This week, Ted Haggard emerged from three weeks of intensive counseling and was declared "completely heterosexual."
Praise God! He's cured!
"He is completely heterosexual," said Rev. Tim Ralph. "That is something he discovered. It was the acting-out situations where things took place. It wasn't a constant thing."
Here's the problem: Homosexuality isn't a disease. What we have here is the continued oppression of a significant portion of our population by scared white men. And it's ridiculous. How ridiculous? Imagine a similar situation. Replace the word "heterosexual" with the word "white." Now imagine. No, I'll do it for you:
This week, Al Sharpton emerged from three weeks of intensive counseling and was declared "completely caucasian."
"He is completely caucasian," said Rev. Tim Ralph. "That is something he discovered. It was the acting-out situations where things took place. It wasn't a constant thing."
This is the level of ridiculousness we are dealing with when we consider the Haggard situation. The only difference is that you can't "see" gay. And the bible says it's wrong, if you read it a certain way and if it's convenient for your religion or if you're totally uncomfortable with men kissing other men.
Segue! That Snicker's commercial from the Super Bowl. I'll refresh your memory:
"Dude, I think we just kissed"
"Quick, do something manly!"
For the record, the kiss was weird. The ripping out the chest hair thing made me squirm. Neither thing made me leap out the door to go get a Snickers. But the ad did stir up controversy, especially among people who don't understand satire.
Enter the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or, GLAAD (note to GLAAD: if you want to be taken seriously, how about ditching the acronym?). GLAAD wants the Snickers ad pulled because they think it's offensive and homophobic, and they don't understand how it's supposed to sell Snickers.
Yes, the ad is homophobic, that was the point! Actually the point was to get groups like GLAAD to protest the ad, thereby getting it played for free on CNN and getting countless hits on YouTube and stirring up all other manner of free publicity. After that, they're happy to pull the ad.
In the meantime, the good folks at GLAAD need to turn their attention away from the lighthearted and ultimately satiric Snickers spot, and focus on the real Gay-bashing going on in the evangelical community.
Ted Haggard is gay. You know how I know? He sought out a relationship with a male prostitute. 3 weeks of counseling won't reverse the fact that he was so desperate to have sex with a man that he was willing to pay money for it. Why?
Because homosexuality isn't alcoholism. It isn't drug addiction. And it's not Cancer. It doesn't just go away. If it did, there would be a pill for it. And lots of commercials.
How interesting, then, that Tuesday night's episode of Boston Legal discussed this very same issue. In the episode, a character sues a "rehabilitation center" because he paid $40,000 to get cured of his "Same Sex Attraction Disorder (SSAD)" and it didn't work. Alan Shore's (James Spader) closing argument was awesome and I wish I had a transcript to reprint, but basically he said the following:
Homosexuality isn't a disease. And by calling it a disease, you think of it as a defect, as something that can be cured. And you take away the fact that it's part of who people are. And so then you take away the need for them to have rights, to be treated as equals, to be able to marry. And then you can charge people $40,000 to cure them of a part of their own personality.
I will add on. Had Ted Haggard, perhaps, grown up in an environment in which it was ok to be himself, to be gay, he may not have continuously tried to suppress his homosexuality, first by becoming a minister, then by marrying a woman, having sex with her, staying in the relationship, until he couldn't suppress it anymore and sought out the male prostitute. (The "rehab reverends" insist this was an isolated incident, but it's entirely possible there were more extramarital gay relationships - maybe other ministers who won't come forward? hmm?)
Now, instead of coming out, finally freeing himself of the shackles of a false life, Haggard goes to rehab, comes out three weeks later and claims "I'm cured" and people believe him. Not me, but people.
Calling homosexuality a disease and treating homosexuals with rehab is a step above beating it out of then with baseball bats and only a few more steps above rounding them all up for a mass genocide. I understand this is a touchy subject among evangelicals and that it threatens their entire belief system to think a minister and a moral family man was living a double gay life or something, but maybe instead of saying he's cured, someone out there will let him tell the truth. Reverend Haggard is gay.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Wait a minute, didn't he buy meth from the prostitute, too? Isn't that illegal? What happened to that part?
Eh, maybe next week.