Ted Haggard says sexuality labels "just don't work"

Ted Haggard could have been in my study last summer. Over 190 same-sex attracted men who are heterosexually married took my survey to describe their sexuality. Many of them said the same thing – that labels didn’t fully capture their experience.
Haggard told the Denver Post that labels don’t work. Read the rest at the link.
Haggard’s description is consistent with the results I found. I am still collecting data involving same-sex attracted women in straight marriages. Just a few points on the men:
-191 men completed the survey; referrals came from ex-gay ministries, bisexual groups, mixed orientation couple support groups and via this website.
-Regarding the labels issue, 33% of all respondents qualified their sexual orientation self-description because they felt the labels were not adequately descriptive.
-We found 6 groups of such men with different attaction patterns. Haggard may fit into the “spousosexual” group if his general attractions are for men, but he experiences attraction for his wife. We found 20% of the total group in that category.
-The smallest group was the “ex-gay” group. Just over 6% said they once were attracted to the same-sex primarily and are now primarily attracted to the opposite sex.
-The largest group (40%) were bisexual in their attraction patterns and about one-quarter of the men were primarily attracted to the same sex in the present.
There are many more interesting findings that I am saving for the paper on this research. It should be ready by the end of February for submission. Stay tuned…

81 thoughts on “Ted Haggard says sexuality labels "just don't work"”

  1. @Jayhuck:
    This thread is supposed to be about Ted Haggard and his disclosures regarding his sexuality. It has become about gay marriage and each other.
    I am closing this thread for now.

  2. Mary,
    Your accusations of me are as unfounded and as empty of data as you claim my posts are – LOL. You choose to see what you want to see and *I* see no need to further a conversation with someone like that!

  3. Mary,
    You are saying the same things to me you’ve been saying for months – you’re loop de loop of accusations as it were – the only two people I have a problem with on here are you and Eddy!
    I got tired of constantly hearing accusations and nothing else from you Mary – which is why I stopped conversing with you – and which is why I will do so again

  4. As usual – avoidance, you did not answer. Your tactics are clear to everyone.
    Jayhuck, I am beginning to doubt everything you write. Nothing is backed up with primary or secondary data and you continue to blame others for demanding that you do so. And you avoid others who have been persistent.
    What is your purpose in focusing on everyone else, blaming others for not believing you or accepting you at face value, and avoiding direct questions when asked of you?
    This is what you have demanded of everyone else.

  5. Jayhuck,
    Still you dodge, avoid, dismiss, and whine about what time you do not have to go google your own resources?? And yet, you seem to take quite a bit of time defending your ability to not explain, document, and hold yourself accountable?
    Hmmmm.
    Seems this documenting your facts and yourself has been an issue. Have you thought about bookmarking your resources and references. It might help others and you if you took the time to do so?
    JUst a thought – since this has been a long standing issue.

  6. I haven’t had that exposure. What benefits do they seem to want to exclude?

    yet another quote of yours along the same lines – that I tried to answer with a link to that text – when you decided to change the course of the conversation – Hmmmm – 🙂

  7. This is what you initially wanted to know Eddy

    will it also address the benefits you mentioned that some want to exclude from civil unions?

    Later, you want to know about my choice of words

  8. I thought this discussion was about the difference between civil unions and marriage and somehow its become about my words.

  9. But the situation does warrant a link Eddy – I can regurgitate the article if you like, you it does a wonderful job expressing the differences between marriage and civil unions. The law, even if individuals don’t, has an idea of what Civil Unions are – those are the Civil Unions I’m talking about. The aren’t so knew that they haven’t been defined under the law Eddy. Ugh. Talk about exasperation

  10. Jayhuck–
    Please. I’m again at the point of exasperation. I’m not in your world; you’re not in mine. You made a statement. I’m asking for simply clarification. It’s a discussion.
    You said:

    when I hear people talk about civil unions, I usually hear about something that offers less benefits than marriage.

