Disgraced Evangelical Haggard Still Struggles with Sexuality
Ted Haggard, the megachurch pastor who abandoned his ministry after the revelation that he had sexual relations with a male prostitute, admits in a new documentary that he “still struggles” with his sexuality.
The married father of five stepped down as leader of the 10,000-member New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO, in 2006. After three weeks of counselling, associates declared him “completely heterosexual,” but in a new HBO documentary he says his sexuality has been a lifelong battle.
“The reason I kept my personal struggle a secret is because I feared that my friends would reject me, abandon me and kick me out, and the church would exile and excommunicate me,” Haggard said.
Although he is no longer in full-time ministry, he resumed preaching recently, and told an Illinois congregation that his struggles could be traced back to sexual abuse as a boy – an explanation for homosexuality widely disseminated by the ex-gay movement.
Haggard now makes a living selling insurance in Arizona, apparently unsuccessfully, and describes himself as “a loser.”
XGW hopes that the new revelations will pave the way for total honesty for the wayward preacher. Haggard could go one of two ways – become just another “ex-gay” statistic, or embrace who he is and live with integrity. Truth Wins Out’s Natalie Davis speculates how that might look.
Alexandra Pelosi’s documentary The Trials of Ted Haggard airs on Thursday, January 29, on HBO.
Maybe Ted Haggard could learn something form Paul Barnes.
The problem isn’t his homosexuality, the problem is his self-hatred. If he was indeed molested as a boy, it would be interesting to know by whom.
Total honesty??? You’re lovable fools, you are!
Good God. He was replaced by his best mate Rick Warren within 15 minutes. He doesn’t need to be honest – they all hope he just simply pisses off. Out of sight. Forever. Live and die by the sword, don’t they say?
And if he was molested — I want a name. I am sick of ‘that’ excuse from such people.
Ted… who did it?
Grantdale– I got to say it first!!! The great likelihood– around 50%– was that it was his father or stepfather or father surrogate– someone that would identify as heterosexual in terms of his interests and experience. But that would hurt the credbility of the ex-gay cause, wouldn’t it.
Our boy Ted is an inveterate media hound, and clearly misses that spotlight. It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that he is now selling insurance, though I would prefer the irony of selling used American cars.
At least he admits he struggled with it his whole life, just like Paul Barnes. But as for total honesty– he hasway to much invested to be totally honest.
Sorry Ben, we don’t do with ‘likelihoods’ We’re hard-core agnostics 🙂
Except, of course, that a punt at sleazy insurance sales (or similar) would be a suitably fitting ending for an envangalist tall poppy. Or a President of Exodus International.
Despite the hype, that’s all they’re educated for.
He did get a ‘degree’ from Oral Roberts ‘University’ afterall.
So, so, so, suitably named. It seems. It must be the American equivalent to Salisbury /snigger.
Let’s not forget that many of us once had a lot invested in conservative, evangelical Christianity, too – our faith, friends, family and even careers – and learned through pain and heartache to accept ourselves. “Total honesty” might be a long shot, but we can at least hope for it.
Richard Dawkins had something to say about the 50% and hardcore agnostics. i can’t remember what.
Insurance sales are useful, and usually and not necesarily sleazy. that’s why i prefer that he sells used AMERICAN cars.
And Dave– that’s exactly the point i was making about Paul Barnes. He, at least, learned from his investment and his heartache. i don’t know what is going on iwth him now, but I can respect him.
Hey I know how ticked everyone is about these creeps and the creepy things they do (i.e. taking away our rights and equality) but look at how powerful a support and allay they become when they finally do see the light and accept themselves for who they are. If there is any way for us to help him in this venture I think it would be awesome. Ted Haggard could speak out for GLBT rights and be a powerful voice for the GLBT Christian community and others. It is an amazing thing when that happens.
Sorry, I find this rather ironic. Yes, the churches belonging to the association that he was the President of, do commonly do that. As the former President of the association, did he work to change those attitudes or did he further entrench them?
That’s the problem with irony.
It’s frequently very ironic.
So he becomes an evangelical leader who condemns the GLBT community. To further cloak his homosexuality he marries a woman in order to fit in……………I would call such a marriage an immoral, deceptive act. Further, he claims that he was sexually molested as a child in order to explain his homosexuality. Please, I have heard it all before.
I hope the ones at HBO get the rights to the song “What a Fool Believes” by the Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers because some of the words fit Mr. Haggard to the tee. At least the refrain “But what a fool believes he sees…no wise man has the power to reason away…what seems to be is always better than nothing.”
I remember hearing about that and thinking how years ago the Evangelical community would frown, if not completely rule out counselling because prayer was supposed to be the ultimate weapon against “the devil and his works.” But I’m sure he went to “Christian” counselors who probably prayed the bee geebies out of him. That they were able to turn him straight in three weeks is amazing, and I am surprised they haven’t shared their secret with the rest of the world! Heck, patent it and get it on the market! They could get a spot on the QVC or do some infromercial. (This, of course, I am saying sarcastically).
The sad truth is that Haggard, and many like him, approached God with “I am not” rather than “I am.” And thinking that God would continue the facade is an insult to what God and religion is all about. This idea of being a straight person trapped in a gay man’s body has got to end. It makes for great drama, but it is destructive to not only the one who hates themselves for who they are (and not being able to admit it) but it also destroys the lives of others – those who are gay and are banished from their homes, families, friends, and society because of people like Haggard, and also destroying the lives of those who are straight and follow the teachings of Haggard and the like, and turn from God’s commandment of loving one another to that of hate.
Oh for Pete’s sake?! Just when will mainstream society quit with their holier than thou attitudes, hypocritical at best, “he who never sinned can cast the first stone”, “attend to the forest in your own eyes, before looking for the splinter in another’s”, and so on and so fifth! The age-old hypocrisy stands, regrettably, and anyway, Ted’s a good looking man, no wonder he’s fodder for the gay cannon! Leave him alone. Go attend to your own sinful state first, all ye self-righteous hypocrites!
Local baptist: Since you quoted the stone passage, let me be the first to point out that it was TH who picked up the first rock. Any other rocks flying are incidental. Had he– like Lonnie Latham and a host of others– not been busy casting stones, I, for one would never have paid the slightest bit of attention to him, any more than I to any other religious person whose beliefs i do not share.
When JC wasn’t predicting the end of the world, he was pretty much telling people to leave everyone else the hell alone and take care of the poor. Seeing as his predictions didn’t come true, I would guess that many of his followers pretty much felt that they don’thave to listen to anything else he had to say, either.
“The reason I kept my personal struggle a secret is because I feared that my friends would reject me, abandon me and kick me out, and the church would exile and excommunicate me,” Haggard said.
Unfortunately, Pastor Haggard, you were right. Your church’s and friends’ love was conditional – as is the love of the God they created in their image.
I bet it will be easier for you, in the long run, to choose a more loving faith community and a more loving God than it will be to change yourself so you can be conditionally loved. For your sake, I hope you will, and I wish you peace someday.
I hope that he has a good life. I didn’t fire him from his position as an evangelical leader. I do find it humorous that he and his cohorts believe that being homosexual is something that should be cured and that can be cured in a matter of weeks.
Anonymous, your participation is welcome but please do pick a name with which to post at XGW. Being anonymous as to your actual, real world identity is perfectly fine but we prefer that your online identity is consistent here. That way, other commenters can get to know you and refer to previous comments during discussions.
After reading almost all about Ted Haggard, from his involvement with ex-gay ministries, to the fall with the gigolo, then the claim of being heterosexual in three weeks, and now his coming out as a “loser”; it seems that he is looking for a good reason to convince himself there is no such thing as being him, then he seeks to throw away everything that is true.
He is living for people and people’s ideologies. Ex-gay ministries had already affixed the type of God they want to worship (the kind that seemingly rejects his own creation), so it surely would be much easier to create the people’s vision of Mr Haggard. But that is wrong.
I believe he should stop seeking acceptance from the church, and start seeking it from God. And he must refrain from indulging in self-pity and really start to look carefully across his life, what really went wrong. I am sure the summary would be the conclusion we already know.
When he seeks God first without people telling him how God looks at him, and learn how to be Christ-like instead of an ex-gay machinery, he will indeed find out and affirm the real him.
Yuki wrote: I believe he should stop seeking acceptance from the church, and start seeking it from God.
Actually, as i have often said, the problem is his– and every other exgay I have ever encountered– lack of acceptance for himself. The problem is his self hatred– as all of his whining clearly indicates.
