Sunday, February 11, 2007


In an email to members of his former church, Ted Haggard announced this last week that, after three weeks of "intense spiritual conselling", he is convinced he is "completely heterosexual."

Randy Thomas, vice president of the United States' largest ex-gay group, Exodus international (and can I just say that is a bummer of a name for someone in that position? But only people who speak British or Aussie English know that, so it's not as bad as it could be, I guess), said

"Sexuality is very complex. So, for many people, depending on what issues they deal with … it could be months, it could be years," said Thomas. "So for someone to claim complete healing … I find that remarkable."

I found this fascinating. What does it mean? Here are some of my ideas about what Ted might have meant:

1."I intend to never have homosexual sex again"
2."I intend to never have homosexual lustful thoughts again"
3."I think it's important for the cause of New Life Center and the National Association of Evangelicals that I say this"
4."I think it's important for my wife and kids that I say this"

I'd love some clarification. Anyone have any idea what he meant? What do you think?


Megs said...

"I'm never getting caught again!"
Babe, we gotta watch 'But I'm a Cheerleader' together!! It's hilarious, and marries brilliantly with your blog entry today!

Helen said...

I think what it means is that, unfortunately the simple truth of "I have sometimes been attracted to another man and it's possible I might be again at some time or other" is outside his ROAA (Range of Acceptable Answers). So instead he has to choose between "I am gay" and "I am not gay". And so he is choosing "I am not gay" - I'm not sure why but obviously in the Christian circles he moves in that's the 'right answer'.

Benjamin Ady said...


I'm thinking that Ted might not fully be back into that "I'm never gonna get caught again" mode yet. I'm guessing he's still experiencing the enormous relief of having gotten caught. However, long term I guess you'll probably be right. Remember Pat Means? I'm thinking some people just have a certain drive which makes them want to be and seek to be in leadership positions where there are really high expectations placed on them, and then they inevitably can't keep them, and also can't admit that they are not keeping them. I think, unfortunately, that we'll be hearing about Mr. Haggard again, albeit on a smallerish scale. My suspicion is that the support he's gotten has been so enormously unhelpful that he's going to need to go around again at least one more time. I hope that's not true, but I suspect it is.

You kind of nailed it. That is so sad. Having this amazingly constricted ROAA means having an amazingly constricted god and an amazingly constricted range of help and thus change is inordinately slow. I know cause I was in there, and no doubt still am in there in the sense that someday I (hopefully) shall have an even that much broader ROAA, and shall look back at my current self and think "wow, he was *so* limiting god and his possibilities". Maybe it's a kind of Jonathan Livingtstone Seagull thing.