This last year, it’s become increasingly clear to just how much religion permeates the fabric of society. In my experience, for the worse. Ethical issues that require us to rise above our animal instincts of vendetta and fear have become religious and political questions of “moral values”. In the words of Karl Marx:
Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
Well, more so in 2006 than ever before. Abortion, gay marriage, even education has become woven into questions of faith, when church and state should be separate.
Enter Ted Haggard, Christian conservative pastor and founder of the New Life Church of Colorado. The church takes the bible literally and interprets it to condemn homosexuality as a sin and preach young earth and creationism. Haggard is a strong supporter of George W. Bush and apparently wields quite the political power ((Time has named him one of the 25 most influential evangelicals)). In the news:
The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality, and I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar. There?s a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring with it all of my adult life.
One guess is that he is homosexual and was brought up being taught homosexuality was “repulsive and dark”. So what could’ve been a fine young man became a shell of himself, trying to suppress his nature, preaching his own self-hatred to others. One has to wonder how much damage could be undone, had he just embraced who he was, decades ago. Instead, things got ugly.
What are your thoughts on this? What will happen to the New Life Church? Will this affect tomorrows mid-term elections? If so, which way?
[Update]: James Dobson wants to “cure” Ted Haggard of being gay. Sigh, where to begin…