Oh brother, we’re obsessing because he’s a “handsome man?” First of all, that discounts the lesbians. Second, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Third, why are YOU so obsessed with his “handsomeness?”
If gays became extremely interested in the doings of people only because of their looks, james dobson and fred phelps must be the pick of the litter.
And I might not like men that way, but even I can tell you they’re not.
Local Baptist, I think you are mistaking honesty for self-righteousness. When someone like Ted Haggard comes along and starts preaching that homosexuality is a sin and against the laws of God and yet PAYS to do the very thing he preaches to others is sinful, then it is only right for others of faith to point out that he needs to have a taste of his own medicine.
If I said or did something wrong I would hope someone would point it out to me if I was too ignorant or blind to realize it. There is nothing wrong with being wrong as long as you make a conscience effort to fixed it. We of the Orthodox tradition called this “penance.” You realize what you did, you admit what you did, you understand what you did was wrong, you as to be forgiven, and you make amends for it.
What Ted Haggard did went way beyond being hypocritical in condemning homosexuality yet engaging in homosexual sex. First, he denied who and what he is. Second, he married a woman to cover it up thus affecting her and his children. Third, he used religion as a means hide from who and what he really is. Fourth, he preached hatred and thereby gave the green light to his follwers to hate and oppress the LGBT community all in the name of Jesus. Fifth, he is blaming a supposed incident (or incidents) in his childhood for who he is today. And if he is making it all up then he is guilty of lying as well.
We of faith cannot judge his soul as that is God’s ultimate duty, but we are allowed to discern and evaluate those who claim to be leaders of faith. One means is to match what they say with what they do. Ted Haggard’s words and deeds don’t match. As Christians, it is our duty to expect certain qualities from those who claim to be shepherds in the Church, and to have the wisdom to know who and who not to follow.
The stigma of homosexuality is so strong it often clouds one’s perception of reality. Larry Craig and Ted Haggard should form a club.
Oh…wait…nobody would join that club. There’s no such thing as an I-am-not-gay gay club…except for those club meetings at the local parks and the public bathrooms in almost every city.
I’m wondering if a “heteros” night at gay bars would work.
I have to admit, I feel for people in that situation. Where their livelilhood is build around a community that rejects so strongly a part of these guys are. You hear something for long enough and you believe it yourself.
Who amoung us wouldn’t try to change if all of our family/friends/loved one’s would reject us. Not to mention that our entire living has been built around this community.
That being said, all those factors cannot change the fact, that we are what we are.
I am suspicious of convenient stereotypes to explain himself.
The supposed molestation. And eventually, seeing a prostitute and using drugs as if this is what being gay is about and inevitably what you become?
He said it himself, that he feared being left isolated with no one and no community or family.
That is a POWERFUL incentive and a coercive standard by which gay youth are most vulnerable. And many don’t survive it. Or they don’t without some serious battle scars in the form of addiction or some other dysfunction too eagerly exploited by ex gay ministries or other anti gay organizations.
This isolation is exploited and at the same time denied.
So that coercion becomes a lifetime of massive denial and dishonesty..
So, that ‘choice’ is clearly between a rock and a hard place and the demands on the gay person go ignored.
And the straight folks around him don’t care about what DEMAND that is.
They don’t care what a COMMITMENT that is, and how virtually impossible it truly can be.
But since THEY don’t have to feel it or do it, how convenient for THEM.
Ask a straight person, or better yet a homophobe what it would take for THEM to be a homosexual and they answer their OWN question about why a gay person can’t be straight on a dime.
Even better, considering all it does take for someone gay to TRY….then it also answers the question of how wrong it is to change someone or make them think it’s possible, or that it’s not supposed to be their nature in the first place.
Contributors, I wish I had seen the diatribe after Jimmy Swaggart committed adultery and then went on global television with his pathetic impassioned “Oh God I have sinned” baloney rubbish. I will neither justify nor protect what I wrote last time. Ted is a good looking man, I cannot comment on Lesbians because I’m male, not female, and I also do not know all sides of the story. But with Swaggart, I had been a long-time “follower” but have had absolutely nothing to do with him since his “fall”. Swaggart has still to apologize to the gay and lesbian world for his hypocrisy in his sermon “The Ring of Fire”. I do hope Ted finds solace somewhere and comes to terms with who and what he is and wants. Although I am married, I am also gay, so I can feel for his emotional turmoil. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt!
Yet another victim of homophobia and self-loathing. Too bad he doesn’t have the fortitude to simply say “I’m gay, deal with it” rather than continue the hateful and damaging charade.
Local Baptist, it’s fine that you’re gay but that you chose to marry a woman.
I’m under the personal belief that marriage is NOT anything EXCEPT a contract between two people who support one another. Love, attraction, sex, gender, and orientation can have nothing to do with it if one chooses.
That being said, I’m curious as to how you came to loathe our “cannon” (“canon?”) because if you’ve “been there, done that” then you know that there’s no singular “gay” anything.
So if YOU, as a gay man, sees a situation and immediately latches on to whether the person in question is handsome or not, please know that that is YOUR doing and not anyone else’s.
Local Baptist – “Ted is a good looking man”
So what? Ted is in my age range, IMHO, his Heart is still in the wrong place and that makes him an ugly, messed up guy with plenty of unresolved issues. It’s not all about Good Looks! Wasn’t Pandora’s Box described as being Beautiful, but when opened….
If superfical people or things turn you on, go ahead and admit it. BTW you being married to a woman while admitting to be Gay, well that’s not a good situation either.
Que sera sera
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, so am I. I will not defend nor justify my position. I am answerable to God alone and no man or woman can stand in judgement of me (Romans 2:1).
Well, in defense of Local Baptist, some people are bisexuals. I can understand there would be some confusion here on why he would choose to marry a woman. Bisexuals actually have a sexual preference. I already had my run with men so now I wish to be with women, but that does not mean I will not oogle at Daniel Craig when he is a topless James Bond. 😉
Thank you, Yuki Choe, for your support. Yes, bisexuals do have a sexual preference. However, in all my years out-of-the-closet, I never did find THE MAN with whom I knew I would be comfortable, though not for the lack of looking. My last gay scene lasted 2 years but he wanted group sex and I did not want AIDS. What a choice to have to make? Then, because of this, we separated for a time and during this time I telephoned my best friend who now happens to be my wife of 19 years (we have been best friends since 1976). During the last 19 years I have not had any gay liaisons though I have been sorely tried and tempted. I choose to stay with my best-friend-wife because we are so good together. With God’s help, I can and do have a fulfilling sexual life, although my preference is still a man.
I have a question for L. Baptist:
Does your wife know?
Before you answer consider: Most wives of closeted gays men (bisexuals included) know but are afraid of the consequences and likely want to remain status quo. Or, if she has no clue, would telling her about your bisexuality destroy your relationship? And, in consideration of her, should she not know about your bisexuality?
And just because you had a bad experience with one gay man does not mean a gay relationship involves group sex or even fear of getting AIDS. Why didn’t you try to find someone else in the gay pool?
Funny thing, L Baptist. As a gay man, it never occurs to me to lump things together or give up completely. For example, i’ve known guys who want to have an open-relationship. I wasn’t up for that, so I looked for a guy who was also not up for that. There’ve been guys who wanted to tie me up, and since that wasn’t my thing, I said “no thank you” and looked elsewhere.
Never did it occur to me that I should give up on men entirely. I was single for like 5 years after coming out, went on a couple hundred dates, had a few iffy and short-live relationships — you know, something straight people don’t know anything about — and yet it never occured to me that I should switch teams. I guess that’s why I’m unfortunately almost to my 3rd year with my caring and hilarious partner, living together, and fully accepted by friends and family alike. Poor me. I could’ve gotten hitched to one of my galpals and avoided this whole stable happy relationship thing entirely. Darn. 😛
Personally I think that if men or women inter into marriages without telling their partners that they have serious doubts as to their sexuality, they are committing a serious an immoral act.
Jason D: I like your sense of humor. My wife has known about it for 33 years and she loves me in spite of it! We enjoy watching TV and both of us just look at the men. When I see someone I like, I tell her – he’s gorgeous – wow, look at THOSE blue eyes (staring at his bulge, of course).
Swampfox: I have not committed a serious and immoral act. I have been faithful to my wife for 19 years. There’s no harm in looking at men while she watches straight porn on her laptop. 5 guys 1 girl. Now how’s that for immoral? Huh, dude?
Local baptist: i have absolutely no problem with it. I’m curious though. Jesus says that if a man looks at a woman with lust, he has ocmmitted adultery in his heart, or something along that line. Jimmy Carter got into trouble with that one.
