can fuel destructive behavior. In a human being, it can destroy a person, a family, a marriage, an entire life.

By the way, you can watch a video of Pastor Ted's unconvincing denial here. It's quite painful to watch this sort of self-destruction unfold.

For those who don't know who Ted Haggard is -- or his significance on the religious right -- the best place to start is with this profile, "Soldiers of Christ: Inside America's Most Powerful Megachurch,"by David Sharlet at The Revealer.


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