...it is also important to remember that this is what the closet does: it is a dagger aimed at the heart of the family. It has wrecked so many marriages, destroyed so many families, traumatized so many kids. It must end. I should add I feel for Haggard. I'm not excusing him; but he too is in pain right now. He was politically more moderate than Dobson and probably somewhere in his psyche he was trying to do the right thing.And in this one:
But he was lost. And he needs our prayers.
...the meth part of the story rings true to me (although we have no firm evidence of it yet). It's what extremely conflicted and sometimes desperately lonely gay men resort to in order to facilitate their self-destruction, and leave behind any sexual inhibitions derived from crushing guilt. But the hypocrisy case remains...
...I'm afraid I feel for Haggard. This is what happens to a man psychologically and spiritually destroyed by actually advancing a lie he knows to be a lie about homosexuality as a "chosen lifestyle" while being gay himself.
His denial of reality, his inability to cope with the world as it is, is often part of the same fundamentalist psyche we see exhibited at all levels of the Rove machine - and, dangerously, within the president himself. Denial is a very powerful psychic force. When combined with addiction, it can fuel destructive behavior. In a human being, it can destroy a person, a family, a marriage, an entire life.
One more obvious lesson: The religious right's lies about who gay people really are must end. Surely now. The victims are also Christians like Haggard. They are countless kids and teens in places where they are taught to hate themselves, and subsequently act out the psychic damage years later. I am not saying Haggard isn't morally accountable for everything he has done, for the lies he has spread, for the hatred he has enabled. That hatred will now come back to him, like the sorcerer's apprentice whose magic of electoral homophobia soon overwhelms him as well. It's brutal pay-back, as it was for Foley, as it often is for every closeted gay man in the end. In the end, their lives lose integrity; and they know it; and then misery; and they feel it more than anyone.
I'm praying for Haggard, as I hope he is praying for me and every sinner. But the lesson of this to the religious right surely is: go and sin no more. Stop the lies. Stop the bigotry. Deal with the reality of gay people, our souls, our wounded hearts, our humanity, our right to be treated equally by our own government. It's what Jesus did. And it is your true calling now.