How do you reconcile this? This is niether a trap nor an attack. Since you are a baptist, i’m curious how you reconcile this.
This quote and the comment about Haggard’s “handsomeness” stand out to me. It occurs to me, L.B., that you seem to be pre-occupied by the physical appearance of men. Maybe this is why you could only find shallow partnerships in other men – because you were being shallow yourself. And in turn, you project that onto all other gay men.
And what kind of person makes strong comments and then immediately “neither defends nor justifies” them??
It is an easy way out; to take the “righteous” path and give up any romantic pursuance with the same sex. But it smacks of personal frustration and “swearing off men.” A certain Jewish gentleman, who shall remain nameless lest his Google alerts go off, pulled a stunt that I think is analogous, though he would never say so – allowing him to cloak himself with “righteousness” whilst spurning any man that he ever was or ever might be involved with. “Relationship revenge,” I guess.
Ah yes, men are highly “visual”, it’s genetic done . . . nexxt.
Men in general can have difficulty emotionally navigating same sex relationships because of the homophobic environment and negative heavy handed absentee father images we grew up with in this country. The fear of violence / death can be a terrible rutter for any relationship; the filters are endless.
Calling LB “shallow” is a negative assumption, and a critical one at that. I would not go so far as to judge him, as it’s really none of my business how he chooses to make himself happy. He has found something that works for him that he likes, obviously.
Good deal LB, kuddos to you on that one. Your wife looking at str8 porn online is pretty cool. You sound like you might be a fun couple. Open honest humorous sincere oh, and sexy.
LB Thanks for sharing. But your situation is HARDLY unique or workable for most couples.
You couldn’t cut it WITH the few gay men you tried to. But that is the plan, after all.
This is one of tne of the reasons why I hate the calculated isolation and dislocation by heterosexuals of gay youth to form the bonds and learn to be romantically healthy that is so vital for them in adulthood. Heterosexuals deliberately interfere with this process and further erode it by availing themselves of the opportunity to be with gay people when they are vulnerable in some way.
Far more predatory then what they accuse gay people of being.
It’s always at a serious cost.
Since gay people are already a minority, the pool WOULD have less opportunity for gay couples than hetero ones.
And despite there being much more of us heteros…our romatic lives suck too, and for the same reasons.
Usually unrealistic expectations, and lack of tolerance for the most minor of disappointments.
Which is something the gay/straight incompatibility factor is rife with.
However YOU manage your life with your wife, LB would be fine with me, but for how it’s EXPLOITED by those with the agenda that such unions be done as a matter of course.
I live with two wonderful, sweet and very attractive gay men. It kind of creeps me out to think of the sorts of women who’d want to seduce them.
I certainly wouldnt.
It also creeps me out that the agenda of so many ex gay groups IS predatory seduction in many ways.
I also know a very sweet gay man married to a woman. Whether she suspects or knows, I have no idea.
But it was marriage born of FEAR from him that his family and her family find out he’s gay.
The pressure to keep it hidden has given him serious health issues like high BP, since he was all of 21 years old.
His wife likes gay men, so who knows.
I won’t tell. I love them both and will be there for them, whatever happens.
The point is, LB…if gay people, especially gay youth were accepted and supported as a matter of course in our society, I wouldn’t think twice about the union YOU have because then I’d assume it was a free choice without coercion or any of the usual pressures to conform.
And you should understand why any of us would be suspicious since such unions ARE coerced and gay people AREN’T encouraged to be together as they should be.
I wish you well.
I just hate the idea of how unions like yours are waved like a flag around gay people as if it’s the ultimate happiness in life to make THEM happy regardless of the cost to the couple involved.
And please don’t play like it has nothing to do with you, it does.
Sometimes people with an agenda describe their gay lives in such stereotypical terms, one would have to wonder about the validity of what you said.
That happens a lot too.
Why ALWAYS promiscuity? Why ALWAYS lack of endurance? Why ALWAYS some other kind of dysfunction so often expected among gay people?
And ultimately blaming being gay or homosexuality for lack of success.
As if heterosexuals don’t have those problems too, as I said.
But THEIR orienation doesn’t get blamed. Nor are the whole of hetero indicted by the acts of a minority of their number.
it gets VERY tiresome to have an honest discussion at that point, know what I’m saying ?
Relationship Revenge? I’m not sure what you mean, Emily K. That’s an interesting concept. Who would benefit from such a thing?
Maybe I understand. For a long time I built up walls when guys tried to make friends with me…partly out of fear**. But, when I finally let my defenses down and let that one special person into my heart I discovered a whole new world.
But Relationship Revenge sounds like self flagellation. The only person it hurts is yourself.
(**okay…okay…mostly out of fear.)
cowboy, I think ultimately, that’s what it does. But at the time it might seem like one is saying “you can’t have me, NO ONE can have me!” seeking vengeance on “all man-kind” or something. But truthfully nobody will know what they’re missing anyway. It’s not really a rational endeavor.
Wow, somebody’s a bit defensive…I would agree that yes, men can be described as “highly visual” in specific cases, especially sexual cases, but the quotes I pulled seem to demonstrate a mere superficiality, not a simple “visual nature.” Of course, I strongly advise against becoming trapped in generalizations, because you can suddenly find yourself having some strange “friends.”
Emily– that Dennis prager thing was an absolute hoot!
“Every man who is sexually faithful to his wife already engages in daily heroic self-control. He has married knowing he will have to deny his sexual natures desire for variety for the rest of his life.”
and these are the people that presume to tell US how to live? There are so many things wrong with this statement I would have to spend an hour just listing the reasons, let alone correcting my bad tpying~
Emily – – – What fear in you makes you feel the need to judge the hell out of LB? Did he hurt you in some way? Did he hit a nerve you need to work on?
I find your dissemination of his love and sex life unfounded tedious and highly unprofessional. The guy had a 2 year relationship with a guy, and has been married in my book, forever, and you have no idea what his decisions were about men when he engaged with his now current wife. That seems neither shallow superficial easy way out or any of the other tangents you seemed to billow off on. Your bulldog projections in this case are not serving to include nor heal, but to hurt and separate. I had some questions I wanted to ask LB, but he seems to have left the discussion, and it could be because of you. My sense is he feels judged by you and in turn is angry with you. Even if everything you said were somewhat true, you are delivering it like a dead fish in paper bag on doorstep.
You are an author of this sight. Your co-authors do not engage the anger you seem to emit. Would you consider taking sight of their evenness towards patrons and conduct yourself a bit more professionally?
Well, Devlin, I guess we’ll agree to disagree. 🙂 But it seems you’re the one with the struck nerves. quite the contrary, I’m not angry at all. I only posed a theory. One that, for some reason, despite the fact that I was not referring to anything YOU said or wrote, greatly offended YOU personally. I suggest you confront face-to-face whomever is calling YOU shallow. I certainly have nothing to do with that.
Well, everyone, judge on, condemn on, heap for yourselves greater judgement upon your own heads. That is your perogative. I have no need whatsoever to “reconcile” anything. Jesus did talk about looking with lust in one’s heart, a man for a woman, but obviously leaves out the part about gazing with utter fascination at the construction of the MALE physique with lust (yes), desire (yes), and all those physical attributes about a MAN instead of a woman. Why did He have 12 disciples, all men? Why were women not included? I am not going down the road of “Corpus Christi” here, nor am I available to debate that film, but I can say to everyone it has been a long and difficult battle against the flesh – St.Paul (whom I detest) said that we wage a continuous war against our flesh – I wonder why he hated women so much and what that “thorn” in his flesh was – but so that I do not digress too far from the point I wish to make, is that I made my wife a promise to take care of her, she was prepared to put my “past” in the past and leave it there … she has never accused me about any aspect of my previous 25 years as a gay man … and we are still the best of friends, we care for each other deeply, we love each other not only as “conjugal rights”, a paper contract, but as fully as our limited capacity will allow.
She experienced a Temporal Lobectomy in 2005 that nearly caused me another myocardial infarction – yes, I had two within 22 hours of each other in 2002 – and was most relieved when she recognized me when she eventually woke up about 18 hours after the 6 hour surgery. Her speech and memory centers of the brain were still functioning – fortunately she developed speech and memory on BOTH SIDES of the brain, being ambidextrous, and the only slight manifestation of the surgery is a poor short term memory. She was retired from her employer early, put on pension, because the blackouts were exacerbated by office stress. She has been at home with me since February 2008 and we are together almost 24 hours out of every 24 hours. That has not been easy either. She gets the physical attention she desires, I get the physical attention I desire, and we both serve the Lord at a wonderful Baptist Church where I am one of the organists. I do all the cooking, catering, shopping, washing of clothes (she does the ironing), washing dishes (she dries and puts away), make filter coffee (she washes the cups), cleaning the carpets and tiled floors (she dusts), she does not drive a car (automobile), and her pension is far better now than what she got as an employee. I have been unemployed for 8 years since retrenchment from a company that got 14 years of devoted service, mainly due to the socio-political situation and changes in the country in which I live. I am the wrong age, gender and physiognomy for employment.
