News has erupted about poor Ted Haggard. I admit that he's not one of my favorite characters. I don't like that he is on President Bush's speed dial and I can't find the heart to affirm the theology espoused at New Life Church. And that's the very problem, I think. Our theology doesn't make space to allow ourselves the ability to love self.
It seems simple. And evens so, I know that there are some that argue that this is twisting God to our own image. Perhaps it is wrong. But, we are created in the image of God. It's right there in the beginning of Genesis before we are given the responsibility to be the best steward possible of God's creation. And inherent in this responsibility is the promise to be good stewards of ourselves. This means that we should love and honor ourselves. We should protect our health and our hearts. We should do all of the things that we strive to do to care for Mother Earth. It is what God asks of us.
And instead, poor Ted Haggard has hated himself. He has made choices that don't honor his own value as God's creation. It doesn't matter to me if he did engage in these trysts or if he merely had a gay friend in the vast scope of his ministry. It doesn't really matter to me at all what he did or not do. Instead, I am saddened that there is no space for Ted Haggard to love and honor himself. I'm saddened that some member of his congregation struggling with sexual identity can't see God in these tough questions because his pastor has already condemned it. I'm saddened that Ted Haggard is not affirmed by the National Evangelical Association. I'm horrified that we get so concerned about naming sins. It seems that if we are to label sin, it is really the greatest sin not to love and honor yourself as God has commanded.