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Attachments: Oprah vs. Haggard

Attachments: Oprah vs. Haggard

Dave White offers a play-by-play of Ted and Gayle Haggard on Oprah. Oprah asserts she thinks God loves gays, and Ted asserts he doesn't have a clue about much of anything.

I've been waiting for this all day. There was no dessert in the house after lunch, and I thought, Well at least that slimy Ted Haggard is on Oprah today, and that kept me from cursing the fact that we were all out of those reverse chocolate-inside-vanilla-cookie-outside Oreos.

But I got my treat anyway: Oprah talking back to some deluded antigay Christians.

If you watch Oprah enough -- and I totally do -- you see how much she loves homo scandals. Husbands on the down low, queer spouses coming out, dykes walking out on their husbands, guys giving their wives HIV, that one guy who was a sex addict and had to school Oprah on crystal meth and what "barebacking" meant. (That was my favorite because that was the episode where Oprah uttered the expression "all those strange penises" with her best-ever ewww face.) The Oprah show loves ruined gays. When Oprah's camera is on you never see Suze Orman yelling at bad-credit gay couples, you never see the skateboarding bulldog owned by a gay, Nate's not helping some lesbian couple fix up their kids' bedrooms. Mostly, we exist when something rotten's going down. Exceptions: when the "being gay is a gift from God" pastor forced her hand, when her makeup guy needs to lose weight, or when Carson Kressley needs to plug his makeover show.

Miss the episode? Here's what happens at approximate minute markers:

:01 Oprah describes Haggard's former career as the Darth Vader of a megachurch in the creepiest American city of all, Colorado Springs. This guy was a player, on W's speed-dial, giving him God advice about how to ruin the United States even more. It was a good life.

:02 Then came a gay whore with drugs who ruined him, one who taped phone conversations and told the press about how Haggard's "fantasy was to have an orgy with young college guys." Darn those gay whores!

:03 Haggard admits to knowing the gay whore. "I went there for a massage." Translation: A penis massage with a prostate emphasis. Then Oprah tells viewers that Haggard calls his secret life "dark and repulsive." Not as repulsive as being a Republican power broker, obviously, but you have to come out of one closet at a time.

:06 Haggard talks about the Sinister Voice that talked to him. He neglects which hot gay whores the Sinister Voice instructed him to text for meth. But you gotta be on Sinister Voice's A-list for that kind of insider information.

:08 Some guy at Haggard's church told him that the solution to his problem was to be more busy at church. Haggard, partially deaf from years of being front row at too many Sandi Patty concerts, says, chuckling, "And wacky me, I thought he told me to GET BUSY at church! So you can see how funny that is! When you hear the wrong thing? Am I right, ladies of Oprah's audience?"

:09 Oprah says that she's confused. She says that gays watching the show might be confused too. Whoa, Oprah, regular gay folks are watching your show? Seriously? Prove it, I say. Because I, personally, am on meth while I tune in. And barebacking. And cheating on my wife. And listening to Sinister Voice. And at the bathhouse. And marrying Terry McMillan.

:10 "No, I don't think I'm gay," says Ted. No response from Oprah. His therapist assures Ted that he's hetero with homo attachments. Like a Dyson's corner-vacuuming tube thingy. Just an extra feature. "Homosexual attachments," by the way, is a code expression for "you're gay." But since no one can be intrinsically gay to these people, born that way, and since it's not just a regular biological fact but one related to trauma of some sort, like when your dad yelled at you that one time for not throwing the ball right, and you turned gay, it's all considered a really gnarly add-on to what could otherwise be a decent life. I love this moment of the show the most because you can see the guy jumping through super-tiny hoops of fire to get where he needs to go in his mind. I AM NOT A GAY. I'M NOT I'M NOT I'M NOT!

:12 Childhood sexual abuse in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Oh, awesome, that's the reason. The therapist said so. I guess I can stop watching the show now.

:14 Commercial for the Kirk Cameron movie called Fireproof. Did you see it? He learns how to love his wife better thanks to the Bible teaching him to treat his property nicely.

