By Ben Cohen
Disgraced Pastor Ted Haggard has informed US News that his political leanings have shifted since being outed for engaging in gay acts and drug use. Struggling to gain employment, Haggard said:
Our political position shifted a little bit. Our view of what it's
like sitting in an emergency room and not knowing if your insurance
card is going to work—I understand that emotion now. I know what it
feels like to walk somewhere instead of driving somewhere to save gas.
And so, I'm different. And I am optimistic about the new
administration. This whole thing had changed me. I never dreamed I
would be left out this quickly.
It's hard not to feel sorry for Haggard, who is taking part in an HBO documentary about his downfall. The pretense of living as a straight man and head of a huge evangelical church must have caused immense pressure for Haggard, who clearly has a very complex sexuality. Raised in a culture where homosexuality is deemed morally wrong, Haggard's hard line stance on gay marriage was clearly a cover up for the feelings he was having, and the result was a spectacular fall from grace and an abandonment by the people he once represented. Haggard may have done huge damage to the gay community in the past, but his more nuanced understanding of human sexuality may lead to a more positive relationship in the future. Switching to Democrat would be a good start.