I was driving in my car yesterday when someone on the radio started talking about Ted Haggard and his wife, Gayle, appearing on ABC’s Celebrity Wife Swap this Fall. The host was making terrible jokes about Haggard and talked about how fitting it was that the filming of the show would begin at the GLBT Pride Center in Colorado Springs.
Celebrity Wife Swap is a spin off the reality TV show, Wife Swap. Out of curiosity I watched Wife Swap when it first aired and found it weird. The idea is that two couples from different lifestyles and beliefs swap partners for a period of time. There is no sex involved. I’m not sure what the end goal of the show is supposed to be–learn about themselves, appreciated their partners more, pure entertainment…? I’m just guessing.
According to ABC News, Haggard is participating in the celebrity version of Wife Swap. ABC is reporting that the Haggards will swap partners with twice divorced actor Gary Busey, who isn’t currently married but has a girlfriend named, Steffanie (the mother of Busey’s young son). People magazine said that ABC would not say if Steffanie was participating!
The whole thing is bizarre!
I have a better suggestion for the former pastor. I consult with an organization called Pastor-In-Residence (PIR). It is a national ministry conceived by a Presbyterian pastor who wanted to help pastors who were burned out by ministry and/or fell from grace. PIR partners with churches to provide a restoration process and healing for at-risk pastors and pastors who have exited ministry. The organization’s leadership is compassionate and focuses on the redemptive process. Rather than crucifying their own, they want to assist in their healing and help them start over–this doesn’t always mean going back into ministry.
This is the type of place I would like to see Ted Haggard and his wife–not on a celebrity reality TV show where people will make them the weekly joke. Ted and Gayle need to be in the care of those who do not want to exploit them but truly want to see them restored and healed.