Bill let me know I wasn't clear. Thanks.
"Repulsive" is a word they reserve for the Really Big Sexual Sins. It is how they talk about homosexuality. The use of language in Haggard's apology indicates that he is talking about something more than cheating on his wife. It isn't about generic cheating or compulsive behavior, it is specifically about the fact that this behavior involved another man not a woman.
Haggard is a deceiver and a liar, and I give him credit for admitting his failing - but I am saddened for his internalized shame, which isn't about cheating per se. So I'm sad personally for Haggard, because this isn't just about being unfaithful, it's about the repulsive sexual immorality of homosexuality.
In the religious world Haggard inhabits "cheating" isn't described as repulsive. It's described as wrong, as sin, as immoral. Repulsive is in some fashion a code word, the worst word you can use, generally held back for homosexuality, pedophilia, and pornography, the trifecta of loathsome sexual practices.
Dobson's opening statement on his radio program yesterday wasn't to talk about cheating but to identify Haggard's behavior as "a 3 year homosexual relationship."
What Dobson's response indicates is that his religious world will focus on the gender of his cheating rather than the lack of integrity, or the internalized conflict and shame that likely drove Haggard to feel he had no other options.
Let's be honest. A massage with a sexual component for money isn't a relationship, it's prostitution. Several popular Christian leaders have resigned because of being caught with prostitutes over the last couple of decades, but their peers don't say that these men who visit female prostitutes have "relationships" with them.
By saying that this prostitution was a "relationship," Dobson paints the current anti gay marriage initiative on the Colorado ballot (and others) with a nice big repulsive brush. If they want to stop these relationships, all they have to do is make sure that people vote their way.
This is the same thing as the libelous The Gay Agenda video that was put out in 1992. Paint a vile picture of gays, then say that that is what they have to vote against. And the best part is that Dobson can do it while expressing compassion for his dear friend the fallen.
Here are some examples of what I mean, provided here for those who don't necessarily listen to or read the religious right folks.
"...persecution of Christians and state-sponsored persecution of people who are moral enough to find prancing homosexuals repulsive. This is what the homosexual lobby wants, folks. They not only desire the end of free speech, they want their views forced upon everyone else." Alpha and Omega Ministries
"Finding homosexuality repulsive is a natural human instinct to protect oneself, and is common to most humans, not just a few conservatives"
MissionAmerica quoted at capalert.com
"Perhaps it is not very “Christian” of me but I find homosexuality as repulsive as God does from a mere human perspective. There’s something DIFFERENT about homosexuality. Male to male, female to female utterly denies what God designed us for and to whom." comment on Freerepublic.com.
Principles which guide AFA's opposition to the Homosexual Agenda
"1. The scripture declares that homosexuality is unnatural and sinful. It is a sin grievous to God and repulsive to Chrisitians because it rejects God's design for mankind as heterosexual beings." American Family Association
Could you surf the web and find the word used elsewhere? Sure. a quick Google search found, within the first 8 pages or so -- christians who say that lesbians find sex with a man repulsive, christian anti-divorce website talking about wives who suddenly find sex with their husband repulsive. 9/11 is described as repulsive, and often they'll describe pornography as repulsive.
But cheating on your wife with another woman? Not repulsive, just sin.
And all the talk about one sin being just like another sin? Baloney.
And Haggard believes this and must be in some kind of special hell.
Shameless Plug Alert: I have a lovely 90 minute multimedia presentation/lecture called "The X-Gay Agenda: The Political Science Fiction of Reparative Therapy." It's simultaneously fun and appalling in a CrankyCindy kind of way. That said, in real life, I'm a relatively friendly combination of cranky and happy cindy.
Hire me for your congregation today!