Therefore all ye humanoids who would have criticisms of me, attend to the forest of sin in your own eyes first so that you will see CLEARLY to find the speck in my eyes. Okay?
Do unto others as they do unto you? Or do I have that wrong? Of course, forgiveness is easy. It’s easy to say “I forgive you” for your multitude of remarks, comments, questions that I feel are far too personal to disclose on this type of anonymous discussion board, criticisms, judgements, persecutions, and all those other stones that people pick up to throw at another so they will feel better in themselves for having pointed a finger at another sinner saved by Grace.
I withdrew from the discussion for a few days because both my wife and I were infected by a severe case of chronic bronchitis thanks to a selfish person or persons who considered their attendance of Christmas Morning service to be more impiortant than the germs and bugs they would so easily disseminate to otherwise healthy individuals, giving no heed whatsoever to their sneezing and coughing.
Selfishness is, after all is said and done, the single most common cause of ALL relationship breakdown. (and this is my own quotable quote. I created this statement back in 1984, and it is commonly accepted as an irrefutable fact!)
Emily, you just can’t seem to put that pointy finger back in your pocket now can you. Seems you and Ted Haggard have a very similar root issue. You both share a view of that river called DeNile.
LB Thanks for coming back and dropping a line for us to see a glimmer of what looks like a very deep complex and loving relationship with your wife. Your struggles are intense. Struggles come in different packages for each of us I guess. One of my greatest lessons/struggles in this cultural war, is to watch and hear others on their path without judging it. Very tough, very confusing at times. But I think it’s the way to heaven in the here and now. Loving without judgement. Maybe that’s why some verses in the Bible are the way they are. Curve balls to brush up the judgement lesson. It always makes a difference when we allow ourselves to walk a short time in another’s shoes. If we all did such a thing, there would be a lot less judging flying around the chicken coupe, and a lot more compassion and closeness to each other.
I appreciate your openess. Your shoes are well traveled and I feel your journey. Walk on brother.
Local B– I want ot say something. I asked you a question only. As I said, it was neither an attack nor a judgment, just a question. I apologize sincerely if you saw it that way.
I’m not a religious person, though I was one twice in my life. first as a jewish boy, secondly as an almost-a-christian young man. I ultimately discovered that my mind doesn’t work that way. so to me, it is always interesting to try to understand how religiously-oriented minds work, how they see things. And you answered that clearly in your last post.
But i do want to underline. It was intended neither as a trap nor an attack, just a aquesiton.
No matter the sacrifices one might have to endure…the implication by Mr. L. Baptist is: we gays can find happiness with living with a heterosexual partner. And as Ms. DuCasse alluded to: many anti-gays can exploit what Mr. Baptist is doing to further their gay-is-malleable mantra.
There needs to be a distinction about the kinds of love…and I don’t want to discuss lust. I have a love for my Sister. I have a love for my dearest, fondest male friends. But that isn’t the type of love we are discussing. It’s the deep abiding love that Mr. L. Baptist might not have experienced…even in the two years he had a relationship with another gay man.
“might not” is the key phrase here. We have no way of knowing.
And we have no way of certifying, in spite of what Mr. Local Baptist typed on this blog here, that he is indeed “faithful” to his wife.
Does watching porno together satiate their lustful love and keeps their fidelity intact? Or would Mr. L. Baptist feel that occasional trysts in public restrooms (ala Larry Craig) is still being “faithful”. Remember, Idaho Senator Craig said he was NOT a homosexual…
What. Ever. LB.
Happy New Year.
Ben in Oakland, I have not forgotten you, nor was I trying to “get at you”, I am not that type of vindictive spirit. The following paragraph, Ben in Oakland, is not a criticism of you, it is not an attack on your person, it is an illustration of how frustrated I get with people who give themselves the right to INTERPRET other people’s writings and thereby draw an erroneous conclusion.
If I do not answer a post immediately, give me two or three days to reflect on what you have written (you being the discussion list contributors in general and not any one specific, though unnamed individual) before I answer.
These newsgroups or discussion lists can get quite tiresome and tedious especially when others read their own agendas into what I am writing. I do not write with the intention that anyone should “interpret” what I am saying as if I am actually saying something else. I would not be so presumptuous. I write what I write in a manner in which I express myself the best, and I give the background color to those who presume to interpret what I am actually saying. Reading between the lines in this text is seeing white space. To this I say: “HOW THE HELL DARE YOU, YOU IMPOLITE IMBECILE? Did I give you permission to impose your interpretation on my writing? NO. So who the hell do you think you are to INTERPRET my writings and then write back to this discussion list and say “the implication by Mr. L. Baptist is: we gays can find happiness with living with a heterosexual partner“. I did not say that. I said I have found happiness living with a heterosexual partner. I did not imply anything and it is presumptuous of COWBOY to say I did.
No public restroom behavior here. In fact our “cottages” were closed by the police many years ago even though the constitution of our country says it does not discriminate against homosexuality, it does, because it closes our “cottages”, “steam baths”, public swimming pools that are known to be good pick-up places, and unfortunately sex between two men is still illegal here. While we have probably the most permissive constitution on the planet, gays are still persecuted by the right-wing conservatives whether Christian or not.
Thanks to Devlin Bach, you sound like such a nice man. In fact I have an internet correspondent friend who approached me after I wrote to the Alt-Support-Impotence newsgroup who is 100% heterosexual, but admitted that he actually likes having his prostate massaged. While I imagine the consequences of walking in someone else’s shoes to experience life as they see it, the only sandals I am prepared to wear are Jesus’ because only He has my eternal place and position in mind.
Well, herein above you have some tough leather on which to ruminate, and I will sign off for now.
Thanks, LB. I wasn’t taking it personally.
Alan S wrote:
Quite right you are, Alan. I grew up under Jimmy Swaggart’s ministry until he fell, he did exactly what he preached against, then went on global television with his “Oh God, I have sinned” blubb. Hypocrite! I threw out every LP, every sermon tape, everything I had of Swaggart, and today I will not listen to anything of his, not his music, not his sermons, and why, because he still owes the Gay and Lesbian people of this planet an apology and a withdrawal of his comments against them in his sermon “A Ring of Fire” circa around 1972 to 1973, somewhere around then. I have not forgotten his words, and if God be willing, I will have eternity to torment Jimmy Swaggart for those words.
If you wish to match what I say with what I do, read my other posts as well as that wonderfully insightful piece written by Devlin Bach above.
Ben, how do I reconcile looking at a man with lust in my heart? I cannot. I cannot justify it. I look at a man because I am physically, mentally, emotionally and probably spiritually attracted to the male species. Some of them are absolutely drop-dead-gorgeous while most of male humanity is absolutely hideous and I would not be seen dead near most of them. In fact, does every totally heterosexual man consider sex with every totally heterosexual woman on the planet? Sure he has sufficient sperm to fertilize all of them. We’re talking about attraction here. My feeling of “Ted’s a good-looking man” doesn’t mean that I want to jump into bed with him immediately or else! He’s a nice looking man. There are many – sigh! – far too many beautiful men on the planet, too little time. How lovely it would be to meet some of these beautiful creatures. But I conduct my marriage to my best friend in all openness and honesty. If she wants to view str8 porno, she can, it doesn’t bother me. When I want to watch gay porno, I usually consider her first and wait for her to fall asleep before I go hunting. My libido does not control me. I control it. This is 100% opposite to what I was during my 25 years as an out of the closet gay man. Sex dominated everything. Although gay people do not like to be referred to as “sex acts” by those who do not understand their position, and I have to agree with them, how would they like it if us gay people told those detestable str8s that they are just “sex acts”? GROSS! The other totally irreconcilable act that neither my wife nor I can tolerate is lesbian activity. This is NOT SAYING that we do not tolerate lesbians. What two women do in the privacy of their bedroom is their business and I will not presume on their territory. The fact that we cannot watch as voyeurs their goings on is our personal preference and prerogative. Sorry, girls, we can watch two or more guys making out and we enjoy it, but we can’t watch girls.
