The article in my paper was more or less a recap of the past few years of his sorry life of denial and hypocrisy and didn't really include much that I didn't already know, but there was one paragraph within that article that erased any pity I might have had for the man and replaced it with seething fury:
Asked to expand on his attitude toward homosexuality, Haggard said, "I believe all human beings fall short of the standards they believe in."
He added, "I would say the biggest change is I now know more about hatred than I ever dreamed, and I know it doesn't help. And I know more about judgment and I know it doesn't help. Since my experience, I know more about the power of love and forgiveness. I know a lot more about the necessity of people not judging one another."
What the hell? He now knows more about hatred and judgment than he ever dreamed? Well I'll be damned! I guess he had to be on the receiving side of what he'd made a lucrative career of dishing out in order to know just how destructive, cruel, and UNCHRISTIAN it is to preach hate and homophobia. Does he really expect us to believe that he is a victim or to feel sympathy for him? My lord this man thinks we are idiots! He spent his whole career as a sanctimonious fraud masquerading as a holy man who preached hatred and exclusion towards gays and lesbians and then when he, through every fault of his own, gets a taste of the horrible homophobia, hatred, and judgment that is so prominant in all of these Right Wing Religious Houses of hate and exclusion, he is just shocked.
I guess I am really angry at this sad little man because I secretly had hoped this would be a chance at true redemption for him. I honestly believed that maybe this agonizingly public fall from grace combined with the horrific pain he inflicted on himself and his family would actually make him realize that he was not broken, he did not need fixing, that he was exactly as God intended him to be, and that the only thing for which he needed to beg forgiveness was the many years he'd preached the hatred and homophobia that had come back to bite him.
I guess that was quite naive of me. I didn't realize how deep the self-loathing and denial is in these people. I just thank God that my own son is at peace with who he is and will never destroy others or himself by trying to be something God never intended him to be. Maybe in a generation or two we won't have to read any more pitiful stories like that of Ted Haggard.