    Don’t go to google. I was asking about YOUR statement. YOU hear people talk. YOU usually hear about something that offers less benefits than marriage. What do YOU hear? What are those lesser benefits that YOU hear people talk of? I’m not in a discussion with google. I’m here. Talking to YOU…asking YOU about a very simple statement YOU made.
    LOL. The statement you made does not require or even warrant a link because you are speaking of your experience. You hear people talk…you hear them talking some standard of civil union other than what I described or Ted described…you hear them talking about lesser benefits than Ted or I do. WHAT are the lesser benefits YOU hear them talk about?

  11. Its not that some want excluded from Civil Unions Eddy – its how, by their nature, or in their current form, Civil Unions exclude certain rights

  12. I’m turning in for the night. Will check out that article tomorrow. From the title though, I’m guessing it’s going to tell me the diffference between marriage and civil unions…will it also address the benefits you mentioned that some want to exclude from civil unions?

  13. OK – let’s try this again – when I hear people talk about civil unions, I usually hear about something that offers less benefits than marriage.

  14. Jayhuck–
    I’m not trying to be a bear but there is no ‘general, run of the mill, civil union idea’. The notion is too new. There is no ‘general’ established pattern. There is no ‘general’ sought after pattern. There is no mill. The words sound like they say something but–when you stop and think…”oh, what’s the general civil union idea?”…there’s no clear answer. it’s not something you could google…and if you asked three different people what a ‘general, run of the mill civil union’ was, you’d likely get three different answers.

  15. I should have said – but Ted seems to be going above your general, run-of-the-mill, civil-union idea when he talks about equality under the law.
    Full equality under the law – regarding gay marriage/civil unions, this, to me, means having exactly the same rights as people who get “married”.
    Gay people should never have to settle for less than this – and yes, there are some who want the label, but, in my eyes, as long as gay people have the rights, they can call themselves married if they like – many gay couples already talk about being married, because they’ve had a religious blessing to their union.

  16. There can never be true equality since the two couplings are not of similar gender pairings. Civil unions grant all the same rights. And employers are to recognize those.
    Sort of like when women want equality. I want equal treatment under the law but I don’t want to be the same as a man?? Do I?? Not.
    Gay couples ARE different that straight couples.

  17. I might…figuring you gotta start somewhere. Then I’d keep working from there.
    The concept you introduced of ‘general civil unions’ is not one I’m aware of. And since we’re still in the infancy of embracing any kind of unions, civil unions or marriage, I’d like to know where that notion comes from. You speak it like it’s general knowledge. Since we’re only beginning to go that route, I don’t believe any such distinction has yet been introduced. Buzzwords before we have the buzz!!!
    Phrases like “full equality” are likewise ambiguous. Some would say that not having the title “married” is less than FULL equality. It’s important in these discussions that we define our words when they are subject to various interpretations.
    Given that we all travel in different circles–some vastly different–we need to be careful of phrases that don’t translate the same way to everyone.

  18. But Ted appears to be going above your general civil unions and saying that gay people should have FULL equality under the law – if the civil unions in question do indeed confer the same benefits as marriage, then I see no problem whatsoever – . Gay people could, in effect, be “married” without others having to feel the word is being “re-defined”.
    I can’t find the exact statements yet – they are too buried in the overwhelming information on Ted’s scandal – the only issue I’ve ever had with the man is his stance on gay marriage though – If I find the statements I’ll let you know 🙂

  19. LOL. Why do you think I made the distinction about gay marriage? I’m for gay rights; I’m for civil unions; I believe a gay person ought to have their loving partner at their bedside rather than a family that judges them; I’m for gay insurance benefits. But I am no longer in favor of gay marriage.
    The statement that you found from Haggard was one where he expressed his support of gay rights much as I’ve described. Then he realized that, to many, even though he didn’t say it, they thought he meant ‘gay marriage’…so he quickly qualified.
    I imagine the quote you found at BoxTurtle startled you because it ran counter to the anti-gay statements you heard him make in those sermons you listened to…the ones you first mentioned. Can you share one of those statements so that we can compare it to the statement from BoxTurtle and perhaps shed some light on it?

