Someone Help This Man

Poor guy:

Disgraced evangelical leader Ted Haggard’s former church disclosed Friday that the gay sex scandal that caused his downfall extends to a young male church volunteer who reported having a sexual relationship with Haggard — a revelation that comes as Haggard tries to repair his public image.

Brady Boyd, who succeeded Haggard as senior pastor of the 10,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, told The Associated Press that the man came forward to church officials in late 2006 shortly after a Denver male prostitute claimed to have had a three-year cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard.

Boyd said an “overwhelming pool of evidence” pointed to an “inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship” that “went on for a long period of time … it wasn’t a one-time act.” Boyd said the man was in his early 20s at the time. He said he was certain the man was of legal age when it began.

Reached Friday night, Haggard declined to comment and said all interviews would have to be arranged through a publicist for HBO, which is airing a documentary about him this month.

Could someone please sit this poor man down and explain to him those urges he keeps having to engage in sex with other men are not his soul under attack by Satan, and that he is not besieged by demons, but that he is GAY, it is 2009, and there isn’t anything wrong with it. I really feel bad for this guy.






187 replies
  1. 1
    Punchy says:

    A gay evangelly is about as "acceptable" as a Jewish Halocaust denier.

  2. 2
    demimondian says:

    I feel bad for him, too. I feel even worse for his wife, who, as is common in these situations, is trying to make their marriage work — after all, he’s still the man she fell in love with, and she’s still the woman he probably thought he fell in love with, too. Sadly, the situation is really not salvageable, since he’s just not going to ever be straight.

    This is an example of one of the worst kinds of damage the closet does, in my opinion — it hurts both the closeted self-haters and their unintentionally deceived spouses.

  3. 3
    spudvol says:

    Haggard should just go through the bible and replace the word "jesus" with the word "dick" and he would be all set.

  4. 4
    Michael D. says:

    I actually feel terrible for him too. He is going through what EVERRY gay person goes through before coming out. You can criticize him all you want, but he is a victim.

    The saddest thing is that Haggard has to live this out in public. I thank the FSM every day that I didn’t have to.

    We need to give this guy a break. It’s a sad story.

  5. 5
    Michael D. says:

    Oh, and the arguement “He spent his life railing on gays, so he deserves what he gets” is a false arguement.

    Nearly every gay person has done it. As a kid, I teased other people and called them homos and fags.

    That Haggard did similar things as a famous person doesn’t make him any worse than me and millions of others.

    It’s part of being closeted. And it sucks. And, like me and others, I don’t imagine Haggard liked doing it at all.

  6. 6
    Marco says:

    No, it is wrong. Anyone having sex with Haggard is just plain wrong.

    I kid, but Michael D. is so right. Everything was "homo" or "fag" with me for awhile, even though I wanted to be with men. It is self-loathing and it ain’t pretty.

    Ted, just admit it.

  7. 7
    Comrade grumpy realist says:

    John, speaking of other people to whom your title refers to, how about a post on our increasingly delusional Illinois governor?

    I travelled down to Austin last weekend and when anyone asked me how Illinois was handling the inauguration I had to admit we here in Chicago were more glued to our seats agog waiting for the next bon mot to pop out of Blago’s mouth.

    I mean, when even your own lawyer washes his hands of you….

  8. 8
    rawshark says:

    Could someone please sit this poor man down and explain to him those urges he keeps having to engage in sex with other men are not his soul under attack by Satan, and that he is not besieged by demons, but that he is GAY, it is 2009, and there isn’t anything wrong with it. I really feel bad for this guy.

    Isn’t it odd that it’s guys like this who run around calling homosexuality a choice. Every time I hear that noise about choice I get the impression I’m listening to someone who wishes he didn’t crave dick.

  9. 9

    Cenk Uygur had an interesting take about Haggard on the Young Turks not too long ago. Turns out Haggard found out the hard way why Democrats fight for the poor and unfortunate. And instead of any of his big time conservative cronies offering support, he ended up getting words of encouragement from Nancy Pelosi of all people. Funny how easy it is to be a Republican when you are rich and on top of the world, but how hard it is to be one when you are broke and uninsured.

  10. 10
    liberal says:

    @rawshark:

    Every time I hear that noise about choice I get the impression I’m listening to someone who wishes he didn’t crave dick.

    LOL

    Reminds me of one of my favorite Onion pieces of all time: WARNING: NSFW!

    Church Group Offers Homosexual New Life In Closet

  11. 11
    liberal says:

    @Michael D.:

    Oh, and the arguement “He spent his life railing on gays, so he deserves what he gets” is a false arguement.

    Hmm…I disagree. He’s not some immature, confused kid. He’s someone who made a career out of this kind of thing and (I assume) profited from it.

  12. 12
    ed says:

    Republicans.

  13. 13
    Joshua Norton says:

    I’m not gay. My roommate is. And he keeps hogging all the blankets.

  14. 14
    dbrown says:

    @liberal: I’m not sure Haggard ever attacked homosexuals using nasty names or called them evil (could be wrong); I believe that he felt they could be cured and it was a choice but that is the only way reality and the bible can both be accepted (which of course is why the bible is so full of a lot of nonsense and no one with any intelligence takes the bible as mostly fact.) The man did try and push some good causes but he was a minister in an american church, hence against all things gay. american ministers mostly are a religion of hate, not Christ. Can’t blame Haggard too much – he is getting pay back unlike that ass-licking shit low life and war criminal cheney or that shit eating mass murdering bushwhack, the puppet queen.

  15. 15
    Jennifer says:

    Michael D:

    I also have to disagree, at least to this extent: Haggard made a career out of telling people that homosexuality is a sin and that God doesn’t accept it, when in fact there’s less biblical support for that position than there is for the other one (i.e., Christ said "love thy neighbor" not "love thy neighbor – unless he’s a fag", the fact that homosexuality isn’t even mentioned in the Top Ten sins, the fact that nowhere in the bible does it say that homosexuality is a worse sin than lying, or stealing, or any number of other things, the whole Christian foundation of belief that all sin will be forgiven, etc etc). That’s a big step up from a gay kid doing some fag-bashing. It’s one thing for a kid to cave to peer pressure and join in gay bashing because of his or her insecurities about their orientation, and quite another for a grown man to use his power of the pulpit not to condemn gays because he himself is conflicted, but because he claims that God demands it. Gay rights in this country, such as they are, have moved as far as they have in spite of this kind of twisting and use of religion as a cudgel to punish people NOT because there’s really any solid religious basis for it, but because the people in the pulpit are using it for their own personal ends. If not for the Ted Haggards and others of his ilk who twist religion for personal purposes, gay marriage would already be legal in all states, all hate crimes laws would include sexual orientation, and a whole host of other things.

    So, yes, what Ted Haggard did was much, much worse. But I’ll agree that it’s very sad that Ted is a prisoner of the construct that he himself worked so hard to promote.

  16. 16
    srv says:

    Given the scads of newly unemployed Republican politicians, staff and administrators, I expect the cruise line business to be picking up shortly.

  17. 17

    Michael you bring up a good point about Ted Haggard spending his life railing against gays when you say:

    Nearly every gay person has done it. As a kid, I teased other people and called them homos and fags.

    As the mother of a gay son, I accidentally learned one of my sons was gay when I read an essay he wrote for a university to which he was applying (and which he had no intention of ever letting me see). I think this further bolsters the point you make:

    This school is an amazing school, however it has made it difficult for me to be myself. Still, being a very “closeted” gay student in an all boy’s school, a very homophobic environment, makes it difficult for me to be open and for me to relate to my heterosexual friends and peers. I feel alone. I am alone. No one knows about my secret because I have lied to everyone in my life for so long that it only seems natural to keep it hidden.

    I am a hypocrite. I am a liar. And I am superficial. When the subject of homosexuality comes up around my friends or people that I know, I bash it right alongside with them. Most of the time I bring up the issue of homosexuality just to put it down. I began to actually despise homosexuals to the point that I hated all gay people, regardless of who they were.

  18. 18
    Joshua Norton says:

    I once read a jaw-droppingly illiterate article that only Democrats were actually gay. Republican men who have sex with other men aren’t gay because they don’t want "gay rights". So gay is a political choice as well as a "lifestyle". Sometimes you’re just dumbstruck because there’s so many things wrong with what a person says that you can’t even fathom where to begin first. And they claim you can’t immediately rebut their statement, so they must be right.

    Like Big O said. "These people seem to revel in their ignorance"

  19. 19
    Michael D. says:

    @Seething Mom: God, I hate that your son had to go through that. Bit I did too, so I completely understand. It is so painful.

    I think you are an awesome mom and I wish more moms were like you! That letter must have broken your heart. You seem like you would be very accepting, but your son was still too scared to tell you.

    Strange that he didn’t know how wonderful his mom is!

  20. 20
    headpan says:

    I’m sorry, I’m a heterosexual female and if I had fucked over my husband and kids like that in public, NO one would have sympathy for me. I would be a fucking pariah. What he has done with his life reflects his own inner selfishness as a member of the human race, not the gay community to which he doesn’t even want to belong.

  21. 21
    Crusty Dem says:

    Sorry Michael, while I’m not without sympathy, Haggard wasn’t some 16 year old boy trying to figure out why he craved something he thought was wrong. He’s a 50 year old man who cruises for young men to fuck (still waiting to hear if ‘boys’ will com out soon, too) in his own church while preaching that it’s an abomination. If you want to argue that he’s a victim, there’s a whole pile of catholic priests who’d like you to give them a hand, too.

    My point being that the predator/victim line has a lot of overlap, when I heard he was fucking a prostitute in a motel room, I was 100% sympathetic (schadenfreude aside), throw in stories of him/his church paying off families if young men he had relationships with, that goes to nil..

  22. 22
    Continuum says:

    As a gay man, I feel no sympathy for Haggard. How many lives has this man ruined through his own self-hatred? Through this self-hatred he led his congregation to despise others and condoned int. He is to be pitied. But the that he spew has caused great sorrow, grief, and damage. He, and others like him, have earned my eternal emnity.

  23. 23
    Tsulagi says:

    This is bad news for all those Rs looking forward to report their watching the Super Bowl as passing a straight test.

  24. 24
    Comrade Darkness says:

    How about we give him an intervention? A two week vacation in the Castro district. The man dearly needs to broaden his world to include himself.

  25. 25
    joe from Lowell says:

    You know who could save this poor bastard?

    Bishop Robinson.

  26. 26
    Michael D. says:

    @Crusty Dem:

    Sorry Michael, while I’m not without sympathy, Haggard wasn’t some 16 year old boy trying to figure out why he craved something he thought was wrong. He’s a 50 year old man who cruises for young men to fuck

    Sorry that you don’t know where he’s coming from, but this describes SO MANY closeted gay men. Haggard is easy to demonize because he’s famous, but he’s still just a gay man who is closeted.

    Sorry, but it really is that simple.

  27. 27
    Michael D. says:

    @Continuum:

    As a gay man, I feel no sympathy for Haggard. How many lives has this man ruined through his own self-hatred?

