I will go to my grave believing that the only one who has a choice in the matter of sexual orientation is God. And I believe this because I watched my own son struggle for years before he finally accepted that he did not have a choice in the matter. Each person’s sexual orientation is a gift from Him. It saddens me that the Pastor Ted who considered himself so enlightened that he could preach to thousands, could not even see that his own sexual orientation was never a choice, but a gift. And to consider it repulsive and dark is an insult to God:
"There is part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I've been warring against it all of my adult life," - pastor Ted Haggard
And I have to quote Andrew’s response since it comes from his own experience and from his heart:
And this is why one of the first things we told our son when we found out he was gay was that he needed to come out and BE WHO HE IS. No more lies, no more secrets, no more torment. Essentially, that day marked the first day of his new life --- and he has never been happier.
For those who still - amazingly - believe that being gay is somehow a "choice," consider Haggard. If he could have chosen not to be gay, don't you think he would have? Even though he apparently believes being gay is "repulsive and dark" (while it is, in fact, just another wonderful way to be human), he still cannot prevail against it. It is integral to him. It has been "all of [his] adult life".
One day, he may realize, and I pray he does, that the only dark and repulsive thing is the closet, the betrayal of his wife and children, the destruction of a church, and the demonization of others in the same boat - all as a function of his own inability to face the truth. What is dark and repulsive is dishonesty.
There is no commandment not to be gay. There is a commandment not to bear false witness. Haggard bore false witness - to himself, to his wife, to his traumatized kids, to his fellow gay men and women. repeatedly, pathologically, self-destructively. The right response for Christians is compassion and forgiveness. But also hope: hope that this will help spread the truth about what being gay actually is.
Face it, Ted. Face the truth. It will set you - and so many others - free.