I'm again on Technorati this morning (where the graph on the right came from), my pancakes and maple syrup and coffee right here in front of the keyboard, reading some of the commentary written in various people's blogs. And, amidst the blather, there's actually some thoughtful comments. Some more good entries:
Now that Haggard has been outed by a gay prostitute for having sex with him and buying meth, and has resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals,
I wonder what it will take for the good people in the pews to call leaders like Haggard, Jerry Fallwell, and James Dobson to account for their mean-spirited hypocrisy. And maybe even to approach the world with more forgiveness and less vindictiveness...It's might be too much to hope, but maybe this is an opportunity for the rest of us to reach out to those who call themselves born again Christians and challenge them to listen a bit more closely to the Jewish preacher whose vision men like Haggard, Fallwell and Dobson reoutinely profane. Maybe they could even find some other lessons in those Biblical texts to set their course by, lessons that genuinely prophetic voices like Desmond Tutu, Jim Wallis and Martin Luther King have made the core of a vision that actually promotes human dignity, instead of trampling it. (PaulLoeb)
- Here’s my thought about the meth. Haggard says, “I was tempted but I never used it…”
He was tempted to buy and use meth?? I don’t know about you, but I don’t go around fighting my meth temptations. Let me be honest, I’ve done my fair share of experimenting. But the typical person doesn’t just jump into speed without some past drug use. I’m sure it happens, but if a person is tempted to use meth, odds are they smoke a little bit of pot, or do a little coke, before asking to get hooked up with a “$100 or $200 supply.” (The Atheist Mama)
- As such, this could be another case of Jimmy Swaggart syndrome, for
which the cure is to appear in front of the multitudes and cry for
hours on end, begging Jehovah and church members for forgiveness—all on
camera, of course. In other words, instead passing yourself off as a
model of virtue, go ahead and embrace the role of repentant sinner. It
worked for Swaggart. His television audience still sends him millions.
But not every man can cry like Jimmy Swaggart; it’s a special skill. So before Haggart proceeds with the standard cure, he’ll definitely need training. He can start right here. Through the magic of the Internet, we can all watch a small portion of the Rev. Swaggart’s initial 1988 on-screen tearful confession after he got caught soliciting prostitutes and collecting pornography—minor league stuff compared to the Rev. Haggard, who has admitted to taking illegal drugs and getting a gay massage. And it’s still early. God only knows what else will come to light. (Ohio River Life)
- My problem this morning is with Haggard's critics who say he should have "practiced what he preached."
See, I think that's backwards. Telling him to practice what he preaches says that being a homosexual is wrong and that he should have kept those urges buried and prayed for hetero urges.
Here's the thing: I think he should have preached what he practiced. Imagine an evangelical preacher actually reaching out to the gay community and inviting them to worship.
Would a fundamentalist church that was open to all, regardless of "life-style choices" survive? I'm not gay, and I'm not a Christian, but I bet there would be a market for such a church.
"Practice what you preach" is pure hypocrisy. Go ahead and preach what you practice. (The13thStory)
- Somehow, all of this is just going to make gay people, and homosexuality, look bad, when the real wickedness here is denial, lies, warmongering and anti-gay theology that twists people into doing things that destroy their own lives and the lives of others.(Living In The Bonus Round)
- Their total denial of the FACT of homosexual persons is what drives men like Ted Haggard into a marriage, and then, subsequently, into the arms of a male hustler. The drugs, IMO, were not only about enhancing the sex act itself, but they also enabled him, in those hours alone with the muscle guy, to forget the wife and kids and career as a gay-hatin' leading light of the evangelical movement. (Living In The Bonus Round)
Worshipping Supply Side Jesus
has allowed the evangelical right to embrace the worst aspects of
capitalism and life in middle-class comfort, but I don't think it'll be
Supply Side Jesus sitting in that judgement chair.
To put it another way, I'll happily put up with evangelical anti-gay bigotry as soon as they start taking the majority of the Bible they claim guides thier lives seriously. Feed the poor. Care for the sick. Welcome the immigrant. Judge not lest you be judged. Turn the other cheek, even in international politics. Act like Jesus, maybe even just a little, maybe just 1%, and maybe then what you say about what God does and does approve of will carry some weight with me. (eustacescrubb, from the inevitable MetaFilter thread the story has provoked)
- Think about this for a second - the problem here is not that these guys
are being gay and hypocritical (okay, that is a problem, but not the
BIG problem), the problem is that they are in the public eye, they know
people are watching and they do it anyway.
How colossally arrogant is it to think that you can be a congressman and hit on underage pages and not think you are going to get busted? How arrogant is it to be the head of the organization that has made ant-gay preaching a foundational principle and then go hire a male prostitute on a monthly basiss and not expect to get caught?
It's addict mentality. They know they shouldn't do it, but they can't stop themselves, like the drunk who can't say no to the next drink. Weak, pathetic losers, just like their congregations - soft, comfy, middle-class weakness. Unable to sacrifice, unable to deny themselves even when it's in their best interest, unable to resist their appetites.
That's why you evangelicals need such a literal rules-based religion, because you're too weak willed to do it youselves. But don't project that onto the rest of the country. I can control my appetites, most people can. We can control our drinking, our eating, etc.
We can control our tempers and our feelings, and we don't need fairy stories of gods and demons and prophets and wizards and unicorns and whatever the hell else is in the Bible or Book of Mormon or the Urantia book or Battlefield Earth. We don't need magic when we have self control and compassion.
That where American chruches went wrong - you took love thy neighbor to mean that you should keep blacks and gays and jews and catholics out of your neighborhoods. Love thy neighbor is the only part of the Bible that any christian should take to heart, because that is the point that jesus hammered home time after time.
Love everyone, your enemy, the weak, the diseased, the whores, everybody. Love them because you are no better. That's the NT (New Testament) for you. Not rules about who can touch a penis or under what conditions women are allowed to have sex. If you think the Bible is a guide to daily living, I'm sorry, you are in all scientific sense of the word, a moron. Your IQ is low. You missed the point.
The point of the Iliad is the danger of hubris, it's pride goeth before the fall. It's not about sneaky greeks or cool battles between gods and mortals. Frankenstein is not about a mad scientists, it's about how man can be a monster when faced with fear. Learn how to read, and then read between the lines. Even when the Bible mentions sex literally it's not really about sex.
The new testament is in absolutely no way about sex. Not straight sex, not gay sex, not any kind of sex. If you are so obssesed with sex that you turn a great work of moral philosophy into fuck manual, then you don't need a priest, you need a therapist. You need a university faculty analyzing you around the clock.
In summary, new testament not about sex. (Pastabagel, from the same MetaFilter thread)