    Come on people. Many MANY gay people have made other gay people’s lives miserable. Don’t pretend we haven’t. Again, I’ve called people faggots, queers, and homos to prove I wasn’t gay.

    Haggard is only different because he has an audience of hundreds of thousands.

    I know there is a tendancy here to villify people, but give the guy a bit of a break. Or at least give him the same break I was given for being an asshole as a closeted gay when I was younger.

    It’s just the way it is. And it fucking sucks.

    The fault lies with straight people if I can be honest. Generally speaking, you guys have made our lives so fucking miserable – generally speaking – that we had no choice as closet cases to make other gay peoples’ lives miserable.

    How do you like them apples!?

  28. 28
    Incertus says:

    The story I’m really waiting for is the one where Haggard "slips." This one dates back to the time of the original "scandal," so Haggard, if he wishes, can still claim to have prayed away the gay. But it won’t last–it never does–and Haggard and everyone in his family will be a lot happier if he just admits that.

  29. 29
    scarshapedstar says:

    If he admits he’s gay, then all that tithe money will dry up, and how’s he gonna afford meth with which to ply those succulent young males in his congregation?

  30. 30

    The church was smart not to try and go after this guy for breaking his confidentiality agreement. I’ll give them that. It sounds like the Church is more than a little pissed off that Ted is gunning for some type of comeback.

    If Ted was smart, he’d come out of the closet openly and form a gay friendly church….right down the street from his old one.

    Enjoy.

  31. 31
    Michael D. says:

    And don’t give me the bullshit that just because you’re abunch of progressives that you’ve always been accepting of gay people. You haven’t. When the gay kid was getting picked on in grade school, not ONE of you stepped up to save him or her. You either said nothing, or piled on with the rest.

    You just didn’t.

  32. 32
    William Burns says:

    This Brady Boyd fellow seems like a real creep. Why go public with this now?

  33. 33
    Svensker says:

    Michael, if you don’t mind my asking a personal question — my personal, not yours.

    My son has a friend, 18, who is obviously gay and is obviously closeted and in deep denial. I feel so bad for him — when he was home from his first semester of college he was bashing all the gays at school (he comes from a small community where any gayness in his high school would have been quashed way down deep). Should I do anything? Or just leave him alone? He’s such a sweetie, I hate to see him going through this agony.

  34. 34
    Crusty Dem says:

    Michael, I’m not unsympathetic to his problems, but a pastor in a powerful position taking advantage of the boys/young men he’s leading? Sorry, maybe I spent too much time in/around the catholic church, but I have very little sympathy for pastors leveraging power for sex, gay or straight.

  35. 35
    Incertus says:

    @scarshapedstar: He’s not affiliated with the church anymore. In fact, I don’t think he’s affiliated as a pastor with any church at this point–he’s an insurance salesman, I believe.

  36. 36
    Michael D. says:

    @Svensker: You know what? I never quite learned how to handle situations like that! Does your son know he’s gay? Is your son ok with that? I don’t know how I would handle it really, but I think I might ask my son to work it a bit.

    I think your son’s friend would be very well served by knowing that YOUR son doesn’t care if he’s gay.

    I just don’t know. But I can see a great benefit to him if he knows your son is still his friend! :-)

    Does your sone know or think his friend is gay?

  37. 37
    Michael D. says:

    @Svensker: Just an afterthought. I think it’s more important to talk to YOUR son and let him know you are concerned. I bet HE’D be able to do more good than you! :-)

    That’s totally awesome to me that you are concerned about this. I hope the kid does fine. I know your son can help with that. That would be my bet!

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    Honestly, I feel much more sorry for Haggard’s wife and (now we know) boyfriend than I do for Haggard himself. It’s one thing to be confused and closeted and end up with both a wife and a boyfriend. It’s something else entirely when you’re cheating on both of those relationships with prostitutes, and using drugs as well.

    I can deal with addicts once they get into recovery and start looking honestly at themselves, but right now Haggard sounds like he’s just making the same BS excuses that all addicts do. He sounds like a typical dry drunk who thinks he can fix everything himself.

    (Not that I have any family background of having to deal with other people’s addictions or have any continuing anger issues about that or anything. Nope, not me.)

  39. 39
    Martin says:

    The fault lies with straight people if I can be honest. Generally speaking, you guys have made our lives so fucking miserable – generally speaking – that we had no choice as closet cases to make other gay peoples’ lives miserable.
    How do you like them apples!?

    That’s certainly true.

    But it’s also true that Haggard is supposed to be a spiritual leader – someone who people turn to in order to find peace with themselves and the world around them. Haggard is supposed to be an *expert* at helping people through the very same problems that he’s struggling with. It’s not so much an indictment of him as of the clergy as a whole. If Haggard can’t accept who he is and speak forcefully against the attitudes of the church he previously led which we all acknowledge are making people (himself included) miserable, then what good are these guys? It’s not straight people making your lives miserable, but now religious people – straight and gay. There’s a pretty big overlap between straight and religious, but the correlation is with the religious, not the straight, and that’s always been the case.

    The only reason that you didn’t see the straight atheists helping out the gay kids in grade school is that they were equally in the closet due to the same forces.

  40. 40
    Joshua Norton says:

    He’s such a sweetie, I hate to see him going through this agony.

    I wouldn’t directly confront him about being gay. But, when he starts gay bashing, I’d also tell him something along the lines of I didn’t really want to hear any homophobic talk from anyone. Then you could talk about how you feel about gay people in general – without focusing on him personally. Maybe he’d trust you as possibly someone to confide in somewhere down the road.

    Baby steps.

  41. 41
    sal says:

    Michael

    I can’t say what it’s like to be a gay person and feel the pressure to deny and/or hide it. But he’s an adult making choices. No, not whether to be gay, but whether to accept and acknowledge it.
    As an adult, he’s responsible for his behavior and actions. This isn’t a closeted gay minding his own business, this is a guy who claimed that gays are sinners and will go to Hell if they don’t repent. And preached that to thousands.
    Admitting he’s gay may be a traumatic event for him on all kinds of levels, but he’s an adult. Take some responsibility.

  42. 42
    Svensker says:

    @Michael D.:

    My son is clueless — he asked the kid if he was gay and the kid said "no" so my son believed him. I don’t think my son would be at all upset to find out that the kid is indeed gay, just might have to adjust a bit.

    Joshua Norton — I think you’re right about saying something when the kid does his gay bashing. That’s a good time to step up and say something without getting personal. And maybe give him one safe place if/when he finally confronts himself.

  43. 43
    aimai says:

    Isn’t it a bit strange to talk about Haggard being "in the closet?" at this point? he’s so out he’s in free fall. The only person he is still lying to about his homosexuality is himself, his wife, and his children. Continuing to insist publicly that sexual orientation is something you can "pray away" if you sincerely want to stop is the biggest self lie and self delusion of all time and Haggard has to know that more clearly than anyone, doesn’t he? Because either g-d isn’t listening or he isn’t sincere in his prayers. And if a former mega church pastor isn’t sincerely devoted to doing what he thinks god wants him to do then who is? I mean, what is the hope for ordinary people? I realize these rhetorical questions are all, already answered for the true believers in the evangelical community. The devil, the evils of all kind of "sins", the notion that we are all always sinners over something etc…etc…etc… But Haggard really has no excuse at this point except that he can’t find another way to be a husband to his wife, a father to his children, or a man in this world except by continuing to lie to himself and to others and to imitate this horrible fake "Ted" who they loved and respected.

    Whoever said, up above, that Haggard needs to meet with Bishop Robinson was dead on target. He’s the only man who can truly understand what Haggard is going through. But whoever said Haggard is also suffering from other problems, like addiction to drugs and addiction to secretive, store bought sex, is also right. Haggard can’t afford to publicly accept himself as gay because he’d lose the only life he knows and he’d end up with nothing but his addictions, prostitution, and poverty.

    aimai

  44. 44

    I do not know what to think about biology and gayness. If you were to look at it from a simplistic evolutionary standpoint, it doesn’t make sense because genes harboring large degrees of gayness would be bred out of the general population over thousands of generations.

    I have a theory that the practice of gayness is somehow related to elevated levels of testosterone. Men are programmed for reproductive volume, and women are programmed to attract and retain a mate. So when society introduces customs where most males have to spend lots of money and time courting females, this drives men to gayness, be it either biologic, behavior, or both. The shift would be most pronounced in men with elevated levels of testosterone.

    As further evidence to my testoserone theory, note the militancy of the gay groups protesting Ahmedinejad in New York, the Proposition 8 reactions including the mapping, and the fact that Hitler’s SA were led by gays. It would be interesting to test this.

  45. 45
    Svensker says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Dear BOB, you are wacky.

    Yours sincerely,
    The Svensk

  46. 46
    rawshark says:

    @Michael D.:

    When the gay kid was getting picked on in grade school, not ONE of you stepped up to save him or her.

    Grade school?

    Didn’t you say previously you were one of the people doing the picking? And now you give a lecture?

    Joshua Norton

    I once read a jaw-droppingly illiterate article that only Democrats were actually gay. Republican men who have sex with other men aren’t gay because they don’t want "gay rights".

    I heard black guys also don’t believe they’re gay, they’re on the down low instead. I read that in an article on the unnaturally high rate of AIDS in black females.

  47. 47
    malraux says:

    @Michael D.:

    I know there is a tendancy here to villify people, but give the guy a bit of a break. Or at least give him the same break I was given for being an asshole as a closeted gay when I was younger.

    Wouldn’t "giving him a break" mean that if he were to stop demonizing homosexuality or even working for gay rights he’d be forgiven for being an asshole?

  48. 48
    rawshark says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    You are such a tool. You like pussy, right? Is there any amount of societal influence that would make you crave a cock in your mouth? No. So shut the fuck up.

  49. 49
    steve s says:

    I do not know what to think about biology and gayness. If you were to look at it from a simplistic evolutionary standpoint, it doesn’t make sense because genes harboring large degrees of gayness would be bred out of the general population over thousands of generations.

    Right but that’s too simplistic. Genes that caused gayness could have some other effect that permitted them to flourish. Think of sickle cell anemia–sure if you get a homozygous version you’ll have bad physical effects, but if you just get one copy you’ll be protected against malaria.

    Also it can be biological but not genetic. There seems to be some research showing that the more older brothers you have the more likely you are to be gay. There could be something going on with the mother’s immune system, for instance, which causes it.

  50. 50
    Lesley says:

    Haggard is a professional evangelist. Christian evangelists are required by their fucked up congregations to be straight. He can’t make money if he admits he’s gay or accepts his gayness.

  51. 51
    rawshark says:

    @steve s:

    There seems to be some research showing that the more older brothers you have the more likely you are to be gay. There could be something going on with the mother’s immune system, for instance, which causes it.

    Yeah I read that. It’s crap coincidence. If a mom has never given birth to a female she might ‘womanise’ her last born son. Please.

  52. 52
    Tsulagi says:

    The fault lies with straight people if I can be honest….we had no choice as closet cases to make other gay peoples’ lives miserable.

    I call bullshit.

