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In the footage from the reporter who caught up to Ted Haggard and his family this morning, I noticed that his wife Gayle, sitting in the passenger seat, seemed utterly shell-shocked about the news. I suspect that she had an idyllic image of her husband which now lays shattered, an image bound up in their shared religious beliefs.

I have read several articles discussing the misogynistic aspect of his kind of evangelism (like this story about a flock in Seattle), where their interpretation of the Bible compels them to believe that the wife must always submit to the husband, as the husband submits to Jesus. This doesn't come from Jesus, but from something Paul wrote in Ephesians. Scripture and commentary on the flip.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. - Ephesians 5:22-5:24, KJV

For Ted to have failed his wife in this manner, I believe that most of us, if placed in a similar position, would feel angry, upset, betrayed, etc., and we would probably express that to our spouses if we found out that he had been doing something like this, at the very least with our body language. For Pentacostal types, as dogemperor has touched on in her excellent diary series, it is definitely much, much worse to deal with. Because talking back to your husband is like talking back to Jesus, and your husband sexually sinning is like Jesus sexually sinning: it's almost unthinkable. I feel sorry for both the women and the men forced into this master/slave relationship (and not the fun, BDSM kind of master/slave relationship, either).

I also want to share this article that I found from Googling "haggard believes wife submit husband" to try to find some mysognistic quotes from the ex-Reverend. Instead, I found a story in which shows Ted's homosexual urges almost bursting through the wall of denial. Some quotes:

Of course, if you ask Dobson why homosexuality looms so large in the evangelical mind, he'll tell you it's because godless humanists planted it there by way of subversive signals in our television programming. Ask Pastor Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, and good cop to Dobson's bad cop at the top of the evangelical world, and he'll offer a more nuanced answer. Like most fundamentalists, Haggard believes that sexual sin is among the worst; he also knows it is the most common. Evangelicals, he'll say, aren't more obsessed with sexuality these days; rather, homosexuals are, somehow, more homosexual. The official line is that gay marriage marks a tipping point (Haggard, like many evangelicals, is a fan of Malcolm Gladwell's book of that name) into wholesale hedonism. The unofficial line, among leaders such as Haggard and Dobson is that it's a fight their side has already lost.
And whose fault is all this hedonistic temptation (besides Satan, and demons, and territorial spirits, naturally)?
But with Christian womanhood restored and redeemed, a crucial character in the Christian conservative morality play has gone missing: the seductress. It is no longer acceptable to speak of loose women and harlots, since sexual promiscuity in a woman is the fault of the man who has failed to exercise his "headship" over her. It is his effeminacy, not hers, that is to blame. And who lures him into this spiritual castration? The gay man.
No wonder the ex-Rev. reminded so many of us of the Patrick Swayze character from Donnie Darko. I suppose our dear leader would pointing out that "repressing all that gay temptation is hard work." Why can't people just accept their sexualities and be happy? Oh, yeah, because of guys like Ted Haggard and James Dobson.

Originally posted to Coherent Viewpoint on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 07:56 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Did the reverend need a massage? (4+ / 0-)

    Presuming that Reverend Haggard had some sore muscles, or whatever, why did he seek out massage from a male hooker?  Has the fellow any credentials as a massueur?

  •  Did you notice his tell? (4+ / 0-)

    He does a strange blink when he's lying.  Watch when he says the word "massage."

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

    by illinifan17 on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 08:11:28 PM PST

  •  I feel a bit guilty posting about this... (9+ / 0-)

    when the national security scandal of the Republican Iraqi papers leak and the zillion other Bush scandals that continue to rage, but I think that it's important for us to try to understand the twisted worldview of these lunatics. The other stories have been more than adequately covered in other diaries, and after I found the story, I just had to share it with the community.

    We're all in this together.

    by Coherent Viewpoint on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 08:11:45 PM PST

    •  You know, I started reading that (0+ / 0-)

      article, and it is wierd, wierd, wierd.

      (Did I mention wierd?)  