So, basically, I have now answered the questions above. Sorry Emily if you think bad of me. Talk to Devlin, he appears to understand you better than I could ever do.
Sometimes it’s so utterly painful to know where one’s attraction and sexual preference is really located, and one has to forego these personal feelings simply because of the stigma society inflicts on people who are attracted to their own sexual gender. They do not understand. Who are they to comment? Do we judge and condemn str8 people for what they do in their bedrooms? No. Why don’t they allow gay people just to live the way they want to, without fear, without condemnation, without being Bible-bashed all the time about it being so “sinful” and an “abomination” – PLEEZZ – get a life, leave gay people alone and say “There but by the Grace of God go I” and go about your own business QUIETLY!
I would have loved my 2 year partner for many more years had he not wanted group sex. While it is enjoyable on the physical level, it’s nothing but sex, there’s no emotion there, there’s no caring there, and I most certainly did not want to land up with AIDS. But I dream after a man, I pray all the time for a male friend to come into my life, somehow, God knows why, because I have certain needs and physical cravings that no woman can fulfill nor understand. When one stops considering a body part as merely functional and considers it a tantalizing sex organ from which one can gain immense pleasure (and pain), one can then understand why a man would like having his prostate massaged. Does it matter by whom it is done? According to the RIGHT WING behavior of this description is an abomination in God’s sight (Leviticus, et.al.), but according to the LEFT WING behavior of this description is utterly pleasurable. I will leave you to choose your side of the spectrum. We all have to answer to God one day, so let’s not try to judge, criticize, or condemn any other person who does not totally agree with your views. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own faith and belief. No one has the right to criticize, judge or condemn any other person who happens to disagree with you; and most especially LEAVE GAY PEOPLE ALONE. It’s their choice, if that what Ted Haggard wants, let him have it. If I want a man, that’s my business, my choice, my prerogative, and something for which I will have to bear the consequences in my own body or spirit one day. But I do agree that church leaders who are in the closet should find another vocation, don’t land up like all these others being criticized to death, rather leave quietly. If I had to find out that my pastor was gay I would be elated. I would be hurt for the sake of his family and 4 children, but I could understand why. He’s such a hunk!! But he is married and I respect that, so I will keep my eyes to myself where he is concerned. Jesus-personified – phew! – he’s DDG!!
I have rambled on for far too long and it’s very early in the morning on the last day of 2008 and time I got some well earned sleep.
Good night, world!
I think that is a very fair answer. Basically you’re saying you’re a human being. No disagreement there. You douns fair minded and well aware of yourself.
My disagreement lies with the rest of fundamentalist religion that says that if you are a human being, there must be something wrong with you.
The irony lies in the fundamentalist’s perception of gay people as only sexual beings, not as human beings. Then they are not surprised that if they define us as strictly sexual, some gay people act as if there is nothing else. It’s not a little bit like knee-capping someone, and then criticizing them for walking iwth a limp.
I don’t need your permission for anything, Mr. Baptist. And I don’t need your name-calling.
At first I thought perhaps Emily was being a bit presumptuous with LB, but after the above I would have to say she was spot on. As such, I will avoid what she addressed and stick with the basics.
First, people can and will interpret what you say (write). I am hard pressed to understand how one can do otherwise and still have a meeting of the minds on anything. The melodramatic statement above implies control which you should not expect and most certainly do not have. That you could call someone an imbecile (shouting no less) while at the same time accusing them of being impolite displays a striking lack of consideration for others, not to mention manners. That is not ok here.
Second, Usenet can be rather chaotic, even anarchistic — XGW is not. The discussion here is topic driven and we expect reasonably civil debate. You are welcome to join in but do not expect the same kind of wild west atmosphere you may be used to on the news groups. We have a wide range of readers and commenters, some conservative, some liberal and a lot in between. There are also people of faith all across that range. This and the fact that others read us from work requires a certain amount of self-control. This leads to the last point.
LB, the connection between most of what you have written and the OP is tenuous at best. Regardless, we don’t need to be discussing (repeatedly) which of your organs (or those of others) makes you feel good when messaged,.lamenting “good pickup spots” now gone, or other off-topic issues which at best are too much information for such a discussion and at worst will get us flagged in someone’s corporate firewall filter. There is no need to be a prude or to be shackled, just keep it relevant and be considerate of others.
Most of “male humanity” is “absolutely hideous?” Now let me be candid. Others tried to bring your comments into the discussion in a relevant way. Your responses were dismissive, insulting, at times shallow and largely self-centered (see above). That will not work here for long.
You seem to put a lot of stock in apologies. From where I stand, at the very least you owe cowboy a big one. Why don’t you consider that off the blog?
After that, perhaps you should read a bit of our archives and decide if XGW is a good fit for the type of discussion you wish to join.
Profuse apologies, withdrawn, I have always been a drama queen and I apologise profusely for my insensitive comments, I was very tired, ratty, and should have edited out that paragraph before clicking the Submit Comment button. I agree, it’s time to leave.
God bless, enjoy 2009.
Wow, this has to be one of the most insane online discussions I’ve ever read.
Alex, you’ve had a sheltered life.
You’re right, TRiG. In the cave where I was raised, it’s considered a little weird for an admittedly gay man to be married to a woman whom he claims to love, meanwhile he broadcasts the fact that he waits until she’s asleep before scouring for gay porn and ruminating about whether getting your prostate massaged means you’re homosexual. My isolated little tribe also thinks it’s sort of hypocritical to say you are a loving Christian while at the same time complaining about how selfish it is that someone with bronchitis was devout enough to make it to church on Christmas Eve to worship God.
I really need to get out into the world, huh??
I’d prefer to stay in my cave, thank you. Alex, your perfectly written prose is accepted with grateful thanks from this “grotto” (the name given to someone living in a cave) where I shall remain until the day of my departure from this planet – they will find a skeleton and dentures – which they will bury in lot G2525, West Park Cemetery, Johannesburg, RSA.
Alex, I certainly agree with you that Local Baptist is more than a little strange. (I wonder where he’s local to. Landover, perhaps?) I’m just saying that I have seen stranger things. But then, I post as a European (Irish) atheist on a US Christian messageboard. I see some very strange things.
I am quite sure you do, TRiG. But it says that it is entirely possible for a gay man to remain faithful to a heterosexual wife should he wish to. My wife and I are very close, have been best friends for 34 years, and marriage did not get in the way. Neither of us support divorce as legitimate in Christian Marriage, and we are together because we CHOSE to be together, not because it’s comfortable. I am sure Ted will be able to remain with his wife and 5 children. He must just DECIDE to, and put his own personal feelings, needs, desires, wants, lusts, etc., to bed without him in it to keep them company.
You wondered where I was local to, did you not read my message? Or are you one of those green goblins at the bottom of your garden in County Armagh?
I jest. I take it you have not heard of the Landover Baptist group. Look them up. I think you’d enjoy them. (Some people would find them grossly offensive, but I get the impression that you’re made of stronger stuff.)
You sound happy in your life, and that’s good. And you sound like you are not being deceitful, and that too is good. I don’t doubt that a gay man can be faithful to a heterosexual woman, should he choose to. I don’t see why he should choose to, but that’s your business, not mine. And I’m not going to try to run Ted Haggard’s life either. Why should I? (And how could I, if I wanted to?)
I will agree, to a certain extent, with Emily. “Ex-gays” come in many varieties. If you’re not of the variety which tries to make life difficult for gay people, you should be careful to avoid supporting that group. Don’t allow them to use your life as a stick to beat us with. Thanks.
Oh, and a grotto is a cave, usually an artificial one. A cave-dweller is a troglodyte.
And I’m from the Republic, not the North. I’ve been to Armagh only once.
Ah, TRiG, I am such. Troglodyte, or at least I feel like one. Trapped by my own decision in a really wonderful friendship/relationship/marriage that I would not change for anything since the hurt of a separation would tear us both apart, and I will not break my promise to her “to take care of her” since she has Temporal Lobe Epilepsy that is refractory to medical treatment.
I was never really or truly happy as a gay man because of the constant referrals to all the scriptures “condemning” this behaviour. Peope are very quick to judge and condemn where there is no personal experience only head knowledge and they use it to point fingers at gay people. I have had some relationships that I would have wanted to keep this particular man for the remainder of my life. We were good together back in the mid 1970s, but my parents had just separated, I could not take Johan home to meet my mother, or have him stay over for a night, my mother would have never allowed that, my father once said “This must stop”. Of course, one cannot get a gynaecologist to understand why a man wants to have sex with another man, when babies and women are his business.
