Feeling Haggard

on Nov 04 in News by

haggard &  bush

There are some weird layers to this. The guy’s named Haggard, which is an adjective that means worn out, gaunt, emaciated and exhausted. There is the ridiculous notion the Pastor himself put out there: that he purchased meth because he was curious, but he didn’t try it. Sure Ted, curious about meth, but only enough to look at the powder and feel the heft of the envelope!

I read an article after Haggard’s resignation and confession on a faith-based web magazine about how hard it is for spiritual leaders to avoid the very vices they preach against. Yes, isn’t it tough. Poor preachers. Such pressure they’re under, knowing all about vice, but never being able to sample it!

I think about the many leaders who’ve fallen into the traps they’ve decided their job is warning other people about — evangelists like Jim Baker and Ted Haggard, lawmaker, Mark Foley, and of course, hundreds of Catholic priests. Shouldn’t we be asking another, related question:

Why is it so many people who are deeply divided (to be gentle) or spiritually compromised (to use these peoples’ own vernacular) are seeking a pulpit?

I don’t think Ted Haggard should be pilloried for getting a rubdown from a gay prostitute or buying methamphetamine — we all make mistakes and those are a personal ones — between him and his wife, his gay lover or escort, and I guess the D.E.A. That he rubbed shoulders (we assume it was only shoulders) with the homophobe-in-chief isn’t so much Ted’s sin, as cause for George to reflect (which of course he won’t).

It seems to me the sin that Ted Haggard has committed is the same one so many of his fellow pulpit pounders commit all the time: hubris, or excessive pride, which told him to stand in front of thousands people every Sunday, telling them how to live their lives, purporting to be a teacher of right, goodness and an enemy of evil. In this context, with his transgressions, Haggard slips below former President Bill Clinton, who only wanted to govern the country, not lead us into the kingdom of God!


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