Sunday, November 05, 2006

A few thoughts on Reverend Ted

So Reverend Ted Haggard says he bought crystal meth but didn’t use it. He says he came to his senses and threw it away.

Right. You wake up clean and straight one morning. You're the pastor of a 14,000 member evangelical church. You lead a 30-million member asssocialtion of evangelical christians. The president of the United States has you on speedial.

And you say, “What a great day. Think I’ll call a gay prostitute and buy some crystal meth.”

Clearly, Reverend Ted had was on some sort of slippery slope. The slippery slope seems to have been gay sex.

Evidently, he had another calling.

We are all sinners. Nobody is perfect. It is wrong-headed to put anyone on a spiritual pedestal – Reverend Ted obviously included.

But from outside looking in, it appears the whole evangelical movement has put itself on a spiritual pedestal. They seem to want the rest of us up there with them. From abortion to embryonic stem cells to gay marriage, they are on a mission to unite church and state.

There is an ominous plastic homogeneity to it all – a surreal, jackbooted righteousness. Those people don’t just want you saved. They want you saved by Jesus as they understand Jesus. And, once you’ve been saved, they want you to vote the straight (cough) Born Again ticket.

Meanwhile, born again and saved people like Reverend Ted continue to struggle personally with all those earthly vices and temptations they’re trying to smite on a public policy level.

Imagine the nightmare Reverend Ted has been living. Imagine being compelled toward crystal meth and homosexuality from the pulpit. Imagine having a perfect evangelical wife and five (home schooled?) kids and a church committee meeting every night of the week and those nonstop impure thoughts about some gay prostitute.

Talk about your own personal little corner in hell… Talk about your dark night of the soul… Whoa.

No doubt at some point in the near future, Reverend Ted will ask for “forgiveness” and we’ll all move on. And his legions of evangelicals will affix themselves to some new Reverend Ted and continue their latter day crusade/inquisition/effort to get our government to go "all Christian all the time" – and stamp out the personal, intimate demons that lurk deep in their hearts and come out to torment them in the dark of night.

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