Playlist #4 What to do with an Outed Leader?
Ted Haggard was the leader of the National Association of Evangelicals (USA) from 2003 to 2006. Known as a Christian celebrity among America’s 70 million evangelicals, Haggard was at the centre of controversy when it was alleged he had regularly paid for sex with a man. The clips in this playlist paint a picture of a troubled man, confused about his sexuality and almost swallowed by shame when outed to his church community.
It is interesting to note that Haggard now sees himself as bisexual. Many ex-gay leaders who are bisexual or questioning their gender fail to distinguish these from “gay”, leading to much confusion about what it means to be same-sex attracted, especially for young ex-gay participants who truly are gay and not bisexual.
Also note the comments of James Dobson (leader of Focus on the Family) who argues that homosexuality is not a product of genetics but of environment and upbringing. This is a false dichotomy that is often touted by ex-gay therapies. Most current research indicates sexual orientation is neither a product of genetics or upbringing but most likely a combination of genetics and in utero hormone exposure. (In other words, it is very much natural.) Focus on the Family’s radio shows air regularly on Christian broadcasters across Australia.