Oh my gosh. It hadn’t even occurred to me that Ted Haggard’s homosexuality might have been an open secret among, or at least self-evident to, top evangelicals. Now Andrew Sullivan has posted that this in fact was the case, at least according to Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition.
It reminds me that there is this sort of dichotomy going on with the fundamentalists/evangelicals I know personally. There are a few with whom I have a friendly acquaintanceship, through DePauw or through my kids’ school and friends. The woman I know best has always been extremely kind and respectful to me, and to other gay men and lesbians with whom she’s had personal contact. And yet she believes, as a matter of faith, in all the ex-gay stuff Focus on the Family and others promote. And the pastor of our town’s biggest evangelical church, who I had speak in a class on gay issues once, is very friendly to me when we come across each other in a restaurant or elsewhere in town. (I’m told his wife once made him apologize, after a particularly virulent anti-gay sermon, to a teenager in the congregation who had just come out.) And he actually seemed surprised when I told him that most gay and lesbian people would find it offensive to hear him continually compare our sexual orientation to alcoholism.
I don’t understand how some people can seem to accept that some people are gay, and be nice to them, and see how truly, well, gay we indeed are, and then believe that all someone needs to do is to accept Jesus, pray, and learn to feel more masculine or feminine and that will be that.
Oh, well. There’s a lot about fundamentalists/evangelicals I don’t get–and a lot of people who are of that religious persuasion whom I love.