Following an extraordinarily public fall, the Rev. Ted Haggard now enters a period of self-reflection guided by three spiritual elders whose mission is defined with a nebulous term: restoration . . . .But just as with a house, this restoration might be a slow and laborious process:
Though Haggard's path ahead is uncertain, London [H.R. London, a Focus on the Family executive who's part of the troika doing Haggard's remodeling] said anyone seeking restoration experiences stages of grief that come with any loss [loss?--ed.]. The restoration process could take five years, maybe longer, and may fail, London said.
That's because Haggard's problem is especially bad. No, not the meth:
Special sins require special tools:
The fact that Haggard's transgressions involve another man pose additional challenges both to his own healing and to a possible comeback, said Tony Campolo, a more liberal evangelical who served as one of President Clinton's spiritual advisers after the Monica Lewinksy affair [that's liberal, all right--ed.].
"There is a tendency to say, 'A heterosexual affair, any of us could do that,"' Campolo said. "But there is not the same grace shown to people who commit a homosexual act. Somehow this is put into a super-sin category."
Haggard's restoration is to include a clinical exploration of his sexuality, possibly including a polygraph test and consulting with a psychologist, church officials say. Haggard has said he is not gay.There is a teeny tiny flickering ray of hope:
Former Iliff School of Theology interim president Philip Wogaman, who also advised Clinton, said a comeback cannot be ruled out, given that Christians believe in grace and forgiveness.
Wogaman pointed out that Christian tradition includes examples well before the fallen televangelists and reformed felons who are back in the public eye.
Before becoming one of Christianity's early leaders, he noted, the apostle Paul was an accomplice to murder.
Which, in case you didn't know, is even worse than being gay.
Update: Wogaman! Wogaman! Yaaaayyyyy former Illiff School of Theology interim president Philip Wogaman!
Update II: Having (strongly) implied on no evidence whatever that Charles Atlas was gay, I am now going through the various stages of grief over my loss of principles.