Its not free for Haggard or me

I have struggled over the Ted Haggard revelations in the last few days. I am angry he was such a strong and able opponent of mine, of my exsistance, yet at the same time it appears he is a gay man caught up in a homophobic society. I see it everyday in my work. Gay men recognizing they are gay after years of pretending to be straight.

They are broken people. They harbour great self hatred, they live a double life even if they never act on their desires. When I as a the gay resource they finally reach out to sees them, they are full of guilt, but can not take the stress of it anymore, of denying who and what they are.

Many of these men have families now, they have a wife, kids. They love their family and know that their situation is going to bring more pain before it gets better. They can not take it anymore. They are breaking down.

Rev Haggard choose to hide but its very likely he did so after hearing what his "christian pastors" told him of himself. I can guess where he came from. I recall sitting in the library of my high school, looking up homosexuality in 1975, I was in grade ten. I found very little there. What I found was a dictionary definition that said I was a pervert. I was a pervert before I had ever had any kind of sex. I was a pervert all alone in the world.

I could not tell anyone I was one of those people. Could you? Could Ted Haggard? I did take another route likely due to the strong family support I found at home. Likely because I was involved as a union activist where I knew I was okay. Likely because my parents did not take me to church.

Soulforce a gay supportive Christian group said this today ...

"Rev. Haggard is just one more tragic example of how lives are destroyed by the lies about gay and lesbian people perpetuated by the NAE, the Religious Right, and both the Protestant and Roman Catholic Church. Taught by the church to hate himself, the only option from his point of view was to lead a psychologically and spiritually damaging double life marked by denial and self-destructive behavior. Rev. Haggard is a victim of religion-based bigotry that regularly demeans and demoralizes gay and lesbian people and refuses to acknowledge that we are part of the American fabric, and that many of us form loving families and practice a deep faith in God."

I was elated to tell you the truth when this was discovered. I knew it would send a blow to the Republican party, the party of closets. Yet I resisted posting on it until now. Rev Haggard was part of the established Christain base of the Republican party. He was part of the goal to politizise religion. He was part of a group of people that was hell bent on passing laws based on Christian faith. He was my enemy.

Ted Haggard Bashing Gays - from JESUS CAMP the Movie

In the days ahead we will see more. We will hear how he is reconcilling with his family and how it had become a key election issue. We may even find out in awhile he has left his family though you can expect there will be lots of repenting and pressure on him before that happens.

Current US laws may deny him unsupervised access to see his kids, deny him custody. His good christian friends like James Dobson of Focus on the Family will turn on him. They will pretend to be heartbroken, to have been deceived. He was a bad apple.

The Republicans are distancing themselves from Rev Haggard. Today he was someone not that involved in conference calls with White House Staff or the President. Its as if he was a nobody that just happened to lead the largest organization of Evangelicals in the country, its hard to find anyone that knew him well.

The land of the free, the live and let live society has another victim, another victim of the US Republican win at all costs war. I know there are Democrats too that would run from this issue. I also know there are Democrats that won't. If you are a gay American, a member of a minority, or you believe every life is precious, every person has a right to be who they are then you have a choice. Support George Bush, James Dobson and Jerry Falwel and get more of the same or vote for the Democrat. That will be moving America in a direction that will be more comfortable in making America the land of the free again.

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