Saturday, February 17, 2007

Johnson: Haggard's 'reorientation' just sad


ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS - By Bill Johnson - February 10, 2007
It has been a good, interesting week, hasn't it?It certainly was, I guess, for Ted Haggard, the disgraced former senior pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs who, it turns out, isn't gay after all. I laughed along with everyone else when the Rev. Tim Ralph, one of four ministers who oversaw Haggard's three-week "spiritual restoration" program, proclaimed this week that the minister is "completely heterosexual."I laughed because I remember, too, how all this started - how a former male prostitute, Mike Jones, did the disgracing late last year by blabbing that Haggard had been paying him for sex and methamphetamines for three years.I'm sorry, but no straight man, no matter how much stress or "incongruity" in his life - to borrow Haggard's excuse - is seeking out and using code names with Mike Jones for THREE years.Ask me, the whole thing is really sad. Not even Randy Thomas, vice president of the nation's largest ex-gay group, Exodus International, is buying Haggard's story now. Reorienting a person's sexuality, says Thomas, whose organization is founded on the belief that it "is possible to reorient a person's same-sex attraction through Jesus Christ," says such a thing "takes months, if not years."Haggard built himself into something he can never be and now clearly thinks three weeks' worth of contemplation has made him what he likely never was.Think of his family. Think of his former congregation. Each does, and will continue to, love him dearly, whoever he is or believes he has turned out to be. The sadness is, he probably doesn't realize this.


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