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“Follow the money...”

One of the most well-funded organizations currently attempting to foist their agenda on “mainline” (United Methodist, Presbyterian, and Episcopalian) Protestant Christian denominations is the Institute on Religion and Democracy (click here for another profile of the IRD).

They have been given millions of dollars by extreme right-wing foundations in order to push our churches further to the right. If you would like some information about the funding of the IRD, click here.

Interestingly enough, in the “P.S.” of a letter sent out by the IRD in Nov. 1999 is found the statement “You might be curious where UMAction gets its funding.” It goes on to state “We rely entirely upon the generosity of United Methodists like you.” That's curious, as none of the granting organizations listed as major donors to the IRD are United Methodist-oriented. The letter also states “We obviously cannot out-spend the Church bureaucrats with their multi-million-dollar budgets.” The IRD has collected and is spending millions of dollars, so their words are not only misleading, but downright untruthful.

Here's an archived snapshop containing some details of their funding from several years ago (look under Related Links on the left):

Here are Web pages about some of their sources:

Here's an article from the Daily Kos website:

Here's a link to a report by Jim Naughton (editor in chief of Episcopal Café and partner at Canticle Communications):

In addition to the foundations mentioned above, "Following the Money" also describes the involvement (both financial and otherwise) of the Ahmanson family, who have given millions of dollars to conservative causes and candidates, but whose involvement with Christian Reconstructionism (a.k.a. Dominionism) should be alarming to those who care about both our church and our country. According to an article found in the publication "Zion's Herald:"

Christian Reconstructionism is a hard-line Calvinist movement that advocates replacing American democracy with a fundamentalist theocracy under strict biblical codes. For example, they would impose the death penalty "by stoning" on everyone from adulterers and homosexuals to incorrigible children and those who spread "false" religions.
This description is based partly on information found on the ReligiousTolerance.org website. This is representative of the type of people that the IRD are in bed with.

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