Today we'll have a deep intellectual discussion about our village's very own Ted Haggard ousted by New Life Church because of his visits to a gay prostitute in Denver for grope therapy sessions who recently preached again at an Illinois church.
This discussion will be mature and dignified, and will not have any type of juvenile or silly banter. This includes a ban on all slang-type references to a penis such as "thingy," "dingy," "Rumpleforeskin," "dong," "schlong," "tool," "Dick Cheney," "weiner" and especially "Lisa Johnson," which looks like a common name but, if you say it out loud, is what Ted did when he paid Mike Jones, the gay prostitute.
Anyway, invited by his friend of some 35 years, pastor Chris Byrd of Morrison, Ill., Haggard on Nov. 2 delivered two sermons at Byrd's Open Bible Fellowship Church. (Next week's sermon: "We Knew Ted Back Before He Wasn't Gay. Uh, Not That Ted Is Gay Now. Or Was Gay Then. Or ... Goddammit, You Know What We Mean.")
Among the highlights:
Haggard said he was molested in the second grade by one of his father's friends. That's why he went to Denver four decades later to play "Rub-a-Dub-Dub, Two Men In a Tub" with Mike the gay masseuse.
"Some of the things that were buried in the depths of the sea from when I was in the second grade started to rage in my mind and in my heart," he told the stunned congregation, people who were, frankly, hoping for something short and simple so they could get downstairs to the free donuts.
Haggard also said of his desires: "I hate this thing, but there were times I loved it." He went on to say it was "just like a pie" you want it but know you shouldn't have it. (This is especially true, Haggard could've suggested, if the pie has testicles.)
The story first broke last week on ABC News and was then picked up by the Denver Post. In that Post story, Haggard was quoted as explaining his late-night Denver trips this way to the Illinois folks: "When I became 50 years old, I don't know if it was pressure or if it was midlife crisis ... I don't know what it was ... but for some reason what happened to me as a child started to produce fruit."
(Here, if you are cold and insensitive, you can make your own joke about Ted's reference to fruit. I will not be a part of that kind of uncaring behavior, but if you really need a good punch line, I'd suggest: "Mike Jones' banana.")
In the days after ABC's story, its Web site was inundated with comments from astute Internet readers. Some actual reactions, exactly as written, from across the nation:
From deepseafishing, who apparently fell overboard during grammar lessons: "Ted, Denial is not a river in the Middle East. Your Gay."
From Colorado Greenman: "As a person who has been personaly had marriage counceling by this person, I have to say I don't believe him and I think he still speaks for personal gain, not from his heart as Jesus would have."
(I am struck here by two remarkable things: Haggard was handing out marriage advice, and somehow this guy's wife didn't get the computer.)
From changethat: "On the night that Obama won the election (November 4th, 2008) the winning pick-3 number in his State of Illinois was 666. This is a fact."
(I included that actual comment on the Haggard story because, well, just because.)
From DKeller33: "I have an idea. How about he moves to Idaho and he and [Sen.] Larry Craig can 'not be gay' together."
Finally, from bradmclaughlin: "Poor little Haggert. ... One cannot look at his face with his Porky the Pig nose and not know that he is a homosexual. Nothing against Porky the Pig."
Frankly, I had no idea. OK, most of us were on to Popeye and Brutus. Curious George, well, duh. And excuse me, but anyone with "woody" and "pecker" in his name might as well carry a lavender sign.
But Porky the Pig?