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Bring Haggard back

Posted By Obadiah Shoher On November 3, 2006 @ 11:57 pm In current issues | 13 Comments

In the Talmud, “If [the judge] says to [the accused], ‘Take a chip from your teeth,’ he will say, ‘Take out the board between your eyes.’” Christianity has a similar notion in Matthew 7, but many Christians tend to forget it. The witch-hunt after evangelist Haggard is an example.

Haggard never posed as a saint. So, yes, he tried methamphetamine, perhaps took it several times. Millions of responsible adults do the same. It’s not a mind-boggling drug that causes strong addiction but merely a social drug, no worse that alcohol.

Perhaps Ted Haggard had sex with a man. That’s not prohibited in the Christian canon. In Matthew 8, Jesus healed [1] the centurion’s male lover. Paul criticized homosexuality only to the Roman Jews, and his homophobic pronouncement in 1 Corinthians 6 is similar to the one in the forged Timothy, thus likely interpolated.

All of us have sinful inclinations. Suppressing them to zero is a feat for saints. The rest of us should keep sins to a minimum. The stronger a sinful desire, the greater the courage and strength required to keep it at bay. If Haggard indeed enjoyed social drugs and male sex, the rarity of the alleged sins—a few times a year—testifies in his favor.

Haggard showed himself a man of honor when he stepped down amid unsubstantial allegations. In a similar situation, neither Clinton nor Katsav resigned (nor should they). What is Haggard being chastised for, being less than a saint? Private hypocrisy? Homosexuality? Rather, leftists strike at Haggard because he opposes gay marriage, and conservative idealists join. Haggard, even if a hypocrite, a drug addict, and a homosexual, is an efficient political leader who fights for the right thing. If the devil fought gay marriage, I would shake his hand.

Occasional using drugs is qualitatively different from being a drug addict. Occasional male sex is poles apart from gay marriage which Haggard vehemently opposes. Haggard’s flock would be silly not to reinstate him.

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[1] Jesus healed: http://samsonblinded.org/christianity/category/the-evidence-from-suetonius