    Never understood the R-tards or others that could get all bent about what two men, two women, or whatever were consenually doing together in their town or somewhere else in the country. And clue for those that think that somehow harms or lessens their marriage, you don’t have a marriage.

    Say that not as a progressive or liberal, don’t care to be one, just that that kind of stupid has zero logic and makes about as much sense as discriminating or being prejudiced against someone due to the eye color they were born with. Same thing with race.

    The fault lies with stupid, and fear, not straightness in the population. Partly evidenced by your saying as a closet gay you had no choice but to make other gay peoples’ lives miserable. How stupid is that? Blaming that on straight people doesn’t wash. Don’t know if you’re still a R, but you need to get away from that basking as a victim mindset.

  53. 53
    BC says:

    Brick Oven Bill, I wish you would really try to understand what science says about evolution before you post half-assed ideas on it here. You are so full of shit your smell must announce you about 2 miles before you get to where you’re going. Back to Haggard – he is truly struggling with his orientation. I remember he talked about how he has been struggling since the age of 5. At some point, he is going to have to come to terms with these struggles and admit that, yes, he is gay. Whether he and his wife decide to stay married is up to them. I had a lot of hope when he opened up a bit about his lifelong struggle with the "temptation" that he would become more self-aware of what other gay people go through – that they know it at the age of 5, they have to struggle to come to terms with it, etc. Maybe later on . . .

  54. 54
    Comrade grumpy realist says:

    This link between being "in the closet" and lashing out at "out" gays is also why when we heteros hear someone really mouth off about gays, we can’t help but think: "you’re gay and can’t admit it to yourself, can you?" If you really weren’t gay, you wouldn’t be so afraid of it, nu?

    And Michael, I’d say the link between homophobia and religious nuts is far closer than the link between homophobia and heterosexuals, so I don’t think you’re completely correct as to where you place the blame…

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:

    He’s such a sweetie, I hate to see him going through this agony.

    This is not actual help, but it might give you a laugh if you need one. It’s from "Avenue Q," which is why it’s one puppet singing to another puppet that it’s okay to be gay:

    "If You Were Gay"

  56. 56
    TenguPhule says:

    BOB says: I do not know what to think

    Every now and then a little truth slips out.

  57. 57
    Gay Veteran says:

    Brick Oven Bill: "…So when society introduces customs where most males have to spend lots of money and time courting females, this drives men to gayness, be it either biologic, behavior, or both…."

    Yeah, a heterosexual turns to Teh Gays just because he doesn’t have the money or time to court femalies. Arg, the STOOPID, it burns!

  58. 58

    @Michael D.: I went to high school in the 1960’s and I only knew of one gay kid. He was teased a bit by myself, and others, but mostly given the cold shoulder. When he came into the bathroom everyone left immediately. No one wanted to be caught in there alone with him or you were suspect. Nothing worse, at that time, than for people to think you were a queer.

    Eventually, in my mid twenties, I came to my senses when I found out a friend of mine was gay. At first I couldn’t understand how THAT GUY could like men. I was shocked but he and an old girlfriend began my education. Basically she pointed out that I was a narrow minded asshole and that he was still the same person.

    It was somewhat cathartic for me, so I can’t imagine what it must be like for closeted gay people to finally come out.

  59. 59
    Bill H says:

    You haven’t. When the gay kid was getting picked on in grade school, not ONE of you stepped up to save him or her. You either said nothing, or piled on with the rest.

    Actually, Michael, I did, and more than once. Honesty compels me to admit I did not do it so much becuase he was gay as becuase he was getting picked on. But often I knew he was being picked on because he was gay and I stepped in to help, in part, because of that.

    But don’t credit me for that. My father drummed into me that my size and strength (I played linebacker) conveyed upon me a responsibility to defend those who could not defend themselves. He made it clear that if I stood by while those smaller than me were abused that something on the order of lightening striking me dead would happen.

    And you know what? That has cost me at times. It has led to me bite off more than I could chew. But many times I have chewed it up and spit it out. I have never ever regretted following the lead that my father taught me.

  60. 60
    Martin says:

    I do not know what to think about biology and gayness. If you were to look at it from a simplistic evolutionary standpoint, it doesn’t make sense because genes harboring large degrees of gayness would be bred out of the general population over thousands of generations.

    And yet homosexuality has been observed in numerous other species – from bunnies to other primates.

    Is it so hard to grasp that it might be evolutionarily benign to have productive members of a community that don’t expand the population of the community? Every community needs some kind of hedge against its own overpopulation. There are acquired diseases, predators, and genetic factors. Homosexuality is a hell of a lot better for a species than pretty much any of the alternatives.

    The only way that genetic factors get bred out is when they are clearly negative to a species. Homosexuality isn’t. Go look at your family tree a hundred years ago or two and tell us that having 1-2 gay children out of 10 would have had an averse effect on the species? I don’t see how it in any way negatively affects the advancement of the species, and I see a positive effect by causing the population to not explode quite as fast as it otherwise would have.

    Now, maybe back when all the kids were getting eaten by lions, it would be a negative, but certainly in the last 10,000 years, it would appear to be a positive.

  61. 61
    Mazacote Yorquest says:

    "Boyd said an “overwhelming pool of evidence” pointed to an “inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship” that “went on for a long period of time … it wasn’t a one-time act."

    I don’t envy those detectives.

  62. 62
    bago says:

    The main issue is consent. Prominent conservatives seem to ignore it. (Gitmo, Prager, Ace). Disregarding children and animals, whoever you want to stimulate in an intimate fashion is really your business, and not mine. I know someone that was abused many times as a child growing up, and the amount of work required to roll back the fear and doubt that such things cause is phenomenal. Children trust their parents for a reason. Violating that trust is… evil.

  63. 63
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I think the second worse thing about evangelical fundamentalism is no one can keep a damned secret about anything. Always confessing and blabbing everything.

    The worse thing about it, of course, is the mindfucking of all those little poor little children unfortunate to be born to mentally unstable parents.

  64. 64
    RSA says:

    The fault lies with straight people if I can be honest. Generally speaking, you guys have made our lives so fucking miserable – generally speaking – that we had no choice as closet cases to make other gay peoples’ lives miserable.

    I hate to say it, but "straight people made me do it" is probably not a convincing defense for, well, anything at all. Though it does have a nice ironic ring to it. Maybe I’ll have a T-shirt made up…

  65. 65
    craigie says:

    “overwhelming pool of evidence”

    Gross!

  66. 66
    Comrade Darkness says:

    I do not know what to think about biology and gayness. If you were to look at it from a simplistic evolutionary standpoint, it doesn’t make sense because genes harboring large degrees of gayness would be bred out of the general population over thousands of generations.

    Gayness appears, if anything, to be a transformation in the uterus, brought on by large amounts of testosterone in the vicinity of the pregnant woman. In other words, there are too many breeding sons around already.

    Childless uncles and aunts investing their energy in their sibling’s offspring makes the odds of that offspring’s success much higher. If the natural parents die, they are unburdened backup parents. The genetic path to success for an outright "gay" gene or predisposition (to other factors that increase the likelihood) is an easy one.

  67. 67

    Maybe he just needs a prescription for the drug:

    Kids in the Hall: You are Gay

  68. 68
    liberal says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    I do not know what to think about biology and gayness.

    "Gayness" is almost certainly biological.

    Aside from the fact that almost no one chooses their sexual orientation, apparently the chance of a male child being homosexual depends on birthorder. First male child, 2%. Second male child, 4%. Third male child…

    I suppose one could cook up some story that it’s related to postnatal, birthorder environmental cues, but the best theory IMHO is that there’s a reaction in pregnant women to the maleness of the fetus.

    Just because no one has come up with a convincing Darwinistic/population genetics explanation doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

  69. 69
  70. 70
    liberal says:

    @Martin:

    Is it so hard to grasp that it might be evolutionarily benign to have productive members of a community that don’t expand the population of the community?

    Arguments from group selection are very suspect.

  71. 71
    Comrade Darkness says:

    Btw, there is a fascinating article in satan’s newspaper (nyt) about women and desire, that touches on gayness because they are studying the differences in sexual response across all categories of sexuality. Clearly, gayness is inherent, whatever the causation. Only the science-hating intentionally-ignorant would still claim otherwise.

  72. 72
    liberal says:

    @rawshark:

    Yeah I read that. It’s crap coincidence. If a mom has never given birth to a female she might ‘womanise’ her last born son. Please.

    Huh? If the empirical data are strong, then they’re strong.

    If you’ve got references to counterarguments (based on data), please post links. I’ve seen claims that the link is pretty strong (albeit not determinative).

    That, more generally, there’s a somewhat competitive interaction between the woman and the fetus based on their having distinct interests is a well-accepted fact these days.

  73. 73
  74. 74

    Martin’s theory is very interesting. I have wondered why French and German populations had leveled off, after the introduction relatively modern medicine, and before modern birth control, in those years heading up to World War One.

    IIRC the French were down to a birthrate of 2 per woman and the Germans 3. My best guess as to why is that the surpluses generated by the introduction of oil, allowed people to move away from the rigors of Christianity.

    Perhaps we can tie in back into testosterone. In societies that are under duress, women are more reliant on men for survival, and men’s value in the sexual marketplace goes up. Therefore, men would have to spend less time and money in the pursuit. Those men who have mixed tendencies would then probably go female. This would raise the population’s birthrate, benefiting the group genetic, in the survival environment.

    And then, in eras of prosperity, women’s value in the sexual marketplaces rises, due to a surplus of resources and relative independence from men. And then women drive men nuts, driving those with mixed tendencies back to gayness.

    Thus freeing up these men’s time and energy for creative endeavors. And the time reference to the acceptability of gayness.

  75. 75
    liberal says:

    @Comrade Darkness:

    Clearly, gayness is inherent, whatever the causation. Only the science-hating intentionally-ignorant would still claim otherwise.

    Agreed.

    It’s funny that the fundies are terrified by the notion that homosexuality is innately determined. I would have thought the obvious comeback is a reference to the naturalistic fallacy. But seems like that’s not enough for them.

  76. 76
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Huh? If the empirical data are strong, then they’re strong.

    I believe it doesn’t offer an explanation for lesbianism, but as my gay friend Michael (not our Michael here) says, nothing does.

  77. 77
    MR Bill says:

    I was that picked on gay kid. My folks and the school (and god Bless Miss Louise Haigler who noticed) didn’t know I needed glasses ’till the 4th grade, and was thoroughly tormented in my little redneck NC town. (and my particular tormentor would go on to have a sex change after a stint in the Navy SEALS…)
    And its just like the David Sedaris story about camp, little gay boys will try to establish their masculinity by picking on some other gay kid. I think having a culture of bigotry (like systematic racism) makes it easier.
    I, to my shame, know I did.
    It’s taken me years to be able to be nice to extremely flamboyant guys. If you hide for so long, it does hurt who you are..

  78. 78
    Maus says:

    Oh, and the arguement “He spent his life railing on gays, so he deserves what he gets” is a false arguement. Nearly every gay person has done it. As a kid, I teased other people and called them homos and fags. That Haggard did similar things as a famous person doesn’t make him any worse than me and millions of others. It’s part of being closeted. And it sucks. And, like me and others, I don’t imagine Haggard liked doing it at all.

