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New Life Overseers Never 'Addressed or Discussed' Homosexuality

Plus: Last-minute campaign efforts, the Episcopal Church's new female leader, and other stories from online sources around the world.

Be sure to check out our live blog on all the religion news from today's election, updated throughout the night as results come in.

Ted Haggard and homosexuality:

  • Haggard firing, gay question separate | Haggard's infidelity, not with whom, ended prominent pastor's tenure, official says (The Denver Post)

  • Pastor gets sympathy from gay community | Many involved on both sides of the gay rights movement who have, for the most part, put aside their political views in connection with the Haggard scandal (The Rocky Mountain News)

  • Gays, Evangelicals urged to seek common ground | Some good could come from the downfall of disgraced pastor Ted Haggard if it leads to a reconciliation between the evangelical and gay communities, a leading evangelical Christian said on Monday (Reuters)

  • Truth frees minister to walk a different path | We should talk today about another Colorado Springs minister, one who also came face to face with the reality of homosexuality and gave up his ministry over it. But this one never thought twice about blaming a hotel concierge (Bill Johnson, Rocky Mountain News)

  • Gay pastors reflect on events | They say Christian therapy is damaging (Rocky Mountain News, Denver)

  • Fired evangelist slams gays in new mvie | The Rev. Ted Haggard has been fired amid allegations of gay sex and drug use, but the evangelical leader can still be seen at the height of his powers preaching to thousands and condemning homosexuality in the documentary "Jesus Camp." (Associated Press)

New Life Church:

Ted Haggard reaction:

Ted Haggard recovery:

  • Three to oversee | Fellow evangelicals will direct Haggard in his rehab program (The Rocky Mountain News)

Ted Haggard's son:

  • Haggard's eldest son leads his own flock | Marcus Haggard, 23, the eldest of Ted and Gayle Haggard's five children, started the Boulder Street Church - a satellite of New Life Church - about two years ago in a downtown neighborhood (The Denver Post)

  • Son's sermon gets applause | Younger Haggard tells flock: 'We don't shoot our wounded' (Rocky Mountain News, Denver)

Mike Jones:

  • Escort says Haggard's apology "hollow" | Mike Jones, the gay prostitute who brought down a Colorado Springs evangelical pastor with allegations the two had a three-year homosexual affair, said today that he feels the minister still hasn't been completely honest (The Denver Post)

  • Jones gets mixed reception | Man whose revelations felled pastor a folk hero to some, villain to others (Rocky Mountain News, Denver)

Ted Haggard (opinion):

  • Haggard and tolerance | The evangelical leader has often been a sensible voice of moderation when others were more strident in their beliefs. He faces legal scrutiny and the judgment of congregants (Editorial, The Denver Post)

  • The scandal | If we look to Ted Haggard as a representative of all that is wrong in Evangelicalism, I think we miss the most important lesson (Tim Challies, Challies.com)

Church life:

Episcopal Church:

  • Episcopalians install female leader | Katherine Jefferts Schori took office Saturday as the leader of the Episcopal Church (Associated Press)

  • Episcopal membership loss 'precipitous' | The Episcopal Church has suffered a net loss of nearly 115,000 members over the past three years—with homosexuality issues fueling the departures (The Christian Century)

  • The bishop presiding is a woman | Jefferts-Schiori's new job will include shepherding a denomination on the verge of a historic split over homosexual clergy, same-sex blessings and biblical authority (The Washington Times)

Books and media:

  • How children grieve for a loved one | A new book is designed to help Christian kids deal with the deaths of grandparents (The Boston Globe)

  • God and America | In a real sense this book places Mr. Gingrich at one end of the log and a willing American pupil at the other (Ernest W. Lefever, The Washington Times)

  • 'City of Light' TV center launched | Condemning commercial television as the devil's conjuring, some of the nation's foremost evangelical broadcasters gathered Sunday to christen the new home of Charlotte-based Inspiration Networks (The Charlotte Observer)

  • Pregnant with meaning | A closer-than-ever look at Jesus' birth in "Nativity Story" (Glenn Whipp, The Los Angeles Daily News)

  • They have seen the light, and it is green | In many ways, the movie is testament (no pun intended) to the profoundly changed attitudes in Hollywood toward religion as mainstream entertainment (The New York Times)


  • An issue of fair pray | Disagreement sends coach, school to court (The Boston Globe)

  • For some local schools, prayer part of the tradition | In the wake of a July court decision that allowed Brunswick (N.J.) High football coach to participate in student-initiated pregame prayers, the Globe asked five Eastern Mass. high school athletic directors or football coaches to share their thoughts on the issue (The Boston Globe)

