Haggard's Law

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Haggard's Law is an adage named after Pastor Ted Haggard — despite him not being gay in any way, shape or form — that is typically stated as:

The louder and more frequent one's objections to homosexuality are, the more likely one is to be a homosexual.

It is used as either a purely sarcastic musing that people who strongly object to homosexuality have been scientifically demonstrated to be more likely to engage in homosexual activities,[1] or in a reflection of the probability based on the numerous public scandals[2][3][4][5] of famous figures in the opposition of homosexuality and homosexual behavior.


[edit] History

Racists never imagine what it's like to be like the person they hate, homophobes imagine it in graphic detail for hour upon hour.
—Bob Schooley[6][7]

Haggard's Law made its first published appearance in an article[8] written by Dennis DiClaudio of Comedy Central fame and is named after American evangelical preacher Ted Haggard. It was created after and is reference to a scandal[3] involving prostitute and masseur Mike Jones who alleged that Haggard had paid Jones to engage in sex with him for three years and had also purchased and used crystal methamphetamine.[9] Although Haggard denied using methamphetamine or having sex with Mr. Jones, the scandal has caused many to view Haggard as extremely hypocritical about his spoken views, as he was known to publicly preach against homosexuality.[10]

Original quote by author Dennis DiClaudio:[8]

Haggard's Law — The likelihood of a person harboring secret desires to engage in sexual and/or romantic activities with members of the same sex is directly proportional to the frequency and volume of said person's vocalized objections to homosexuality.

The "law" is more generally used to reference hypocrisy in public figures who lead the moral opposition of homosexuality, and then are discovered to have partaken in homosexuality or homosexual behavior.

[edit] In psychology

A study from the University of Georgia indicated that the effect may actually be real.

In the study, 64 men were assessed by the "homophobia index" and their arousal by homosexual and heterosexual images were measured and they were split into a two groups, "homophobic" and "non-homophobic." In the "non-homophobic" group, 66% showed no arousal yet in the "homophobic" group only 20% managed to restrain themselves from getting aroused - and significantly underestimated their own arousal.[11] However, it should be noted that what was measured as arousal may have been the result of the uncomfortable feelings the homophobic group were feeling on seeing homosexual imagery. The authors of the study did note that "anxiety has been shown to enhance arousal and erection" so this confounding factor may explain the results more consistently.

Additional studies seem to confirm previous suspicions, reflecting that outspoken homophobia is more likely to be present among homosexuals whose parents were authoritarian about the subject.[12]

[edit] Relation to taboo

In How We Lie to Ourselves, author and philosopher Alain de BottonWikipedia's W.svg explains:[13]

We grow censorious and deeply disapproving of certain kinds of behaviour and people.

What we don't admit is that we're so full of condemnation only because we need to ward off awareness that a part of us, in fact, really likes the condemned element.

We attack certain sexual tastes as 'utterly deviant!' and 'beyond the pale!' — precisely because we half-know that we share them somewhere inside ourselves.

So we're delighted when particular people are arrested or shamed in the press — 'what they did was utterly awful!', we insist — our outrage shielding us from any risk of spotting the connection between them and us.

[edit] Ethical Calculus

It's entirely possible to be raised to believe that homosexuality is evil yet still turn out to be homosexual. There are many ways for the human mind to rationalize this away, where everyone else is a "sinner" but you are unique, or some other cognitive dissonance. But one way to justify "sinning" is to remove more "sin" than you cause, sort of like how every third house fire fighters save they get to light one up for funzies. So if a politician or preacher manages to convince other people to avoid or give up homosexuality, then surely they have made the world "less sinful" and are thus still "good", right?

[edit] Bisexuality?

