Stop Homophobia


Editorial 35 - November 2006 - Ted Haggard & Savage Love Commentary

Recently, I read an editorial by Dan Savage in the Village Voice. Savage's editorial in "Savage Love" is an interesting read. People are encouraged to read his article. Dan Savage seems to feel Ted Haggard's struggles with sexual temptations are proof to fundamentalist Christians that the God does not change people's sexual orientation. In his last paragraph, Savage comments, "The ex-gay thing is over. It's dead."

Dan Savage's article got me thinking. So I will share my thoughts.

Dan Savage makes a few very good points. There is far more reason to feel for the innocent people - Haggard's wife and kids, and the gay people who may have felt condemned by his sermons - than for Haggard.

Becoming a Christian does not make a person gay, straight, bisexual or anything else other than a Christian. The ex-gay movement has some very serious problems. I believe the stories of people who changed their sexual orientation are just that - stories. I do not believe the reality behind these stories supports the claims. If God wanted to make gay people straight, God would do that. The fact that God does not do that makes me feel God does not want to make gay people straight.

As I reflect on the Haggard story, the most unfortunate thing is not related to his sexual orientation, his sexual desires, his lies, his drug use (or not), or his cheating on his wife. The most unfortunate thing is that he was unable to see himself as a valuable gay or bisexual Christian. That is probably a major factor behind his lies, his drug use, his cheating on his wife, and his opposition to gay rights.

The problem is that the person going to a fundamentalist or evangelical church is not likely to understand the point Dan Savage makes. People will find ways to blame Ted Haggard. If he'd done something differently, had enough faith, tried harder . . . God would have healed him. I fear the gay and bisexual Christians attending evangelical and fundamentalist churches are likely to be little better than the other church members. Unfortunately, Ted Haggard's story will not cause very many, if any, gay or bisexual Christians to understand the ex-gay thing is not going to work.