    The difference here is that he’s still doing it.

  79. 79
    Maus says:

    Huh? If the empirical data are strong, then they’re strong.

    The empirical data isn’t strong, though. Can you cite the studies that confirm the original study? The journal it as published in?

  80. 80
    Jennifer says:

    To clarify: the latest theories suggest that it is a hormonal change while in the womb that triggers sexual orientation. If a male fetus doesn’t get enough testosterone at the right time in the pregnancy, or if a female fetus gets too much, the result is homosexual orientation. The theory is that it is a powerful wash of testosterone that wires the brain to be sexually attracted to females. This helps explain the riddle of the "identical" twins who have differing sexual orientations. If it was a function of genetics, they’d both be either gay or straight.

    That’s the theory. But really, who gives a rat’s ass? Anyone with a few brain cells to rub together knows good and goddamn well that physical attraction is not a "choice" – it’s just there or it isn’t. Hetero men and women don’t go to a party, see someone across the room, and decide whether or not to be attracted to them. That’s not the way it works for anyone. So to argue that it’s a "choice", you have to disregard both your own personal experience and that of every human being that has ever lived.

  81. 81
    Incertus says:

    @Jennifer:

    That’s the theory. But really, who gives a rat’s ass? Anyone with a few brain cells to rub together knows good and goddamn well that physical attraction is not a "choice" – it’s just there or it isn’t.

    That’s true, so far as it goes. What worries some people–me among them–is that if it can be shown that a hormonal change in the womb is what triggers sexual orientation, then there will be a great deal of pressure to develop a "treatment" to keep said hormonal change from ever happening, and it feeds into the crap idea that being gay is an illness that needs to be cured. And lots of well-meaning parents would clamor for such a treatment under the auspices of "protecting their children from a harsh world that won’t accept them."

  82. 82
    bago says:

    BOB has moved into "Why don’t elevators hurry up when I press the button faster" territory. Lay down and the black helicopters will take you to area 51 and you can relax.

  83. 83
    joe from Lowell says:

    And don’t give me the bullshit that just because you’re abunch of progressives that you’ve always been accepting of gay people. You haven’t. When the gay kid was getting picked on in grade school, not ONE of you stepped up to save him or her. You either said nothing, or piled on with the rest.
    You just didn’t.

    I’ll admit it. I didn’t even know homophobia was optional until I got to college.

    I feel really bad about some of the homophobic shit I said before that. I can think of one really good friendship it cost me, because a friend of mine couldn’t come out to me.

    Prejudice sucks, for everybody.

  84. 84
    liberal says:

    @Incertus:

    What worries some people—me among them—is that if it can be shown that a hormonal change in the womb is what triggers sexual orientation, then there will be a great deal of pressure to develop a "treatment" to keep said hormonal change from ever happening, and it feeds into the crap idea that being gay is an illness that needs to be cured.

    Possible, but:
    (a) We’re only talking about a propensity for homosexuality (and AFAIK only in males, not females).
    (b) This is a pretty complicated system, so any "intervention" would be a long ways off. A similar example is preecclampsia, which appears to be a condition where the pregnant woman isn’t sufficiently immunologically "accustomed" to the fetus (sorry, not an immunologists and don’t have time to reread the academic papers) because of underexposure to the father’s sperm. AFAICT they’re not even close to coming up with a way to treat that.
    (c) Anyone (which doesn’t include me) who was worried about their child growing up gay would have to look at the fact that most fetuses grow up to be straight anyway, and that any treatment invariably has costs (e.g. potential for harm).

  85. 85
    liberal says:

    @Maus:
    My google search came up with "Fraternal birth order and the maternal immune hypothesis of male homosexuality". The change in the odds cited in the abstract—33% increase for each male fetus,—is much lower than what I quoted, but the abstract states it as if it’s beyond dispute.

    "Proportion of homosexual men who owe their sexual orientation to fraternal birth order: An estimate based on two national probability samples." seems to give an average number of 28% for the fraction of gay men whose homosexuality can be ascribed to the birth order effect.

    IMHO, the evidence isn’t conclusive, but is definitely "strong". (I’m referring to the effect itself, not any purported causal explanation.)

    You’re welcome to counterpost cites, of course.

  86. 86
    gnomedad says:

    I have a theory that the practice of gayness is somehow related to elevated levels of testosterone.

    I have a theory that the brontosaurus is thin at one end, much much thicker in the middle, and thin again at the other end.

  87. 87
    liberal says:

    @Jennifer:

    But really, who gives a rat’s ass?

    Scientists, but as far as morality/public policy/etc is concerned, it’s irrelevant.

    Anyone with a few brain cells to rub together knows good and goddamn well that physical attraction is not a "choice" – it’s just there or it isn’t.

    Agreed.

  88. 88
    liberal says:

    Here’s a good Wikipedia page summarizing the effect (with a section on criticism): "Fraternal birth order and sexual orientation"

  89. 89

    No bago. The biological argument makes sense. As far as I can tell I am what would be called ‘straight’. And a good chunk of my life’s mental energy has been spent thinking about the pursuit of females. This takes time and has made me a less productive person. I have had to sit in the car while she shopped at Christmas Tree Shop. At the beginning, I went to a play once. But, people like me have to slog through the process, put up with what we have to put up with, to keep the whole wheel turning, I guess.

    It makes perfect evolutionary sense that, in times of surplus, a certain percentage of the population would instead dedicate their energies to pursuits that do not have to do with the basics (read: "creative"). The advances made by these men, freed from the chains on men choosing to pursue women during times of surplus, could then be used against competing groups during the next survival period.

  90. 90
    gex says:

    One of the most interesting studies I’ve read recently (in Scientific American, I think) did MRIs of straight women, straight men, gay women, and gay men. They subjected all the groups to external stimuli that was not sexual in nature. What they found is that in response to the stimuli gay men/straight women’s brains responded in the identical areas of the brain. Gay women/straight men’s brains responded in identical areas but the areas of reactivity were different between these two sets.

    Whether it is genetic or biological, who cares? It is becoming abundantly clear that it is natural, inherent, and often not chosen. (I’d argue that some people are flexible in their orientation.)

  91. 91
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    As a kid, I teased other people and called them homos and fags.

    I never did this. But I don’t claim to be free of homophobia.

    My actual homophobia is the direct result of being abused by a homophobic pedophile, first, and being constantly approached with homosexual propositions from the age of about 12 until around 32, when I stopped looking pretty.

    And just to close the theme here, my response to my homophobia was to decide that it was an irrational response and that my treatment of other people would not be based on their sexual orientation. That’s the reason why I vote against all anti-gay candidates and initiatives.

    That’s one of the reasons why I used to carry on a rather spirited defense of gay politics and bashing of anti-gay politics, because I knew for a fact that it was possible to act in accordance with principle, and not emotional reaction.

    Homophobia, like any emotional reaction, is not a bad thing, it depends on what one does with it.

  92. 92
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    As far as I can tell I am what would be called ‘straight’.

    How’s the temperature today, Oven Boy?

  93. 93

    Cooking inside tonight. Chicken, rice, and California Veggies from Sams. The oven is off. But we lost a tree in the ice storm. A Maple even.

  94. 94
    Kevin says:

    I actually feel sorry for him right now. He isn’t with the church anymore. He is a sleazy guy and all, but why release this info? It was a consensual adult relationship from years ago. The only reason for them to release this is to try to harm his future. I don’t get it. There must really be some bad blood there for this to be released to the public by the church leaders.

  95. 95
    joe from Lowell says:

    Aw, that sucks. A maple.

    I’m fortunate enough to have two giants in my 2000 square foot yard.

    In the autumn, I don’t have to rake the leaves first for them to be deep enough to pick up.

  96. 96
    hamletta says:

    But it’s also true that Haggard is supposed to be a spiritual leader – someone who people turn to in order to find peace with themselves and the world around them. Haggard is supposed to be an expert at helping people through the very same problems that he’s struggling with. It’s not so much an indictment of him as of the clergy as a whole.

    That’s not true. I don’t know the specifics of Haggard’s education and training, or if he had any at all. A lot of megachurch pastors don’t. Their only requirement is enough charisma to play to a large room.

    In addition, because they’re unaffiliated with any larger organization, there’s no one above them to smack them down when they go off the rails.

    By contrast, in my church, anyone who thinks they have a call has to talk to a bishop and submit to psychological testing before they apply to seminary.

    In addition, we have regional and national hierarchies that involve both clergy and laity to provide checks and balances on people getting out of hand.

    You really can’t take Haggard’s situation (and damage) and apply it to everyone who stands in a pulpit of a Sunday morning. That’s just stupid.

  97. 97
    passerby says:

    @Michael D.:

    And don’t give me the bullshit that just because you’re abunch of progressives that you’ve always been accepting of gay people. You haven’t. When the gay kid was getting picked on in grade school, not ONE of you stepped up to save him or her. You either said nothing, or piled on with the rest.
    You just didn’t.

    Whoa nellie. You’re paintin with too broad a brush with this comment Michael. I’m with you up until you threw this in. How many of us hate bullies of every stripe?

  98. 98

    Reached Friday night, Haggard declined to comment and said all interviews would have to be arranged through a publicist for HBO, which is airing a documentary about him this month.

    So premium cable is now the option of choice for propaganda, and we can be sure if the program has Haggard’s endorsement then HBO is actually selling warmed over bullshit.

  99. 99
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    why release this info?

    That was my first reaction, too. Why are we looking at this?

    On the other hand …. there is a quality of dishonesty and possibly predation here that is suggested … and troubling. This man is obviously not honest with himself, or anyone else, about his sexuality. I find that this is pretty worrisome WRT somebody who wants to preach to others how to live their lives, or counsel others.

    I don’t know enough of the facts of the case to draw a firm conclusion one way or the other.

  100. 100

    And don’t give me the bullshit that just because you’re abunch of progressives that you’ve always been accepting of gay people. You haven’t. When the gay kid was getting picked on in grade school, not ONE of you stepped up to save him or her. You either said nothing, or piled on with the rest.
    You just didn’t.

    I was one of those kids who got relegated to the "untouchable" group of kids who got ridiculed everyday, for the simple reason that I had a funny last name. I never treated anyone who was cast out as a pariah. I went through it myself, I understood how cruel it was. I was a girl, so I didn’t fight the attackers, I just befriended those other outcasts (who really were very nice kids).

  101. 101
    Skullduggery says:

    @Michael D.:

    And don’t give me the bullshit that just because you’re abunch of progressives that you’ve always been accepting of gay people. You haven’t. When the gay kid was getting picked on in grade school, not ONE of you stepped up to save him or her. You either said nothing, or piled on with the rest.

    Actually, I did. Well, except when I bullied myself for being gay. But then again, I had an uber-progressive upbringing. When I was a kid, my best friend was biracial and had two mommies. In four years at my public high school, I never once heard fag or gay used as an insult. During a week long arts celebration we had every spring, two of the most popular kids in the school came out to the school during one of the shows. The 1000 students in the audience burst out in applause.

