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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 14, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 41
General Gayety: Unreal: The Haggards on reality TV
Section One
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General Gayety: Unreal: The Haggards on reality TV

by Leslie Robinson - SGN Contributing Writer

By now you've heard-if maybe not believed-that disgraced preacher Ted Haggard and his wife Gayle will appear on Celebrity Wife Swap. Actor Gary Busey and his baby-mama Steffanie Sampson are scheduled to be the other fun couple.

I have to think Gayle Haggard had major qualms about participating. I can just hear her praying over the subject:

'Oh Lord, I need your guidance. Unless I'm very much mistaken, I married a jackass.

'No, Lord, I didn't mean that. Please forgive me. I'm just so & tired. I've gone through trial after trial. Ted having sex with a male prostitute and using drugs. The shame we endured on an international scale. Being banished from Colorado and forced to live in the wilderness, otherwise known as Phoenix.

'But I didn't give up on my marriage, no sir. I chose to forgive him. You walked me through the slow healing of my heart. I love him more than ever now. But he still knows how to irritate the you-know-what out of me.

'Can you believe he wants to do this? There must be a lot of money in it. Between you and me, Ted made a lousy insurance salesman. He's not so hot at anything, except preaching. If we're going to make a go of our new church here in Colorado Springs, we do need money. Pews aren't cheap.

'Honest to goodness, when he said the show was about celebrities swapping, I thought he meant recipes.

'I know Ted loves TV and the spotlight, but Lord, last I knew, wife-swapping counted as a big sin. I mean, it's on the order of worshipping a Beanie Baby instead of you.

'Your rule is that marriage is between one man and one woman - and once in a while, a faggot on the side. Oh, I'm so sorry, God. Even I surrender to the occasional cynical moment.

'But really, these last years have been all about rebuilding our marriage, our trust in each other, and our faith in you. Doesn't this seem like we'd be treating all that too casually?

'Ted says we'd show all the people watching how a marriage can hit rock bottom, but come back to life. We'd be ministering to viewers by modeling godly ways. Just how godly can I be under the same roof with Gary Busey?

'Sweet Jesus! Gary Busey! Why don't they just add in Charlie Sheen and we can have a real party?

'I realize, God, there's no sex involved in this swapping. I wouldn't even be considering it if there were. Neither would Ted & I hope.

'Things can happen, though, like innuendo and ugliness. And Busey has a brain injury. If he puts a finger on me, I promise I'll emulate Jael and drive a tent peg through his head. I don't care if it hurts the ratings. Actually, it would probably help them.

'I should really be more Christian toward Gary, shouldn't I? He may be a bad boy, a recovering drug addict, and have a child out of wedlock, but I know first-hand how cruel and unforgiving people can be to sinners. Isn't Gary a minister with Promise Keepers? As long as he keeps his promises on the set, we'll be fine.

'Lord, if this is what Ted wants and thinks is best, I'll go along. But I can't help wishing he'd been approached by a different show, like Dancing With the Stars. If they have a Gay man and a Transgender something-or-other this season, why not a powerful minister ruined by a Gay sex scandal next season? He has two left feet, but I'll keep quiet about that if you will.'

Leslie Robinson doubts she has the stomach to watch the show. E-mail her at lesarobinson@gmail.com, and for an assortment of giggles, visit her blog at www.generalgayety.com.

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