Rev. Lou Sheldon, the founder and chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition was interviewed by The Jewish Week about the results of Tuesday’s election.
Considering that Sheldon rejected the faith of his Orthodox Jewish mother and aligned himself with a political movement that supports the ability of Christian groups to take federal funding for social service programs and then refuse to hire Jews, the Jewish Week was remarkably fair. Yes, Sheldon comes across as delusional but, having met Sheldon some years ago, I don’t think that is an unfair representation.
Lou Sheldon discusses his take on the Democrat take-over
“We know that in America the people are with us,” insisted the founder and chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, one of the largest groups in the Christian right. “They’re just confused.”
and bi-partisan efforts that Evangelicals may adopt
Sheldon scoffed at this notion, and the idea that Christian right activists might cultivate relationships with the newly empowered Democrats. Some new Democratic members may be more in tune with their views on sexual or church-state issues, he said, “But the leadership won’t let us work with them. We can’t reorient because our issues are issues the Democratic Party national platform repudiates.”
before discussing his good personal friend Ted Haggard
Months before a male prostitute publicly revealed Haggard’s secret relationship with him, and the reverend’s drug use as well, “Ted and I had a discussion,” explained Sheldon, who said Haggard gave him a telltale signal then: “He said homosexuality is genetic. I said, no it isn’t. But I just knew he was covering up. They need to say that.”
While some may be desirous of Haggard’s restoration, Sheldon’s clearly having none of it. He’s already written off Haggard as one of “they”. Sheldon has deemed Haggard to be a non-genetic homosexual who is covering up and you can hear Sheldon’s contempt dripping off the page.
Interestingly, if Sheldon is accurately describing an event that occurred outside his own head (one never knows), it seems that Haggard has already given some thought as to the mutability of sexual orientation. And it seems that his conclusions fly in the face of the political message of the ex-gay movement.
Perhaps this is why Dobson backed so quickly away from him and the restoration process. If Haggard were to say, “I believe I was born with same-sex attractions”, this would be in direct conflict with the psychological suppositions about parenting that Dobson preaches through the ex-gay language of his anti-gay empire. If Haggard were to seek restoration of his behavior in relation to inborn orientation, then Dobson has no advice to give him. If Haggard blames his genes instead of his father, then there is no “root” event to discover and heal.
And Dobson has no program to help the behavior of those who realize that their orientation isn’t going to change. He only has political solutions which require “change” and the rejection of “identity”. And that is where Dobson does a huge disservice to his fellow Christians like Ted Haggard. All Dobson can do when faced with this reality is to walk away..