Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Methodists and The Institute on Religion and Democracy

The IRD appears to be a major factor in the Methodists passing the Traditional Plan. Imagine that.

 You folks recall the IRD? They are funded by a bunch of fat cat extremists. Their original rallying point was Communism. People died because of their ugly tactics. They will deny it, of course. But ask them about The CEPAD Affair.

 Episcopalians have gotten to know the IRD quite well. They tried their tricks on us. If you want the whole sordid story, Jim Naughton's Following the Money is the best resource.

 After their shameful participation in The CEPAD Affair, IRD shifted to replacing the leadership of the mainline churches with their own extremist choices (actually, the choices of their Dominionist fat cat funders). IRD has had their eyes on the Methodists for a long time. Consider this conversation with Dr. Andrew J. Weaver, United Methodist pastor and clinical psychologist, from back in 2006:
You could easily call the Institute on Religion and Democracy "The Institute of Sex and More Sex". Because, if you Google homosexuality on their site, an incredible percentage of everything they do is a gay-bashing attack that works, and it really is fearmongering. To the point that the Ku Klux Klan, last summer, endorsed and encouraged on their site, one of the attacks that the Institute of Religion and Democracy made against the United Methodist group with over a dozen bishops attended, in celebration of gay and lesbian Christians. So their target is really fearmongering that turned, in this case, into the Ku Klux Klan endorsing them. That's the level of vitriol that is involved in these groups.
The IRD likes to stay cloaked. So, to push the Traditional Plan in the UMC, they created the Wesleyan Covenant Association. Here is what UM News had to say about them last November:
The Wesleyan Covenant Association began working on a contingency plan for a Methodist movement within or outside of The United Methodist Church — a plan that depends on the decisions coming from the 2019 General Conference. The group held its first global legislative assembly on Nov. 2 and passed four resolutions, including one that said adoption of the One Church Plan would be “untenable and would force us to leave.” The One Church Plan is one of several proposals that will be considered by the General Conference when it meets in February.
The IRD, under the mask of the WCA, threatened schism. Man, does this sound familiar. Here's a bit more from B. John:
For the few who may not know, the Institute on Democracy and Religion (IRD) recently formed the Wesleyan Convenent Association (WCA). It was obvious at the time, and now clear that was the precursor to forming a new denomination as it appears more and more likely the United Methodist Church (UMC) will endorse a plan at a special called General Conference in 2019 to remove exclusionary language from the Church’s Book of Discipline (BoD) against homosexuality. 
I need to provide some background on the IRD. The majority of IRD’s funding comes from the Smith Richardson Foundation. Donors include the Scaife Foundations, Scaife Family Charitable Trusts/Scaife Foundations, Roberta Ahmanson’s Fieldstead & Company, the Adolph Coors Foundation, and The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. The IRD was created and is sustained by money from right-wing foundations and has spent millions of dollars over 20 years attacking mainline denominations. The IRD’s conservative social-policy goals include increasing military spending and foreign interventions, opposing environmental protection efforts, and eliminating social welfare programs. 
What it comes down to is that these wealthy individuals fund the organization for the sole purpose of dividing, and hence weakening the influence, of any mainline denominations which have a social justice mission of protecting workers rights, supporting the poor, etc. Frankly, Mark Tooley, the Executive Director, could give a damn about gay marriage and abortion…those are just the “tools” he uses to drive wedges through mainline denominations he’s been told to dismantle. Unfortunately, gullible people don’t do their research and fall prey to his “culture war” created from whole cloth.
Is the IRD and the WCA the same group? The Treasurer of the IRD is gung ho about the WCA. You do the research.

 It's sad when crazy fat cats and their well paid talking heads run the world.

 Press on, brothers and sisters.



  1. How can this be shared far and wide. This group has been undermining the UMC for decades, using the same disgusting, hyperbolic, a-factual nonsense that other profligate hate merchants have spread for the last 3 decades. Most Congregations have no knowledge of this organization, its staff, ties, funders and radical agenda to reshape the US into a less loving, more intolerant society. Nor do they know it is effectively a modern propaganda outlet for the narrow views of a view -- using promotional tactics straight out of the Newt Gingrich playbook.

    They have certainly swung the vote and must consider this one of their proudest moments. I'm glad you have collected this; I wish more people would see how a POLITICAL organization is using the narrow politics of division to rip apart the UMC.

    1. For additional information, people should start with:

      To all those I refer here, you will certainly see how money, power, and fear combine into the deadliest of cocktails.

      Perhaps you'll also understand the reason why I left the UMC on Wednesday. Perhaps -- once boomers die off in sufficient numbers -- I'll once again be back to my spiritual home. In the meantime, may the myopic bigots yearning for 'truth' and 'certainty' amidst hopeless vanity at least keep paying the mortgages, utilities and maintenance costs.

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