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    February 08, 2007

    'Cured' Haggard will pay it forward

    Posted by: Chris

    Haggardprays There is, of course, absolutely nothing credible about Pastor Ted Haggard's latest claim that three weeks of counseling have made him "completely heterosexual."  Just as there's absolutely nothing credible about his claim that his only sexual contact with men ever was with his accuser, a male prostitute who described three years of paid sex and crystal meth abuse. If Haggard really leapt from zero to all that, his case is one for the history books.

    We know that Haggard's M.O., like Bart Simpson before him, is to confess to only those facts he couldn't squirm out of.  His story changed repeatedly, as new evidence emerged, and with each change his credibility was further haggard.  The good pastor hasn't even owned up to his previous lies, like his early claim to not actually knowing escort Mike Jones — until Jones produced voicemail messages from "Pastor Ted."

    On one hand, I'm impressed that Haggard and his wife are sticking to their guns, practicing what they preached, if belatedly. I've often felt change would come faster if conservatives were forced to live by the same ridiculously harsh rules they set for gay people. What's more, Haggard's claim to be "cured" after just three weeks is so ridiculous that only the snake-handling types could believe it.

    On the other hand, I'm amazed at the Haggards' announcement that they plan to seek master degrees in psychology. There is a certain audacity in two people whose lives have proven so horribly and publicly dysfunctional emerging from a few weeks of counseling to announce that they feel themselves good candidates to guide others psychologically.  What's more, they would be expected to learn through their study some very hard scientific truths about sexual orientation that make a mockery out of claims to be cured after three weeks on the couch.

    Then again, Haggard's undergrad degree is from Oral Roberts University, and the couple plans to earn their master's online, so we can imagine the quality of education they'll be receiving.  If ever there were a case of caveat emptor, it would apply to the Haggards would-be pysch patients.



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    1. Tim C on Feb 9, 2007 9:12:20 AM:

      I'm not surprised. I've dated a couple of psychologists/psychiatrists whom I am sure went into the field in an attempt to figure themselves out.

    1. raj on Feb 9, 2007 10:09:19 AM:


      Let's understand something. Mass marketed religion is nothing more than hucksterism. Haggard was (apparently) a master at hucksterism when he was a religionist. And this silliness regarding psychology is just more of the same. So, Haggard is going to get a certificate in psychological counselling. Big deal. Aside from the fact that psychology isn't really a science, we are now supposed to believe that Haggard hasn't merely switched from one hucksterism (religion) to another (psychological counselling)?

      BTW, more than a few of us make jokes about Oral Roberts University, but some of the better jokes are about BJ U--Bob Jones University. Apparently, BJ U isn't accredited anywhere.

    1. Andoni on Feb 9, 2007 12:28:45 PM:

      This is a classical Greek tragedy in the making here. Everyone, take good notes, because there is a great stage play (or movie) at the end of this saga. The characters aren't deep, but they are certainly flawed. And if written correctly, our play could qualify as a comedy as well.

    1. Alan down in Florida on Feb 9, 2007 5:18:14 PM:

      Maybe Teddy boy misunderstood the meaning of the Oral in his alma mater's name.

      My prediction is that soon enough we will all find out that Teddy boy has not been cured - he just had a case of premature eradication.

    1. Al on Feb 9, 2007 5:49:38 PM:

      The one sadly ironic point in this collective mess, is that Ted, and his "therapists" et all, genuinely believe that the three week session is an effective tool to return him to a life of heterosexuality.

      This type of therapy and supporting belief structure about human sexuality views a gay orientation as not possible, since it is viewed as a behavioral issue only, often arising from a lack of healthy male to male relationships. Given this antiquated and flawed theory, three weeks is possible, as purely ceasing behavior, stopping the "acting out", is an achievable goal.

      Too bad for Ted that the question of core orientation is one he is not willing, or able, to entertain. Hopefully the next time his "acting out" causes more grief for himself and his family, he will be willing to look more deeply at his motives and desires. Though I'm not holding my breath.

    1. Matthew Varner on Nov 6, 2008 11:14:47 PM:

      I'm sorry this happens.

    1. .J. Miller MEd, LPC, LCSW on Aug 10, 2010 4:42:20 PM:

      I had not heard the follow-up to this story until I read this article. I could not agree more with your remarks. While scriptural teachings on the issue of homosexual relationships are very clear, the underlying dynamics and etiology of sexual identity and same sex attractions issues are quite complex. Three weeks of intensive therapy could be a beginning but genuine transformation will take time since these issues run deep. I certainly don’t doubt that our risen Lord can restore this man to wholeness; I pray he finds his way and does not attempt to short circuit the work of God in his life by claiming a quick fix.

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