The talk show I watched this morning (The Today Show) was all aquiver about the “sex scandal” involving Ted Haggard, and the fact that his dutiful wife wrote a book about it. Of course she wrote a book. His source of megabucks was cut off when he left the church is shame, because of the so called “sex scandal” . Religion is, ultimately, about money, so it’s no wonder she wrote a book. The Haggards were used to a better style of living, and there are not many sheep that will follow him anymore, willing to tithe to his mega-church.
The couple had no savings. They received a year’s severance pay, but their income dried up during the three years they were forced to live in Arizona while Ted went to therapy to deal with his sexual demons.
Frankly, I don’t really care whether she wrote a book, nor do I really care whether she stay with her husband, any more than I care about Bill Clinton’s peccadilloes. One’s personal life is…personal. If she wants to write a book and make money on it, this is America, home of capitalism and free entrepreneurianism. No problem. I won’t buy her book, or read it, but she’s free to write it and sell it, and more power to her.
No, my problem isn’t even with her. I have a problem with the Today show, and more generally main stream media. Why is this story deemed, at the top, a “sex scandal” (aside from the obvious, that sex sells)? To my way of thinking, it’s a hypocrisy scandal, not a sex scandal. Sex is natural, normal, and personal. He broke some vows to his wife. Happens all the time, they’ll deal with it, and in fact, as far as I can tell, they have dealt with it. Their continuing marriage is a testament to that.
Hypocrisy, on the other hand, especially by the leader of a 14,000 member mega-church, is the real news. Here’s a man who taught his flock that what he himself was doing was wrong, a sin against god, and reason for the full wrath of the church, not to mention the government, to come down on anyone who did what he did. The man who outed him said he did it because of the hypocrisy.
Vieira asked Gayle if it was true that her husband had been a hypocrite.
“The term means to say one thing and do another,” Gayle said. “However, I have discovered that is the human condition. All of us have ideals that we strive for in our lives. So I think that all of us are to one degree or another a hypocrite. Ted just had to play his out on a very public stage.”
I’m going to be a human being here and say that I agree with her. I’ll accept his assertion that it was a reaction to youthful abuse that surfaced when he was older, and that he’s now cured. Maybe cured is a bad word. In recovery might better describe it. But he’s dealing with it. If he says he’s cured, then he is (though my gaydar says otherwise).
At least he’s no longer in a position to affect governmental, or even personal, policy concerning homosexuality, gay marriage and all the other things his silly religion is against. He doesn’t, and can’t effectively, influence people with anti-gay screeds like he once did, because he’d be called on the carpet for it.
I just wish the press would focus on the hypocrisy more, not the sex.