Haggard – “Winning the battle” with same-sex attraction

Does anyone else see a problem here?

Former evangelical pastor Ted Haggard’s wife says she knew about his struggles with same-sex attraction for years and felt he was “winning the battle” before a scandal involving a male prostitute triggered his downfall in late 2006.

Haggard had struggles with same-sex attraction for years!  His wife thought he was ‘winning the battle” warding off the homosexual tendencies.

Winning or sinning?  Isn’t that what they mean?    

Gayle and Ted appeared together on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ discussing this issue.  How does Oprah get these great guests?  Tom Cruise goes insane on a couch.  Dr. Jill Biden blurts about her husbands choice of VP or Secretary of State. 

She said upon hearing of his ‘struggle’ the first words out of her mouth were:  Who are you?”

“I felt it was the thing that could destroy Ted if he gave in to it,” she said on the show. “So I prayed for him and I felt as though he was winning the battle.”

‘Prayed for him.’  ‘Winning the battle.’  ‘[D]estroy Ted if he gave in to it.’

This entire story is hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetically sad.

Here’s why I find it to be so tragic: 

Gayle’s words describe it all.  She felt it could destroy Ted if he gave into his homosexual attraction.  People like Gayle and Ted don’t realize that they are more likely to be destroyed internally if they don’t accept who they are. 

There isn’t exactly a HA (homosexuals anonymous) like there is for alcohol, drug or gambling addictions. 

The sooner people like Ted and Gayle realize that there is nothing to be fearful or ashamed about, the sooner we’ll all be better off. 

It reminds me of a M*A*S*H episode where the injured white soldier tells a doctor to make sure he gets the ‘right color blood’ afraid that he’ll get blood drawn from an African American. 

It’s sad when a homophobe has homosexual feelings.  The internal battle is intense.  They do need help.   Just not the type of help they think.  They need psychological help in order to overcome their homophobia which will pave the way for them to accept who they are.  Only then can they realize internal peace. 

Larry Craig and Mark Foley – are you listening?

There isn’t a pill, magic wand or a hypnotic spell that will rid Haggard of his homosexual attractions. 

What makes matters worse is that fact that he’s a married man who seems unable to control his sexual desires.    As a married man, I don’t find it hard to resist temptations from other women – either real or imaginary. 

So why would one act on fantasies or attractions at the expense of their REAL relationships?

Either you take monogamy seriously or you don’t.   It doesn’t matter if it is heterosexual or homosexual love. 

And whatever became of Haggard’s attraction to meth?


Update:  I watched this section of Oprah after writing this post.  The acceptance and identity portion of this video is exactly the point I am trying to make.    I find it interesting that Gayle and Ted seemed to be on different pages about ‘accepting who you are.’   It wouldn’t surprise me if they still believe that you can shut those ‘demons’ out.  Nor would it surprise me if they still can not differentiate between having inclinations and acting on them. 






11 responses to “Haggard – “Winning the battle” with same-sex attraction

  1. It’s the typical “Pray away the Gay”.. they all suffer from it.. and they have people believing it works… that’s the sad part..

  2. The problem is that fundamentalist Christians MUST believe that homosexuality is a mental or sexual disorder. The alternative is that this is an inherent, or in-born human characteristic. If they accept that, however, they must admit that God makes people homosexual – and if God ordains it, it must be OK. So, tojustify their own homophobia, they make gayness a curable disease……

  3. Annette – it’s very sad.

    Kate – you make a fantastic point. There is no way God could make someone homosexual. Their minds could not handle the concept.

  4. Hey My2bucks, you are well written, but woefully ignorant. There are Five 12 Step Fellowships that deal with the addiction to sex of whatever flavor one practices. Homosexual tendencies are not in-born, but a response on the part of the sufferer to environmental pressures they were exposed to. To believe that homosexuality is genetic one would also have to believe that addiction to internet porn is genetic – except our DNA wasn’t exposed to Internet Porn until the last 15 years or so.