I craved the affection – I still love it when a guy embraces me and we hug. Oh, the feeling is just so amazingly intense. It’s beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t! How do they know? That’s why I called them impudent imbeciles! They speak from their own experience as I do, as we do, some are more educated and thus feel they have the authority and knowledge to “read between the lines” and thus arrive at a conclusion by which we are ordered to abide.
When I was out of the closet, I was also the church organist. When I joined that church, it was pretty empty. Services had a smattering of people here and there. I started practising on a Saturday afternoon playing my repertoire of 1970s style David & Dale Garratt’s Songs of Praise choruses and hymns on the pipe organ. I would open the church windows, all the doors, and play the pipe organ at TOP VOLUME. Within 3 months, all services were packed to capacity. How? Why? Did they come to hear the pastor’s 45 minute lecture on how we had to behave, or did they come to hear the music?
My brother-in-law once told me and the entire family in an e-mail that my “pseudo-intellectualism was repugnant to the entire family”. He has a masters degree in psychology. His mother has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, his father was a mechanical engineer, my wife’s elder sister is a medical doctor (general practitioner), her younger sister works in the convention management business and her youngest has her BA.Psychology but owns and operates her own touring company for incoming tours to our country.
It is just my wife and I who are not graduates, but we manage to live IN credit and not ON credit. We both have chronic medical conditions, numerous medications to attempt to alleviate our physical distresses, three cats, 5 computers – three are mine for the analogue to digital conversions that I do – and my wife has two – a desktop XP Home and a laptop Vista Business 32.
So, yes, a gay man can choose his path, what he wants, what he doesn’t want – sex has become totally nauseating to me, repulsive, I have lost the need for an orgasm – and if my wife has one in six or seven years then she’s lucky. Her pills have sexual dysfunction as one of the side effects, and so do my antidepressants.
Ted must decide what he wants. If he wants a man, then he must leave his family, and by doing so may invoke God’s wrath. There was a director of an NGO who left his wife and two children for a man, many men, and was eventually murdered by one of his lovers. So, Ted, if you want to be murdered, go ahead and lead a gay life. If you don’t, you know what to do.
(Group: I am not implying anything so please do not write back to me saying that I am saying something else that I am not saying, okay??).
TRiG (so difficult to type) anyway, thanks for allowing me the opportunity to waffle along on my point of view. I couldn’t care less if people disagree with me, that is their prerogative, and I answer only to God. No one can stand in judgement of me. NO ONE!
LB–“Ted must decide what he wants. If he wants a man, then he must leave his family, and by doing so may invoke God’s wrath.”
you could just as easily argue that Teddy invoked G’s wrath by starting a family iwth his wife when he knew he shouldn’t have.
As always, G is amazingly silent on the subject of his “wrath”. I remember a muslim cleric claiming the SE asian tsunami, and waves ripping children out of their mother’s arms, was a result of g’s wrath as well– because some owmen were earing immodest swim suits.
I would like g to express his wrath over RC priests molesting children, 40 million spent on invalidating my marriage while children are starving, tens of thousands of dead iraqis– you know, something that actually, shall we say…
Statements like that are the best arguments I can think of for the gnostic’s beliefs about the god of THIS world.
Silliness upon silliness.
Please do not get me started on how I feel about G-d! I do not think about the alternative scenarios when I write, why should I when there’s a group of people out there ready to tell me where I faltered?
This aspect of G-d’s wrath had me not choose various careers as I was so afraid He would wipe me out in a plane crash, drown, the hotel would burn to the ground, etc.etc,, but those who informed me about G-d’s wrath never gave me any alternative career choice(s)!
Local Baptist – Are a Citizen of the USA?
I ask because you mentioned 2 things (amongst many),
a) burial in Johannesburg, RSA and
b) sex between two men is still illegal here (where you reside).
I’m thinking that you may from South Africa. Even though we share the English Language, there’s Cultural Differences which might explain some of the discord amongst folks who have posted. Folks in the US would have much different views of Ted Haggard and his life, this would also apply to Jimmy Swagart than someone from another country. Gay sex is not illegal in the US, State Sodomy Laws became unconstitional after the US Supreme Court Decision on Lawrence and Garner v. Texas, 26Jun03. Attempting to pick-up sexual partners in some public places could get one into trouble with local authorities.
How you have remained loyal to your wife is amazing, I know personally I couldn’t do it. You have a strong staying power with her. About your Gay Friend and his desire to encounter group activities – one thought (and my not knowing the complete story) is that he could have seen your commitment to your wife as not being a full commitment to him. I’ve been in triangular relationships before, endured pain from it and acted sometimes in ways that weren’t good.
I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church and well familiar with their view of eternal damnation of Homosexuals, then again if you’re in South Africa, there would be differences of doctrines between the Baptists. “Southern” is the largest group of the several Bapist groups in the US.
Folks – sorry to drag this out.
Happy New Year to All!
South Africa recently legalized same sex marriage. (As Jon Stewart put it) “not wimpy wimpy civil unions, same sex MARRIAGE.” So i doubt that gay sex would be illegal there.
No, I am not a citizen of USA, but a citizen of RSA. Thanks, Emily, for clearing up this matter as I was truly under the impression that it was still illegal here. I think that if men are caught in a “public” place engaging in any kind of homosexual activity, that is illegal, but if they are “married” it may not be. I really do not know. However, I do know that the minimum age for m2m activity is 19.
As to SA Baptists, our pastor is vehemently against any form of homosex, but he was born in Houston, TX, and grew up and was educated in Dallas, TX, and SF, CA. He came to SA in 1998 and has been our pastor since 2004. A PhD in Pastoral Theology from a local university, and amazing maturity for such a young man. He has a lot of learning to do as far as South African Culture is concerned without imposing his own parochial views on this topic. It’s all very well to judge and condemn, and pronounce it to be wrong, but he has absolutely no experience apart from theological knowledge. As I said, he has much growing up still to do. Please, he’s only 35, and his views will change over the years.
Should I have offended anyone’s sensibilities due to cultural differences between the RSA and the USA in what I have previously written, I apologise, withdraw, and repent without reserve! I also have freedom of speech and an opinion.
I tried to defend Ted Haggard in a gay church forum. got run down by everyone. There was real angst.
I do pity him, and will pray for him. I have many friends even after attending a gay affirmative church cannot come to accept themselves and it just wrecks their character and personality.
“I have many friends even after attending a gay affirmative church cannot come to accept themselves and it just wrecks their character and personality.”
Hate, whether disguised as love or admitted for what it is, will do that to you.
I’m reading all of these comments and just want to say that this whole “homosexual” “issue” boils down to what the bible says and dosen’t say. And the false spin religion has implanted upon this topic throughout the ages is most certainly worthy of consideration as well. Hence my response to Mike Huckabee and his achingly flawed statements. I’m interested in everyone’s feedback regarding my response to him. Here is the link: (you may have to copy and paste it)
Scroll down to Nov. 26th 2008 at 9:28pm
I’m especially inerested in what you have to say Local Baptist.
As I read the predicament that some gay men such as Ted Haggard and to some degree, Local Baptist are in, their lives are living proof of the damage that can result from altering God’s inspired word – the scriptures, regarding homosexuality. If the content, context, and the original language of scripture was left intact, without the manipulation of “false religion” to misrepresent it, then the ill directed “religious” teachings regarding “homosexuality”, would not have been able to influence many homosexuals into entering into a hetrosexual lie to begin with.
Emily – Thank You for the reminder about South Africa’s legal recognition of Same Sex Marriage back in 2006. I do now recall it. As reference for what it’s worth, Wikipedia:
My just keeping up on constantly changing USA happenings sometimes overshadows keeping abreast of World happenings beyond North America. My forgetful mental file gets overloaded.
Local Baptist – Thank you for confirming your home country and Welcome. BTW – I reside in Washington, DC, USA, also in a 15+ year relationship, I’m a guy with another guy, previously married, no children, just to give you (and others) perspective. No problem with you to me on your postings sharing your life‘s story, so far. Your perspective is interesting to read about. It’s also interesting that your church’s pastor is US native and educated. In some ways through him, you, your wife and the entire congregation are given an insight into American Life. I wander what his stance is concerning South Africa’s Laws providing Same Sex Marriage Equality? I’m unfamiliar with RSA’s Constitution and Government stance on freedom of speech, freedom of religion and hate speech. Unfortunately in the US, most religious leaders are the primary instigators of hate towards the GLBT community by preaching of Love the Sinner and Hate the Sin which influences people that violence to GLBTs is acceptable because in their eyes, GLBT are lesser people ans should be demised, just as Samaritans were treated during Jesus‘s time. It is NOT OK. Hatred towards another person is the oldest sin, reference Cain and Abel in Genesis 4. Christ gave us 2 real commandments, Love thy G-d with all your heart and soul and Love one another. Seems the US Religious industry ignores Christ’s commandments in their hell bent hijacking of the Republican Political Party to create a government of G-d on earth. Iran is an example of how a theocracy functions and the people live in fear. If your pastor found you out, your existence could become difficult. Peace to you.
