This Week in God

THIS WEEK IN GOD…. First up from the God Machine this week is the latest chapter in the bizarre tale of Ted Haggard, who, despite humiliating scandals, loves the spotlight too much to stay away.

Former megachurch pastor Ted Haggard said yesterday that he will launch a new church from his Colorado Springs home, 3 1/2 years after he resigned from his ministry amid an embarrassing and devastating sex scandal.

“This is my resurrection day,” he declared.

Haggard said his new venture would not be a megachurch like New Life Church, the congregation he founded in 1985, then left in 2006 after a male prostitute said Haggard paid him for sex.

Perhaps the most interesting angle to Haggard’s new congregation is the pastor’s inclusive intentions — this church will be open to “gay, straight, bi, tall, short” members.

Haggard added that his church will embrace the notion that “here on earth, sexuality is very complex and very confusing.” It will not, however, perform ceremonies for same-sex couples.

Also from the God Machine this week:

* In Connecticut, Enfield High School intended to host this year’s graduation ceremony in a local Christian church. Two students and their families filed suit, and a federal court agreed this week, ordering officials to find a religiously-neutral venue for the event.

* While U.S. Catholic bishops raised concerns about the Affordable Care Act recently signed into law, a Vatican-approved Jesuit journal praised the health care reform effort, calling the law “a needed and long awaited beginning” of bringing greater justice to all citizens, especially the most vulnerable. (thanks to D.J. for the tip)

* Fox News’ Glenn Beck, hoping to trash the notion of church-state separation, told his audience that “the first Bible printed in English was printed by Congress.” That’s not even close to true.

* And in Fargo, North Dakota, a local driver named Brian Magee wanted to order a personalized license plate that read, “ISNOGOD.” The state Department of Transportation initially denied the plate, but reversed course when Magee appealed. The state had already approved pro-religion plates, including TRI GOD and ILOVGOD, and department attorneys saw no reason to reject an atheist message.