Back to normal

04 Nov

Things are back to normal here after the recent timming of my blog, that is my usual 200 or so visitors per day — very few of whom are bots, by the way. And speaking of the timmorous and their recent interest in me, I have expanded my response at the end of Does TB still do global warming jokes? to include links to such well-known crazy greenies and, um, Stalinists, as the Catholic Church and various American evangelical leaders.

At least one US evangelical is in hot water at the moment*, though, and not for being a Stalinist. I don’t propose to join the chorus on that one, but I did mention the gentleman at least once in the past it seems. A number of people have googled to Tragic confidence, and I am glad they have. It’s a good post. Let me repeat Yehuda Amichai’s poem from that entry:

From the place where we are right
Flowers will never grow
In the spring.

The place where we are right
Is hard and trampled
Like a yard.

But doubts and loves
Dig up the world
Like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
Where the ruined
House once stood.

That is the spirit I want here, though I often fall short.

* Later

While I am still not going to join in the chorus on this, I do draw your attention to the Christian blog God’s Politics: Jim Wallis and Friends: “Amy Sullivan: The Fallout from Ted Haggard”.

…The idea of any finger-wagging, “that’s what you get for going on about the ‘radical homosexual agenda'” schadenfreude really holds no interest for me. There are plenty of “hypocrite!” cries going around as it is. But I am fascinated to see how this plays out in the evangelical community. The Mark Foley scandal was one thing–it confirmed fears among many voters that Republicans didn’t share their values; they tolerated homosexual behavior among their colleagues and staff while condemning it in front of their base voters.

This, however, is a scandal involving a shepherd of the flock itself. If it turns out there is truth to the allegations, the story will reverberate further and longer than any of the scandals of the 1980s (Swaggart, Bakker, etc.) because it involves not just personal behavior, but an issue that conservative evangelicals have made extremely clear is one of their two top priorities. And I wonder how or if this will affect the condemnation of homosexuality in general within conservative evangelical circles. After all, we know that people’s attitudes change once they learn that someone they know is gay. A lot of evangelicals know (or at least know of) Haggard. If indeed he has been involved with a gay man, that could blow a lot of evangelical minds.

At this moment 112 comments follow that post.

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3 responses to “Back to normal

  1. Bruce

    November 4, 2006 at 1:34 pm

    Shouldn’t that be “trimming” your blog? He he he… 😉

    Ted Haggard is in a bit of hot water though, isn’t he… That naughty Dawkins…

  2. marcelproust

    November 5, 2006 at 11:16 pm

    Do you detect an echo of “I did not have sex with that woman” in Mr Haggard’s denial? I think that leaves room for something which was less than Sex but still possibly sexual. Oddly, the “I bought the drug but I didn’t take it” also seems strangely similar to “I did not inhale.” I think we have to wait for this to play out a little more.

  3. ninglun

    November 6, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    According to the LA Times just now, it seems Mr H did more than inhale.

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In the hush of a Sunday morning, 9,000 believers grieved, struggled and forgave as their pastor, the Rev. Ted Haggard, confessed his sins.

    “I am a deceiver and a liar,” Haggard told his followers in a letter read from the pulpit of New Life Church by one of his spiritual mentors. “There’s a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life.”…

    Haggard had been struggling for three years to balance his duties as pastor with the high-profile role as head of the evangelical association — a job that raised his political profile and got him invited to the Oval Office and in on conference calls with the White House.

    Haggard had tried to carve out time to reflect and to write his books by secluding himself now and then in a Denver hotel. That is apparently when he first contacted the prostitute, Mike Jones, who advertised as a masseur in gay magazines.

    Haggard alluded to this period in his letter, saying that his pride had prevented him from seeking counseling; he hadn’t wanted to disappoint those who loved him. “When I stopped communicating about my problems,” he wrote, “the darkness increased and finally dominated me.”

    Almost a textbook case.

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