    But I was lucky.

  102. 102
    demimondian says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat: From many years of experience studying them, I have come to the conclusion that many hyper-charismatic preachers are also sexual predators at some level or another. I will not be surprised if Haggard turns out to be another one such. Certainly, my experience with others of the same ilk is not conducive to trust.

  103. 103
    Skullduggery says:

    @hamletta:

    By contrast, in my church, anyone who thinks they have a call has to talk to a bishop and submit to psychological testing before they apply to seminary.
    In addition, we have regional and national hierarchies that involve both clergy and laity to provide checks and balances on people getting out of hand.

    By your language, I’m guessing you’re talking about the Catholic Church. So, how’d that whole hierarchy thing and the checks/balances thing actually work out for you?

    Srsly.

  104. 104
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    many hyper-charismatic preachers are also sexual predators at some level or another.

    I was not aware of that. I guess that the general bizarre aspects of some of these folks make more sense in light of what you are saying here.

    Is there a correlation because the sexual predator deliberately chooses the preaching pathway as a way to attract and manipulate victims?

    If this is (empirically, you know me) true then how far down the chain can this association go? I mean, is there a body of data about people of the cloth in general, as compared to the general population?

  105. 105
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Incertus: " And lots of well-meaning parents would clamor for such a treatment under the auspices of "protecting their children from a harsh world that won’t accept them.""

    Well, these people will undoubtedly mess up their children anyway. It ends up the same.

    Fascinating stuff also is the change in thinking on hermaphrodites. Used to be a lot of pressure to pick a sex, right now, never discuss again. Now the thinking is to let the child express a personality, then decide whether to pick a sex, which seems far better. (I can just see it: wait, junior made a move toward the GI Joe, no, he picked up the MyLittlePony!)

    The odds of a indistinct sex birth are quoted as low as 1/4000 and man, talk about medical decisions to be made by unequipped parents AND doctors. Good to see this stuff being discussed. It builds up the root of who we are as a culture when we can address these things without freaking out.

  106. 106
    Andre says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    It makes perfect evolutionary sense that, in times of surplus, a certain percentage of the population would instead dedicate their energies to pursuits that do not have to do with the basics (read: "creative"). The advances made by these men, freed from the chains on men choosing to pursue women during times of surplus, could then be used against competing groups during the next survival period.

    The problem with that "theory" is that gay men and women quite regularly have children, and always have.

    Being gay doesn’t make someone a non-breeder. If anything, the primary psychological brake on the desire to have children seems to be an abundance of resources. Teh ghey doesn’t come in to the equation.

  107. 107
    blogreeder says:

    Off topic, but now with Obama in office, suicide bombers are "cowardly". Who knew?

  108. 108
    Comrade Darkness says:

    "(and my particular tormentor would go on to have a sex change after a stint in the Navy SEALS…)"

    Ah, the very reason that the phrase me thinks thou doth protest too much1 is still widely used.

    (yes, I know that’s a misquote, but I prefer the phrasing of the misquote.) [back]

    added: wow, I can footnote IN a balloon juice comment. if that isn’t the last thing I’d ever request as a feature…

  109. 109
    AnneLaurie says:

    I’m sorry, I’m a heterosexual female and if I had fucked over my husband and kids like that in public, NO one would have sympathy for me. I would be a fucking pariah. What he has done with his life reflects his own inner selfishness as a member of the human race, not the gay community to which he doesn’t even want to belong.

    Well, yeah, but white males over a certain income level are entitled to extra servings of Poor-Suffering-Soul soup. Women and not-whites who screw up their families’ lives in the course of screwing up their own are just selfish and stupid and slaves to their base impulses. It’s the polite progressive version of the fReichtard theory that commodity traders who "need" a little coke to handle their stressful lives shouldn’t be subject to the draconian War-Against-Certain-Drugs laws, but assembly-line workers who use meth to work overtime — much less unemployed ‘minorities’ who smoke dope to fill up the hours — are worthless monsters who need to be locked up for destroying America’s moral fiber. Because the only bias more entrenched in our culture than hetero-normality is the bias that well-to-do white men are just more sensitive, thoughtful, interesting, and important than the rest of us.

  110. 110
    Walter Sobchak says:

    AnneLaurie said:

    "Because the only bias more entrenched in our culture than hetero-normality is the bias that well-to-do white men are just more sensitive, thoughtful, interesting, and important than the rest of us."

    I just know BOB has an interesting theory on this. Please enlighten us sir!

  111. 111
    skylights says:

    Actually, he’s probably bisexual.

  112. 112
    Mrs. Peel says:

    I’m sorry, I’m a heterosexual female and if I had fucked over my husband and kids like that in public, NO one would have sympathy for me.

    You must be a closet Republican with this argument. No matter what the conversation, a wingnut always ends up with Me – Me – Me. This stuff all has to be about MEEEEE!!!

    Go away. You bore me.

  113. 113
    Jay Severin Has A Small Pen1s says:

    I fucked him. I admit it. I enjoyed it.

    Watch this…you’ll think of this everytime you meet a homophobe.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XN1tYUOzQA

  114. 114
    demimondian says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat: I don’t know of any systematic empirical data, unfortunately. All of the evidence I’ve got is anecdotal, and so has to be treated as totally unreliable for the purposes of any scientific study.

    (There’s a visibility bias, after all; we expect people of the cloth to be relatively sexually chaste, in our culture, and so when there are deviants, they are more visible.)

  115. 115
    demimondian says:

    @headpan: You’ve confused two very different things: Ted Haggard, a selfish and exploitative salesman, and Ted Haggard, a self-hating gay man. Just because he’s the first (and he is) doesn’t mean he’s not the second, too.

    Charity towards those in pain is generally a good thing, even if they’ve done *really bad things*.

  116. 116
    Martin says:

    That’s not true. I don’t know the specifics of Haggard’s education and training, or if he had any at all. A lot of megachurch pastors don’t. Their only requirement is enough charisma to play to a large room.
    In addition, because they’re unaffiliated with any larger organization, there’s no one above them to smack them down when they go off the rails.
    By contrast, in my church, anyone who thinks they have a call has to talk to a bishop and submit to psychological testing before they apply to seminary.
    In addition, we have regional and national hierarchies that involve both clergy and laity to provide checks and balances on people getting out of hand.
    You really can’t take Haggard’s situation (and damage) and apply it to everyone who stands in a pulpit of a Sunday morning. That’s just stupid.

    Really? No religious group is as hierarchical and structured as the Catholic church and aren’t they struggling with this very problem as well – and have been for decades.

    The problem isn’t the structure or the checks and balances. It’s a matter of what the organization accepts as part of being human and what they reject as deviances from God’s plan, or some test of faith which they are free or not to fail, or whatever. The problem is that the church demands that these experts, checked and balanced as they may be, present advise that fits within the church’s beliefs, regardless of whether they match reality or actually help the individual.

    It’s like Rush out there wishing for Obama to fail simply because Obama isn’t living within the GOP belief system. He’d rather the country self-destruct than succeed under a set of rules that he hasn’t endorsed.

    That Haggert went down the path that he did shows how damaging the church’s refusal to accept other ideas is. Checks and balances had nothing to do with it – Haggert would likely not have any different outcome in the Catholic church because they have the same fucked-up attitude toward homosexuality, that even when faced with leaders that are homosexual they blindly march on, grinding their followers under the same failed set of attitudes. Are there any Catholic priests in this country speaking out about how homosexuality should be accepted? No? That’s my point. You can apply to everyone, because they as individuals aren’t empowered to change the attitude, even locally.

  117. 117
    bago says:

    Alright BOB. Let us know how your bacon and playdough cooks in your oven.

  118. 118
    BethanyAnne says:

    I haven’t read the whole thread yet; apologies if I repeat something from above. One thing always gets me about this topic: gay isn’t about who you want to sleep with. It’s who you fall in love with. It’s who you notice. It’s who you’re wired to respond to. That’s what’s up with the ungainly term sexual orientation. I sometimes get tired of hearing about these scandals and topics through the lens of sex. It’s just so much more than that.

    Even if Haggard manages to suppress the desire for gay sex, he’s still gonna be oriented towards men. He’ll still notice them in ways that he’ll never notice women. That to me is a central sadness of those damn "Christian" pray-the-gay-away programs. You might succeed for a while at holding back the tide of sex, but you aren’t gonna hold back the whole ocean of orientation.

    I haven’t read the whole thread yet, but I guess this article just hit one of my buttons. Plus my older brother is 50, and in the closet, and a viscous homophobe. Just all rings too close to home.

  119. 119
    Damned at Random says:

    Always blame the mom, sheesh.

    My hypothesis is that older brothers make younger brothers gay. All that wrestling and teasing and dominant behavior. And hand-me-downs. Hand-me-downs cause young boys to become painfully fashion conscious. It’s a slippery slope lubed up by the older brothers.

  120. 120
    Ella in NM says:

    @Michael D.:

    When the gay kid was getting picked on in grade school, not ONE of you stepped up to save him or her. You either said nothing, or piled on with the rest.

    You just didn’t.

    Gladly wrong. My husband and I did have the gay friend who was picked on mercilessly. We did step in, over and over again, to tell people to fuck off. Then when we got married, he was my husband’s best man.

    And no, we weren’t raised in San Francisco or NY or anywhere the LEAST bit progressive: we lived in a rural area of southern Pennsylvania, full of the same kind of backwards attitudes we all witnessed during the Democratic primaries.

    We just had loving families that brought us up right. Which is why I agree with you 100% regarding Haggard.

  121. 121
    Cain says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    And just to close the theme here, my response to my homophobia was to decide that it was an irrational response and that my treatment of other people would not be based on their sexual orientation. That’s the reason why I vote against all anti-gay candidates and initiatives.

    Yeah, I feel the same. My sense of fairness will always trump my prejudices and I have them. Although as I expose myself to more gays I find my prejudices retreating. Certainly, if my future son or daughter is gay I will support them 110%.

    cain

  122. 122

    Generally speaking, you guys have made our lives so fucking miserable – generally speaking – that we had no choice as closet cases to make other gay peoples’ lives miserable.

    And don’t give me the bullshit that just because you’re abunch of progressives that you’ve always been accepting of gay people. You haven’t. When the gay kid was getting picked on in grade school, not ONE of you stepped up to save him or her. You either said nothing, or piled on with the rest.You just didn’t.

    God. You say of lot of interesting things, Michael, but as soon as the topic gets onto the Gay, you turn into a whiner, who constantly resorts to generalisations about the evil straight people.

    Get over it.

  123. 123
    Laura W says:

    @Tattoosydney: Thanks. I have no interest in jumping into an already flaming situation solely to hear myself speak, but I disliked being painted by that absurdly broad brush.

  124. 124
    Cain says:

    To all the haters, you should remember that it’s easy to hate or be unforgiving about behaviors as it’s easy to be that way. But to forgive is the greatest act of courage and class one can do in a situation like this IMHO. I know as I find it hard to do it!

    cain

  125. 125
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat: "That was my first reaction, too. Why are we looking at this?"

