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
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!