Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cross Currents: Grosser than Usual

Dear Yaakov,

Just a short note to let you know that your blog's efforts to rehbilitate Ted Haggard are making me physically ill. You're running a Jewish blog, right? One that alleges itself to be concerned with issues that matter to the Jewish world. Yet two of your last four posts are about how Ted Haggard, a man who lied to his flock and cheated on his wife, is really a great guy, after all.

Why any religious Jew should take notice of Ted Haggard is beyond me. The man is an idol worshipper, an adulterer, and a viscious human being who made a career persecuting homosexuals. If, like me, you believe that homosexuality is between man and god, Haggard's behavior with the prostitute is no concern of ours, but his treatment of his wife and other (gay) human beings is reprehensible. Plus he's an idol worshipper who wishes to make America into a nation of idol worshippers, so my view is: Let him hang.

At Cross Currents, the calculus should be similar. Yaakov and the boys, may not mind that Haggard spent his professional life acting miserably toward his fellow (gay) creatures, still, from the perspective of Cross Currents, Haggard is a sinner three times over: He sleeps with men, he cheats on his wife, and he lies about it. So why, is Cross Currents sending this man Valentines?

Two possibilties:

(1) The fact that Haggard is a public and professional Christian forgives all sins. If this is Cross Currents view, it throws the theory of moral absolutes on its head. Social conservatives don't grade on a curve. A murderer who lived a good life is still a murderer. If you (like Cross Currents) believe that homosexuality is a serious sin, the fact that the sinner lived an otherwise upstanding life is neither here nor there. More importantly, from the Jewish perspective Haggard decidedly did not live an upstanding life. He cheated on his wife. He lied to his congregation. And besides that, he spent this tainted life hawking Christianity. If you recall, the Jewish God does not want the worship of Jesus Christ to gain ground. The Jewish God is a jealous God, remember?

(2) The fact that Haggard paid superficial support to Israel forgives all sins Why do I use the word "superficial"? Because men like Haggard don't really love Israel. They love the idea that Jesus will come back and slaughter Jews and other infidals by the millions sometime after the Jews return to Israel. We're just pawns in the rapture story. And I utterly reject the idea that a man who supports us only because he thinks that support will one day bring about our complete destruction is entitled to any special consideration.

As you can tell, I strongly disagree with what I call the "Cross Current Jews/" They seem to think that all religons (save for Islam and liberal expressions of Judaism, of course) must be venerated and protected because the alternative is liberalism, atheisim, cynicm, and mandatory French education in the public schools. But this is bogus. The real alternative to Haggard and his Christian agenda is freedom, ie: the right to choose any religion and any lifestyle you like. Anything the marginlizes the pious frauds of the American heartland advances the cause of freedom, and freedom is what minority Judaism must have if it is to flourish. The fact that Haggard has been discredited helps us. By rehabilitating him, Cross Currents hurts us.

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