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Monday, November 06, 2006

Haggard over Haggard

hag•gard (adj.)
1 Looking exhausted and unwell, esp. from fatigue, worry, or suffering

How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill, and cummin, but have neglected the more important matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faithfulness.…
How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but on the inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that its outside may also be clean.
How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead people's bones and every kind of impurity. In the same way, on the outside you look righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
—Matt. 23:23-28

The spectacle surrounding the sordid Rev. Ted Haggard situation is simply… craptacular. If you’ve been hiding under a rock, or avoiding the media in hopes of dodging the negative political ads, here’s a brief recap: Rev. Haggard, the former head of the National Ass. of Evangelicals (oooh, appropriate), has been whipping up the fears of the fearful for years, keeping gays stigmatized and Republicans in office. In the last week or so, a gay prostitute came forward with claims that not only had Haggard hired him for sex about once a month for the last three years, he helped Haggard buy meth. After the denials came the partial confession (“I bought the meth, but didn’t use it”), the resignation from his church and the NAE, and finally an admission of “sexual immorality” (which in the evangelical mindset is the Express Ticket to Hell).

Many have come to expect such hypocrisy, unfortunately, from people such as Haggard — the Jim Bakker/Jimmy Swaggart scandal of the 1980s was simply the most visible and well-known example. The thing that angers me most, as a Christian, is that such people make us all look bad by association. They encourage Christians to act like Pharisees and vote for moneychangers, while paying (at most) lip service to “the least of these.” They skip past the many occurrences of “fear not” found in the Bible, and play on the fears of the ignorant.

In the end, someone who is so adamant about persecuting gays had to have some issues. How best to deny your own gay tendencies, which you have been taught almost from birth to abhor, but to go around attacking other gay people? I mean, look at the guy. Is that not one of the creepiest smiles you’ve ever seen? I wouldn’t have let someone looking like that baby-sit my kids to begin with (good thing; he and The Boy might have swapped secrets of how best to hide a drug habit).

For every Haggard that falls on his face, though, there are dozens — hundreds — ready to step in and take their places. I fear that they will have to answer for God for the things they have done in His name.

1 comment:

  1. Hi FARfetched.

    Yeah I was disappointed about the Haggard episode. Not for him, but for all of the people whose failth had been shattered or changed because of him.


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