Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ted Haggard's new church "not gay friendly"

I was going to include this in my last post, but it got extremely long and this post focuses more on St. James, Haggard's new church, than it does on Haggard in general. A good reason to split the posts up I thought.
Ted and his wife, Gayle, on the Joy Behar show.

On the Joy Behar show Ted Haggard was asked if gays would be welcome at his new church in Colorado Springs. His response
"Absolutely. So will people that don't pray enough. So will people that don't love enough. So will people that are overwieght. So will people that are underweight. So will people that have low IQs and high IQs. Humanity needs love and needs God and so we're a gathering together of sinners who are gratefully redeemed. No self-righteous people will be there, I'm pretty sure."
 Behar was quick to point out that she did not believe that homosexuality was a sin, but clearly (despite his new "I don't judge people anymore." stance) he still does believe it is a sin.

He's also still not in favor of same-sex marriage, a position he has always held, his response to questions about whether or not same-sex marriages would be performed in his church was no, because "God's ideal plan for a marriage is the union of a man and a woman." Haggard added that it's also "God's ideal that all of us have our weight under control," but that doesn't always happen.

Because of this the Gay Rights section of Change.org has written an article titled "Do Not Call Ted Haggard's New Church Gay-Friendly". One of their other reasons is that while Haggard claims the church will be all-inclusive and welcoming to homosexuals, they will also be counseling "LGBT people to strive toward the "biblical" ideal of marriage, which is decidedly heterosexual."

I can't agree with this, obviously. Haggard claims that were he a younger man now, unmarried and unencumbered with a "normal" life (see my previous post) he would consider himself bisexual. He was able to have attraction to women because of that. He is still preaching, despite all he has learned, that people should try to deny who they are and act in a way that is counter to their biology (I'm no scientist, but I certainly didn't "choose" to be gay. Trust me, I gave the whole straight thing a try a couple of times, it was not for me.)

The article on Change.org goes on to point out that Jesus had absolutely zilch to say on the topic of gay marriage and referencing an article (that I have not read yet) from Newsweek last year that makes and argument, using the Bible, that there is nothing wrong with gay marriage.

I agree with the article, it's nice to know that Haggard has progressed from his old views at his last ministry and that he is not copying Focus on the Family or Saddleback Church, but it is unfortunate that he can't see the arguments that other denominations have put forward for allowing gay marriage and use them to change his views.

He may have learned a few things in the last few years, but he's still got a ways to go before he'll be a supporter of gay marriage.

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