    From what I understand this is coming out now because Haggard is doing a special series on CNN that is about his ‘recovery’. The current leader of Haggard’s old church thinks that the guy Haggard was involved with is ‘coming out’ because he is angry with Haggard because he is portraying himself as a "victim". The church has an agreement with the guy that states that nobody is to talk about it or the agreement is voided. I guess they paid him a small sum plus paid for some college time to be quiet about it. The church says that they will not pursue the guy over their agreement because they believe the only reason he is speaking out now is because of the CNN stuff Haggard is doing has upset him. If this is the case then ol’ Ted deserves the attention.

    While I feel sorry for the former minister, I think even he believes he is getting his due. Judge not lest ye be judged. Do unto others… Let He who is without sin…

    Ted is reaping what he has ‘sown’, so to say. ;)

  126. 126
    PK says:

    When the gay kid was getting picked on in grade school, not ONE of you stepped up to save him or her. You either said nothing, or piled on with the rest.

    Hey! I was too busy defending myself against the black kids and the white kids who picked on a nerdy skinny awkward Asian kid with glasses. Where was the gay posse which was going to rescue me? That’s what I’d like to know.

  127. 127
    Walker says:

    Hey! I was too busy defending myself against the black kids and the white kids who picked on a nerdy skinny awkward Asian kid with glasses. Where was the gay posse who was going to rescue me? That’s what I’d like to know.

    "Every single person down there is ignoring your pain because they’re too busy with their own."

    Buffy, Earshot

  128. 128
    Xenos says:

    Just because no one has come up with a convincing Darwinistic/population genetics explanation doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    Actually, there some pretty good working theories out there… I won’t cite them, as I don’t know enough about the field to make an informed comment.

    Speaking anecdotally, I married into a family that I am sure has a genetic propensity for male homosexuality. It coincides with pretty remarkable female fertility – there was the grandmother, for example, who married in her mid forties and had four healthy children in six years. Since they are from a very traditional culture, nearly all the men in the lineage have married and had children, although 3/4s of them are romantically and sexually oriented mainly to other men.

  129. 129
    Kyle says:

    Funny how easy it is to be a Republican when you are rich and on top of the world, but how hard it is to be one when you are broke and uninsured.

    Hard-core Repigs are too arrogant and solipsistic to think they could ever wind up in the ‘unfortunate’ column. And if it’s not THEIR problem, it’s not a problem.
    It would be sad seeing people choose to live with their heads up their asses like this, if the political ramifications weren’t so horrendously destructive.

  130. 130
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Cain: Just the opposite for me. I find them remarkable in the abstract, creative gifts from God. Then when ya actually get to know them, bitchy, self-absorbed, arrogant bastards always whining about something. :)

  131. 131
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Xenos: Greek, eh?

  132. 132
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Then when ya actually get to know them, bitchy, self-absorbed, arrogant bastards always whining about something. :)

    Okay, now we’re talking about all BJ commenters in general.
    Right?

  133. 133
    Blow Riley says:

    Could someone please sit this poor man down and explain to him those urges he keeps having to engage in sex with other men are not his soul under attack by Satan, and that he is not besieged by demons, but that he is GAY, it is 2009, and there isn’t anything wrong with it. I really feel bad for this guy.

    Someone needs to have the same conversation with Fred Phelps.

  134. 134
    Laura W says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I knew you’d be the first to comment on that comment, Fuckhead!
    However, I thought you’d go for the "expose myself to more gays" part.
    I’m not sure which one of us I’m more disappointed in.

  135. 135
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat: I left the punchline out intentionally but you’re close.

    Just people.

  136. 136
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Laura W: Haha.. missed it completely. But I like it!

  137. 137

    @Laura W:

    Maybe I was a bit harsh there… I’ve just woken up… I would have edited out the word "whiner" – my apologies, Michael.

    However, I’ve never picked on someone else for being gay, and when I was in High School I managed to make friends with the jocks, who sometimes stood up for me when I was being picked on for being a pansy.

    I know that some people’s story wasn’t so easy, and that horrible things happen to gay youth, a lot of it caused by straight people, and a lot of it by the straight ideas that we gay people have indoctrinated into our heads.

    That said, I can’t stand anyone assuming that their story is representative of everyone else’s experience, or claiming that all gay people or all straight people must have behaved in a particular way. Real life is much more complicated than that.

    As for Haggard, my sympathy for him is limited. I have gay friends who came out at 35 and at 50, after being married and even having children. They all managed to come to terms with it, often without seriously harming themselves or their families. Haggard has a lot of demons to deal with, but he can’t seem to realise that being gay is not one of them.

  138. 138
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Just people.

    People are no damned good.

    Heh. I just made that up.

    Seriously.

    No, really, I did.

  139. 139
    Church Lady says:

    Each and every day of my life, I feel the pain of someone who is not happy with what they are. At the same time, I know my pain is not as great as theirs. I just wish I could take it away. The only saving grace is that I know that someday, with maturity and acceptance, that pain will recede and both our hearts will be lighter.

  140. 140

    A gay friend of mine once said "anyone who is trying to find a cause for homosexuality is trying to find a cure". It took me a while to understand what he was talking about but I finally did. Why does it matter *why* someone is gay or straight? I mean really, why does it fucking matter? I’ve got bad news for all of those progressives out there who think that if they could show some sort of definitive biological smoking gun to homophobes that they would come to their senses and stop being such assholes, it ain’t gonna happen folks. Don’t believe me? Well we’ve known for thousands of years that nobody chooses to be black, but despite the fact that we know that being black isn’t a choice there are still plenty of fuckheads in the KKK. Nobody ever went to a lynching and said "wait, wait, this guy didn’t choose to be black, it’s biological, stop what you’re doing right now".

    There’s also an ugly element of liberal pity in the tone of those who insist that being gay is biological. The argument always seems to be "Well, gay people can’t help being gay, they didn’t choose it, they just can’t help the fact that they’re not straight like us." I’ve heard very liberal and progressive people make this argument and it sets my teeth on edge because of that element of pity.

    As far as Ted Haggard goes, fuck him. Haggard whipped up hatred and fear of gays as a means of ingratiating himself with his bigoted flock, only to have it bite him in the ass when his own homosexuality was revealed. Haggard is a hypocritical piece of shit who has done more than enough to make things harder for gays, watching everything that has happened to him since he was outed is one of the purest moments of schadenfreude I have ever experienced. For those of you who might feel some sympathy for Haggard I invite you to watch this clip from the Daily Show, with the included clip from Jesus Camp.

    http://www.comedycentral.com/v.....oId=113733

    "I think I know what you did late night. If you send me a thousand dollars I won’t tell your wife." Yeah Ted, and then you’ll use that thousand dollars to get yourself speed-tweaked and sodomized.

  141. 141
    Cain says:

    @PK:

    Hey! I was too busy defending myself against the black kids and the white kids who picked on a nerdy skinny awkward Asian kid with glasses. Where was the gay posse which was going to rescue me? That’s what I’d like to know.

    Yeah, that was me. But I have pretty good social engineering skills. I was never harassed. I could move from social group to social group. *shrug*

    cain

  142. 142
    Cain says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    @Cain: Just the opposite for me. I find them remarkable in the abstract, creative gifts from God. Then when ya actually get to know them, bitchy, self-absorbed, arrogant bastards always whining about something. :)

    You know what? It’s true. I have to stop and roll my eyes from time to time about what they bitch about. It’s usually some small thing or other that bugs the crap out of them.

    I got harassed by a gay guy one time (yeah it happens!) who was telling me to stop being a woman and to man up. The joke of course was the gay guy telling the hetro to man up. He was having a good time. I can’t remember my rejoinder but he was pretty shocked. I figure if you bring it, I’ll end it. This was at the work place mind you so I was trying not to be teh majority beating up on the minority. But man, I draw the line when they start it. :-)

    cain

  143. 143
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    The joke of course was the gay guy telling the hetro to man up.

    Well, no disrespect, but I don’t hold that heterosexuality is a requirement for being a real man.

    Manhood and sexual preference, two different things.

    It’s only bullies and manipulators who want to blur those things, don’t you agree?

  144. 144

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    There’s also an ugly element of liberal pity in the tone of those who insist that being gay is biological. The argument always seems to be "Well, gay people can’t help being gay, they didn’t choose it, they just can’t help the fact that they’re not straight like us." I’ve heard very liberal and progressive people make this argument and it sets my teeth on edge because of that element of pity.

    Amen to your entire post.

    I don’t get this either. I suspect that being gay is pretty much biological. I certainly didn’t make a choice.

    However, even if I did – even if at the age of fifteen I made a conscious choice (against my biological impulses) that I was going to spend the rest of my life chasing cock – what the hell business is it of anyone else’s, and why should it impact on the civil rights that I have access to?

  145. 145
    Luddite says:

    Oh, and the arguement “He spent his life railing on gays, so he deserves what he gets” is a false arguement.

    Nearly every gay person has done it. As a kid, I teased other people and called them homos and fags.

    FUCK YOU Michael. I am Gay and never teased or harassed or beat up other gay/lesbian people while I was in the closet from age 13 (when I realized I was Gay) to 25(when I finally came out). Shove it up your ass, and don’t you EVER fucking dare to speak for us again.

  146. 146
    Church Lady says:

    @Luddite-

    Calm down. Michael is only speaking from his own experience and observations and saying how he acted while in the closet as a gay teenager. He is not speaking for each and every single member of the gay community, just as you also can’t speak for all gay men.

  147. 147

    @ Church Lady –

    He is not speaking for each and every single member of the gay community, just as you also can’t speak for all gay men.

    Really?

    Generally speaking, you guys have made our lives so fucking miserable – generally speaking – that we had no choice as closet cases to make other gay peoples’ lives miserable.

    Sounds like he was speaking for me there… It’s rarely Michael’s arguments that I object to. It’s the fact that when he makes them he always makes out that his generalisations are in fact truths.

  148. 148

    […] Cole of Balloon Juice offers an interesting counterpoint HERE You Might Enjoy These Related Posts Also:John McCain Strikes AGAIN: Volunteers Wife, Cindy To […]

  149. 149
    RWF says:

    Let’s all bow down to Luddite, the pure and virtuous poofter who is better than the rest of us because he never did anything cruel and regrettable when he was young.

  150. 150
    The Moar You Know says:

    I’ve got bad news for all of those progressives out there who think that if they could show some sort of definitive biological smoking gun to homophobes that they would come to their senses and stop being such assholes

    @Wile E. Quixote: Indeed, a ludicrous notion. The day you prove that gayness is biological is the day that the Christian right embraces gene manipulation and therapy the way Ted Haggard embraces a sweaty 19-year old football player.

  151. 151
    Xenos says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Neh. How did you guess?

    I suppose the name is a tip-off. If I were taking the mandatory Greek classes I would spell it correctly, like ο ξένος.

    Now whether male homosexuality coincides with leg hair and a taste for mirrors and gilt ivory interior decorations…

  152. 152
    Wolfdaughter says:

    After reading the comments, this straight female feels the need to defend gays.

