Catching Up with Ted and Gayle Haggard
When Ted and his wife, Gayle, appeared on The Oprah Show , Ted told Oprah that he was a "heterosexual with homosexual attachments."
Some Oprah Show viewers said they thought Ted was lying; others said he was in denial. One viewer wrote: "I think Ted was open, honest and delightful. This is one of the problems I see with the Christian faith. They insist on being perfect. Perfection is not possible, and the problem is not that Mr. Haggard lied, but he lived in an environment that insisted on his lying."
Ted and Gayle say their marriage is better now that they've told their story to the public. "Whenever you have honesty, you have the opportunity for greater intimacy, and that's been our process," Gayle says.
Of the negative e-mails, Ted says they were largely split between the homosexual and Christian communities. "A portion was from gay people who resented the fact that I was being true to myself in that I stayed with my wife, stayed with my family," he says. "Interestingly enough, some percentage was also Christian people saying, 'You need to just be straight and be what God made you to be.' So there was negative response from both sides wanting me to fit in their box."
When Ted does have thoughts about men, he doesn't get angry with himself, he says. "I think Jesus came for all of us, and I think all of humanity is messed up. … I don't think [God] was ever against me. I don't think he's against homosexuals or heterosexuals or people that are wherever they are in their process," he says. "I think God is for people and he wants all of us to be improving all the time."
Gayle says humans are sexual beings, and people need to accept that sexuality is expressed differently for each person. "We do have some degree of choice as to what we do with the impulses that we feel. But we don't choose our impulses," she says.
Ted says he and Gayle are interviewing publishers and hoping to write a book about their experience. "There is a bright light at the end of the tunnel now. We're very pleased. Our life is very different than it was when we were [first on The Oprah Show ]," Ted says. "[The interview] was authentically healing for us."
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