November 9, 2006

Going Back To The Well One Last Time

I wanted to leave the Ted Haggard thing alone. I mean, I'd done more than enough already. But then I saw the story on FARK. Ted Haggard, who fell from an astonishing height of power and prestige after confessing to unspecified "sexual immoralities" (he was accused of having a years-long drug-tainted relationship with a male prostitute), has decided to go into rehab. Christian rehab. This apparently consists of having "...godly men who are clean themselves insert themselves in the life of the one who is struggling," with much laying of hands.

You know, having a bunch of guys "insert themselves" and "lay hands" on him doesn't sound like it's going to remediate homosexual behavior.

>>cue rimshot sound effect<<

Okay, cheap-shot jokes based on statements taken out of context are beneath me, you might say. Apparently, you'd be incorrect if you did say it. But sometimes these things just write themselves.

I must query as to whether the course of rehabilitation he's going to receive is that much different than the typical twelve-step program for redirecting addictive behavior -- one never stops being an alcoholic, for instance; one can controls the addiction but the addiction doesn't go away. Twelve-step programs don't claim to "cure" the addict. They claim to help the addict "recover." The twelve-steppers I've known seem to have a lot of things in common -- their addictions seem to be diverted from the harmful activity to a more harmless one (typically a religious affiliation or, if that is lacking, the twelve-step support group itself); the addict attempts to meld his personality and recreational activities into the twelve-step support group; and they all seem to drink prodigious quantities of coffee, even if their underlying addiction was not drinking.

This does not seem to be a traditional AA-style, twelve-step program, but it's way better than nothing. It's undeniably good that he's seeking reconciliation and forgiveness after admitting that he had a problem. Christianity teaches that there is redemption even for the worst sinner. I believe in second chances, particularly for those who learn from their humbling mistakes. Certainly I've made serious mistakes of my own in the past and needed some breathing room and time to bounce back; why shouldn't this guy be any different than that?

So it's time for me to dispense with the schadenfreude and to wish (former Rev.) Ted Haggard the best for as complete and speedy a recovery as can be possible and a reconciliation with his family.

No comments: