Re "Haggard bares his soul in note to congregation," Nov. 6
I suspect that the Rev. Ted Haggard knew he was gay from an early age, but his religious fundamentalist environment taught him to despise his very nature. So what is a gay man to do -- be himself and be ostracized or hide his sexuality and be accepted?
Unfortunately, Haggard made the wrong choice. The root cause of this and similar tragedies is religious fundamentalism and orthodoxy -- the belief in the literal truth of ancient texts. Much of the world's suffering today stems from this kind of rigid and misguided thinking.
The writer is president of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
While it's always delicious to see a religious hypocrite outed, it's particularly gratifying to see Haggard suffer the slow, symbolic death of a thousand cuts he's brought on himself as statement after statement he made about his drug use and homosexual contacts are shown to be lies. As the extent of his contacts with the highest levels of the White House and Congress become public, the entire mess is an excellent reason for public examination of just how much undeserved political influence the evangelical Christian movement has gained in this country.
The tragedy lies in the fact that Haggard will not accept his attraction to men as normal, and as such, he continues to hide behind and perpetuate the religious barriers that require the marginalization of homosexuals. In this way, Haggard fails as a leader and as a human being.
As far as I know, being gay does not violate one of the Ten Commandments. But bearing false witness does.