Institute on Religion and Democracy


Institute on Religion and Democracy

The Institute on Religion and Democracy is a conservative Christian thinktank that often criticizes the agencies of Mainline Protestantism, ecumenical groups such as the National and World Council of Churches and increasingly liberal evangelical groups, along with liberal Catholic orders.

The IRD is funded by gifts from both foundations and individuals. It describes itself as "an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform their churches’ social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad."cite web|url=http://www.ird-renew.org/site/pp.asp?c=fvKVLfMVIsG&b=356299|title=IRD Mission Statement|accessdate=2008-01-14]

Although its board includes Roman Catholics, the IRD focuses much of its criticism on the policies of the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Notable members of the organization's Board of Directors include journalist Fred Barnes, United Methodist theologian Dr. Thomas C. Oden, Princeton University ethicist Dr. Robert P. George, philosopher Michael Novak and theologian George Weigel.

The IRD critiques church officials and agencies that it asserts have strayed from orthodox theology or replaced traditional church work with political activism. Problems IRD has attributed to some church officials include "the pursuit of radical political agendas", which they feel are not justified by "Scripture or Christian tradition", but instead are "left-wing crusades": "feminism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, revolutionary socialism, sexual liberation, etc."

Background

The IRD was founded in 1981 by United Methodist evangelist Edmund Robb and AFL-CIO official David Jessup. Michael Novak and Richard John Neuhaus joined the IRD board early on, as did Christianity Today founding editor Carl Henry. IRD challenged churches that supported the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua and other Marxist liberation movements. Emphasizing the importance of democracy, human rights and religious liberty, IRD urged churches to peacefully support democratic reforms under repressive regimes.

Since the early 1990's, the IRD has actively urged U.S. churches to affirm traditional Christian sexual ethical teachings, including traditional marriage as the union of man and woman. IRD has also faulted Mainline Protestant church agencies that support abortion rights. International religious liberty remains a chief concern for IRD, whose religious liberty program has especially focused on southern Sudan and the Darfur region.

Since 9-11, IRD has emphasized the importance of traditional Christian "Just War" teachings, while many church officials have espoused pacifism. Most recently, IRD has challenged church officials who uncritically accept worst case scenarios regarding human-induced climate change.

Funding

According to GuideStar.org, the Institute on Religion & Democracy generated $1.1 million in contributions in 2004 (the most recent IRS 990 form available online). Contributions to the IRD equate to less than 1% of the budgets of all mainline churches combined.

Many Mainline Protestant church officials and liberal caucus groups in those denominations have criticized IRD as an outside force within their churches. IRD has responded that its staff and supporters are long-time members of Mainline Protestant churches.

References

External links

* [http://www.ird-renew.org/ Institute on Religion and Democracy]
** [http://www.ird-renew.org/site/pp.asp?c=fvKVLfMVIsG&b=356293 Founding Document]
* [http://rightweb.irc-online.org/groupwatch/ird.php RightWeb Group Watch: IRD]

*Renewal or Ruin http://www.vimeo.com/824488

*IRD's rebuttal of "Renewal or Ruin" http://www.theird.org/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?pid=586&srcid=586


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Institute on Religion and Democracy — Das Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) ist ein überkonfessioneller Zusammenschluss von religiösen Rechten in den Vereinigten Staaten. Seine Mitglieder kommen aus der Presbyterian Church, der United Methodist Church, der Episcopal Church in …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Institute on Religion and Public Policy — The Institute on Religion and Public Policy [http://www.religionandpolicy.org] (IRPP) is an international, inter religious non profit organization dedicated to ensuring freedom of religion as the foundation for security, stability, and democracy …   Wikipedia

  • Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy — The Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) is the research arm of the social sciences at Columbia University. ISERP works to produce pioneering social science research and to shape public policy by integrating knowledge and …   Wikipedia

  • Islam and democracy — Part of the Politics series Democracy History · Var …   Wikipedia

  • People's Party for Freedom and Democracy — Infobox Dutch Political Party party name = Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie party party wikicolourid = VVD leader = Mark Rutte partychair = Ivo Opstelten EKleader = Uri Rosenthal TKleader = Mark Rutte EPleader = Jules Maaten foundation =… …   Wikipedia

  • Religion in Egypt — controls many aspects of social life and is endorsed by law. Egypt is predominantly Muslim, with Muslims comprising about 90% of a population of around 80 million Egyptianscite web|url=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the world… …   Wikipedia

  • Religion in Ecuador — Religion in Ecuadoris an expression of the different cultural heritages in the Ecuadorian culture including the Spanish colonisation, the Native Amerindian and the Afro Ecuadorian.DemographicsApproximately 85% percent of Ecuadoreans are Roman… …   Wikipedia

  • religion — religionless, adj. /ri lij euhn/, n. 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and… …   Universalium

  • Democracy in the Middle East — According to the Democracy Index (published by the Economist, a British journal), the country in the Middle East with the highest Democracy Index score is Israel, with a score of 7.48, corresponding to the status of flawed democracy ; the only… …   Wikipedia

  • Religion in Israel — Western Wall and Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem Religion in Israel is a central feature of the country and plays a major role in shaping Israeli culture and lifestyle, and religion has played a central role in Israel s history. Israel is also the… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.