Ted Haggard is one of those people I genuinely despise. He’s a major leader of a conservative evangelical organization, and as you can see in the clip below, he’s a genuinely creepy, hypocritical, arrogant little man.
He’s changed now, though. Here’s another clip of Haggard, being evasive and humble and making excuses for himself…and now we learn that he has stepped down from his ministry over accusations that he had a gay affair. I suspect, from his demeanor and responses, that he did have that affair, and that he’s now political deadweight, destined to be discarded for at least a good long while. (Latest news: Haggard has admitted to some of the indiscretions)
One smarmy preacher down. I ought to be pleased. I’m not.
He’s going down for the wrong reasons.
The bottom line in this business is that Haggard did nothing illegal. He may have cheated on his wife, which is deplorable, but it’s an entirely personal issue, not one that we should be concerned about, and not one that should cause him to lose his job. Having sex with someone isn’t a crime, and shouldn’t be the cause of all of this outrage. Being a moralistic hypocrite is also not an actionable business.
I’m also not too thrilled with Democrats pointing fingers and using this and the Mark Foley case to accuse the Republican party of being a hotbed of corruption and iniquity. These are people (creepy, unpleasant people, perhaps) who had consensual sex with other adults. Stop acting as if this is a sin or an evil—that kind of narrow moral certitude is the other party’s schtick! By playing that game, you’ve been coopted to serve the right-wing’s social agenda, reinforcing that homosexuality is a damnable offense.
Why don’t we instead see Haggard’s sanctimonious lies, his authoritarian appropriation of the church for the Republican party, or his ignorance, which he foists off on his congregation as wisdom, as the real crimes here? I really don’t care what he does with his penis in his private life, but that seems to be the major concern of everyone right now.