Today's Top Five
1. Haggard story is moving on
The election is over, with no sign of a "Haggard Effect." And with Haggard himself staying away from the cameras, even the Colorado media has stopped running daily updates about the scandal. There are, however, some interesting updates on the story.
First comes news that not all members of New Life Church will be able to vote on Haggard's successor at the church. "Only those who can prove they have contributed money to the church during the tax year 2005 will be able to vote in the selection process to choose Haggard's successor in the pulpit," Pueblo Chieftain columnist Chuck Green reports. A church spokesman tells him that a tax statement or church receipt are, "in a sense, your admission ticket."
Green is upset, since many church donors don't ask for receipts and don't seek tax deductions. "Poll taxes have been outlawed in elections in the United States, but not in Pastor Ted Haggard's New Life Church," he complains. "Moneycombined with moral conductnow becomes a qualifier for membership in God's house."
Green doesn't note that this rule is extremely common. Some Episcopal Churches, for example, also have the requirement, for example. At a church like New Life, which literally gets tourists in its pews every week, you'd think that demonstrating some kind of commitment to the church would be an important prerequisite in choosing a leader.
Another interesting note comes from Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition, in an interview with The Jewish Week:
Sheldon disclosed that he and "a lot" of others knew about Haggard's homosexuality "for a while but we weren't sure just how to deal with it."
Months before a male prostitute publicly revealed Haggard's secret ...1