Thinking Anglicans

Funding the Anglican Right

Updated August 2012

The links below are broken. The PDF file is now available here.

Washington Window, the monthly newspaper of the Diocese of Washington [D.C.] has a major feature in the May issue, in two parts, entitled Following the Money: Donors and Activists on the Anglican Right.
You can read it online here: Part 1, and also Part 2. Or the whole thing is available as a single PDF file here. (375 K)

Jim Naughton is the author of this work.

The full press release is here.

The first part of the series, “Investing in Upheaval,” draws on Internal Revenue Service Forms 990 to give a partial account of how contributions from Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr., the savings and loan heir, and five secular foundations have energized resistance to the Episcopal Church’s decision to consecrate an openly gay bishop and to permit the blessing of gay and lesbian relationships.

The article sets contributions to organizations such as the American Anglican Council (AAC) and the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) in the context of the donors’ other philanthropic activities which include support for conservative political candidates, think tanks and causes such as the intelligent design movement.

The second article, “A Global Strategy,” uses internal emails and memos from leaders of the AAC and IRD to examine efforts to have the Episcopal Church removed from the worldwide Anglican Communion and replaced with a more conservative entity. The documents surfaced during a Pennsylvania court case. The article also explores the financial relationship between conservative organizations in the United States and their allies in other parts of the world.

And that’s not all. Two other items just published touch on the same area:
If anyone still had illusions about the political slant of the IRD… from politicalspaghetti
This Schism Is Brought to You by the IRD by Daniel Webster in the Witness.

For the part of the Washington Window article that refers to UK recipients of funds, see below.

Update Friday 5 May This is reported in the Church Times Family trusts ‘fund ECUSA’s Right’

Extract from part one of the WW article:

By 2004, the AAC was a well-established advocacy group, not unlike others that flourished in Washington . It spent just under $600,000 that year on employee compensation, $124,000 on travel, and $114,000 in printing and publications. 39

It was also developing a global reach. Summarizing its expenditures for that year, the AAC says it spent more than $361,000 on “advocacy and diplomatic efforts with international partners on issues surrounding Anglican communion.” Three of those partners-the British evangelical organizations Anglican Mainstream ($60,000), the Church Missionary Society ($27,000) and the Oxford Center for Mission Studies ($7,000)-received gifts from the AAC during 2003-04. 40

The AAC was not the only Ahmanson-funded organization aiding conservative Anglicans in the United Kingdom . The International Fellowship of Evangelical Mission Theologians (INFEMIT), which is based at the Oxford Center for Mission Studies (OCMS), pursues philanthropic activities beyond the scope of an advocacy organization. 41 However, it plays a significant role in the Anglican controversy.

From 2000 to 2004, its American branch, INFEMIT USA , which lists the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Institute as its U. S. mailing address, contributed $357,414 to OCMS and $262,000 to the Network for Anglican Mission and Evangelism, (NAME.)

NAME held an international conference in Africa in 2004 which produced papers justifying the actions of foreign bishops who had claimed Episcopal churches as their own, or announced plans to found a missionary church in the United States. 42

According to IRS Forms 990, INFEMIT USA raised more than $2.75 million from 2000-2003. More than $2.6 million was contributed by an unnamed donor or handful of donors. It is not clear how much of this money was donated by Ahmanson, but he listed INFEMIT 14th on the list of charities to which he has given the most money. 43

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Columba Gilliss
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Columba Gilliss

Thanks for publishing this. Do any of you know the extent to which former CAM members are current AAC members or funders? CAM was active in opposition to ordaining women 30 years ago.

