Mike Trout says he resigned from focus because of extramarital relationship

Mike Trout, co-host of "Focus on the Family" with Dr. James Dobson for the last 15 years, says the reason he abruptly resigned from the organization was because of an "emotional" relationship with another married woman. "I'm greatly saddened," Trout told The (Colorado Springs)Gazette. "I didn't work at Focus on the Family for 19 years because of the paycheck or the benefits or the positive environment. I worked at Focus on the Family because I believed in what we were doing. I know that might sound strange, because I violated it." The relationship, he says, is over, was "not a long-term thing," and was not with another Focus employee. Trout told Dobson, and is now telling others, about the relationship and resigned immediately, he says, because "If I hadn't shared the truth, it would have eventually come out." In his interview with the paper, he was also quick to distance his troubles from his former organization. "As people think about this situation, reflect on me, don't reflect on Focus on the Family," he said. "This is exactly what I described it as—a personal problem, not a corporate problem. This is a cancer in my own life, not in the ministry of Focus on the Family." The Associated Press story appearing in several newspapers this morning merely summarizes The Gazette's article. Christianity Today's earlier coverage of Trout's resignation includes comments Dobson made on his Focus on the Family broadcast, as well as more links to Trout-related material. Charles Swindoll suffers heart attack
Charles Swindoll, president of Dallas Theological Seminary, had a mild heart attack Saturday. "Doctors say it looks like there was no permanent damage to the heart and that they expect a full recovery," reports a school press release.

Religion is the next big thing in academia

"Driven by new funding opportunities, a national spiritual resurgence and growing political interest in faith-based initiatives, more people than ever are studying religion," reports the Los Angeles Times. No longer confined to schools of divinity, religion is being increasingly probed in departments of sociology, political science, international relations, even business schools." A huge reason is the funding, but a lot of it, the article claims, is simple scholarship. It turns out that academics are finding that the people they're studying—like youth, immigrants, and prisoners—are driven by religious conviction. Sounds obvious, but apparently it's been a shock to many nonreligious researchers. Let's hope the studies go beyond simply saying "religion matters."

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Witchcraft allegations stir up South African government

Faith Gasa, education and culture minister for South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, says she's not setting foot into her office until an evil spell, or muti, is removed from it. "Even the premier knows there is something unholy in that office and he has ordered it to be repainted and refurbished," her husband told the South African press. The African National Congress issued a press release condemning Gasa's comments. "Ms Gasa holds a very key position on issues of culture in our provincial administration," the press release says. "It will be therefore unbecoming of her to display superstitious tendencies which are baseless." The press has issued dozens of conflicting articles—including reports that Gasa doesn't fear witchcraft after all.

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