November 10, 2006

Will Haggard's Fall Open Eyes and Minds?

I ran across this fascinating column in the San Francisco Chronicle that took a different approach on the Ted Haggard situation.

How about one overarching question: Will it make a difference? Will it be enough to effect any sort of ideological or spiritual change among the uptight and the sexually rigid? In short: Will God shake anyone awake?

In other words, will Haggard, one of the most
high-profile and influential Christians in America, and his evident love of men be enough to flip some sort of switch in the rigid Christian fundamentalist mind-set and slap them out of their ideological coma and maybe begin to tip the scales back toward, oh, I don't know ... let's say open-mindedness, generosity of spirit, happy grinning homosexual acceptance and an understanding that God doesn't give a flying evangelical crap about gender? Do you already know the answer?

Because this is, in a way, what it comes down to. A massive, hurtful hypocrite of Haggard's stature and influence comes to light, and you can only hope for, well, something. A shift. A hint of awakening, of movement, of evolution. An increase of urgent calls to the gay-love hotline from the GOP. You know, something.

Here's the bad news: Keep on waiting.

It's as sad as it is obvious. You'll find no evangelical, no Christian leader anywhere coming out and saying: Let's do something different. Let's take this shocking Haggard scandal as a cosmic sign, as a big rainbow-colored warning flag that maybe, just maybe we need to look at this gay issue with a little more love and a little less nauseating pseudo-spiritual homophobic dogma. Maybe now is the time to rethink this hateful ideology that has kept us so deep in fear and mistrust and sexual agony for so long. Can I get a praise Jesus?

Unfortunately, the religious right is probably too busy licking their wounds after the trouncing their candidates took in this week's elections. After some time passes, though, we can only hope that as least some of their leaders can step back and take a long, hard look at what they're doing and, more importantly, what the Holy Spirit is really trying to tell them.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this commentary, Jim. It's excellent! Morford hits it on the head and rhetorically asks the question to which we, unfortunately, already know the answer. People deeply committed to their prejudices are virtually guaranteed to tenaciously hang on to them, regardless of the evidence that is presented to them. And the fact that those prejudices are viewed by them as being "biblical," makes them all the more unfortunate and dangerous!