      Be good to each other. It matters. Bill Sali

      by AllisonInSeattle on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 09:07:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, you're right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Strangely, it's an important story.

      It's all the same:  Iraq, wiretapping, Haggard.  The common thread is, "Belief trumps reality."

      And it doesn't get any deeper and pernicious than self-deception about spiritual/interpersonal reality.  It starts there, and trickles all the way up the system to the sanctification of official lying; the bedrock operating principle of our current administration.

  •  Chocolate Cake (5+ / 0-)

    One of the most telling discussions in which I've engaged on the right-wings obsession with gay sex (and for some reason especially when it occurs between two men) is that their philosophy is built upon the assumption that sexual identity is a choice.

    The argument goes as follows, if homosexuality is a choice, then the effects of that choice are part of that choice, e.g. discrimination, and hatred directed at homosexuals.  However, the lure of the homosexual act is so great though that it "can only be conquered by Jesus."  A basic tenet of Christianity, Jesus saves from sin.

    So they build homosexual acts (and I believe that I'm taking this from Bill Mahar, but I could be wrong, I definitely don't claim this as my own) as a sort of irresistable chocolate cake.  It's so delicious that only Jesus can help you from taking a slice.

    The negative of this arguement is that because the cake is so delicious, it is not the fault of the person eating, but rather, "the devil made me do it."

    I have been radicalized by the worst Administration in history.-- Armando

    North Cacalacky Politics

    by dtp0601 on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 08:22:22 PM PST

  •  this story just keeps on getting weirder (11+ / 0-)

    Who in their right mind believes this guy just threw it away?  And he found a gay escort by a hotel concierge, who somehow knew where to get drugs?  And he was tempted by meth, not exactly a starter drug.  Someone needs to get this guy a turnip truck and pushing people off of it, then rounding them up as they are the only ones that are going to believe those lies.

  •  Wackier and wackier (0+ / 0-)

    With every sentence you quote, it gets worse.

    Good to know what they're up to, but oh, so wacky.


    Be good to each other. It matters. Bill Sali

    by AllisonInSeattle on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 08:51:15 PM PST

  •  "Polymorphous Perversity" is probably the term (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For these idiots. Power mad lunatics, outright psychosis just below the surface.

    Think Dennis Hoper in "Blue Velvet," taking hits on that gas mask and yelling "I'll fuck anything!"

    It's a real primitive type of mental illness. It's not "gay," it's an absence of a fixed sexual identity.

  •  Good diary, (10+ / 0-)

    CV, one that I missed.

    It's obvious that a lot of anti-gay leaders are repressed gays, hoping to deny, overcome or "make up for" it by their public stance.

    It's also clear that the perceived "threat" of gay marriage is not a threat to marriage per se, but to patriarchal, woman-submit-to-the-husband marriage.  

    After all, if gay or lesbian relationships can work, then egalitarian heterosexual marriage should work.  It's the example that domination by gender is not necessary that is so threatening.

  •  Congratulations on your sensitive approach... (4+ / 0-)

    ...and a well thought-out diary.

    I give you the highest compliment I can give: it will set me thinking.



    "Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime." -- Ernest Hemingway

    by spread the word IRAQ NAM on Sat Nov 04, 2006 at 11:10:08 PM PST

  •  *nods* (3+ / 0-)

    I had what was originally a short response to this, but somehow it turned into a post :3  (So I've posted it here.)

    blushes  And thank you for the recommends, though IMHO this diary also does a damned good job on things.  And yeah, I wonder how the wife and kids are going to handle things, to be honest. :P

  •  She will stand by her husband (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nowhere Man, Coherent Viewpoint
    There is no such thing as divorce for a true xian. Yes, it probably hurts to be married to a fake heterosexual man, but the pain of Hell is a lot worse.

    BTW, I don't think being a born-againer is a question of choice. These people need Jesus. Something in the grey cells requires it. Most people do not have this addiction. The problem for the rest of us is that they work hard to make all people accept the consequences of Jesus need, i.e., their form of religion and social rules.