Haggard's Law could sometimes be a bit of a misnomer as the newly-outed may not only be attracted to their own sex, but "swing both ways." Haggard himself insists that he can still "exclusively have sex with my wife and be permanently satisfied."[14]

[edit] Some instances of Haggard's Law

  • Ted Haggard, duh
  • Larry Craig
  • George Rekers
  • Mark Foley
  • Michael Savage
  • Steven Anderson
  • Roy Ashburn, Californian anti-gay politician caught on a DUI after picking a man up at a gay bar.[15]
  • Bob Allen, anti-gay Florida politician.[16]
  • Jonathan Merritt, son of James Merritt, former leader of the Southern Baptist Convention.[17][18]
  • Matt Moore, who claimed to be ex-gay thanks to religion, was found using gay hook up services.[19]
  • Gaylard Williams, (possibly[20] former) pastor of Praise Cathedral Church of God in Seymour, Indiana.
  • Pastor Matt Makela, a married father of five, reportedly routinely argued gay people should sublimate their same-sex desires—while he was simultaneously chatting up guys on Grindr.
  • Possibly Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, according to former church member Lauren Drain.[21]
  • Dennis Hastert, possibly, although the target of his affections appear to have been students on his high school wrestling team.
  • Terry Dolan, co-founder of the Moral Majority, was a closeted homosexual and died of complications of AIDS at the age of 36.
  • Gary Aldridge, pastor at Thorington Road Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, was found dead of autoerotic asphyxiation while wearing two complete rubber wetsuits, including a face mask, diving gloves and slippers, rubberized underwear, and a head mask, reportedly with one dildo in the anus covered with a condom. You read that correctly.[22]
  • Marc Goodwin, arrested for murdering a gay man in a homophobic attack, later became one of the first two men to receive a gay marriage in a British Prison.
  • Possibly Omar Mateen, the 2016 Orlando nightclub gunman. Multiple media outlets have reported that he had a gay dating app on his phone, and was a regular patron of the gay nightclub he later attacked.[23]
  • Ken Adkins a notoriously anti-homosexual pastor who made the news for attacking the victims of the Orlando shooting was arrested in August of 2016 for not merely being gay, but having molested a young boy who was a member of his church. Ironically, one of his chosen lines of attack seems to have been that all gay and trans people were paedophiles, as he was banned by court order from using the phrase "child molester" without proof after numerous attacks on a local school board member via social media.[24][25]

[edit] In fiction

  • The 1999 film American BeautyWikipedia's W.svg.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. Adams, H., Wright, L. and Lohr, B. 1996. Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal? Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Vol. 105 No. 3: pp.440-445.
  2. Florida State Representative Accused of Offering to Perform Oral Sex Claims Innocence, Fox News, July 27, 2007
  3. 3.0 3.1 Haggard admits 'sexual immorality', apologizes, MSNBC, November 5, 2006
  4. US anti-gay rights senator Roy Ashburn comes out, BBC News, March 8, 2010
  5. Former GOP Chief Pleads Guilty To Deviant Conduct, WLKY, June 12, 2008
  6. [1]
  7. Though, results may vary depending on context.
  8. 8.0 8.1 ""Haggard's Law," Please Add It to Your Lexicon", Indecision Forever
  9. Haggard Admits Buying Meth, ABC News, November 3, 2006
  10. Pastor will shut down controversial kids camp, Seattle Times
  11. New Study Links Homophobia with Homosexual Arousal, American Psychological Association
  12. Is Some Homophobia Self-Phobia?, Science Daily
  13. https://youtu.be/steu0fYGqhQ?t=191
  14. Ted Haggard Says He's Bisexual, CBS
  15. US anti-gay rights senator Roy Ashburn comes out, BBC News
  16. Florida state Rep. Bob Allen guilty in bathroom-sex case, Orlando Sentinel
  17. Prominent Antigay Evangelical Blogger Outed as Gay, The Advocate
  18. Jonathan Merritt: Come Out
  19. Matt Moore, 'Ex-Gay' Christian Advocate, Exposed On Grindr, Huffington Post
  20. http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/anti-lgbt-pastor-arrested-grabbing-mans-genitals-indiana-park
  21. Westboro Baptist Church Founder Fred Phelps May Be Gay, Suggests Former Member Lauren Drain, HuffPo
  22. One Dildo, Two Wetsuits, One Dead Fundie
  23. Camilla Domonoske, Reports: Gunman Had Visited Nightclub Before, Used Gay Dating Apps. npr.org. 14 June 2016. Retrieved on 14 June 2016.
  24. Controversial pastor and activist Kenneth Adkins charged with child molestation in Brunswick
  25. Controversial Georgia pastor, political activist arrested for child molestation
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