Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pastor Ted Weighs His Options

Adamantly-heterosexual actually-homosexual Christian fascist Ted Haggard -- shown here busting a move on Richard Dawkins -- has reportedly left a program designed to replace all his gay thoughts with Jesus-approved straight ones. Andrew Sullivan takes a brief break from shrieking about Hillary Clinton and comments:

I hope Haggard will at some point reflect on all this, and perhaps emerge as a figure able to talk about sexual orientation with evangelicals and persuade some that it truly is an integral part of someone's psyche and soul. The issue of homosexuality is tearing churches apart and alienating the next generation from the core message of the Gospels. I see no reason why Haggard could not turn his life around and help heal this wound. [emphasis mine]
I second Sullivan's hope that Pastor Ted will reflect on all this, arrive at a less self-hating place, translate that into a more broadly less gay-hating place, and then encourage fellow Christians to follow him to the new place where homosexuality isn't something in need of a cure, let alone a death-by-stoning.

This can't be an easy change. Pastor Ted has devoted his life to the god of the Bible, which abominates his homosexuality, unequivocally declaring it a transgression worthy of death. It's not that "the issue of homosexuality is tearing churches apart," as Sullivan frames it, but that the Christian god does not abide homosexuality.

Sullivan wants to distinguish the unambiguous Biblical teachings on homosexuality from "the core message of the Gospels," but there is no basis for this. The parts of the Bible that condemn homosexuals don't come with an asterisk, disclaimer, or footnote saying "this is not part of the core message of the Gospels, so go ahead and pretend it isn't here if you wish" or anything of the sort. The books say what they say. Not liking what they say doesn't change them, and baseless assertions about their "core message," if combined with $1.75, will fetch a two-hour, one-zone ride on any Tri-Met bus.

I suspect Pastor Ted sees the matter much as I do. That being so, I encourage his change of heart to take the form of seeing the Bible as a collection of fables, loose histories, and hopeful guesses that falls well short of expressing the totality of wisdom on human sexuality or any other topic. Put differently, there is no god, and the Bible is no "divine revelation."

There is a wound that needs healing, and it starts with being intellectually honest about the sources of anti-gay hatred.

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