Back to Ted Haggard, he’s a man in conflict with himself, publicly promoting unacceptance of GLBT people while paying to have his own personal undercover “fun” as “Art” with Mike Jones. I’m glad that Ted got outed, there‘s several YouTube videos of his voicing lies, there’s no easy recovery from it. The US GLBT community has endured much discussion about Ted’s situation since Oct 07. His current public acceptance level is low. A divided house can not Stand, it‘ll eventually fall apart. How this affects his wife and children is unknown or publicized, surely their private lives have been turned upside down. When the Documentary is aired later this month, the public will have opportunity to gain more insight into him, his current situation and gauge direction of where he thinks he’s headed. He’ll once again relish the free publicity to proclaim his straightness, it‘ll feed his ego and self centeredness behavior. Ted’s dilemma could be compared to Michael Jackson‘s reputation, one that the Public has much distrust about, avoids endorsement, more or less has much desire for him to just disappear and keep quiet, but will continue to discuss it with much ridicule. Ted’s past lavish lifestyle is long gone, it’s no longer funded by his former Church’s Treasury and his books, once sponsored by James Dobson’s Focus on the Family Inc, are now forever off Bookstore Shelves and Best Seller lists. Ted’s credibility is near zero. Ted misses easy access to Power, Money and Publicity he once had, he’s now half heartedly selling insurance, playing his own victim over his true identity while adamantly claiming he’s straight. A few months ago he was uncovered again soliciting money from former followers to assist (fund) with his “retraining effort” while in Phoenix, AZ which got publicized with adverse reactions. People aren’t dumb. The exgay industry has yet to embrace or endorse him or his method of obtaining straightness, he’s been exiled, left alone and frustrated about his situation. If Ted officially came out as Gay and made real whole hearted amends to the GLBT Community, it could positively turn his Public Identity around, but that choice of how to proceed is his to make, unfortunately until then, he’s predisposed to continued scrutiny and ridicule. He should consult a professional image maker to promote his coming out.
Dearest Roger, you are so lucky to have found a partner with whom you can be happy and I wish you the best for the future. However, I was never really happy as a gay man, going from one fling to another, constantly looking for THE man who would want to stay with me longer than 3 weeks. When my 2-year partner started wanting group, and I would arrive at his place to find numerous guys leaving, he was obviously not taking our relationship seriously, and so I broke it off. I waited 6 months. I phoned my best friend with whom I had been platonic friends for 15 years, got together, sparks flew, we went away for a long weekend, I proposed, she accepted, and we have been together now for 19 years. There is no way I will allow my pastor to find out, and if suspicions arise, I will repel them (No weapon formed against me shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against me in judgement, I shall condemn).
I believe Emily answered the question about South Africa’s laws.
/sigh Local Baptist
Any wonder you hide the true nature of your relationship from people.
My relationship is honest and easily explained. To anyone, even if they hold views against such relationships. They “get it”. We’re gay men, therefore we are together. That’s what gay men do.
Your relationship … jeepers, I dont know where to start: and apparently, neither do you.
If there’s “no way I will allow my pastor to find out”, you’ve basically admitted your life is a dishonest fraud in public. You’re welcome to it, of course: but don’t dare suggest such a life is anything other than what it is.
I wouldn’t recommend that type of life to anyone.
Stop pretending it’s wonderful. Lying and hiding is never wonderful, and you know it.
Milton said it best, though i don’t think this situation is what he was talking about:
Better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven.
I agree that from what Local Baptist has told us, his life does seem very mixed up and unusual. But ultimately, his life is his business, even if you still think it’s nothing but a fraud. There’s no reason for us not to believe that Local Baptist genuinely loves his wife, and if what he says is true, she knew about his sexuality at the time they got married, which means she was not deceived or manipulated. So basically, what we’re left with here is two adults who just want to make a happy life for themselves – and that should be enough for you.
Frankly, for you to tell a complete stranger to stop pretending, lying, and hiding, it reminds me of exactly the kind of thing this site tries to speak out against: that is, people telling others how they should live. If it’s not ok for anti-/ex-gay advocates (who believe WE are the ones living dishonestly) to do it, then it’s not ok for openly gay people like you and me to do it, either.
Grantdale, how would you have liked growing up in a country where homophobia was the norm, where gay men were hunted down by the racist Apartheid government forces, imprisoned, tortured, beaten, sometimes killed for who they were, not for what they had done?
Thank you, Alex, for your support.
To everyone on this list, I am far happier living my “lie” than I was living my “truth”. As I have already said, I was never truly happy living a gay life, although I love the sex, I was never accepted by family and or friends and or church people where I was the organist. Everyone always criticized and judged. No one does that now. So my life is a lie to you, that’s fine, my life is open to God and that’s what matters. Finally only God can and will judge me for who and what I am and have done with the life He gave me. It is not the place for any mere mortal to assume this authority.
Perhaps I’m not seeing it…but how are the anti-/ex-gay advocates saying WE are the ones living dishonestly? Open and “out & proud” gays are dishonest? How?
I think grandale was giving Mr. Baptist latitude to live his life as he sees fit. But, grantdale was correctly pointing out a fact: Mr. Baptist is not being honest with his Pastor.
Nor am I going to be, for fear of being excommunicated and all those ramifications. My pastor can remain in blissful ignorance seeing he is extremely homophobic and his attitude on homo anything is myopic to its extreme. He simply cannot tolerate anything to do with gay. So I will keep quiet.
– André Gide (himself a gay man)
You have never met an “ex-gay” person before, have you?
I didn’t say that open and “out & proud” gay people are living dishonestly. I said that anti-gay and ex-gay advocates believe we are. The ex-gay ministers and conservative Christians I’ve talked to all believe that there really is no such thing as a gay person, just heterosexual people who “struggle” with “unwanted same-sex attractions” and who have “deluded” themselves into thinking that it’s ok to be gay. People like you and me, who identify as gay and believe that it’s ok for a man to have sex with another man, are not being honest with what we should know deep down, which is that God intended for us to have sex with women, as the Bible confirms (I know, I know, homosexuality as we know it today is vastly different from how it was understood in biblical times, but “critical thinking” and “contextual analysis” are relatively alien concepts to evangelicals).
To the “ex-gay” person, identifying as gay is not what God wants for our lives, so we are not living honestly until we start fighting these “temptations” and start behaving in a holy (read: heterosexual) way. In fact, a lot of Christians I’ve talked to even believe that if a gay person stops having gay sex, then he is no longer gay. This is all a complete load of crap, of course, but it helps to understand where the other side is coming from – especially when they’ve got it wrong.
Regarding Local Baptist’s dishonesty toward his pastor, I think he is doing something that every gay person experiences. When I accepted my homosexuality, I didn’t feel compelled to come out to every single person I know. For one thing, it’s none of their business, and for another, I think it’s rude to volunteer information that will most likely make my extended family and friends uncomfortable. However, if the question ever comes up, I will answer honestly. You could say that I’m lying by omission, but as is the case for Local Baptist, that’s my business, and I think lots of gay people can relate.
Being an American, I know how easy it is to project my sense of relative acceptance onto other people, and to assume that honesty is always the best option. But the truth is, sometimes it’s not. If you live in a place like South Africa, as Local Baptist explained, it’s often in a gay person’s best interest to be dishonest about their sexuality, if it saves you from beatings, imprisonment, social exile, etc. In a perfect world, every gay person would be free to live openly and honestly without fearing for their lives on a daily basis, but unfortunately that will never happen.
I see your point Alex, thanks.
And, I got thinking if I have ever met an ex-gay person. Nope. I can’t say I have. I have daily encounters with anti-gay factions and even my immediate family would fit many of the attributes of an anti-gay but I have never talked with an ex-gay.
I have suspicions about a co-worker (who is married) but I give him a wide berth.
