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Word of the Day: Haggard’s Law

Christianity and atheism, does God exist?Rev. O’Neal Dozier, a Rick Santorum backer, says that homosexuality is the “paramount of sins” and that it is “something so nasty and disgusting that it makes God want to vomit.”

Pastor Ken Hutcherson, here in Seattle, is against Washington state’s new law-in-waiting allowing same-sex marriage. He’s been riding this horse for years, ever since he complained about Microsoft offering health benefits to same-sex partners of employees.

Ted Haggard was the founder and former head of both the 10,000-member New Life Church and led the National Association of Evangelicals. In the movie Jesus Camp, he said, “We don’t have to debate about what we should think about homosexual activity. It’s written in the Bible.”

But Pastor Ted was brought low by claims that he had a long-term relationship with a gay prostitute. This hypocrisy gave us Haggard’s Law: the likelihood of someone’s being gay increases in proportion to the force of that person’s public objections to homosexuality. One wonders if the other pastors similarly doth protest too much.

The next time some guy with a religious or political platform bloviates about why a segment of society doesn’t deserve the same respect as everyone else, remember Haggard’s Law and wonder what he’s hiding.

Photo credit: Simon Varwell

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About Bob Seidensticker
  • Rick Townsend

    I’m going to propose Bob’s Law: the likelihood of someone’s being Christian increases in proportion to the force of that person’s public objections to Christianity. One wonders if the atheists similarly [guilty of loud proclamation] doth protest too much.

    • RandomFunction2

      To RT,

      It’s perfectly possible that some atheists repress their need for God and express a reaction formation (a defense of the self) in which they attack religion with all their strength. Still, I don’t think that would hold true of all militant atheists.

      Besides, there is a difference between homophobes and typical atheists: homophobes want to deny rights to homosexuals, they don’t want to grant them full citizenship, while atheists rather want to protect their rights without trying to prevent believers exerting their freedom of speech or freedom religion (within the setting of a secular state, of course).

      • Rick Townsend

        So someone against something YOU believe in is a fill-in-the-blank-ophobe, but anyone like YOU that opposes Christian principles and believes that their expression is a danger to society is — enlightened. That is your belief, right? That Christianity is harmful to society?

        Here is where this plays out in the big leagues. Take one of your pet subjects, abortion, for instance. You want all abortions to be the choice of the individual, which in our worldview kills humans. We on the other hand, while trying to protect what we believe to be human life, would limit some choices to err on the side of caution and protect life.

        It’s never as simple as it seems at first glance.

        But back to the point. If anyone who protests too loudly is a candidate to be considered one who is the thing he protests, then you are a Christian. If you disagree, then the point of for post is incorrect. Haggard’s law is refuted based on the evidence of … YOU.

        Add caveats about whether you want policy change or not, but the data speaks for itself. Ideas have implications, and yours are no exception. Are you willing to live with the possibility that you have encouraged some to choose death if it turns out in the end that abortion is wrong in the eyes of God?

        I think Bob’s law is as valid as Haggard’s law.

        • Retro

          It’s never as simple as it seems at first glance.

          I agree.

          If these people did what the Bible tells them to, they wouldn’t have gotten pregnant in the first place. Just like God flooding the whole planet, giving King David’s baby a fatal disease, or ordering His followers to destroy whole cities… these people are simply following the example that God has given, and are eradicating their mistakes.

          What’s more important to protect, a finite human life, or an eternal afterlife? If these aborted zygotes go straight to heaven, then why would you want to protest abortion?

          If you actually listened to what atheists like myself are saying, you would understand that we want to reduce abortions by preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place. Religion is doing a terrifically bad job at doing this, so maybe it’s time to try something better.

          But back to the point. If anyone who protests too loudly is a candidate to be considered one who is the thing he protests, then you are a Christian.

          I’ll keep an eye on Bob S, and if I see him going to church on Sunday, I’ll bust his ass for being a hypocrite…

          Until then, face up to the fact that the president of the National Association of Evangelicals purchased and used crystal meth, and regularly had gay sex with a male prostitute.

    • Bob Seidensticker

      Rick T:

      Inventing a Law requires examples to suggest a rule. There are lots of rabidly anti-gay people who are gay. Perhaps they are vocally anti-gay to give themselves sturdy bounds so they don’t act out (in their own minds) themselves. The paradox, of course, is that the “sin” of homosexuality is one that could be eliminated simply by redefining it (contrast with murder, which actually causes harm).

      Your proposal makes sense if there are lots of high-profile “atheists” who are actually Christian. Right off the bat, the analogy is weak because the anti-gay people have a large audience eager to hear the message while atheism is the minority (no equivalent of Ted Haggard’s 10,000-person church, for example). Also, I don’t think you’d say that atheists are vocally anti-Christian to keep them on the straight and narrow, which falling off the atheist bandwagon being a humiliation. But perhaps you have examples that I’m forgetting of such high-profile atheists who’ve fallen into the sin of Christianity.

  • Rick Townsend

    Retro—

    I made no attempt to defend the perpetrator of these acts.

    I do pay attention. You don’t stop a holocaust by killing fewer. You stop it by killing none.

    Everyone agrees that stopping unwanted pregnancies would be great. When you get a handle on it, implement your plan. Until then, consider stopping killing the innocent victims.

  • Retro

    I do pay attention. You don’t stop a holocaust by killing fewer. You stop it by killing none.

    How was the actual Holocaust stopped? Wasn’t the actual Holocaust stopped by killing? (BTW, why didn’t your God and/or the God of the Jews do something Himself?)

    Comparing abortion to the actual Holocaust might seem like a great way to get your point across, but unless you want to stop abortion by gunpoint, don’t bother comparing the two.

    Everyone agrees that stopping unwanted pregnancies would be great.

    Great! Then you won’t oppose comprehensive sex education in schools?

    When you get a handle on it, implement your plan. Until then, consider stopping killing the innocent victims.

    49 percent of all pregnancies in the US are unintended. 92 percent of abortions are from these unintended pregnancies. 52 percent of unintended pregnancies result from couples not using contraception.

    This means that using contraception could potentially cut abortion by about half.

    Prohibition on abortion has not ever been shown to lower the rate of unwanted pregnancies or to lower the rate of abortion.

    Since the majority of women getting abortions in the US self identify as Christians, I’d say that a condom is much more effective than condemnation.

  • RandomFunction2

    To all,

    Why can’t we keep the focus on homosexuality and leave abortion for another debate?

  • Pingback: Does the Old Testament Condemn Homosexuality? (2 of 2) | Cross Examined


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