Friday, November 03, 2006

But I'm Not Gay!

In my long, ridiculous history of relationships with men I can absolutely say the following with total conviction: A man, when confronted with evidence items A, B and C, (with C being the worst possible thing he could have done), will always cop to "A and B, but not C. I swear I didn't do C. I would NEVER do that to you." Then, hours, days, weeks pass and lo and behold--it turns out he did C so many times he can't remember when he started.

Or maybe my girlfriends and I just picked the wrong guys. All of us. And our sisters too. And their friends too. Guys who talk a lot about being faithful, who seem to walk the walk, who take a dim view of their female friends' boyfriends who cheat, but who--in the final analysis--see their own motivations and justifications for cheating as somehow different, understandable, and ultimately exculpatory. They don't see themselves in the other men they disparage because their reasons were "pure" or they "didn't mean for it to happen," or "I'm sorry you are hurt but I can't help how I feel." Because their actions were "not intentionally hurtful" (although one could ask how f'ing another woman while dating someone else could be considered anything but...), they don't group themselves with "those men" who cheat or who treat women poorly. If I don't mean or intend to hurt you, then I'm not like those people.

I'm not man-bashing, because I know women can get up to all kinds of "C" as well. But in the case of Ted Haggard and his New Life megachurch, I'm simply offering the thought that, if you are perhaps a leading evangelical preacher who has been accused of drugs, massages and gay sex (with a prostitute drug dealer who gave you a massage in a hotel), and you cop to the drugs and massages, but absolutely not the gay sex, what do you think is the likelihood that you had the gay sex?

I'm just asking, because I know he was a leading opponent of gay marriage and was leader of a megachurch that believed homosexuality to be a sin. And nothing in my mind says, "I did (or think about) 'C' A LOT" and/or "but I'm not gay, so what I did was not as bad or akin to those people who march in parades and want to get married," more than a rabidly anti-gay evangelical with a drug habit and a gay prostitute masseur.

On a serious note, I'd actually feel some modicum of sympathy for Haggard if he had been outed as a minding-his-own-business pastor, father of 5 kids who had been on the DownLow. But because he was so rabidly anti-gay, anti-gay marriage, and part of a church that considers gay people sinners from the word go, I think he ought to reap the whirlwind he has sown.

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