Over a year ago I blogged about Ted Haggard, and he is back to the fore. Yesterday it was just revealed that Haggard had a long-time homosexual affair with a young man in his church, but that the story was squelched and the victim was bribed.
This story is particularly interesting to me because it points out some of the most basic flaws in how Christianity handles humanity. If you are a Christian, this illustrates why Christianity is bad for you personally, and if you are not a Christian, it illustrates why Christianity is bad for society at large.
The church’s concern was clearly not for people involved, but to preserve the integrity of the message. If you are a Christian (especially in a large church), don’t think for a second that your needs won’t be quickly brushed aside in a similar manner should you ever be victimized.
The error is with the church’s definition and approach to sin. This begins with the Bible and ends with modern interpretations of it. The net result: homosexuality is a sin, and a choice—but not a genetic predisposition. The integrity of this message is important for the church to preserve because otherwise it would imply that God created some men with a natural tendency to do something that is considered an abomination. Why would God do that? The Christian answer: he doesn’t. According to them, people choose to commit homosexual acts because of their sin nature. Therefore this sin can be overcome through faith in God and a choice to be heterosexual. Case closed. (Note: this is also a very useful doctrine for the church. Anti-homosexual sentiment has been a rallying cry that keeps the pews—and the offering plates—full.)
To preserve this valuable message, several people have lied. They wiggled out of disclosing Haggard’s long-time homosexual affair by bribing the young man with college tuition. The article quotes the current church pastor as saying
“We considered it more compassionate assistance — certainly not hush money. I know what’s what everyone will want to say because that’s the most salacious thing to say, but that’s not at all what it was.”
Well Mr. Boyd, if you didn’t want the world to think you were giving him hush money, you shouldn’t have given him hush money. Boyd also said,
“This decision was made not as an attempt to conceal wrongdoings, but to protect him from those who would seek to exploit him. His actions now suggest that he has changed his mind.”
Really? Why did you need to give the victim money in order to protect him from the media? I’d love to hear that explanation. And why did the victim change his mind on the day a documentary about Haggard was to be aired on HBO? The documentary continues to portray homosexuality as a sin, and in it Haggard completely and deceitfully disregards the long-time affair he had with the young man at his church. Maybe the victim realized he was being paid hush money, and decided that it was bullshit that the man who was the source of his pain should continue to profit from his hypocrisy. Maybe his heart was broken that his intimate affair was so easily brushed aside. Maybe he was troubled by the fact that the man who was “coming clean” and “healing” was continuing on in an even bigger lie. Kudos to the victim for blowing the whistle. Shame on the New Life Church for continuing on in the effort to spin the truth into something that complements their flawed doctrine at the expense of their own congregation.
The church wanted to squelch the fact that Haggard was a practicing homosexual for several years, while he was one of the primary leaders of the evangelical movement in America. Instead, they tried to spin Haggard’s scandal as a single “wild streak” of aberration during a short span of time. Why? Because these facts cast an even greater uncertainty upon the basic principles of Christianity. If the greatest, most faithful among them could not for years cast off his evil nature—how could anyone? Or, could the top leaders of Christianity be mere charlatans? These are questions they don’t want people to ask. They are not profitable.
This ugly fact splays wide the festering wound they continue to inflict upon homosexuals with their obviously flawed doctrine. Even while one of their very elect is a hard-coded homosexual, they lie and wiggle to preserve the message that no, he is a heterosexual who was merely attacked by Satan with unnatural desires. This causes homosexual Christians to hate themselves, and heaps more shame upon “the guilty,” who will, in turn, require the church’s exhonoration services.
This is an example of how a system of information that does not allow any self-correcting mechanism can run into a brick wall when that information is applied to reality. The fuzzy thinking used by Christians is largely a result of the constant struggle to justify their dogma against conflicting facts. That fuzzy thinking is blatantly obvious here. No Christian leader involved is allowed to ask “Should we rethink our current doctrine in the face of this contradictory evidence?” No, that would imply that the message is less than perfect—less than divine.
I say this to the New Life Church: stop your war on truth. Stop the hypocrisy because you will only face this ugly reality over and over. Liberalize your views on homosexuality, and stop profiting from your anti-homosexual agenda.