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Pro-homosexuality Writers Bemoan "Right's Well-Heeled Assault" On Homosexual Vision For UM Church


From: umcornet [mailto:umcornet@yahoo.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2004 9:29 AM
To: UMCalledOut@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [CALLED OUT] Documenting the Right's Well-Heeled Assault on the UMC

Several links follow, many related to the role of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) in undermining The United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church in particular.

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"Follow the Money"
Documenting the Right's Well-Heeled Assault on the UMC Andrew J. Weaver and Nicole Seibert Zion's Herald, January-February 2004 http://zionsherald.org/specialreportJan.html

Six months ago, we reviewed in these pages an unsettling book titled United Methodism @ Risk: A Wake Up Call by Leon Howell (see Zion's Herald, July/August 2003). The book exposes an orchestrated attack by the American political and religious right on The United Methodist Church (UMC) and other mainline Protestant denominations that have been sufficiently vigorous, socially involved and politically effective to garner its wrath (Howell, 2003).

In response to the ensuing criticism of the book and our review, we organized a group of researchers to check the facts and found the volume to be well documented and reliable. In the process, we also reviewed hundreds of documents published by the key organization involved in the assault on the church, namely, the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD). Our findings as outlined below are very disturbing. <LOTS MORE>

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Opinion: "Restoring Integrity to UMC's 'Supreme Court'"
Donald E. Messer
Zion's Herald, January-February 2004
http://zionsherald.org/opinionJan2.html

An increasingly politicized and polarized Judicial Council endangers the future of United Methodism. The dynamic unity of the church requires not ideologues committed to special interests but fair- minded and impartial guardians of the church's Constitution and rule of law.

<A few paragraphs of this commentary are on the web-- the complete article is in the magazine>

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Saturday, January 31, 2004
The 'Religion Gap'
By PETER STEINFELS
New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/31/national/31beliefs.html

Will a "religion gap" be crucial in the 2004 election?

For several years, political analysts and insiders have been using that term to describe a phenomenon in voting patterns that runs right across denominational lines. Weekly worshipers, whatever their religious affiliation, are voting Republican rather than Democratic by margins that were perhaps 6 percent a decade ago but are closer to 20 percent now.  <MORE>

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Friday, January 30, 2004
Christian foot soldiers battle for Bush
By Matt Wells
BBC correspondent in Atlanta
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3445229.stm

An increasingly polarised presidential election appears to be in the offing. One of the fault-lines is religion and, in particular, President George W Bush's evangelical faith and how that guides his political beliefs. <MORE>

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January 6, 2004
Avenging angel of the religious right
Salon
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/01/06/ahmanson/print.html

Quirky millionaire Howard Ahmanson Jr. is on a mission from God to stop gay marriage, fight evolution, defeat "liberal" churches -- and reelect George W. Bush. <BIG SNIP>

Unlike other Ahmanson-funded campaigns, Mrs. Ahmanson has assumed a personal role in the Episcopal Church split. . . . Mrs. Ahmanson, moreover, is on the board of the Institute of Religion and Democracy, a right-wing Washington think tank that shares ideas -- and an office in Washington -- with the Anglican Council. <SNIP>

The Institute for Religion and Democracy's project did not come together until 2001, when [Diane] Knippers and her husband were invited by the Ahmansons for a five-week vacation in Turkey during which Mrs. Ahmanson says the Knippers "inveigled me to go on the [institute] board." Ahmanson then opened up his checkbook. IRS 990 forms show that, to go along with his $1 million to the Anglican Council, he made five anonymous grants totaling $460,000 to the institute in 2001, accounting for a 35 percent spike in its fundraising from the previous year.  <MORE>

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