  20. Jayhuck – have you read TH’s own statments regarding TH?
    Just wondering or are you dabbling in gossip and calling it research?

  21. Eddy,
    That quote above refers to your insinuation that I went from not knowing who Ted was to having heard all this anti-gay stuff come out of his mouth – this didn’t happen overnight Eddy – its been almost a year since Ted’s scandal for crying out loud –
    However, while trying to find the articles and youtube videos I read and watched so many months ago – I came across this quote from a very recent article on box turtle – perhaps I’ll have to rethink my opinion of the guy if in fact he has truly changed his tune – it seems difficult to know exactly what he means from this quote:

    “I think the government should recognize the union between people whether they’re gay or not in whatever the language they choose, whether they call it a marriage or a civil union, it’s up to them. If the government is going to be in the business of recognizing people grouped together as couples, then they need to that across the board. It’s a big change for me.”
    “It’s not a change in my view of civil liberties. I’ve always believed this. It’s a change in semantics. I’m saying prior to the crisis, I would defend marriage as the sacred term for the church to use for heterosexual monogamous couples. Now I’ve broadened that and said it’s not worth having a war over the definition of a word. I believe that under civil law people should be respected. And it should be equality under the law. So either the government needs to get out of recognizing that couples are together and make everybody file the same tax returns, etc. Or they need to recognize all of them. I don’t think it’s wise for the government to separate based on what goes on in a person’s bedroom.”
    Sounds great, right? Except an hour later an HBO publicity person called. Haggard wanted to clarify that he wasn’t saying he was for gay marriage.

  22. I read Jayhuck’s link. It’s a short piece written by a gay man who mocks the minister and seems delighted at his fall because of TH’s anti-gay marriage stand.

  23. Jayhuck–

    Its interesting how you seem to view the world in such a static sense Ed – as if nothing changes over time.

    This is a bit to enigmatic for me. Can you translate? I don’t recall talking at all about ‘the world’, I’ve been focussed on your statements re Ted.

  24. Jayhuck,
    The article you linked doesn’t have any of Ted Haggard’s words. It’s an article about him not by him. You do understand the difference don’t you?
    You said you’ve heard him speak his anti-gay stuff. Please back it up. Even with a remembered quote.

  25. @Jayhuck: I haven’t been following this latest flurry well but I did see this one. No need for this level of sarcasm. If I missed the same from others, I am sorry. But everyone relax please.

  26. Its interesting how you seem to view the world in such a static sense Ed – as if nothing changes over time 🙂

  27. Eddy,
    You know this guy plays dodgeball all the time. When pressed for facts – he gets quiet or begins to blame others. Now he is telling you to google and provides not documentable verifiable information. Same ole, same ole. Like the kid in school who used to try and intimidate you into finding the answers for his homework by saying – “Well, prove me wrong.” Very effective in first grade but not so much after that. I just can’t believe we are dealing with the same tactics in such a forum.
    When pressed for definitions or inconsistencies in his posts …. he goes away and starts with someone else. This is the only constant statement or behavior from that blogger.

  28. Again, a great dodge. You’ve said that he’s said lots of anti-gay stuff. It’s your responsibility as a blogger when the truth of your statement has been challenged to present your support. I could search google for days and not find these anti-gay references that you personally have knowledge of. Can you at least hint at the time period when you were listening to his sermons so I have a frame of reference…he’s been preaching for a long, long, long time.

  29. yeah – no wonder you’re confused Ed – research must a difficult thing for you to grasp – and its mighty difficult in this information age too – LOL 😉

  30. And, when the story of his sexual fall was discussed here some months ago, no one, you included, seemed to know much about him. And all this time you’ve been sitting on the fact that you had actually listened to a lot of his sermons. Go figure! No wonder I’m confused. You’ve been holding out on us!

