Ted Haggard emails his former flock

Not sure how you get three years of analysis in three weeks, but here is a little insight into Mr. Haggard’s rehab. Further, the overseers reveal in a Denver Post article that he now believes he is “completely heterosexual.” There’s your long term therapy, your brief therapy and now, your microwavable therapy. I guess the commercials are sometimes true: Life comes at you fast.

13 thoughts on “Ted Haggard emails his former flock”

  1. After reading the comments here, I had to go back and reread both Ted Haggard’s letter to his flock and the Denver Post article.

    While I also have some very serious concerns, I took encouragement in the fact that his e-mail was actually in response to a very loving message from some select members of his church. His email was written to them and then, according to the Post, shared with the church at large.

    I saw a humbled and broken man in the e-mail. Although the slant the Post took majored on the label, heterosexual or homosexual, Haggard’s e-mail had a different tone.

    “Jesus IS STARTING to put me back together”

    “That sadness CONTINUES…”

    “We have GROWING understanding which is giving me SOME hope for A future.”

    “Jesus and his followers have saved my life…”

    “The sun is STARTING to rise in my life.”

    I would imagine that Haggard’s leadership positions created an isolation where he wouldn’t even speak of his struggles, therefore, he likely struggled alone. But now that it’s all out in the open, he would be in a position to receive counsel, therapy, support–and, yes, maybe even a breakthrough or two.

    I never heard him say that it was the ultimate breakthrough or that everything was all taken care of. He had the intensive three weeks and is now having twice-weekly sessions. On top of that, he is being encouraged to join a 12-step program and to refrain from Christian ministry. All of this indicates that both the church and Mr. Haggard know that, breakthrough or not, there is still a tough row to hoe.

    As I said earlier, I have some serious concerns, particularly with the online psychology courses, but I did want to re-emphasize some of the positives that others are overlooking. I wish him well and pray that his church will continue to love and support him in his hope for a future and that his overseers will not take their charge lightly.

  2. I don’t really care if Haggard gets a degree or not. I’m more concerned about what happens after that, like having the words “licensed counselor” after his name.

  3. That’s why I love this blog! You guys fart, burp and scratch like the rest of us. By the way, I hear there’s a pill that eliminates all of those nasty habits in three weeks.

  4. Would that be projection?

    I’m afraid that the seeds of the next crisis in this man’s life are being planted right now.

  5. sometimes I would rather be the me in my office than the me in my life.

    I am much smarter, warmer, kinder and tough in just the right way at the office.

    At home…well, let’s just say (fart, burp, scratch…) I am not as glossy.

  6. Dave – A little Pepto will help that.

    I wonder if that three week program is the new deal from Donnie Davies?

    Dave, I’ll bet you have clients like this. I have. They get insight into something, get all excited and then all of a sudden they want to be you. There’s a word for that, but with my advanced age, I can’t put my finger on it.

  7. JAG said: “However, whether someone can go from having consistent same-sex attractions to “completely heterosexual” in a matter of weeks, is something we all probably agree is not likely.”

    That’s an understatement. I don’t know of ANY client I have treated for ANY condtion who made a 100% change in 3 weeks. If he thinks he has, he should not be thinking of psychology as a career path.

  8. This really troubles me:

    “Haggard said in an e-mail Sunday, his first communication in three months to church members, that he and his wife, Gayle, plan to pursue master’s degrees in psychology.”

    Somebody stop him.

    Humility is not part of this process for Haggard.

    Go study something you know a lot about and can help people without discrediting your faith and your identity.

    Organization managment, leadership, communication are all fields he could do well in.

    Only unsupervised, poorly organized and unprofessional psychology would encourage such a quick admission to a training program.


  9. I agree. In reports about him after the disclosures, he said he struggled with homosexual attractions his entire life. Honesty about what is seems like the foundation of the pursuit of any valued course.

  10. I feel badly for Ted. He can’t have a career in ministries with his following unless he emerges from his program a “changed man.” We’ve seen this a number of times – mostly with celebrities. One of the Olson twins goes to rehab for an eating disorder and reports that she is cured. We all know that Eating disorders are not “cured” in a matter of weeks…and the literature supports that sexual orientation does not do a 180 in that time either.

    The second article stated that he entered a 12-step program for sexual addiction, which I suppose is consistent with his belief about what same-sex attraction is. This philosophy seems inherently ineffective because it seems to negate every other aspect of being gay; and hint – it’s about a lot more than sexual acts.

    The article states that his actions with the prostitute were “not a constant thing” and something he only did in times of stress. Although three years seems pretty constant to me.

    All and all, it sounds like a lot of denial. And…with good reason…he’s got a lot riding on this. If he doesn’t evidence “change” quickly, he’s going to lose his career and his means of wealth.

    Whether you believe in change or not can easily be debated. However, whether someone can go from having consistent same-sex attractions to “completely heterosexual” in a matter of weeks, is something we all probably agree is not likely.

    What is the barometer of this change (thoughts? fantasies? a simple lack of same-sex acts?).

    My concern is that he just gets honest. For the sake of those who errantly look to him for leadership and example, maybe he needs to start addressing the substance use (which he denies), and the struggle of coping with his sexuality.

    He seemed to initially acknowledge his sexuality as an ongoing struggle that has been with him much of his life, with numerous attempts to change. Now, to have it magically cured in a matter of weeks seems pretty unlikely.

    Best of luck to him as he likely continues his struggle.

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