From: umcornet [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2004 9:29 AM
Subject: [CALLED OUT] Documenting the Right's Well-Heeled Assault on the
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.
"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
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>
Opinion: "Restoring Integrity to UMC's 'Supreme Court'"
Donald E. Messer
Zion's Herald, January-February 2004
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>
Saturday, January 31, 2004
The 'Religion Gap'
By PETER STEINFELS
New York Times
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
Friday, January 30, 2004
Christian foot soldiers battle for Bush
By Matt Wells
BBC correspondent in Atlanta
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
January 6, 2004
Avenging angel of the religious right
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.
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