  31. LOL – you’ve got Google and know how to use it I presume – you do the footwork Eddy – I’m tired. You can blame me all you want for not looking it up for you, but the information is not all that hard to find 😉

  32. Jayhuck – sounds like you are the one who is kicking the dog when it’s down, throwing salt into a wound etc… and being very judgmental of a man who is struggling.
    Are you sure you are not throwing TH under th bus because you secretly want him to fail to sustain your own sexuality or ideas about sexuality??
    Sound like you are judging very quickly and too eagerly to protect your position about you own sexuality.

  33. Wow…when I asked you if you could share anything you KNEW of what he said, you had nothing. This is great. Can you quote any of the most memorable anti-gay stuff?

  34. I’ve heard enough of his sermons Eddy – especially the anti-gay ones. Now, have I heard more words in his sermons than you have read of mine here – I have no idea LOL 🙂 Judge on Ed!

  35. Oh my. TH has made a statement and before he falls people are pushing him over the cliff!!!
    Wow – sounds like someone is justifying his own sexual fantasies?? And trying to label others by his own swaying (tilting really) sceptor?

  36. But YOU, the judge, don’t know the words of those sermons. And I’d be willing to bet that, especially given the fact of his silent struggle, that precious few were on the topic of homosexuality. I’m judging you by words I’ve read that you’ve written. You are judging Ted by what you presume he has said. Good luck with that.

  37. LOL – after umpteen sermons and speeches delivered by Mr. Haggard over the years – not to mention anything he’s written – Um, yeah, I’ll disagree.

  38. The words Ted that we have access to (and are judging him by) are a drop in the bucket compared to the 1500+ posts by you our most frequent blogger. Sure you can disagree in the face of the obvious. Go for it!!

  39. Ted’s words are few; yours are very, very, very many. I’ve given you the benefit of a doubt on occasion; you’ve refused to do the same for Ted. Rave on, dude!

  40. You can judge my words but I can’t judge Ted’s – hmmmmm? Yes Eddy – Thank goodness for the blog record!

  41. I would like to draw attention to how quickly and easily the data was collected and how it does not seem to wage any political war in its results…it is largely descriptive.
    I wonder why it took S and S longer to get their data?
    A very, very small amount, perhaps, of disaffected people who sought reorientation?
    Or is it a very very rare intervention?
    Or does it only rarely cause a level of harm worth reporting?

  42. Ah, yes, the good old blame card again. And a generalization thrown in to boot. That i’ve “never extended (you) the same courtesy”. The blog record will prove that’s an overstatement/generalization on your part. I don’t judge him because I don’t know him. Christianity says I shouldn’t judge my brother without just cause. You, I know your words…I judge them for their truthfulness and accuracy.

  43. I find it interesting Eddy that you preach generosity for a man you most likely don’t know and one that you’ve probably never talked to, but when it comes to me and our online relationship you’ve never extended me the same courtesy.

  44. Sorry that doesn’t fly.

    For whom Eddy, you? LOL
    You’ve judged me as a judger – what can I say? 🙂
    I’m not sure how many times I can say skeptic, but I’ll keep trying until you get it Ed

  45. Sorry that doesn’t fly. You were speaking directly about Haggard and when I suggested that our attitude towards a brother in Christ ought to be more generous, you went on to question his motivations…you continue to insinuate that they are ‘like those who have gone before him’. Judging one man based on the actions of others who YOU put in the same box.
    But, I’m more than satisfied with your answer. I see clearly that you judge him based on your perceptions of ‘others of his kind’. You’ve now said it in one way or another several times. I’m very very sorry that the irony of that is lost on you but I’m glad that you’ve demonstrated it so completely.

  46. What do YOU know about what Ted Haggard’s stand is Eddy? I’m not judging him at all – I’m merely skeptical of him and all the other, MANY, Evangelical leaders who have gone before him 😉

  47. Once again, what do you know about what Ted Haggard’s stand is? Or are you assuming? Or judging him by “others of his kind”?

