As Miller points out, the case of Ted Haggard is very different. An oddity in much commentary on Haggard is the insistence that he denied who he really is. This is the mortal sin of being "in the closet." The pertinent text countering that way of thinking is Romans 7:1320:
Did that which is good then bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment become sinful beyond measure. We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil that I do not want is what I do. Now, if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.
Note that carnal and flesh as used by St. Paul do not refer only, or even chiefly, to sexual sins. The carnal and fleshly is all that is opposed to the Spirit of God.
In tones of adolescent rage and petulance, which is the characteristic gay voice, commentator after commentator has accused Haggard of hypocrisy, insisting that what he claims to see as his sin is, in fact, his true self, and demanding that he embrace his sin as his authentic identity. At the core of such commentary is an adamantly binary view of sexualityone is either straight or gay, all the way. This completely ignores findings otherwise celebrated by proponents of sexual liberation, such as Kinsey's scale of 1 to 5 in heterosexual/ homosexual orientation. Much more important, it is a naive indifference to the reality of the conflicted self, which is the subject of all great spiritual and psychological writing, as well as the best of the novels and dramas of our civilization. Gay propagandists have room neither for St. Paul nor Hamlet.
Another oddity is that gay and gay-friendly commentators assume that any publicity involving homosexualitywhether Ted Haggard or the Florida congressman who flirted with male pagesworks to the benefit of their cause. This strikes me as highly doubtful. A congressional predator or Haggard's liaisons with a male prostitute hardly enhances the public image of gayness. Of course, there are adult men who prey on girls and there are plenty of female prostitutes. But most Americans live in a heterosexual world where such deviance is recognized as deviance. Almost all the people they know do not prey on girls or patronize prostitutes.
But what they do know about the gay world? Largely the sleaze that comes to the surface in public scandals. There was an op-ed in Wednesday's New York Times asserting that 70 percent of Americans personally know someone who is gay. That seems statistically improbable. Somewhere between 2 and 4 percent of American males identify themselves as gay. (The figure is much lower for women.) Most of them are congregated in cities, and in those parts of cities known to be gay-friendly. Chelsea and the West Village, along with the Castro district of San Francisco and counterparts in other larger cities, are not America. Gays live in such places precisely because they are not America.
Admittedly, young people in college, or at least in most colleges, do know personally people who are gay; and some of them they count as friends. Most campuses have special-interest LGBT groups, and students are indoctrinated in gay ideology under the rubric of opposing "homophobia." At one Ivy League college, faculty members told me over dinner that one-third of the male students were at least "experimenting" with homosexuality. Among the women, there were also a large number of "LUGS" (Lesbian Until Graduation). Whether such developments will significantly increase the percentage of adults identifying themselves as gay or lesbian will, I suppose, be discovered in due course. Apart from an intuition for the natural built into human beings, there are all kinds of incentives and pressures militating against such a significant increase.
What most Americans know about being gay is distinctively unattractive and, in their view, morally repugnant. Gay advocates deceive themselves in thinking that the more people know about homosexuality the more they will approve of it. Moreover, it is self-evident to such advocates that gay trumps straight. If a Ted Haggard is by every indicator a good husband and father of his children, and also a preacher who teaches that homosexuality is morally disordered, but occasionally falls into sin and consorts with a male homosexual, it is obvious to such advocates that he is not a good husband and father but is gay. And a hypocrite to boot.
This is a self-serving illogicality that is not likely to convince anyone not captive to the gay ideology. I expect most people will continue to hold with the maxim to hate the sin and love the sinner. To the gay insistence that they love the sin and hate only those who call it sin, they will respond with St. Paul's much more profounddare I say nuanced?understanding of the conflicted self.