Plus, I almost think I was in so much denial during my youth I could have been classified a “twilight zone” gay so I understand the stigma and the peer-pressure thing with being conforming to being hetero. But…
Except: I had a nice guy approach me at a rodeo once and he told me about his experiences in an ex-gay regimen somewhere in Oregon but that has been about it.
I have watched this discussion in awe of your colorful story, candor, honesty and thick skin, regardless of the flack. If anything I’ve learned even more the old adage “live and let live”.
I do have a couple of questions if you wouldn’t mind. 1) Is your wife reading these posts?
2) If you became single someday, and you felt marketable in your own mind and wanted another mate, would you go for a man or woman? 3) Do you consider yourself bi at all?
4) If you are all gay, did you develop a sexual attraction to your wife? And if so, how do you explain that and was it there upon marriage or before? 5) How does your religious lifestyle, gay sex abomination etc fit into your thinking? This is by far one of the most interesting discussions I’ve read and I hope you will stay in contact.
Alex, I think you hit the nail on the head. Cowboy, I laughed at your “twilight zone” comment, it’s sooo true to one degree or another, probably for most of us.
Regarding Haggard, I think his only way out of his haggard mess is to go to a tres busy airport, grab a PA mike and yell “I’m gay”, straight into a video cam. He could make millions off books about recovering gay ministers. With his salesman mentality, I’m amazed he hasn’t done it . . . ummm . . . yet.
Frankly, I did grow up in a country where homophobia was the norm. We’re not American. And neither is homophobia. We don’t need a lecture.
Also, fortunately, we did not grow up in South Africa. If we had I fear I may have too easily adopted some attitudes about others — and about myself — that I am grateful I did not. Circumstances could have easily been different for one of us (the other is part Maori, and therefore unlikely to have been enraptured with growing up in South Africa).
You know as well as we do that the previous regime was perverse — what we’d ask is that you question how much effect that environment has had on you. You have expressed some attitudes that are all too telling, it seems. Apartheid takes many forms, and the previous regime damaged everyone in South Africa.
The Privilege came with The Burden.
Alex: “You’re welcome to it, of course”: I think I said exactly that didn’t I???
As cowboy — who can tell more than a tale or two about anti-gay environments — correctly pointed out… that leaves more than enough latitude for LB. He can do what he wants as far as we are concerned: need we be any clearer?
I think, perhaps, we have very different opinions about what a person’s relationship should be with their pastor, and others. And what “openness” means. People do what they think they need to do, but I also need not volunteer their life as a good example to others.
There’s no point to me making any issue with this with you, given what you’ve said about yourself. As example, I am trying to think of the last time I actually said “I am gay” to someone. It would be some time ago, long enough to forget who it was, and no doubt a dim-witted person. But I don’t censor myself for fear of upsetting “extended family and friends”, as you apparently do.
His photo is on my desk at work. His name gets mentioned, in run-of-the-mill conversation. He appears everywhere with me. I really am over it, except when I am forced to make it an issue: which is almost never as far as daily life is concerned. At the same time, we are both perfectly willing to unashamedly lie about being not being gay when it is unsafe for us to do otherwise. The big difference is… I know I am lying, and I know full well why I am lying; no sense of guilt, and no need to justify. It needs to be a real physical danger to make us censor, not merely the downward opinion of others.
As for all the rest… I’m not even going to get into the whole nonsense about gay porn and the wife being “fine” with that etc etc etc. Yeah, sure she is. Just like I would be if dear husband needed to look at straight porn to somehow manage to remain in a gay relationship with me. Sheesh, paint me naive but that’s not projecting “my sense of relative acceptance onto other people”… that’s… mental masturbation.
There is a point where one needs to suspend disbelief to continue. I’ve about reached it with LB, truth be told. It’s all so easy to be ‘anonymous and honest’ here, but I very much doubt if the pastor is the only one who’s not getting the full story. Us too, perhaps?
I don’t like making this nonsense “personal” (and least of all with you, be assured), but I am honestly tired of “exgays” who are in demonstrably odd and/or dysfunctional relationships making an issue of publicly promoting their relationships for evangelical reasons. Forced heterosexuality is rarely a pretty sight.
ps, for the record, we know more than enough exgay people, if you mean people who once were in a gay relationship and now are not. Interestingly, none of them feel compelled to be one way or the other — not by us, not by themselves. The wives seem no more perturbed by the old boyfriends than they would be about old girlfriends. C’est la vie 🙂
Bang on, Grantdale. The whole idea of lying, of obfuscating about this issue makes me queasy, simply because it supports the idea that being gay should be lied about, should be obfuscated. and there in lies the problem.
This is not a comment about LB, except insofar as his life reflects what started this conversation– Mr. haggard. Teddy has been lying his whole life, and continues to lie to this days, as far as I can tell.
That’s hardly swimming in the fountain of truth.
Yup, you certainly did say, “You’re welcome to it, of course.” And just now you added, “He can do what he wants as far as we are concerned.” But you also told Local Baptist to stop pretending his life is wonderful. I don’t understand how you can respect a person’s right to do what he wants, only to tell him in another sentence that he should stop.
Alex, what I actually said was “Lying and hiding is never wonderful, and you know it.” In all LB’s discussion about his life, he’d rather too glibly neglected to forthrightly state that he STILL has to lie and hide about one of the most basic aspects of his life. IMO.
Not sometimes. Not in some circumstances. But ALWAYS, and to those he supposedly should have an honest relationship with. That’s what I picked up on and, as with Haggard, it is this aspect that does not sit right with us. I don’t see why it should sit right, either.
As for the not understanding, I’ll try make it easy: “I don’t think you should go to Somalia for a holiday (our opinion) but you, of course, are at liberty to do so. Heck, you can go try and sail there in a 16ft skiff if you feel like it.” (us respecting your right to do what you want).
LB not only has the right but, importantly, the ability to organise his own affairs. You’ll look in vain for where we would impose on either — regardless of our opinions about choices that come with a need to continuously lie and hide. We haven’t ‘offered’ LB a remedy, note, but we refuse to be treated like fools when it comes to that lying and hiding: pace, Haggard.
We hold rather a catholic line on liberty issues with adults. And about holidays in Somalia.
Okay, Grantdale, you win. If I cannot blame apartheid, then I will blame my upbringing. My father was an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist (OBGYN) and as such had no time for anything that would not contribute to his income.
Well, that is exactly what they did to you, isn’t it?
I grew up in the Southern Baptist church and can relate to the idea of keeping one’s sexuality a secret out of fear that I would be judged and abandoned. Thank goodness I had the internal fortitude to walk away from that life and realize that the prejudices and unfounded biases held by people in the church were their own problems, their own sins, and that I didn’t have to keep subjecting myself to their negativity.
Haggard can call himself a “loser” if he wants, but he will only be a loser if he continues on his path of denial and self-hatred. I wish that Haggard would stop for a minute and take a look at the many, many examples of happily-partnered same-sex couples and realize just how different his life could have been. There are churches that are accepting of homosexuals, so why not go there? Why not “minister” to other fundamentalists/evangelicals who have left their churches because of the conflict between their innate sexual orientation and the dogmatic beliefs of their church.
Maybe Haggard was abused as a boy, but that in itself did not “cause” his homosexuality. Many men are abused in their childhood but not many of them “become” homosexual from the experience.
My hope for Haggard is that he realizes that his sexual orientation is something over which he has no control, can’t pray away the gay, etc. and look for constructive ways to live his life. I am sure he loves his wife and children, but the truth is that he is in a sham marriage and it is my belief that he will never be “happy” until and unless he fully embraces his sexual orientation and walks away from the lie he’s lived for so many years.
Jonathon, thank you for these words. You have successfully summed up the entire discussion neatly, succinctly, and factually.
And I now we read about how Mr. Haggard is dancing around gay “marriage” semantics. He is for gay civil rights but … then he gets into some back-tracking: he’s not for marriage equality.
What Mr. Haggard needs is a good set of friends (like mine) who would introduce him to a social network of professionals living day-to-day in a reasonably comfortable and happy existence. Nobody is perfect and we all have our foibles but there is so much more to being a homosexual. Considering what Emily K gave as examples of what Exodus think a gay “lifestyle” is all about it might well to suggest some deprogramming for Mr. Haggard.
I’ll volunteer to do a little intervention for Mr. Haggard. There are organizations for married gay Fathers out there. At the very least, he should find some socializing at gay garden clubs, at a men’s choir, at a hiking club, at a cycle/running club, at a motorcycle touring group, at a cruise/travel adventure and even at a gay rodeo.
I don’t agree with Dr. Joseph Nicolosi theory on children and their gender choise. I believe it’s illogical.