  48. Isn’t him being against gay marriage enough Eddy? I’m not sure why I’d need to show anything more? You seem very convinced that gay men and women and their families should shut up and settle for something less than marriage – not only settle for less, but be happy with it. I’ll say it again – I’m for civil unions if they confer the same rights and benefits that marriage does, but too often the “civil unions” some people talk about fall FAR short of bestowing the same rights and privileges onto same-sex couples and families –
    After years of watching evangelical after evangelical preach against gay people and then fall from grace, as it were – I’ve developed a healthy sort of skepticism towards many evangelical “leaders”, what they say, and why they might be saying it. I can’t just make that skepticism go away – I’m not even sure I should – that doesn’t mean I harbor any ill will for Mr. Haggard – I don’t!

  49. Jayhuck–
    I know he believes that homosexual behavior is sin but that does not mean that he judges gay people. I, likewise, believe it is sin but I am no judge. Can you cite where and how he has or is working against gay rights? Or are you judging him by ‘others of his kind’…whatever that means. (LOL. Hmmm…perhaps I’ll start responding to you based on ‘others of your kind’ if you think that’s a fair and Christian way.) We’ll skip the fact that I don’t really know you or the specifics about your relationship with Christ; I’ll just assume what ‘your kind’ is and go from there…fair enough?
    Please provide a reference other than that he is against gay marriage. We’ve already established that many favor improving gay rights, even going so far as supporting ‘civil unions’, but are not in support of gay marriage. Please show how he is working against (or has worked against) gay rights. I do realize that it is possible that he’s done so, but you’re using it to defend having an unChristian attitude towards him…so I’m assuming you know something I don’t. Please clue me in.

  50. As for me, I’d rather err on the side of encouragement and ‘believing the best’ than on the side of discouragement and doubt.

    Eddy,
    And this is what I respect so much about you – if we start with the above premise and credibility and substance will follow.

  51. @Stacy Harp:
    I am not sure what you mean by consistent with 1-3%. The population of SSA married people is for sure a hidden population and my sample size and most studies like it are not capturing many of these people. If you include same-sex sexual behavior the percent is probably closer to 10% who are either gay identified or attracted or have ever been involved in SS behavior. If 60 million people are evangelical then 6 million evangelicals may be touched by the issue in one way or another. However, very few are going to come forward. I do not pretend to think I have discovered the real percentages of SSA people who experience heteosexual relationships but we go with what we have. I do think the 6% ex-gay figure is more likely to be closer to the accurate number since I asked ex-gay organizations specifically to participate. If anything, one might expect that my numbers of changers would be high since I specifically recruited with these groups.

  52. Are those numbers then consistent with the 1-3% of the population and homosexuality/lesbianism? I’m just curious because I hear all the time about what a big issue this is from people and it appears it’s not.

  53. Eddy – if he and others of his kind weren’t so quick to judge gay people and to work against their having the same rights he does, I’d be there with you – but that’s not the case. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish him well or hope that he is able to get where he feels he needs to be.

  54. Warren, I’m curious why your research sample is so small? 191 participants isn’t really that big of a sample size to determine much, and certainly not the whole population you’re trying to deal with. Isn’t there some way you could get a larger sample of at least 1000 to work with. I think the results would be more realistic. What do you think?

    1. Spitzer took 2 years to find 200 men and women to interview; Shidlo and Schroeder took 5 years to find 202. In several months I found over just over 250 (men and women) to take the survey.
      I approached Exodus, FOTF, used all my contacts and developed new ones. Exodus sent out two communications to member ministries to participate. I am not sure there really are that many people in this situation. But even so, I am not making any claims of representativeness. So the N will be consistent with past work in the field.