    I know a number of gays through singing and through my church, which specifically has a mission to accept all sorts of people. The gay guys I know are people who are male and other than preferring other males to have sex with, are like hetero males of my acquaintance. They aren’t bitchy or drama queens. If anything, they are unusually sweet and gentle human beings.

    When I was in jr. high and high school, late 50s-early 60s, we made fun of "queers". I don’t think most of us really truly understood the term. This was small town USA, and any gay people were deeply closeted. Thursday was "Queers’ Day" and you were supposed to wear green and pink to mock the queers. Stupid? Yes. Made no sense whatsoever and was mean-spirited into the bargain. I participated in this as I had not known any openly gay people at that point and I was at the age where your overriding desire is to fit in with your peers.

    When I got into my 20s and entered the library profession, I began to meet gay people. I was friends with some with whom I shared interests, and never indulged in gay-bashing again. They are people after all, with the same need to be loved and respected as the rest of us.

  153. 153
    Martin says:

    Sounds like he was speaking for me there… It’s rarely Michael’s arguments that I object to. It’s the fact that when he makes them he always makes out that his generalisations are in fact truths.

    No, he was saying ‘generally’. Certainly there will be people that don’t fit his description, but you can’t deny that its been entirely too acceptable to gay bash in this country – at least until a decade or two ago and it’s been slow progress. Even here in generally pretty tolerant Cali, it’s rarely a day when I don’t hear someone being called a ‘fag’ as a put-down.

    Now, you don’t need half the population engaging in this for his ‘generally’ comment to feel true. You pretty much just need to be outnumbered, and that’s definitely been the case.

  154. 154
    Gemina13 says:

    And don’t give me the bullshit that just because you’re abunch of progressives that you’ve always been accepting of gay people. You haven’t. When the gay kid was getting picked on in grade school, not ONE of you stepped up to save him or her. You either said nothing, or piled on with the rest.
    You just didn’t.

    So fucking what?

    I’m lesbian, Michael. I picked on the effeminate kid in my seventh grade homeroom as well as the rest of my classmates. I also talked to him, made friends with him, and helped protect him while hiding another secret: I had been repeatedly raped and molested by the son of a family friend. Of the two of us, I felt that my secret was the real life-destroying one, not that he didn’t like girls.

    I’m an adult who has donated to HRC (though no more) and PFLAG, and I can say honestly that I’ve never worked to make a gay person’s life intolerable. I’ve nursed several friends with AIDS. I helped out when I could when one friend’s partner was savagely beaten while walking home in Atlanta. I tried to get a girlfriend legal help when her ex-husband in Idaho won sole custody of their little girl, solely because she was lesbian. I have never told another gay person that they were hellbound for loving someone of the same sex. I never told them they needed to be "cured." I never subscribed to such beliefs, and I sure as hell never gave them public support.

    Ted Haggard has done all of these things and more.

    So excuse this gay woman if she doesn’t melt with sympathy for poor widdle confused Ted. So he’s part of the Brotherhood. To quote a good friend of mine, here’s his rainbow stickers and a copy of the Homosexual Agenda; now he can shut the fuck up and start trying to rectify the damage he helped to inflict.

  155. 155
    skibum49 says:

    Wonder how many more of the flock will find someplace else to attend now that they find out that their donations got used to provide hush money to the young man that Ted had relations with at the church.

  156. 156
    Michael says:

    Wonder how many more of the faithful flock with find some place else to attend now that they find out their donations got used to buy off the silence of this young member of the church?

  157. 157

    I lost a lifetime friend in the nineties to AIDS. He was bi, but never told me and I never suspected. In fact, I never knew until he’d died of AIDS and I found out from a mutual friend of ours. He was one for telling gay jokes, and I am ashamed now for laughing at them.

    Society has hated gays and gays have been taught to hate themselves.

    At some point America has to stop being in denial. It’s more than time for the good reverend to stop being in denial too.

  158. 158
    Cain says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    It’s only bullies and manipulators who want to blur those things, don’t you agree?

    Well in this case, I think he wanted to tease me. I’m a target for teasing generally cuz I have that kind of personality and face. I walked into a GI Joe’s one time and I had the cashier cracking comments within 5 minutes.

    Well, no disrespect, but I don’t hold that heterosexuality is a requirement for being a real man.

    Well, you’re not disrespecting me. I don’t think that.
    I’m comfortable with who I am and it’s not inspired by what my role as a ‘male’ is. The guy who did it was exploiting a common assumption about males against me. He’s a good guy though, and very reliable.

    cain

  159. 159
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Well, you’re not disrespecting me. I don’t think that.

    Cool, I didn’t think you did either. Just doing a reality check thing.

    cheers,
    tz

  160. 160
    AnneLaurie says:

    And don’t give me the bullshit that just because you’re abunch of progressives that you’ve always been accepting of gay people. You haven’t. When the gay kid was getting picked on in grade school, not ONE of you stepped up to save him or her. You either said nothing, or piled on with the rest.
    You just didn’t.

    See, a lot of the commenters here assume that Michael D’s pulling his patented "my personal-experience-trumps-everyone-else’s" routine because he’s a gay drama queen. From my perspective, Michael’s doing it because he’s a white male, and therefore in the hierarchy of Most Oppressed, his experience is just that much extra bit worthy than that of us non-white-men.

    Being gay in a militantly straight-oriented theocracy is a burden, but it’s a burden Haggard has been able to salve with plenty of cash, celebrity, pretty young sex partners, and recreational chemicals. And I assume HBO/CNN is giving him another wodge of cash, along with infusions of media face time (the most addictive drug available in modern America)… because he’s a Famous Rich White Guy. Which Haggard almost certainly would never have been given the chance to become, if he hadn’t started as a relatively privileged white man.

    I mean — Rick Warren’s mouth is the theological equivalent of Paris Hilton’s vagina, an orifice relentlessly worked in its owner’s pursuit of notoriety. I resent the fact that our Celebrity Culture has stolen enough of my brain cells that I recognize either name. But I don’t believe the Inaugural Committee felt it necessary to offer Paris Hilton a place on the podium.

  161. 161

    […] John Cole at Balloon Juice says someone help this man: […]

  162. 162
    Cain says:

    I mean—Rick Warren’s mouth is the theological equivalent of Paris Hilton’s vagina, an orifice relentlessly worked in its

    I think I threw up a little in my mouth. Both contain the fires of hell. (I respect Paris more, she’s not hiding anything that I’m aware of.. I mean, I think I’ve seen everything?)

    Michael just gets worked up. I’ve seen other people do it. (they aren’t gay) It’ s born of frustration mostly and probably bad flashbacks at least in Michael’s case. I bet he has that cool Highlander flashbacks going in the back of his mind. :-)

    Highlander, Paris Hilton’s vagina, Rick Warren’s mouth.. this post is going on! I"m not sure what else I can stuff in it..

    cain

    cain

  163. 163
    MyOpinion says:

    Please pardon me to be off topic but this is urgent.

    An innocent man is on death row in Texas.

    http://instaputz.blogspot.com/.....t-man.html

    Forensic pathologists say the science points to yes.

    Four forensic pathologists agree that Larry Swearingen, set to be executed Tuesday, could not have committed the 1998 murder that sent him to death row.

    The four include the medical examiner whose testimony helped secure Swearingen’s guilty verdict. That medical examiner now says college student Melissa Trotter’s curiously preserved body could not have lain in the East Texas woods for more than 14 days — and probably was there for a much shorter time.

    The results mean Swearingen was in jail when the 19-year-old’s body was left behind, the pathologists say.

    This is where you can help.

    http://takeaction.amnestyusa.o.....tion=11618

    Thank you.

  164. 164
    fuller says:

    I disagree with your conclusion. Just as it is inappropriate for a man married man to have sex with another woman, or with a minor, it is wrong to break an oath. He may or may not be gay, but all human beings are required to exercise self control. I personally think that people are homosexual because they ALLOW themselves to fall in love with a same-gendered person. This is clearly true for bi-sexuals. When I was a single man of 27 years old, why not allow myself to fall in love with a 13 year old girl. Of course, I could wait until she was 18 before we married or had sex, but why wait? I If I love the girl, and she loves me, why cant we have sex – whose artificial parameter is this? Of course this line of argument is ridiculous, and for those who don’t think so, they will end up in jail if/when they act on their desire and get caught.

    Listen people, we as a society will destroy ourselves if we don’t have self control. Some desires should simply not be acted upon. Biologically and genetically, there is really NOT that much of a difference between a man and a woman – a head, two arms, to legs, two eyes, a mouth… Just ALLOW yourself to fall in love with the opposite gender. What’s the big deal. All humans are capable of love. In addition, none of us should let any passion, desire, want, or compelling urge allow us to do something such as murder, rape, have sex with a minor, curse out the boss (even if they deserve it) or beat a misbehaving child until they bleed. We all show self control, and Ted Haggard should have shown some self control too. To say he is gay is an oversimplification of a real problem.

  165. 165
    headpan says:

    Honestly, I feel much more sorry for Haggard’s wife

    I did at first. But she resolutely "stands by her man" which is the equivalent of enabling him to continue with his denial, to continue to hurt others by not accepting who he is and dealing with it. Being gay and having been in the closet does not excuse you from hurting others because you are confused. If that were the case, I would have the kind of support I have needed all my life. I have fucked up my life many times and the lives of others. No one has ever cut me slack and I don’t deserve any. This is not about being gay, it’s about what you do with your life as a human being, not a gay person.

    And oh yeah, this dude was raking in bags of cash. Many of us who are suffering emotionally would LOVE to have access to just a portion of that money to get help. There is support out there as well for people struggling with their sexual identity. He did nothing. Except pour the money into hookers and meth. He just continued on with his charade and being the head of a HUGE mega-church that wants to convert gays into straight people.

  166. 166
    headpan says:

    And, yes, I’m not talking about younger people who are confused and scared. I’m talking about an older man, who had MANY opportunities to deal with the issue at hand, who made conscious decisions to hide in the shadows and carry on a double life, who wielded immense power and influence over the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

    I’m sorry, I just despise mega-churches. They suck the load. They are nothing but hypocrites. And they will bleed you dry, if you let them.

  167. 167
    A Mom Anon says:

    Nothing about Haggard being gay makes me hate him. Even though the damage he has done to his family and via his pulpit is a big deal. No,what pisses me off is some of the other things the man said about not giving a damn if families are torn apart because some members might not be "christian enough",or believe in God at all. This particular brand of christianity has destroyed families and the megachurches don’t give a damn. I hate him because he’s a selfish asshole who could have cared less who he hurt.

  168. 168
    headpan says:

    And, no, I never picked on a soul when I was in school. Just the opposite. People picked on me and threatened to beat my ass. Not because I was gay. I don’t really know the reason why, they just did. I befriended the misfits and the outcasts. I could relate to them better. Michael, I probably would have been your friend, if you let me.

    At least you have some support from people who understand, honey. God bless. Please don’t project on Haggard, you are better that he is. I’m sorry, it’s just the truth.

