Hallelujah! After three weeks of intensive therapy and a few months of prayer, Ted Haggard, the homophobic homosexual preacher, is now, in his own words, “completely heterosexual.” Based on my own sources what the Rev. Haggard actually said was “I am completely straight, totally not gay, absolutely heterosexual, beyond a shadow of a doubt playing for the right team, I mean if I lived in Sodom I would have given the angels to the mob and saved Lot’s daughters for myself. I am not gay!”
Good for him. I knew homosexuality was a matter of choice no different that being Democratic or Republican (except that your father determines your politics while an overbearing mother makes you gay). And if you get caught being a total hypocrite by damning gays and lesbians while secretly playing for their team, you can hide out for a few months in the Betty Page Clinic for the Straight and Narrow(minded) and then declare yourself a changed man.
What kills me isn’t that Ted fled to rehab—every rich schmuck in this country outed as a racist, xenophobe, homophobe, or anti-Semite runs to rehab if they can afford it—no, what kills me is that Rev. Haggard’s tens of thousands of followers will swallow (no pun intended) his changed man routine hook, line, and sinker.
I can imagine them on CNN, their faces puffy with thanksgiving, their eyes moist and glued heavenward, invoking the idea that God is love and love is nothing if not forgiving unless you happen to be of the wrong religion in which case God’s love is right up there with Hitler’s Final Solution. But this is bull. The reason they will accept Ted’s conversion from gay to straight in three months flat is that they cannot stomach the idea that God could make homosexuals in the first place.
Other TV preachers have had sexual scandals with prostitutes, but with female prostitutes. This is natural: men—God fearing, red-blooded, all-American men (like Jimmy Carter) lust after women. But homosexuality is something else. No straight guy is sexually attracted to men. Of course if we are honest, or Freudian, we must admit that most men are not as heterosexual as Ted would like us to believe he now is, but by and large straight guys don’t call male prostitutes for massages and meth.
So, if Ted is going to sin, and all of us sin, why sin that way? If homosexuality is a choice and no heterosexual man is inclined to make that choice, then, given that Ted did make that choice, we can only assume that he is not heterosexual, that he was born gay. That is the way God made him. Otherwise he would have had called a female prostitute.
So Rev. Ted can say whatever he has to to get his life and career back together. His wife can say whatever she has to to save face and stand by her man. But, please, let the rest of us not be fooled. Ted is gay and God made him that way. My only problem is that we can’t love him the way he is. Will somebody please send him a lifetime membership to GLAAD? And a carton of Snickers.