Lessons from the pastor’s tumble
The fall of Pastor Ted Haggard tests not only those righteous right Christians, but the secular left, too.Sure, it feels good to cheer for the demise of a complete hypocrite. Hey, maybe there is a God! The good preacher had a second life, as skanky as could be imagined, considering his upright Protestant faith’s pounding from the pulpit. An entire congregation, and all those smarmy holier-than-thous across the nation, got a good old-fashioned comeuppance this time.A massage from a gay male prostitute, indeed. Does it get any better – or worse – than that for a public figure exposed? So there you have it. A preacher particularly strong against gay rights turns out to be a “liar and deceiver” himself. Sure enough, karma in the same lifetime, not to mention a cruel joke or two on late night TV. Welcome to the reverend’s dark side.The temptation to gloat is overpowering, given the rank hypocrisy of this powerful man.But just as this followers have an awful lot to think about now, so do the rest of us who view these types with a great deal of suspicion. Seems there was a little something to those awful stereotypes.Overlooked is a sad human story of a mortal who “wars” with his own inevitable nature. Surely the harpies on the left can appreciate that much. And the righteous ought to gather something from the obvious here. Shouldn’t the fall of their leader give them at least some second thoughts about God’s plan? Like, maybe, a little more understanding for those built differently than themselves? Maybe, just maybe, they are humans, too, and not some sort of demon merely making a wrong choice.The hypocrisy on the left is more subtle. Some of the lowest, meanest people I’ve ever met couch themselves in this “love for all” thang while expressing a most intemperate hatred for those built a bit differently than themselves. That has always stunned me. This hatred of itself is just as rank to me as the preacher who could not live up to his thunderous sermons. It’s all the posing that gets to me. This focus on image at the root of this evil. Why can’t we shed the labels and just be ourselves, damn the neighbors? So many lemmings in this life. When I’m done laughing at the preacher, who fully earned my scorn by being such a harmful fake while presuming to be a model for living by the Good Book, I’ll be looking for the human qualities he has to have, too. I mean, this homosexual orientation isn’t really something to be ashamed of unless you are posing as something else. The drugs, maybe that’s a different story, but I suspect that is firmly tied to the sheer strain of living such a fantastic lie all this time.Few of us live up to all we can be, and only a few fall so incredibly far so fast.Shall we cast our stones now? The lefties make like the Taliban? They can every bit as judgmental as those righteous souls they blast.What would Jesus do? Too bad that line’s such a cliche now. I don’t think he wears a tie and a plastic smile while excoriating this fallen, craven, sick preacher. I think he embraces him and shows him what compassion really is. For those prone to reading life’s happenings as messages from the Creator, this one ought to signal that homosexual people are humans, too. However much they war against their true selves.Managing Editor Don Rogers can be reached at 748-2920, or firstname.lastname@example.org Vail, Colorado
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