Monday, March 26, 2007

Half-Measures Avail Us Nothing

One of Ted Haggard's first ministries in Colorado where he pastored (note the past tense) the largest evangelical church in the United States, was to go to gay bars and encourage men to come to church so he could "heal" and "convert" them. As Kierkegaard says, life can only be understood backwards, but has to be lived forwards. As a recently outed gay man himself, Pastor Ted as he was referred to by his flock, in retrospect, seems a little too suited for this role. Ted Haggard is many things -- duplicitious, hypocritical, brilliant, politic, wicked smart, a husband, a father of five, a user of meth, a man who hired a male prostitute. He is a little bit Icarus and has been brought down by his own hubris and recently the elders of his church that have given the word that he is not to go back into the ministry and instead have sent him to New Orleans, a city without an ounce of temptation, to study to become a therapist, my least favorite profession in this world. Ever hear of David and Bathsheba? What Ted has done is no different, I suppose, and now he's out on his ass. In addition to telling Pastor Ted that he could no longer preach, they claim to have cured him of his homosexuality in a mere three weeks! He is 100% heterosexual now thanks to the kindly ministrations of these men.
In the documentary, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Pat Boone says, "Christians are the only army that kills their wounded." Truer words were never spoken. This excellent film tells the story of the rise and fall of one of the most influential Christian couples ever. I adore Tammy Faye for her beautiful spirit and her son Jay, a radical preacher who is as cool as cool gets. When my spirit flags (read all the time), I listen to his sermons in my home office on the internet, the place where I spend a large portion of my days. Jay has preached about Ted, has said that we are to love him. His own father got kicked out of the ministry for alleged indiscretions, personal and financial, and Jay and his family suffered greatly. Jay has a ragass crew of thirty people; his father preached to millions. But Jay has my heart, I'd forgive him anything. Pastor Ted is a tougher case; he's been a real asshole. But if we forgive only the people we love, we're no better than the tax collectors, right? So I'm trying. There's a lot of hate in my heart; people have done me wrong. But I've seen The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and she's had to forgive a lot of jerks. She's sick right now, very sick, but she's still doing her make-up, she's still trying to make peace with this world, with those who have wished her harm. Half measures avail us nothing, so I will try, I will try, I will do my best.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Despair is simply a harsh blindfold pulled over the eyes of hope." Steve Turner
Cocktail Hour
Drinking documentary suggestion: The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday, dear readers! Thank you for reading for so long -- I'm coming up on the one year mark on Saturday. You have kept me going with your love and support. I'm eternally indebted to y'all. (That's my Texas coming out, but don't forget, I'm really a Detroiter!)
13 days until The Sopranos airs!


Charles Gramlich said...

You're a better person than I am, Michelle. I'm not so quick to forgive.

Rev. Jesse Jacksin said...

Let us pray.

Rodney Dangerfield said...

I'm praying to be on the open space on that couch, if you know what I mean.

Father Phil Intintola said...

I probably would have had sex with Carmela Soprano if I hadn't thrown up from all the wine.

The Clergy of Detroit said...

Dear Michelle,
Here's wishing you the holiest of Easter Holidays! We love your blog! Know of our prayers,

Rev. Cardinal Ignatius(Iggy)Spellman
Archbishop Adam Midol
Rev. Monsignor Fisher Bass
Father Peter Damien
Sister Peter Marie ;o)
P.S. Congratulations of your nearly one year of blogging!

Anonymous said...

Michelle, please let me be the one to thank YOU for writing so faithfuly every day for the last year. I too startd my own personal foray into blogdom at around the same time, and found yours by clicking the "next blog" at the top of the screen.

You never cease to impress and inspire me, and I have come to know I can depend on an intriguing, insightful post on a daily basis.

Thank you again.

the walking man said...

Ahhh yes Ted Haggard, homosexual ice head, probably had unprotected sex with his male consort, while maintaining his homophobic preaching and probably at one time the largest religious preacher who did more to take the west and mid west to george w. by preaching politics from the pulpit. Condoning the invasion of a soveriegn nation.

Married, cured of love of anal sex, father of five proving that he at least could swing both ways, sent to New orleans to become a therapist. (who would he therapize? homosexual christians?)

Excommunicated from his particular cult of Jesus. It would be almost unforgiveable but he was if we remember nor the first heavy weight Christian pastor brought low by his personal form of sin. Remember Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart with the prostitutes not once but twice

Forgiveness does this man deserve the forgiveness of them whom he had such a large say in their lives, including them in Iraq and the war dead, and iraqi dead and them who come home disabled for life?

The truth is what deserves forgiveness is the animosity in your own heart because that forgivenes is the beginning of peace in the situation. His trespasses are his not yours, yours is the lack of ability to forgive yourself for having the feelings at all, He has been judged biblically by the elders of his church and the remaining Judgement is Gods. Not mine, he is just another spec allowed to live on my earth by God.

Sheila said...

Hey! I have to work today but either tonight or tomorrow I am going to write a new post. I miss everyone!!!!! take care!

Such a pretty picture!

Cheri said...

Going to therapy makes me respect the people who choose the profession, but certainly, I'd never do it myself.

I couldn't imagine listening to people like myself (and worse) all day long and helping them with their lives. Cripes!

Beautiful photo. Your skin is so creamy I'm jealous. Fucking freckles lol.

Sheila said...

OMG Michelle! They have you on Wikipedia. How cool. They have a link to your blog also.

Bottom feeder said...

Wikiipedia is a free encyclopedia. Anybody could be on Wiki, in- cluding you and me. I prefer the encyclopoedia Brittanica.

Susan Miller said...

Like you, I do wish Tammy Fae the best. It just always seemed that no matter how much she tried to mask those eyes there was always some sadness there. But then maybe what she did was in such stark contrast to the sadness that it brought it out.

For me, my friend, it always seemed that anger, resentment or any form of hostility that I held toward another only ended up getting in my way not their way. And trying to cover something up never did much good because it just highlighted the pain. So forgiveness or, better yet, just letting go seemed to restore my power. My power to be trusting, loving and yes, forgiving all over again.

I'll go back and try to read this before posting it but do feel that it could be confusing. Nonetheless, you inspire great thought, Michelle.