This is interesting. According to an interview with Lou Sheldon, head of the Traditional Values Coalition, he and many others knew that Haggard was gay long before the gay prostitute came out publicly over it.
Then, as if things could not get worse, there was the disgrace of Sheldon's own friend and colleague, Rev. Ted Haggard, the Colorado mega-church leader and president of the National Association of Evangelicals, an even bigger pillar of Republican support on the Christian right. Sheldon disclosed that he and "a lot" of others knew about Haggard's homosexuality "for awhile ... but we weren't sure just how to deal with it."
Months before a male prostitute publicly revealed Haggard's secret relationship with him, and the reverend's drug use as well, "Ted and I had a discussion," explained Sheldon, who said Haggard gave him a telltale signal then: "He said homosexuality is genetic. I said, no it isn't. But I just knew he was covering up. They need to say that."
The plot thickens.
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Actually, that may be a very good sign for Mr. Haggard and his family - if he is able to realize and accept that his sexuality is a natural characteristic I think the chances that he and his family can make a strong and healthy recovery from this scandal are much higher.
"He said homosexuality is genetic. I said, no it isn't. But I just knew he was covering up. They need to say that."
That loud crash you may have just heard was me hitting my forehead against my desk.
I don't think the plot is that thick. Sheldon is just demonstrating a very common bias amongst his crowd. If you say the wrong thing or say something the wrong way you are immediately suspect. There is no real evidence here that Sheldon had any special/secret information, just his own narrow bias. Or as they say on the right, Sheldon is just being "fair and balanced".
I think it's funny as hell that the guys who have an answer for everything "didn't know what to do" about this.
Looks like Lou Sheldon was caught in a bind.
Does he follow the Infallible Word in Leviticus 20:13 that clearly states what should be done in cases of hommaseckshulty?
"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them."
This direct from the Infallible King James Version, as well as various and sundry other Infallibles.
Or does he admit that he doesn't know his Bible as well as he claims?
Or does he admit that maybe, just maybe, the Bible isn't as infallible as they front?
If Sheldon's only "evidence" is that Haggard said homosexual orientation is genetically determined, that is very weak evidence indeed. What it puts on display is not so much Sheldon's knowledge of Haggard's sexual preferences as Sheldon's own foolish biases. There are plenty of heterosexual people who accept that homosexual orientation is a matter of biology, not of conscious choice. Affirming that claim is not a "telltale sign" of homosexuality, but of reaching a particular conclusion based on one's examination of the data (ideally; though it could also be parroting what one has heard elsewhere, if one is not a critical thinker).
They should have shared notes with the House Republicans.
This doesn't really sound like a sincere statement from Sheldon to me. It sounds more like what you'd hear from an authoritarian organisation after one of the organisation's trusted members has betrayed that organisation's principles: suddenly the "traitor's" former friends and supporters are scurrying to insist that, no, really, they always knew that there was something wrong, but they didn't want to say anything before because [insert lame justification here].
Leviticus 20:13 is clearly condeming bisexuality, NOT homosexuality.
Let me explain.
I'm straight. I "lieth with a woman" with love, passion, and deep sexual need and attraction. If I were to "lieth with a man" it would be pretty shallow and passionless. Therefore I would not be lying with a man as I lieth with a woman - it would be DIFFERENT than the way I lieth with a woman.
Invert this argument for homosexuals. They are 'inverts,' after all...
Only bisexuals would "lieth with a woman" with deep love and passion and attraction, and ALSO "lieth with a man" the same way, so that verse is clearly only condemning bisexuals.
Please point this out to as many biblical fundamentalists as you can find - I love correcting them like this.
Sheldon disclosed that he and "a lot" of others knew about Haggard's homosexuality "for awhile ... but we weren't sure just how to deal with it."
I guess the LORD didn't want to help. Or maybe they forgot to ask. <-- Sarcasm.
I agree with Neil H. Although there are interesting aspects to the notion that Sheldon and other evangelicals knew about Haggard's orientation and just kept mum, I really doubt that they could contain themselves very long. Bottom line: It's like when I advise my little nephew of some particular fact and he unconvincingly replies, "I knew that!"
"If Sheldon's only "evidence" is that Haggard said homosexual orientation is genetically determined, that is very weak evidence indeed. There are plenty of heterosexual people who accept that homosexual orientation is a matter of biology, not of conscious choice."
True, but how often do you see conservative ministers buying into the biological determination of sexual preference? This goes completely against the party line, as it erects a large, inconvenient barrier to "deconversion" rituals. A lot of Catholics and mainstream Protestants acknowledge that the Bible isn't literally true or historically reliable, but if a well-known fundopathic figure started making noise about it being okay to kinda sorta not treat certain bits of scripture as the LORD originally commanded, it would raise a few eyebrows within the Perkins-Dobson-Kennedy sphere of deranged world views.
Then again, basic stupidity is largely out of the hands of the afflicted, but that's never stopped me from maligning the "idiot agenda."
This news is a week old and nobody in the mainstream press has bothered to pick it up. The plot has already seeped through the cracks and dispersed.
And rightly you should rail; the "idiot agenda" isn't sustained and fed by idiots, but by those that profit from idiocy either financially or culturally.
"He said homosexuality is genetic. I said, no it isn't.
Humm, it might very well be genetic. It occurs more often in some families, in fruitflies, you just have to modify a single gene (fruty, renamed to fruitless) to induce homosexual behaviour in both males and females....
If Haggard did indeed say this he just went up a few notches in my book. But then if he thought this and acted as if gays are the scourge of society he drops again.
Either way the Sheldon fellow seems to simply be maintaining a 'group think' ideal and kudos to Haggard for speaking what seems to be obvious.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if at the end of all this Ted Haggard decided to come fully out of the closet? I don't think for one moment it is likely to happen, but if it did, it would be certainly be one in the eye of his former collegues, and give hope to other Christians struggling with the same sort of tacit oppression from their church.
I've always suspected a cover-up. Sheldon as much as confirms it.
'Sheldon disclosed that he and "a lot" of others knew about Haggard's homosexuality "for awhile ... but we weren't sure just how to deal with it." '
WHO knew what and when did they know it? And they continued to let him lead a mega-church for how long? Why? because they would rather support a hypocrite and liar in a position of power, to preserve the power and turn a blind eye as long as the power can be maintained?
How right wing.
Or maybe Sheldon is just a cheap liar himself.
I repeat myself.