  55. Which only Ted and God really know.
    I’m sorry but I find it extremely offensive that people who don’t know him–who only know of his ‘issue’ and what they’ve read in the media–insist on believing the worst (and, for some, hoping for the worst) simply because they’ve claimed it as ‘their issue’. As fellow Christians, our first response ought to be encouragement and support rather than doubting his words and his motives. As for me, I’d rather err on the side of encouragement and ‘believing the best’ than on the side of discouragement and doubt.

  56. I wasn’t trying to state unequivocally that he is or isn’t gay – all I said is that it doesn’t surprise me that a conservative Evangelical would try and distance himself from the word – would it surprise YOU Eddy?
    It all comes down to what we mean by gay Eddy, and as the last SEVERAL discussions on this topic have proven, the word means different things to different people. In my own opinion, if his primary attractions are for men, then he is either gay or bisexual. I don’t see these terms as having well-defined or specific meanings, rather I see them as being what we might call umbrella terms that give us some idea of what is going on but can never give us the whole picture. I don’t see them as boxes in the way that some others do. And I think we make these terms and the use of them out to be far more difficult then they need to be.

  57. Ted’s point and the point of this topic is that ‘labels didn’t fully capture their experience’. I agree with him wholeheartedly on this point and you seem to be saying otherwise…that his objection to the label ‘gay’ isn’t that it ‘doesn’t capture his experience’ but rather that he can’t say it (or admit it) because he’s a conservative Evangelical. In short, you’ve assigned a different motivation to his self-labeling.
    I see him assessing his entire situation and saying ‘gay’ doesn’t fit who I am and how I feel; I see you saying that he’s responding only to the restrictions of his conservative Evangelicalism.
    You seem to be saying that ‘gay’ is the label that ‘fits’ him but that he won’t accept it. He’s saying that the label ‘gay’ doesn’t fully capture who he is.
    In your opinion, does the label ‘gay’ adequately or fully describe the nature of his sexual feelings? If so, why? If not, why?

  58. When someone says they are gay I don’t assume they are no longer a conservative Evangelical Eddy – some may, but I don’t. I’m not saying all conservative Evangelicals do anything Eddy, but it doesn’t surprise me that one would want to distance himself from the word – I mean, c’mon! 🙂

  59. Let’s not dismiss the fact that a number of conservative Evangelicals have, in fact, accepted that they are gay. (Wouldn’t Michael B. have been boxed as a conservative Evangelical right to the moment when he came to accept his gayness? And Timothy? If we say that the label ‘conservative Evangelicals still fits them, then Jayhuck’s observation is meaningless because his point is that a conservative Evangelical wouldn’t say that.) But, at the moment they say they accept their gayness, we immediately relabel their box. (By ‘we’, I mean all of us–on both sides of the issue. The conservative Evangelicals may disown them but gays also no longer see them as ‘conservative Evangelicals’.) Boxes and labels conveniently overlook individuality and diversity…and when you can arbitrarily move a person from one box or another based on one issue or situation based on your own understanding of what those boxes and labels mean…you demonstrate how ineffective boxes and labels are.

  60. Would you expect Ted, a conservative Evangelical, to say anything other than things like “I’m not gay” or what I’m going through is “too complex”? I sure didn’t. Boxes can sometimes be limiting, but often they are cast aside when they are a perfect fit.

  61. I tend to disagree that if Ted had fallen with a woman, he’d be restored by now. I know of a number of male ministers who succumbed to sexual temptations with women–and once discovered–they lost their positions and were never restored to leadership.
    I also disagree that gay people are the only support that Ted would be able to find. I’ll have to wait for the documentary but it seems that Ted has the support of his wife, his family, some elders from his previous church and some other ministry colleagues. And, if he wants it, he’s got mine too.
    I think it’s a twisted notion of ‘support’ that the gay community would be offering. Too many ‘ifs’….if you leave your marriage, if you identify as gay, if you buy into our theological view. That’s not support. Ted believes what he believes…about himself, about God and about the Bible. Real support recognizes the tough road he’s on and the future that he’s chosen and tries to stand with him there.
    Thanks, Warren, for your commitment to see and move beyond the boxes.