  • Bible club studies in secular setting | Kids For Christ USA is one organization taking advantage of laws that permit student-initiated and led religious clubs to meet in schools (The Washington Times)

Science and life ethics:

Election Day (general):

  • An evangelical identity crisis | Sex or social justice? The war between the religious right and believers who want to go broader (Newsweek)

  • Church meets state | The left often complains that evangelicals have too much influence in American life. But evangelicals themselves grumble that the politicians they help elect leave much of their agenda undone. So what impact has the religious right actually had on public policy? (Newsweek)

  • A new social gospel | Many evangelicals are chafing at the narrowness of the religious right. A new faith-based agenda (Mike Gerson, Newsweek)

  • The case against faith | Religion does untold damage to our politics. An atheist's lament (Sam Harris, Newsweek)

  • Evangelicals no longer lock for GOP | Moderates, liberals redefine 'values' vote (The Chicago Tribune)

  • GOP control of Congress hangs in balance | Voters put the Republican congressional majority and a multitude of new voting equipment to the test Tuesday in an election that defined the balance of power for the rest of George W. Bush's presidency (Associated Press)

  • "Bible Belt" boosts Bush, Republicans | For millions of Americans, support for Bush runs deeper than the debate over the direction of the war on terrorism and can be summed up by what his backers view as old-fashioned conservative values (Reuters)

Specific campaigns:

Church and state (international):

  • Why the U-turn on faith schools? | On 17 October the government said it would amend the Education and Inspections Bill to require new faith schools to accept 25% of their pupils from families with other faiths or no faith at all. Nine days later, it dropped the plan. (BBC News)

  • Bishop attacks 'Muslim hypocrisy' | A senior Anglican bishop has accused many Muslims of being guilty of double standards in their view of the world (BBC News)

  • Pressure on Pope to rebuild ties with Islam | Pressure is growing on Pope Benedict to use a trip to Turkey this month to rebuild badly strained ties between the Vatican and the Muslim world (Reuters)

  • Muslims rally to cause of hardline Christians | A hardline Christian party which is campaigning against new rights for homosexuals has won significant support from Scotland's Muslim community (Scotland on Sunday)

  • Leaders back faith in public life | People who campaign against religion in public life have an "intolerant faith position", Anglican and Roman Catholic church leaders have said (BBC News)

  • Gospels return raised in Commons | A campaign to return the Lindisfarne Gospels to the north-east of England has been raised in Parliament (BBC News)

  • Church challenges festive stamps | The Church of England has challenged the Royal Mail's move to issue festive stamps without a Christian theme (BBC News)

  • Congolese learn to keep lid on politics | As Congo takes its first steps toward democracy, some voters are keeping their allegiances private and influential institutions like the country's main churches are staying neutral (Associated Press)

  • Eritrea releases gospel singer Berhane | Gospel singer Helen Berhane, who belonged to a banned evangelical church in Eritrea, has been released after more than two years in detention (Associated Press)

  • Also: Eritrean gospel singer 'released' | An Eritrean Christian gospel singer, detained by the authorities without charge for more than two years, has been freed, Amnesty International says (BBC News)

  • Church of Cyprus elects new leader | The Church of Cyprus on Sunday elected its first new leader in 29 years (Associated Press)

  • Reborn Ortega enlists God in presidential bid | While revamping his public image and embracing former enemies, Nicaraguan presidential hopeful Daniel Ortega added the most unlikely of allies to his campaign—God (The Washington Times)

Other stories of interest:

  • 2 gangs find real peace, in secret | Two gangs have kept their truce since July; now police and clergy are talking with eight other street gangs, hoping to broker truces across Boston (The Boston Globe)

  • A civil abortion debate? | Where has one of this country's most divisive issues been debated largely without the expected histrionics? South Dakota. Today's ballot referendum has provided a refreshing model of public discourse (Laura Vanderkam, USA Today)

  • Prayer letters to pastor's daughter | the fisherman who found the letters to God will give them to the daughter of the addressee (Associated Press)

  • Church quiet on abuse for 26 years | The Anglican Church waited 26 years before reporting to police that one of its priests had a sexual relationship with a teenage boy, but a jury took just six hours yesterday to convict the pedophile cleric on four child abuse charges (The Australian—The Nation)

  • King memorial groundbreaking set | On Nov. 13 a diverse group of celebrities, corporate leaders and ordinary Americans will help turn the first shovels of dirt for a memorial honoring the civil rights leader (Associated Press)

Be sure to check out our live blog on all the religion news from today's election, updated throughout the night as results come in.

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