    •  Yes they really do need Jesus. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nowhere Man, Coherent Viewpoint

      Unfortunately they don't really "have" him since they assidiously ignore almost every one of his teachings.

      Instead of regarding him as a teacher they regard him as some sort of salvation fetish.  They scream, "I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior."  And, poof, they get to go to Heaven.  Actually following the precepts he espoused is way down there on the list.

    •  Interesting... (0+ / 0-)

      So maybe deep religious belief is a result of evolution?

      •  There's some good, thoughtful speculation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Coherent Viewpoint
        along those lines.  One book I've been meaning to read is Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, by Daniel Dennett. I've read excerpts from the book (as well as other writings by him) in which he makes a powerful argument that religious belief is an evolved characteristic in humans.

        Possible caveat: Dennett is neither a biologist nor a theologian; his field is philosophy. I'm not always sure he's got his biology right, and when he ventures into computer science -- my field -- as he did in a previous book, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, it seemed clear to me that his argument could have been strengthened through more consultation with experts in the field. Yet in my view the argument is strong enough, on the whole, that the errors I've found are relegated to its edges, and do not approach the core.

        Lying about WMDs changed everything.

        by Nowhere Man on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 12:27:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ted Haggard's new church... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Since Ted Haggard has been removed from his megachurch he is forming a completely new denomination... the Crystal Methodists!

    •  You probably won't find (0+ / 0-)

      too many Methodists who feel holy rolling requires a glass pipe and KY jelly...ok, at least not the glass pipe thing.

      Oddly, one of the gimmicks of these megachurches is their fastidious claim of non-denominationalism.  They purport to welcome all, but disregard all denominations as having acquired barnacles and taint of human interpretation varnishing the truth of Scripture and distorting it, and that they, through their spiritual discernment can identify real Scriptural truth apart from the traditions of other denominations, and know what they can reject from the traditions of the church.  In practical terms, they are actually anti-denominationalists.

      Now that this major megachurch is imploding with the realization they cannot reliably discern when sin afflicts their leaders, there will be a realization that their 'polity' or church structure, doesn't guarantee they'll have a divinely appointed leader living the truth among them.  I don't know if it will drive them to look again at the traditions of justice, spiritual formation, and leadership preparation the older denominations have employed for centuries, but it should cause some sort of reflective reconsideration of the very human nature of leading the church.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 12:50:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  just to clarify (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Coherent Viewpoint, KeithCPA

        and I'm not being argumentative....but that "meth"-odist joke leads me to share this:
        official UMC website
        You can visit the official site and see a few of the things Methodists find to be priorities.  You can also visit the other site  where you can find statements such as this which explain Methodist beliefs:

        The Social Community

        162 The rights and privileges a society bestows upon or withholds from those who comprise it indicate the relative esteem in which that society holds particular persons and groups of persons.
        We affirm all persons as equally valuable in the sight of God. We therefore work toward societies in which each person’s value is recognized, maintained, and strengthened.
        We support the basic rights of all persons to equal access to housing, education, communication, employment, medical care, legal redress for grievances, and physical protection. We deplore acts of hate or violence against groups or persons based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or economic status.

        (emphasis is mine)
        I share this with you mainly to say--Please don't confuse Methodists with the right wing political church.  Click on the link at the lower right on the second page to see this church's stand on war and terrorism.  
        Hope this helps!

        "The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children." Bonhoeffer

        by LAMaestra on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 02:39:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You assume they believe their own preachings. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Coherent Viewpoint

    The leaders have proven time and again that they are mere words to sell their literature and tapes to fund their hedonistic live styles.  They are no different than any other pyramid scheme.  The goal is to prey on human frailties and separate their money from them.

    It's beginning to bug me that we discuss these cases on a high religious basis, when their annointed leaders demonstrate time and time again they don't believe it or follow it themselves.

    In conclusion, of course they don't have any regard for their children or their spouse let alone Jesus.  They are there to be used as tools.