  62. Again, we are quibbling over the margins.
    According to the 2005 CDC report (which is probably not accurate but the best we have at the moment), 90% of folks identify as heterosexual and 10% do not.
    Those 10% included those who identified as gay, bisexual, something else, or didn’t answer at all. Somewhere in all of that is Ted Haggard and Warren’s study participants.
    I feel for Ted and others like him. No one has his back.
    The gay community lobbies legislatures, churches, society, and pretty much anyone they can access for the rights and interests of those who are not part of the 90%. And in the process, they’ve come up with the ridiculous alphabet string which – depending on it’s setting – may be as long as LGBTQI. And that doesn’t even include ‘same-gender loving’ African Americans or ‘two-spirited’ Native Americans.
    Ted’s natural home for support, understanding, community, and even the protection of his rights (including spousal, civil, discrimination, etc.) is the gay community (or the LGBTQIT community – last T for Ted). We know full well that one doesn’t have to identify as gay to be denied housing or employment or even to be the subject of physical violence. Those prone to homophobia aren’t much concerned that he is seeking to overcome his desires and to focus his attractions on his wife; they only know he was with a male hustler and that makes him as a faggot.
    But Ted’s very identity is, to a large extent, “I’m not gay”. So he’s in a catch 22. He cannot let himself look to gay people for support while that’s pretty much the only place he’s going to find it.

    1. Tim,
      Trust me – many ex gays with liberal ideas cannot find support either. I feel for TH, too. Though I disagree with you – his natural support team SHOULD be his home church. This is a bone of contention with me and the “christian” commnunity. They say and do opposite things. The other bowl of aplphabet soup looks like the PASHIQ etc… prostitute, adulterer, slut, heterosexual, indiscreet, and questioning – and that covers a lot of people within those church walls.

  63. Warren,
    It’s been a long time since I’ve been on your blog, but I read about Ted’s upcoming HBO documentary, “The Trials of Ted Haggard” soon to air.
    Yes, let’s talk labels and their ensuing dilemmas. Ted Haggard was never restored to his pulpit.
    Why?
    I personally believe that had he cheated on his wife with a woman, all would be set back in order. Why? Because everyone would be comfortable in having Ted re-direct his sexual desires to one woman — his wife.
    But, there’s a dilemma: Ted likes men sexually and has felt such pull since a young age. What to do? Can he be trusted to not label himself (that seems a given) BUT not go back to a Mike Jones or any other man?
    My point is: we can talk labels all day; it is reality that does the walking, talking, and screaming. We don’t want gay people in our pulpits — especially when they are extremely influential as Ted was. We can’t trust that they won’t return to their same sex partners.
    Unless a hetero guy is a sex addict, we can let him back to preach and instruct us after an adulterous liason.
    Labels ceased to have any genuine understanding or meaning in a universal sense for me long ago (thanks in large part to Exodus). We call ourselves (and others) what we want. Reality of attractions and behaviours are far different matters.

  64. Cultural overlays, or mores, for sexual behavior can guide, constructively, sexual identity and behavior.
    Demanding that all egosyntonic sexual sensations are “normal” seems naive and indulgent.
    Imagining that sexual sensations will obey the commands of the mind or of God does not seem to be born out by experience.
    Managing sensations within a context of values and human connections seems to set up a broader range of identities than just heterosexual, GLBT.
    Good thinking Warren…I think we are all getting there thanks to your work.

  65. Isn’t spousexual the real biblical answer??
    How can you take a man or woman who has SSA and convince them that they should not follow those inclinations unless they also believe that it is not bibilcal to do so? And then, try to therapize them by generalizing sexuality to a gender when their religion teaches that we are to have love and attraction only for our spouse?
    We are not called to be sex creatures who are attracted to everyone but to one person. Isn’t that enough?

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