    Only a closed mind would say something as silly as “God makes homosexuals”. That is like saying God makes Diabetics or Blind People or persons with one-arm. God allows the Nature He created to operate contrary to how He originally created it – many faiths believe this now-flawed-operation is due to some sort of original sin. We all have some flawed operation in us – to say you don’t is a lie.

    What we do know is what a properly functioning human being behaves like and what an improperly functioning one behaves like. As a biological entity, the human being is designed to live, grow and replicate – only a profound flaw in the organism causes it to behave contrary to how its DNA dictates. Just because a significant number of improperly operating humans want everyone else to approve of their improper actions doesn’t mean they are ‘right’, ‘normal’ or ‘healthy’. See radical Islamists who number in the tens of millions. See Rwandan massacre 1994. See Darfur. See the destruction of Native Americans. See U.S. Slavery. Because a person was born to a slave doesn’t meant they should stay a slave and that slavery was right.

    We invented medicine to study the improperly functioning members of the human family and help them become properly functioning again. It was once perfectly normal to put anyone who criticized the government of the Soviet Union into an insane asylum and heavily sedate them. That didn’t make the practice ‘right’ or ‘healthy’.

  5. Welcome to the site, John.

    I’d have to say that I find the analogy comparing homosexuality to an addition to internet porn weak.

    You seem to be confusing homosexuality with abusive behavior – children who were abused have a higher tendency to become abusers. And your use of ‘sufferer’ when describing homosexuals can be interpreted as insulting, not to mention what comes later in your comment.
    Homosexuality is also not an addictive behavior. Being addicted to porn, drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc is. In case it isn’t clear, pornography has been around hundreds of years and probably thousands. Before computers, pornography could be found in toys, videos and magazines. There is even evidence to suggest that pornography existed in sculptures, paintings and even on cave walls.

    There are many who believe that God has written the entire book for us. They believe that God already has it decided when you will die. If someone is in a tragic car accident, gets cancer or even gets divorced you will invariably hear someone state ‘It was God’s will.’

    To be honest, your third and fourth paragraphs that call gays and lesbians flawed is disgusting and your examples that follow make no sense. The Germans once attempted to create a ‘master race’ killing those who they believed were flawed and imperfect – like the Jews, gypsies and homosexuals.

    Our founding fathers stated that all men are created equal. I guess that would apply only if they behave in a manner that is suitable to the ones making rules.

  6. Silly, you supported my point by saying all are created equal – equally flawed. Why is homosexuality unlike another addiction? Is it because there are no chemicals involved? That is an ignorant statement. All physical response of any kind involves chemicals – we are chemical beings. “Every breath we take, every move we make” The part of the brain addictive drugs affect is the part of the brain that is stimulated during sex. Sex is not some out of body experience. But any part of our body can be flawed and thereby produce actions that are not appropriate to their design or function – we call that disease.

    Sexual response is chemical through and through. Nerve endings are nerve endings. Homosexuality occurs when a person somehow links in their mind the sexual response with attraction to someone of the same sex. It is frequently reported that males who experience rejection from their fathers in youth and over-invovlement by their mothers to compensate for the rejection, link their innate desire to learn from and connect with their fathers with the sexual response, and also link the over-controlling, and critical behavior of their mothers with the sexual reponse as well. They are drawn to other males to learn what it is to be male, and they are repelled by females because they don’t want to face the constant judging of the female in their life – superimposed on this is the overwhelmingly powerful sexual response. In their minds they link the wonderful feelings of sex (caused by chemical reactions in the brain) with whom they feel safe having sex with – someone of the same sex. The natural course of events is to grow up feeling safe with one’s own sex, and then allowing the wonderful, but completely chemical reactions related to sex draw unlike individuals (one male one female) together to encourage continuation of the species.

