Friday, November 03, 2006

the two-dimensionalization of those not present

The blogosphere is now exploding with comment about Ted Haggard's troubles. Here's what Haggard has to say, where he admits that some of the allegations are true.

On the now defunct faithmaps discussion group, we used to have a policy of respect for those present and respect for those not present - even if they were public figures.

I'd like to caution everyone who might be tempted to pontificate on this situation that we need to wait until all the facts are out before we draw conclusions and make broad sweeping statements. We need to maintain respect and not two-dimensionalize anyone involved in this sad affair. We mustn't collapse Haggard down to our suspicions or his confessions. We mustn't collapse Mike Jones down to the fact that he's a "former self-described male prostitute."

I'm not saying that hard choices won't need to be made or consequences might not need to be experienced. But just because we live in an age in which we can quickly get information, that information doesn't come down to us with either a guarantee of accuracy or the assurance of instantaneous proper perspective.

That can take some time.

And what if it this were about someone you loved?

3 comments:

knsheppard said...

The temptation to pontificate, and get up on that pulpit - wether it be a religious, conservative, liberal, whatever-you-moralize-about-pulpit - is awfully hard to resist!

Scot McKnight said...

Stephen,
Very good advice. I chose to wait and avoid blogging about Ted Haggard.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the point made about refraining from drawing assumptions before the facts emerge.
I don't think this precludes us from connecting the dots. Haggard is not completely being forthcoming, and as I watch him tapdance on the reporters questions, my gut is telling me he is mixing half baked truths with flat out lies.
For example, does anybody decide to buy meth one day on a whim, as Haggard is suggesting.
My hope is that Haggard just comes completely clean so the healing can begin.