|This line is metaphysical|
And on the one side, on the one side
The bad half live in wickedness
And on the other side, on the other side
The good half live in arrogance
And there's a steep slope with a short rope
This line is metaphysical
And there's a steady flow moving to and fro
--Pedro the Lion
I'm late, it seems, in commenting on the Ted Haggard scandal. I'm not sure I have much to say that hasn't already been said. It has, however, been interesting to see how Christians have reacted to the situation. Some, like the Trinity (Falwell, Dobson and Robertson) have distanced themselves from the events. Falwell and Robertson have pretended that Haggard is an insignificant man, despite his connections to the White House and the sheer immensity of his former congregation. Dobson backed out of helping counsel Haggard through the aftermath, citing his busy schedule. Perhaps he's too overwhelmed counseling his son Ryan through the aftermath of his divorce and remarriage. Others have tried to make the case that Haggard really isn't a hypocrite. That may fly in Christian circles, but, as Greg pointed out, try convincing non-Christians that a man who says one thing and does another isn't a hypocrite.
Most Christians (or most of the blogs I read written by Christians), though, seem to have reacted with a surprising degree of grace. I think that's appropriate. Haggard is clearly a fuckup. But he's no more of a fuckup than you or I. The only real difference is he's in the public eye, and he got caught.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of losers in all of this. Haggard's family is a given. Then there are those outside the church. Most people don't need another reason to discount Christianity. But we've given them another anyway. And, sadly, we've managed to once again demonise gay and lesbian people, many of whom just want to be accepted for who they are. It's a tragedy that in 2,000 years of Christianity we haven't figured out how to do that.
Interestingly, all this parallels the release of a documentary about Lonnie Frisbee, a prominent hippie evangelist of the Jesus Movement. Frisbee pointed thousands towards the Christian faith in the 60s and 70s, and was an important figure in the history of the Calvary Chapel and Vineyard movements. But he has been largely ignored by Christians because he was a non-self-identifying gay man who died of AIDS. At least Haggard has something to look forward to (that being written out of history, not AIDS).