There are going to be enough people out there who will point out the fundamental (heh) absurdity of declaring Ted Haggard cured of his taste for jock-seasoned meats that I’m not even going to bother with that. What I will say is that I found the following tidbit from Haggard’s recent e-mail to his former flock interesting:
As part of New Life’s efforts to help me, they sent Gayle and me to Phoenix for a three-week psychological intensive that gave us three years worth of analysis and treatment. We all wanted to know why I developed such incongruity in my life.
Really? Three years of therapy in three weeks? This was the Reader’s Digest Condensed Gay Cure package, then? How can that work? I mean, come on. That part where you taser a gay man’s junk while he watches the films of Cher? That takes up a whole day in itself. You can’t just scamper through Mermaids if you want those 50,000 volts of pure haploid-frying Christly love to have their maximum effect. Remember: They must savor ‘ere you taser. And then you only have 20 days left for everything else! It’s madness, I tell you! Madness.
Those of you who persist in dealing with reality may quite rightly note that inasmuch as curing people of their hunger for smoked pole doesn’t work anyway, you might as well take the three-week course, the better to get out in time for prime cruise season. But, see. That’s exactly the problem, isn’t it? You can’t cure people of the same sex slippery, so the only real value of one of these programs is to reassure people who simply don’t want to know any better that you’ve done your time and have had the longing for the huevos con chorizo grande platter well and truly shaken out of you. And, well. Three weeks just isn’t enough time for that.
You what a three-week gay cure is like? It’s like Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp. You go, you play around with people who are what you kind of fantasize about being, and you have a fine ol’ time jumping up and down on stage with your new pals. But when you come home, your friends don’t suddenly confuse you with David Bowie. And if you tell them you’re going to chuck your job and go on the road, they’ll look at you like you’re high. That’s because the relevant word in the phrase “Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp” is “fantasy”.
Now, unlike the rock & roll fantasy camp, the three-week gay cure probably isn’t up front about the whole “fantasy” aspect of its product. But, friend. Everybody knows. Which is why, I suspect, when members of Haggard’s former flock read about it, at least some of them are going to go “three weeks, eh?” and then start counting the days until the man gets caught once again sampling from the sausage tray. These folks may be misguided in their thoughts on making people “ex-gay,” but that doesn’t mean they’re stupid.
Bottom line: If you want people to buy the lie that you’ve been de-homofied, you need to put in the tick-tock. Three months, at least. That’s like a semester at Julliard, if you know what I mean. At least you’ve then given the appearance of making an effort. Three weeks? Not even close.