Homosexuality, self-loathing and church leaders

I still don’t know whether I should feel sorry for church leaders who get busted for homosexual tendencies, or whether I should chalk it up karmic justice. Here in Colorado, there have been two church leaders in the past month (via 9news.com):

The church allowed our partner at the Denver Post to view a video tape Barnes made for his congregation, announcing he has experienced homosexual tendencies since he was a child. The married pastor appears on the tape alongside his wife.Another pastor, the Reverend Ted Haggard, created a national stir last month when he was fired from the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs amid allegations he engaged in sex with a male prostitute and used drugs.

I want to feel sorry for these men. Both have had to struggle their whole lives, not being able to admit that they are gay. Both tried to deny to the world (and probably to themselves) how they truly felt. Both were living double-lives, with all the fear and guilt and shame that comes with it. It would be easy to feel sorry for them.

But on the other hand, both men stood up in front of hundreds of people and talked about the evils of homosexuality. Both worked to restrict the rights of gays. In the case of Ted Haggard, he fought tooth-and-nail against marriage equality. In other words, both sold out homosexuals everywhere in a bid to hide their own homosexuality. That is pathetic, mean-spirited, selfish, and more than a little evil.

In my opinion, it is okay to hate something within one’s self. It may not be healthy, but it is okay. It drives some people to make changes to either come to terms with one’s self, or change. But it is not okay to force your self-hatred on other people. That is just plain wrong.