Saturday, May 27, 2006

Good to see the religious left speaking up...

This bit on the Institute for Religion and Democracy [sic] bears recording:

The Republican Party-aligned Institute on Religion and Democracy sent out a press release today attacking Jim Winkler, general secretary of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, for a speech he gave in March of this year critical of President Bush. IRD spokesman Mark Tooley (also a writer for conservative activist David Horowitz's web site) claims that Winker confuses "partisan politics with the Gospel." The irony is too great to ignore. Not only is Tooley using the very same words that I've used in public criticism of IRD but the IRD press release attacking Winker was sent out by - wait for it - 2004 Bush campaign worker John Lomperis. Lomperis routinely sends out attack pieces against progressive Christians who don't conform to IRD's own partisan political agenda without disclosing his own partisan political activities. Don't be surprised. IRD is, after all, funded by some of the biggest financial backers of President Bush. Tooley, a former CIA employee, has called United Methodist bishops opposed to the Iraq war anti-American. Their goal, as I've stated before, is to silence mainline Christian voices critical of the conservative political policies advanced by this administration and their tactics include sowing division in mainline churches by making personal attacks against church leaders. Here they go again. IRD has proven time and time again that they'll say or do nearly anything to advance the Republican agenda. They'll even misrepresent the teachings of Jesus on issues of war, peace, justice and the environment if it furthers their agenda.

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