  169. 169
    gil mann says:

    And don’t give me the bullshit that just because you’re abunch of progressives that you’ve always been accepting of gay people. You haven’t. When the gay kid was getting picked on in grade school, not ONE of you stepped up to save him or her. You either said nothing, or piled on with the rest.

    Either Rumson, New Jersey in the late eighties was a hotbed of tolerance or Michael’s being overly simplistic. I know which one I’m leaning towards!

    See, a lot of the commenters here assume that Michael D’s pulling his patented "my personal-experience-trumps-everyone-else’s" routine because he’s a gay drama queen. From my perspective, Michael’s doing it because he’s a white male, and therefore in the hierarchy of Most Oppressed, his experience is just that much extra bit worthy than that of us non-white-men.

    This is why I’ll never forgive Bush for turning me into a liberal. Now I’m open to this sort of argument, and I can’t just dismiss it out of hand because this particular commenter has proven herself my intellectual superior on multiple occasions, but the more I try to make sense of it, the more it sounds like a bunch or Reading Culture-addled bullshit.

    Well, enough of this identity-politics stuff. Off to suck in my own idiosyncratic way.

  170. 170
    headpan says:

    HBO/CNN is giving him another wodge of cash, along with infusions of media face time (the most addictive drug available in modern America)… because he’s a Famous Rich White Guy. Which Haggard almost certainly would never have been given the chance to become, if he hadn’t started as a relatively privileged white man.

    Thank you, as I have been saying. Can you imagine the heaps of cash HBO will rake in when this thing airs? (I don’t get HBO). And, let’s face facts, he’s only doing it because now he’s broke.

  171. 171

    Listen people, we as a society will destroy ourselves if we don’t have self control. Some desires should simply not be acted upon. Biologically and genetically, there is really NOT that much of a difference between a man and a woman – a head, two arms, to legs, two eyes, a mouth… Just ALLOW yourself to fall in love with the opposite gender. What’s the big deal. All humans are capable of love. In addition, none of us should let any passion, desire, want, or compelling urge allow us to do something such as murder, rape, have sex with a minor, curse out the boss (even if they deserve it) or beat a misbehaving child until they bleed. We all show self control, and Ted Haggard should have shown some self control too. To say he is gay is an oversimplification of a real problem.

    Honey, whatever drugs you are taking, just say no.

  172. 172
    gil mann says:

    Honey, whatever drugs you are taking, just say no.

    Fuller, don’t listen to Sydney. Do drugs. Lots of them. And drink, too. Whatever keeps you housebound and—this is the crucial part—out of a relationship.

    It’s not a forever thing, just until you come to terms with your desires.

    Jesus, "allow yourself to fall in love with the opposite gender?" You’re gonna McGreevey some poor woman right out of her prime years.

  173. 173
    gex says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Well, this gay person wasn’t a bitchy whiner until the mid to late 90s when political parties, mainly the GOP, made it part of their electoral platform to drag us out publicly every two years to be demonized for electoral gain. Before that I had no particular problem with religion, nor did I have the hatred that I do for the GOP. I disagreed with both groups a lot, but now I have no interest in anything they have to say.

    Turns out, when people constantly publicly flog you, you tend to complain about it.

  174. 174
    gex says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    I’ve got bad news for all of those progressives out there who think that if they could show some sort of definitive biological smoking gun to homophobes that they would come to their senses and stop being such assholes, it ain’t gonna happen folks.

    Too true. I once heard a debate on the topic, and when presented with the idea that their could some day be "proof" that being gay was biological/genetic the religious dude basically said that we’ve found genetic/biological markers for violence too. That doesn’t make violence right.

    So you are spot on when you say that. They think their book says it’s bad, so it’s bad. Short of Jesus coming back down, slapping them upside the head, and saying teh ghey is okay, they’re just going to believe that it’s not. And I bet even Jesus would only convert half of them to the other viewpoint.

  175. 175
    gex says:

    Grrrr. "there" not "their". I hate finding that stuff after the edit period expires!

  176. 176
    passerby says:

    @Tattoosydney:

    Fuller said:
    "Listen people, we as a society will destroy ourselves if we don’t have self control. Some desires should simply not be acted upon. Biologically and genetically, there is really NOT that much of a difference between a man and a woman – a head, two arms, to legs, two eyes, a mouth…
    In addition, none of us should let any passion, desire, want, or compelling urge allow us to do something such as murder, rape, have sex with a minor, curse out the boss (even if they deserve it) or beat a misbehaving child until they bleed. We all show self control, and Ted Haggard should have shown some self control too. To say he is gay is an oversimplification of a real problem."

    But Tattoo, fuller’s observation about self control here goes to, what I think, is the heart of the matter. It applies across the spectrum of behaviors, not just sex. It applies to spending, diet, personal interactions, and on. It seems we have become a culture that gives full play to quenching our desires in an unconscious fashion.

    For decades now, we’ve watched the media devolve into a pattern of schoolyard-fight types of discourse via Limbaugh (he started it) O’reilly, Malkin, Dobbs, Beck, et alia, which has been mirrored by joe citizen. They give full play to their childish fears, and unabashedly engage in hateful rhetoric.

    It kills me to hear an elected official use the term "raghead" (LA pol said that publicly) when referring to an arab/muslim, or "uppity" (GA pol) referring to Obama.

    The impact of all this tacitly gives those of herd mentality permission to act in a likewise manner.

    As George Carlin observed, notice how the tv tells you what to think, what to buy, and what to believe. Pay conscious attention to the ads (not just TV but anywhere) and we can see that they’re selling us something we don’t need.

    See a hot steamy pizza on TV? Must have. See the newest xbox game ad? Must line up the night before at the nearest walmart. Here comes Xmas? Must buy an obligatory gift.

    The other day Obama came out and made a point about this by saying you can’t listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done. In his inaugural he referenced "when I was a child, I spake as a child" calling for America to grow up. Policy aside, for these reasons alone Obama will be a great leader.

    Shorter passerby:

    It’s a broad topic but self control, self awareness lies at the heart of growing up. Control the beast. So I agree with fuller that this is the real issue.

  177. 177
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    @fuller:

    Truly one of the largest crocks of shit ever posted here. I’ll give you a break, and consider you a spoof, for now.

    I am not taking any advice, on any subject, from a fool who (a) doesn’t know the difference between a vow, and an oath, and (b) seems to think that gayness is a choice. If the latter is not what you actually think, then you need to rewrite your absurd post.

    People do not take oaths when they marry, fuller. Please buy yourself a dictionary. Marriage as an institution is already enough of a complete failure (around a 2/3 – 3/4 failure rate depending on how you read the numbers) without you conflating oaths with vows and further mucking it up.

    Get out. Sersly. Just get out.

  178. 178

    @ passerby

    It’s a broad topic but self control, self awareness lies at the heart of growing up. Control the beast. So I agree with fuller that this is the real issue.

    See, I read an entirely different agenda into Fuller’s posting, which is contained in the bits of his or her post that you didn’t quote. The post starts off with some odd comment about oath breaking, then "all human beings are required to exercise self control", which segues into homosexuals (who obviously don’t exercise self control because they are all allowing themselves to fall in love with each other (which is, of course, icky)). It then compares that to a man falling in love with a 13 year old (which is also icky). Then the kicker, which you omitted:

    …Just ALLOW yourself to fall in love with the opposite gender. What’s the big deal. All humans are capable of love.

    I could be reading too much into the post, but that sounds to me like a pretty concise rendition of "All gays just need to keep their things in their pants, instead of being all into the bumsex pedophilia thing, until they meet a nice woman, and then choose (with Jesus) help to love her. Here, would you like a pamplet about our special centre?"

    I agree with a lot of what you said, but I’m not getting anything nice or insightful out of fuller’s comment at all. All I am getting is innuendo and whackjob Christian drool.

    (I was going to say "Christian spoof", but that conjures up such an unpleasant image I had to leave the room.

  179. 179
    passerby says:

    @Tattoosydney:

    After reading your view, I went back and re-read Fuller’s entire post. The emphasis on the word "ALLOW" is a bit puzzling so I left it out so I could make my point about personal responsibility. Perhaps as I broke it down in my mind, I missed the anti-gay rhetoric you perceive.

    Fuller said:

    "…whose artificial parameter is this?"


    "Some desires should simply not be acted upon."

    "Just ALLOW yourself to fall in love with the opposite gender. What’s the big deal. All humans are capable of love."

    I follow and agree with these statements, which don’t seem to suggest condemnation of gay behavior, but perhaps I’m missing something here.

    Fuller, care to clarify?

  180. 180

    Listen people, we as a society will destroy ourselves if we don’t have self control.

    Sorry to inform you, chaos is the natural order, always has been, always will be (if you don’t believe me, study weather) and mankind seems to think we have this control mechanism that makes us "good people" if we follow some sort of social conventions. Well, true, it does keep things a bit more orderly (robber barrons fuck peons with wild abandoned and everyone turns their head instead) – but God, don’t allow that man who suddenly woke up one day and found out his wife never wants to have sex again the ability to actually, like, you now, have sex again.

    Fuck off fuller. You’re ignorant.

  181. 181

    don’t allow that man who suddenly woke up one day and found out his wife never wants to have sex again the ability to actually, like, you now, have sex again.

    I for one am sad that fuller might ever have sex again.

  182. 182

    I for one am sad that fuller might ever have sex again.

    He’s an exception to the rule, he opted out with his own post.

  183. 183

    I was going to say "Christian spoof", but that conjures up such an unpleasant image I had to leave the room.

    Sorry TattooSydney, that word Christian doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  184. 184
    Terri says:

    There’s something really creepy about Fuller’s post. Either he’s a Catholic priest, fighting the urge to fuck the cute alter boy, or he is projecting his own stunted relationship skills onto a easily targeted group. Either way, his thoughts are a perfect example of why stupid people shouldn’t have sex.

    I had a friend’s dad tell me the same thing thing one time. How I was a pretty girl and could have any man that I wanted, if I just dressed a little more provocatively, and really wanted it. I DID NOT act on the desire to tell him, that my vag has a mind of it’s own. It amazed me, how in his mind, as apparently in Fuller’s, that because it doesn’t fit his world view or experience, it is because WE JUST DON’T TRY HARD ENOUGH.
    Right.

  185. 185
    liberal says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    At the beginning, I went to a play once.

    LOL! Yeah, that goes for most of us…

  186. 186
    Augie says:

    Haggard and his like-minded cohorts’ pogroms against gays made them millions/billions of $$ thanks to their church tithes and in fees charged to parents who bought into the church "straighten out those gay kids" boot camps operated by the church.

    While Haggard, et al . . . orchestrate pity parties for themselves – they have yet to apologize for all the suicides of young gay parishoners they choreographed behind their pulpits . . .within hours of ie: jacking off at casinos before a conflicted gay parishoner and/or having dates with professional escorts . .

    Have we heard or read one single preacher of the Talibangelicals – to date – apologize to the nation or their parishoners for all their pedophiles or adulterers in the pulpit ranks . . .nope, we only hear their excuses to "forgive" themselves while demonizing any and all of the human condition they themselves get busted for.

  187. 187

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