Following the Money, our two-part series on donors and activists on the Anglican right is mentioned twice today in local papers. Alan Cooperman of The Washington Post cites it in his story on a skirmish over funding sources between the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA and the Institute on Religion and Democracy. And Nicholas F. Benton of the Falls Church paper refers to it in passing in a column on President Bush’s new plans for Iraq.
One comment on the Post’s story: I have no problem with the NCCC and the IRD raising money from whomever they wish to advance their agendas in the political arena. The primary difference between the two organizations is that the NCCC does not take money from outside sources to destabilize denominations who disagree with its policies. The IRD does. Indeed, that is its primary reason for existing–to destroy the mainline Protestant churches with whom its donors are in political disagreement. It admitted as much in a 2000 fundraising letter for its Reforming America ‘s Churches Project” telling donors it wanted to “restructure the permanent governing structure” of “theologically flawed” Protestant denominations.
For permanent governing structures read democratically elected leadership, and you get a sense of what is going on here. Certain conservative foundations are attempting to limit freedom of religion under the guise of purifying it. The IRD portrays itself as a champion of religious liberty, but religious liberty in this country has few greater foes.