Haggard the Hetero
Bloggers congratulate Rev. Ted Haggard on rediscovering women through Jesus, and they fault the Defense Department for hoarding video footage of the "friendly fire" death of a British soldier in Iraq. And it's a live-blogged Meet the Jury day for Tim Russert at the Scooter Libby trial.
Haggard the hetero: Evangelical leader Ted Haggard, who months ago admitted to "sexual immorality" and to buying methamphetamine from a gay escort, claims that after three weeks of therapy, he's "completely heterosexual." The saved reverend was so impressed with his conversional couch trip that he and his wife, Gayle, have decided to pursue master's degrees in psychology. Tom Cruise doesn't know what to think.
John C. at Gay Spirituality & Culture writes: "The whole situation seems quite similar to that of the Apostle Paul's own journey to Christianity. Paul started his adult life as a Jewish Pharisee named Saul who persecuted the early Christian church mercilessly. Then, according to the Book of Acts, on the road to Damascus, he had a conversion experience in which Jesus appeared to and spoke to him. He changed his name to Paul and became one of the most important and influential missionaries and theologians in the history of Christianity. Unfortunately, Ted Haggard has chosen to let his similarity to Paul stop at the persecution."
At What's Left in the Church, "former Progressive Christian" Geoffrey Kruse-Safford uses the Kinsey scale to determine just how hetero-flexible Haggard is: " I am a firm believer in the 'continuum' theory of human sexual desire, and that all of us, from time to time, might feel an urge to explore avenues we might not normally consider. … Unfortunately for Haggard, that outlet was denied him in youth, so once he was an adult with a certain amount of freedom and power, he abused his position to the detriment of his family, his ministry, his honor, his integrity, and potentially his health. I do not doubt that, more than likely, Haggard is primarily or at least preferentially heterosexual."
Dissatisfied high-church Lutheran Dwight P. at Versus Populum snarks: "It would likely be a bad example for the 14,000 members of New Life congregation and the National Association of Evangelicals to have ever before their eyes a human being who must struggle with sin and malfeasance and the consequences thereof. And God forbid that they actually be called on to understand the struggle and perhaps to forgive."
And gay conservative Andrew Sullivan thinks that even by Christian fundamentalist standards, Haggard is full of it: "Let's put it this way: even the quacks behind reparative therapy for homosexuals do not believe a few weeks of therapy will do the trick. (A few years and you can function heterosexually without wanting to kill yourself.) And so the psychological and spiritual abuse that Haggard has imposed on others and is now imposing on himself continues for another cycle of denial and pathology."
Read more about Haggard's supposed heterosexual conversion.
Unfriendly delay: In 2003, two American A-10 warplanes accidentally bombed a British convoy in Iraq, killing a British soldier in the process. The U.S. Defense Department initially refused to make public the cockpit video and audio footage of the event but they've finally done so, much to the anguished (if unnecessarily prolonged) relief of the families involved.
Former Conservative candidate for Parliament Iain Dale believes the Pentagon should have released the tape sooner: "I am a strong supporter of our American Alliance but sometimes the US Govenrment can be its own worst enemy. … Had they … let the Coroner have the access to the video he wanted, there would have been none of this unfortunate press coverage."
Ditto, says fellow righty Iain Murray at the National Review's The Corner. Murray relays the speculation that the Blair government leaked footage of the accidental bombing, but if the Rumsfeld Pentagon originally disclosed it, "That would have obviated the leak, which has contributed to a rise in anti-American sentiment. What we have at the moment is the worst of both worlds."