Watching the HBO doc on Ted Haggard, the Colorado minister who lost his mega-parsonage. Mr. Haggard was outed by (at least) one gentleman who had sex with him on a regular basis while Pastor Haggard preached against homosexuals.
Tuned into the doc 20 minutes late; but figured I could catch up. IMHO, this dude still has not come to terms with his sexuality. He has kept his family; and he evidences a sense of betrayal by the loss of his church and friends. His wife says she would marry him again. She isn't the first wife in denial. Now he's selling insurance door-to-door. Once a salesman, always a salesman.
I am a spiritual person. I enjoy going to church, on the rare times I attend. To my dismay, every church eventually brings politics into the pulpit; i.e. abortion and homosexuality. Churches do not pay taxes; therefore, I feel they should not promote any political agenda. I go to church to reinforce my spirituality. I read the paper and listen to the news to develop my political beliefs. Ne'er the twain shall meet. It seems to me that every person I know who attends church, whatever religion, has such rigid views of right and wrong. Maybe life is as black and white as they feel it is, and I am too open to interpretation; however, there seems to be no room for all the variances I experience in my small-town existence.Even in right-wing blood-red West Texas we have persons of differing sexual preferences; those with varying views on gun laws; brave souls who stand up against the local educational bias against Darwinism.
Here's my big confession: though I have tried many times, I cannot read the Bible. I enjoy church because I can hear passages and their interpretation. But I get bored trying to read any Bible; cannot sustain any interest. This revelation brought much distress to my mother who .feels my depression can be solved by a church home. She and I cannot share our views on church. I love books, so my inability to read a great book distresses me. Maybe if it hadn't been edited so many times by those with agendas?
Ted Haggard is a distillation of my issues with organized religion: organized hypocrisy that projects shame onto those who are "different" and lauds those who adhere to the respective church's idea of what is right; and the politicism of all churches.
How about this simple rule: do unto others as you want them to do unto you.