Shining a little light on the IRD

Talk2Action has news of a new video produced by United Methodist Minister Steven D. Martin. Renewal or ruin? examines the role of the Institute on Religion and Democracy in sowing dissent within mainline denominations and advancing a hard-right political agenda. The story will be somewhat familiar to readers of part one my series Following the Money, but Martin’s 25 minute video makes the information much more accessible, and it is perfect for adult education classes.

By the way, am I the last one to learn that the Rev. Ephraim Radner, who is helping to write the proposed Anglican Covenant, is a member of the IRD’s board? Does it bother anybody else that this sensitive work is being done by a man so closely allied with an organization that aims to “restructure the permanent governing structure” of “theologically flawed” Protestant denominations? (see FtM, Part one, footnote 3.)

The board is chaired by Roberta Ahmanson, whose billionaire husband Howard has said that while he no longer thinks it is “essential” to stone gay people, adds “It would still be a little hard to say that if one stumbled on a country that was doing that, that it is inherently immoral, to stone people for these things.” (See FtM, Part one, footnote 13.)

The Rev. Philip W. Turner is a member of the IRD’s Board of Advisors. He, like Radner is one of the six members of the Anglican Communion Institute. It is worth keeping these ties in mind when reading the ACI’s frequent interventions in the current debate over homosexuality and church order.

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