    What's that smell coming from Fox News, I think Bubba pissed in the corner and made it his territory.

    by KeithCPA on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 10:51:35 AM PST

  •  just deserts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Coherent Viewpoint

    This was "just deserts" after the huge amount of harm he has caused gays and lesbians.

    I would hope that the guy would be able to know who he really is, know his true sexuality and come to terms with -- and acceptance of -- that sexuality. But he will probably go to some ex-gay reparative transformation camp, none of which work. Sexual orientation is innate; that is just a scientific fact. Those programs are just for people who are really confused (and might not actually be gay but bisexual or experimenters) or people who have lots of guilt and self-loathing.

    Coming on the heels of the Foley scandal, I can only hope that this further damages the extremely hateful, dangerous right-wing conservative so-called Christian movement in this country.

    •  Sadly, you are right (0+ / 0-)

      Here's what Mr. Haggard said in his statement that was read to the congregation today (emphasis mine):

      I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I’ve been warring against it all of my adult life. For extended periods of time, I would enjoy victory and rejoice in freedom. Then, from time to time, the dirt that I thought was gone would resurface, and I would find myself thinking thoughts and experiencing desires that were contrary to everything I believe and teach.

      Through the years, I’ve sought assistance in a variety of ways, with none of them proving to be effective in me. Then, because of pride, I began deceiving those I love the most because I didn’t want to hurt or disappoint them.

      It's too bad he can't just be gay; instead, he's going to become even more of a self-hater. It's also a shame that the deluded flock can't draw the appropriate conclusion from this, namely, that sexual orientation is something you're born with and not a choice people make on a whim or because of weak willpower. These people believe in signs from God; I can't think of any clearer one than for the leader of a big-time church to have admitted that he's been gay his entire life, quite against his will. Yes, demon possession, I know...

      Of course ex-Pastor Ted's wife is sticking with him to the very end:

      What I want you to know is that I love my husband, Ted Haggard, with all my heart. I am committed to him until death “do us part.” We started this journey together and with the grace of God, we will finish together.

      If I were standing before you today, I would not change one iota of what I have been teaching the women of our church. For those of you who have been concerned that my marriage was so perfect I could not possibly relate to the women who are facing great difficulties, know that this will never again be the case. My test has begun; watch me. I will try to prove myself faithful.

      We're all in this together.

      by Coherent Viewpoint on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 04:49:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  His Family (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Coherent Viewpoint

    Prety tough thing for them - hope they can find some comfort in that he has today admitted that basically all the allegations are true. That will give them at least a starting point.

    I was glad to see that in his letter to his congregation he came clean. On a scale of one to a hundred he's nowhere near even a five, but I'll grant the guy the hope that he can sort his life out and find something to give it meaning.

    He did a lot of damage in his former position, however.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 03:28:39 PM PST

  •  The Role of the Husband (0+ / 0-)

    Seems to me that, like most people who annotate this passage, you fatally ignore the following text, which in fact puts more of an onus on the husband.

    25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
    26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,
    27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
    28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
    29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church --  
    30 for we are members of his body.
    31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."
    32 This is a profound mystery -- but I am talking about Christ and the church.
    33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

    We know that Paul was deeply misogynistic -- elsewhere he counsels that men should avoid marriage altogether, unless their need for sex is so overwhelming that they have to get married to avoid sinning (!!).  But, here he is putting the entire onus for the success of the marriage on the husband's willingness to properly love his wife.  And notice verse 32, how he seems to have gotten carried away with his imagery of marital bliss ... makes you wonder what was going on under the bonnet, so to speak.  This actually is quite an interesting passage.  In the Pauline view, Ted Haggard not only failed his wife when he dishonored his vows -- he dishonored God.  He forsook Jesus, a passage from which he warns elsewhere there is no way back.



    Michael Powe Naugatuck CT
    -7.0, -6.15
    For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?--matthew 5

    by pdxlooie on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 08:20:16 PM PST

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