By Julia Duin
(File photo of Ted Haggard with his wife Gayle)
Just out: Ted Haggard, the disgraced-now-redeemed evangelist from Colorado Springs, has admitted he’s a bisexual.
We thought we’d heard everything about Mr. Haggard, thanks to his recent TLC reality show described here. Then now comes this amazing profile in GQ – along with a mawkish picture of the preacher on his knees, Bible in hand, gazing up toward the sky.
Brief preview: We learn at the midpoint of the article that Haggard was sexually molested at the age of seven. Then at the very end, the minister admits he used to watch gay porn, was – and probably still is – a compulsive masturbator and finally admits to interviewer Kevin Roose, “I think that probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual.”
But he’s 54, Haggard adds, so he’s content to “exclusively have sex with my wife and be perfectly satisfied.”
The author seems to think that Haggard has sacrificed a vital part of himself by going the monogamous marriage-and-family route; Haggard is saying the forbidden longings are still there but it’s possible to fence them out.
I don’t think Haggard is part of an evangelical Christian ‘gay awakening’ proposed by columnist and Wheaton College graduate Cathleen Falsani.
But his new admissions sure add fuel to the argument that such an awakening exists.
Is Ted Haggard adding confusion or clarity to current religious debates on gay sex?
UPDATE By Elizabeth Tenety, Jan 28, 10:10 a.m.:
Watch Haggard’s wife Gayle discuss his sexuality in a 2010 interview with Sally Quinn:
Other quotes from Haggard’s interview with GQ that have garnered attention in the past few days:
On the affair that became public and forced him out of ministry:
“We never had sex sex,” he says, glancing at the car to make sure that Elliott and Jonathan are asleep. “I bought drugs and a massage from him, and he masturbated me at the end of it. That’s it.”
On being shunned by the church he founded:
“I used to think the church was the light of the world,” Ted says. “But I’ve completely lost my faith in it.”