I feel sorry for Gayle Haggard. Here she thought she was married to the most perfect, most moral man in the world and he turns out to be just like any other rotten cheating husband having a gay fling. How demoralizing. How hurtful. Only of course Ted Haggard's behavior was far worse than just your typical run-of-the-mill philandering husband precisely because of who Ted Haggard is.
I know this is a stretch for you--it certainly is for me--but imagine being married to the most powerful, charismatic evangelical in the land. A pastor with 14,000 adoring congregants and a direct line to the White House and a smattering of religious books under his belt/cloth on teaching sinners how to live. A man who has been preaching not only that homosexuality is wrong and against God's law, but has been actively promoting a constitutional amendment that would outlaw gay marriage. Only to find out in the most public, most humiliating way possible that he has been betraying you for three years with a male hooker.
Personally I would be a bit angry.
The first thing I would do if I were Gayle Haggard--other than take my children and flee to another state, that is--is get an HIV test.
But Gayle Haggard, God help her, probably will do neither of those things. She has already forgiven Ted. She still believes in him, God help her. Still loves him. And the couple are now going to receive some sort of intensive spiritual "re-education" from the likes of James Dobson. That should help Ted resolve his sexual demons and do wonders for the Haggard marriage, don't you think?
As for Gayle, here's what she said in a letter that was read during Sunday services at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, the day after her disgraced husband was forced to resign:
"If I were standing before you today, I would not change one iota of what I have been teaching the women of our church. For those of you who have been concerned that my marriage was so perfect I could not possibly relate to the women who are facing great difficulties, know that this will never again be the case. My test has begun; watch me. I will try to prove myself faithful."
Gayle Haggard thought she was getting a Prophet. When all she was getting was an ordinary mortal.
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