What goes up...

If you drop a plate, it will hit the ground and likely break. If you put your hand on a hot stove, you will burn yourself. If you spend all your money and never save, you'll find yourself in dire need. Cause and effect, karma, reaping as you sow-a seemingly universal principle.

Pastor Ted Haggard, who recently resigned from his post as president of the National Association of Evangelicals after a male prostitute made claims that Pastor Ted paid him for sex, and meth. He has now been be ousted from his position as the pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO.

Haggard has been an outspoken opponent to homosexuality, more to the point, speaking out against the legal recognition of gay marriage (an election issue in CO to be addressed by voters on Tuesday). He is a cheerleader for President Bush et alia, and in a break from many of his fellow Evangelicals, he believes in fighting against global warming.

At first, when the allegations by male prostitute Mike Jones came out on November 2nd, Haggard denied even knowing the man. He later admitted to contacting Mr. Jones for “a massage” and some meth, which he (Haggard) says he did not use. Jones only advertises his "services" in gay publications.

It seems reasonable to me that when someone in a position like Pastor Haggard’s, is caught and outed doing something he shouldn’t be doing (he is married with five children) and then lies, and backtracks, and hems and haws, that such a person’s credibility crumbles quickly.

But I’m not writing to cast a cyber stone at Haggard; indeed, I pity him. It is important not to point fingers and take pleasure in his situation, although people like him have used people like me to their own political ends.

He is a man who could not or would not deal with his sexuality in a healthy, modern, scientifically sound manner. Instead he has succumbed to the superstitious teachings of his branch of Christianity, and in the process he has put himself in a very dangerous corner. Engaging in sex with a prostitute and using an addictive drug like meth brings inevitably terrible consequences. Not only has he put his wife at risk (assuming they are intimate) for disease, he has put himself at risk for serious health problems related to “party and play” (the use of meth by gay men to heighten sexual experience, and overcome inhibitions sometimes leading to hyper-sexual promiscuity). He has undoubtedly brought suffering to his family, his flock, Mike Jones, and himself.

All of this highlights the hypocrisy of an ideology that ignores reality, science, and even the teachings of Jesus who warns against public piety, the rush to castigate others and the disingenuousness that comes with both practices. To mix metaphors, in casting stones against others, people like Haggard will find themselves someday with a big log hanging out of their eye, on display for all to see. Cause, meet effect.

I sincerely hope that this is a positive lesson for Haggard and his ilk; I hope his family can survive this storm; I hope his congregation learns the importance of humility, compassion, and tolerance; I hope that Mike Jones gets out of his line of business for his own sake; and I pray that all those involved in this situation may know the embrace and boundless compassion of Almighty God.

May we all serve as conduits of God’s love, examples of God’s compassion, and instruments of God’s mercy. Amen.

Popular Posts