Ted Haggard appears with his wife on Oprah today. This show was scheduled with others to promote his upcoming HBO special, The Trials of Ted Haggard and taped prior to the latest revelations about his relationship with young church volunteer Grant Haas. The HBO special was also taped before these latest allegations though they are sure to increase scrutiny of the documentary. Haggard spoke briefly to this point in a subsequent letter to Oprah.
“Oprah, I did not reveal the relationship on your show out of privacy concerns—even though there was never any physical contact. I have regretted my irresponsible behavior. I apologized to Grant, my family and the church two years ago. I now ask him again for his forgiveness as well as the people of the church.”
Whatever else he may be, he is a man, probably gay, confused and experiencing a lot of pain and, one would think, incredible condemnation. He’s made some bad choices and hurt a lot of people, but I hope those around him are considering the risk that he may attempt harm to himself before this is over.
Perhaps I am just naive, but when I look at Haggard, sometimes I see a 50+ year old, worn out “Bobby,” still unable to break free of the ex-gay myth that has been imposed upon him so powerfully.
Those who are able to watch are invited back to discuss their impressions.
Update: Excerpt from the show[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xgg_bUiF-Y[/youtube]
At about 1:40 is the part I was watching when I wrote this comment. From the sound of it, Gayle could probably help Ted most by pulling back on that input — we know where it so often leads. There are some things that follow from Ted that still sound a bit misdirected, but considering how much he is having to parse through, I’m rather surprised. Just realizing that his attractions are a part of him and not demons is a big step to which I’m sure many here can attest.
I have nothing to go on but a hunch, but I just don’t believe the story about one of his father’s workers sexually abusing him. He phrased it in a way that no one should be surprised if they didn’t know who he was, he left soon, never heard from him again. But such an incident would be just what ex-gay counselors would want to find and I think early on Ted obliged and probably doesn’t know now if it’s truth or fantasy.