Many Americans and most non-Americans don't understand the pattern of religious belief in this country. But they often think they do. When that happens, they usually talk about American Puritanism. Witchhunts, prudery, et cetera.
In fact, the descendant sect of the Puritans, the Congregationalists (now part of the United Church of Christ), is today a liberal Protestant church. Social reformers, and before that, abolitionists.
And now a more ironic twist: our conservative media views the descendants of the Puritans as "too controversial" for television, because they're impolite enough to mention that they don't turn away homosexuals.
Which brings me to Ted Haggard.
Full disclosure: Haggard has set off my Straight Man's Gaydar for a while. Something about the fashion sense and the bigotry, or maybe it was cruising the Colorado Springs gay bars for converts? I forget. (On the other hand, I often Google random Republican apologist names -- e.g.: "Is Tucker Eskew gay?" -- just in case I've overlooked someone. Keeps 'em on their toes.)
Now, not all current evangelicals are raving queer-haters; and of the ones that are, I am sure there are one or two who aren't gay themselves. Franklin Graham, perhaps, who has other issues.
I had a point here to make, about how American religious discourse has been taken over by the spiritual descendants of the nineteenth-century American Protestant freakshow occult. But thinking about how Franklin Graham must trouble his father's heart, it just gets me down.