Religious right sets up shop in Colorado Springs church

Grace Church, Colorado Springs, member of the Anglican Church of Nigeria (CANA) is back in the news offering space to a religious right training institute.

Fr. Jake cites the Colorado Springs Independent

…All of the attention over Grace has been lavished on the Rev. Don Armstrong, found guilty this month by an ecclesiastical court of financial misconduct and tax fraud totaling nearly $1 million, and receiving more than $122,000 in illegal loans. Armstrong is now a “person of interest” in a Colorado Springs police investigation.

Meanwhile, the John Jay Institute, its organizing machine hard at work in the bowels of Grace’s building, has somehow escaped scrutiny.

What is this John Jay Institute, you wonder? Let’s start with its president, Alan R. Crippen II. You might recognize Crippen — he’s the guy who’s been pitching Armstrong’s talking points in the press. Turns out he’s much, much more than a mouthpiece. But more on that in a minute…

…So just what is Crippen’s institute? For starters, it’s named after founding father John Jay, the first chief justice of the United States and co-author of the Federalist Papers. According to its literature, the official mission is to “prepare Christians for principled leadership in public life.”

Let’s cut to the nuts-and-bolts translation: Essentially, the institute appears to be a sort of high-class, all-expenses-paid Christian boot camp for recent promising college grads (preferably white, if the academy’s online testimonials are a clue).

Every semester, a dozen or so idealistic students will trek to Colorado Springs to learn how to be secularity-busting soldiers for Jesus. They will then, as hopes go, attain leadership roles in the highest levels of government, where they will presumably work to obliterate the separation of church and state.

Talk 2 Action covers the story in Breakaway Episcopal Church installs big budget religious right training academy in the basement.

Analyzing the Christian Right vs. progressive leadership David Korten says “…the only voices most people hear speaking about values and spirit in the public discourse are those of the Far Right. Virtually every progressive leader I know is working from a deeply spiritual place, but we rarely speak openly in our environmental, peace, and justice work of values or the sacred. The time has come for the nation’s mainstream churches to come out of the closet and speak publicly of values and the spiritual foundations of the progressive agenda and to articulate spiritually grounded stories of human possibility and the world that the living Jesus called us to create.”

Other stories on this subject here and here.

Thanks to epiScope for the lead.

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