||[Nov. 4th, 2006|09:43 pm]
One of the reasons I became a priest was because I thought it would make me good. |
I expect lots of people do the same.
This poor, old, Haggard guy probably believed that becoming a minister would make him less gay.
Or even not gay at all.
No-one chooses to be a hypocrite. They get suckered into it. They sign up for a life of lovely, lilywhite, psalm-singing goodness and their loins let them down.
I've often wondered what motivates men to become priests. There are few equivalents for women- with the exception of the Pagan paths- women are not expected to be called.
I wanted to be a priest when I was a girl- not because it would make me good, but because it would bring me closer to that divine spark I saw from time to time. I wanted to be the bringer of that spark to the people.
Then, I learned that Christian priesthood is a male-only thing. That turned me away from Christianity, and I found Paganism and Wicca. I worked my way through that, and am out on the other side. I am now an agnostic, but spiritual person. I ditched religion completely somewhere along the way.
I don't know if this makes me a hypocrite or not. I feel more authentic as an agnostic than I ever did as a high priestess.
We've followed very similar paths. I try to avoid labels these days, but "agnostic" comes as close as any. I think, like you, that one can be spiritual without adhering to any particular belief system.
Do you think then that the priesthood (Catholic or otherwise) makes hypocrisy inevitable? Are clergy expected to be infallible, or is it only when they preach something unpopular? I know I find it easier to throw men like Haggard under the bus for his indiscretion, given his persistant condemnation of the very thing he desired.
Perhaps we're simply unrealistic in our assumption that clergy, regardless of what they preach, are expected to be something other than what they are: humans prone to error. Or maybe that's just my Protestant upbringing coming out, refusing to imbue the clergy with any particular fastrack to holiness.
I don't think hypocrisy is inevitable, but it's certainly an occupational hazard. And the more a preacher rails against "sin" the more vulnerable he makes himself.
Poor Haggard. I doubt if he's a cynic. More probably he's being eaten alive with self-hatred.
Take a good look at Haggard's eyes, and if you can find a video of him, watch the way he speaks. If anyone is demon-ridden, it's this guy. They give him that 'shiny feral' look, that snarl, that happy-clappy, prayer-walking, 'demonic stronghold' crashing countenance. That which he hates and fears has come to roost within him, magnified by his thought, action and will. He manifests what is in his heart, and it is darkness that rules him.
Had he been truly following Christ's teachings, and reflecting the universal benevolence of the side of light, his countenance, church, and fate would have been very different.
We don't read about those truly benevolent sorts of ministers, though. Their churches and other religious gatherings do not tend to become massive megachurches. They do not tend to get the ears of world leaders, unless those leaders are as compassionate and intelligent as they are. They do not take in vast sums of money, say things that terrify people, offer up strawmen for burning, or foment hate. But they don't let their congregants get too comfy, either. Instead, they prick the consciences of their followers, tempting them to goodness, instead of tempting them to hate and evil.
Such people are vanishingly rare.
How sad and poignant that he must carry the burden of feeling he is a sinner because he is attracted to other men. Life is hard enough without such meaningless guilt.