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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. "Money—combined with moral conduct—now 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 ...
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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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'Poll Tax' in Haggard Replacement Vote; Sheldon Says, 'I Knew'
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