:19 Old clip of Ted telling people not to go creepin' around at night with gay whores. And no one asked him about his gay accent then? Really?

:20 Oprah's getting somewhat annoyed. "Do you believe Christ accepts homosexuals?" she asks. Ted says that Christ accepts everyone. But what he means and what Oprah means are, I guarantee you, two entirely different things. Trust me on this one. I grew up around people like this. They mean that Christ accepts you if you're willing to say, "MAKE ME NOT BE HOMO ANYMORE!"

Then Ted calls his earlier life's sexual thoughts a "compulsion." But his sexual thoughts about men, the ones he has today, the one's he's having right now on Oprah's set about that hot beefy grip he peeped backstage, are not compulsive at all because now he's being fixed of his "issue." Before today they were a temptation that he "acted on." In those "ex-gay" counseling sessions they like to say stuff like that. About how you "act out" and "act on" your feelings like you're dying to steal that candy bar and you know it's wrong but then you "act out" and need "correction." I'm getting bored watching this. GET TO THE PART WHERE OPRAH MAKES A FREAKED-OUT FACE AND SAYS "ALL THOSE STRANGE PENISES" AGAIN!

:25 A commercial for the Academy Award-nominated drama Milk. About a compulsive guy with attachments. Who got shot in the face by a Christian.

:26 Gayle Haggard comes on. She tells her story, about how she couldn't believe that her man could be on drugs and hanging out with gay whores. And then Ted drops the H-bomb: "Gayle, part of this is true." BOI-OI-OI-OI-OING!! Weirder? She knew early on that he "struggled with thoughts" about guys. And she stuck around. She says people ask her in the grocery store every day why she stays with him, why she didn't divorce him. And then she goes, "Can I just get my sliced bologna, please?"

:35 New Life Church abandoned the entire family and drove them out of the state. Thanks for all that compassion, Body of Christ. They literally made them leave Colorado. Like it was something they all agreed to. "They were trying to protect people from us," says Ted.


Then Ted says, "These are well-intentioned guys." Hey, Ted, I got Jesus on the phone here with me and he's been trying to call you but your phone's been cut off because your church buddies left you destitute and he told me to tell you that NO, THEY AREN'T.

:40 Ted talks about the ideal for life being heterosexual marriage and not to have "those inclinations." Oprah, who is now so far over on her side of the couch, her shoulder turned away from these two people in what can only called a shunning stance, and so pressed up against the armrest that her only option next is to go sit in the audience, says, "Isn't the ideal not to lie?"

It's been quite a long time since I've had these words pass through my mind about Oprah, but I'll say it now: GOOD ONE, MS. WINFREY. Then she tells Gayle that she disagrees with her about the following assertion: that her husband thinking about having sex with men is not the same as him having a gay identity. Oprah goes on to say that to deny that part of yourself is not what God wants. Things are getting mildly heated when Ted interrupts and says, "I may be the one who knows something about this." Maybe. But really, just barely. You know?

:45 Oprah has a lot of gay friends! Ted's not gay! It's too complex to call it that! He won't be labeled or boxed! He's got a strategy of bafflement! If he can make less and less sense as he talks about all this, then eventually no one will listen to him anymore and he can go home and be left alone with his favorite XTube channels and his private golf lessons!

:50 Here are their kids, sitting in the audience. The kid consensus? That this has all pretty much sucked a big one. And not in that Dad Sucks a Gay Whore's Big One way.

:51 Scenes from the upcoming HBO documentary The Trials of Ted Haggard. He's seen moving the family from place to place, selling scammy healthy insurance door to door. It's actually sad. Seriously, New Life Church, you people are gross. Your God wants you to take care of the people you've painted into a corner and abused. I'm an unrepentant fag and even I know that.

:55 Statement from the gay now-former-whore. He's forgiven Ted, it seems. That's good. I love that kind of reversal. It's almost biblical in its weirdness. Then Oprah asks Ted if he regrets making antigay statements in the pulpit. Ted says he never did that in the first place. HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW. Lies.

I forgive you, Ted.

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Dave White