Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Denial Ain’t Just a River in Egypt

Ted Haggard’s wife appeared on the Today show this week and declared her husband 100% homosexuality-free.

“Our sexuality is conditioned, and we can be conditioned in any number of ways,” she told Meredith Vieira.

“Ted was dealing with certain compulsions that were unwanted.”

However, through therapy, she claims those compulsions — which she said Ted had suffered from most of his life — were gone.

And it turns out, unsurprisingly, that the incident with the gay escort was not the first time she had known about him having homosexual affairs:

Haggard admitted that her husband, who once led a church of nearly 14,000 worshipers, had a homosexual relationship early in their marriage.

“I think at that point I was ignorant of the gravity,” she said.

“I felt as though, you know, we all struggle, you know, in different areas of our lives, and certainly in our sexuality, so I was willing to forgive him.”

Haggard said he sought counseling then, and told her it wouldn’t happen again.

“I felt as though the problem was pretty much solved,” she said. But “it would reemerge in his life from time to time, and he wouldn’t tell me about it.”

In a way, I feel bad for this woman. Human beings have a fantastic ability to rationalize things, especially in relationships. That’s why so many people get stuck in relationships where the problems are absolutely obvious to everyone except the people in the relationship. How many times have you seen this kind of thing and thought, “How could you not know he was cheating on you?”

It’s because love really is blind, in a very serious way. It does blind us to the faults of the other person, causes us to rationalize them away. And when you add that very human tendency to her religious beliefs, which no doubt tell her that no matter what happens, God is in control and nothing happens outside his will, is it really any surprise that she would genuinely believe what is palpably not true here?