    You completely missed my point in the latter paragraphs. It was normal for the populations cited to engage in inappropriate behavior (slaughtering their enemies) in their societal context – that does not make their ‘normal’ behavior correct or healthy – it just means the average person in that society engaged or allowed it. I didn’t bring up the Nazis – they are too easily dismissed as isolated crazies – when in fact, they also engaged in ‘normal’ behavior for their societly that was completely inappropriate (i.e. wrong).

    It is not an act of love to encourage someone to continue in self-destructive behavior.

  7. Why is homosexuality unlike another addiction, you ask? Maybe because it isn’t an addiction. Unless you consider love an addiction.

    The analysis that homosexuals become that way in part because of their childhood is flawed and naïve. I know homosexuals who have had truly wonderful childhoods and straights who have had screwed up childhoods.
    I still may have missed your point, but it sounds like you were comparing murderers to homosexuals. If so, that is ludicrous.

    I agree with your last sentence – except you seem to be saying that homosexuality is self-destructive behavior. I totally disagree with that statement but will add that hatred, bigotry and intolerance is self-destructive and dangerous.

    In fact it is hatred, bigotry and intolerance that have caused more harm than anything else.

  8. Just another comment. I always thought that God DID make diabetics, blind people, and people with one arm. That’s what was always known as “God’s will”. Got cancer? God’s will. Contracted an infection and died? God’s will. Which is one of the reasons why many doubt the existence of God – why would a benevolent father inflict such suffering as a matter of will? I don’t know if I really believe in God anymore, but I do believe that all is created equally – the perfect and the imperfect – and both need to be respected.

  9. Kate,

    I agree. I always hear it’s ‘God’s will’ and part of his ‘master plan.’
    The one that bother’s me the most is when a young child dies and someone says ‘it is God’s will’.

  10. I think that the basic element here is to look to the basic functions of the sexes, to reproduce. God created men and women and their specific gender reproductive parts connect in a specific way for a specific reason, sex is meant to be between a man and a woman.

    I can post this as I had a 33+ year struggle with same sex attraction. I know its origins, from a mother that wanted a daughter so bad that she refused to hold her first born male child and then along came me, her desire only burning more for that girl. I was born with a pre-disposition for wounding and boy did I wound easily. Add that to a father that was married to his job and didn’t know I existed and an older brother that made my life a living hell, you have the makings of a man that had a major same sex attraction.

    I knew it was wrong even as a 16 year old coming of age. I didn’t accept Christ as my savior till I was 27. But all that time before I was a believer, I still knew it was wrong and thankfully, I never acted out.

    Last year I dealt with the issues in my life, forgave opthers and myself and gave it all over to God and the burning desires subsided away to nothing. I don’t believe anyone is born Gay, they can sure feel like it because of all the crap they had coming from their environment that messed them up, but God does not make mistakes and people are ruined by the stuff that takes place after conception, beginning in the womb.

    I have lived it, life is made of hard choices. Everyone must make those choices and live with them. The biggest problem I see for this generation is all of the hype that tells them its okay, cause it just screws them up. Don’t encourage young men to be homosexual, it is proven to be a unrewarding lifestyle and to deny yourself may seem to be harder but in reality is the better choice.

    I am passionate about this because I have seen so many looking for love in the wrong places… the love that will overcome will never be found in the arms of another man… only Jesus.

  11. Gary,

    Sorry to hear about your tragic story. I appreciate you sharing this with us.

    The thing is, I have heard from enough homosexuals who have had terrific childhoods and an amazing number of straights who have had horrific tales from their youth to realize that a bad childhood does not make you attracted to members of your own gender.

    You will find that the same heterosexual to homosexual ratio exists in nature that exists within human beings. Were they also inflicted with terrible childhoods?
    You said ‘God does not make mistakes.’ The problem with this is thinking that homosexuality is a mistake.

    And finally, did Jesus preach tolerance or intolerance? I can not imagine Jesus reacting toward homosexuals the way people who claim to be religious act towards the G&L community today.