RMF
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RMF

Thank you for noting this information. Jim and the Diocese of Washington are to be commended for organizing this information in an easily understandable and truthful way. The IRD/AAC is part of a well funded nexus of individuals and groups who in the main, hold what we in the U.S. call, fundamentalist views. Part of their agenda, since an agenda is what they have, is to enshrine fundamentalist credos like young Earth-ism (the earth is 6,000 odd years old; fossils are the devil’s handiwork) and theocratic government. As it is contrary to our Constitution to establish a theocracy and hence… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

There’s a lot of material here, the people with more robust intellect might want to go through it. I’m not surprised, and a saying from Jim Wallis pops to mind: God’s exhortation of his advisors such as Daniel is that “they are meant to be advisors to the king, not in the pocket of the king”. The minute one dovetails one’s theology into a funding source, it creates a potential leverage point of dependency and power, which can then be used to shape the church’s activities and/or theology. Taking handouts, whether that be tax cuts, subsidies to undertake activities, sponsorship… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

Wow, concerted conspiracy theories just in time for GC 2006 and the ABofC’s Lambeth 2008 decisions! Maybe Evangelical and Traditionalists think that same-sex sex is holy really – and just got bought off for cash to further some neo-conservative conspiracy to gain control of ECUSA.. Maybe Bible translators have been paid off for hundreds of years too ??! Shom Mishtake shurely ? Isn’t it “liberals” who dominate ECUSA, who have rejected 2000 years of Christian teaching, ignored the voice of the rest of the Communion, made active homosexual priests, installed a man in a sinful sexual relationship as a Bishop,… Read more »

Marc
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Marc

RE “concerted conspiracy theories”

What are those cliches?

If the shoe fits…

If it walks, talks, and smells like a duck…

You’re not paranoid if they’re really out to get you…

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Dave, granted all this has been known for some time. Let me respond, however, to your last plea: “Let’s stay with the issues.” Yes, Dave, I’d like to. But issues are one thing, and well-funded propaganda is another. To someone like myself, who lives in a Network diocese, and has followed the twists and turns of their repeated mis-statements, mis-characterizations, mis-interpretations — I am trying not to say “deliberate lies and underhanded dealings” — I have to say that I would be glad to focus on the issues, with a view toward finding solutions to the “current crisis,” IF the… Read more »

George Conger
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George Conger

I ask Simon’s forgiveness for going off topic, as the issue of money and influence is an interesting one, but lets take this back to facts.

At the press conference at the close of the Primates Meeting in Northern Ireland, Archbishop Rowan Williams said the Anglican Communion “does not see itself free to sanction same-sex blessing and the ordination of persons in same sex-relationships.”

This is the working understanding of the Windsor Report’s ramifications held by the majority of the Primates. It may not be the understanding of some of its American hearers.

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Here is yet another link which widens our discussion of the campaign beyond immediate Anglican boundaries, heated as that is. AT: http://www.talk2action.org/story/2006/2/11/13559/0530 I would argue for increasing our conversations with the UCC churches which have apparently for the time being been able to fend off the realignment campaign, and continue to bear witness that God is still speaking. As the Harvard Business School long ago realized, case studies are a good way to learn how theories apply to real world examples. If we ever needed to get out of blind denial about the realignment campaign, now would be a good… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

I’m interpreting George’s comment as being a specific response to Charlotte’s assertion concerning WR being misrepresented by Network persons.

The point at issue here appears to me to be whether WR called for ordinations of priests or deacons to be included in its concerns. I’m quite sure George is right in what he says about many primates thinking WR should have said that, and behaving as if it had said that, but that doesn’t affect what the actual text of the WR says. Which anyone can determine by reading it.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

There are some terms that are often used as red herrings to impede constructive dialogue. I particularly despise “conspiracy theory” because I often see dishonest elements using it to create a smokescreen. If the discussion is diverted into people proving whether or not they suffer from paranoia, then the guilty parties don’t have to deal with the implications arising from facts. This is a nice article (not related to the Anglican Communion) but related to looking at how power has developed in the US: http://www.countercurrents.org/lendman250406.htm Some people who are not frightened to be called paranoid might find it interesting, and… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest

“At the press conference at the close of the Primates Meeting in Northern Ireland, Archbishop Rowan Williams said the Anglican Communion “does not see itself free to sanction same-sex blessing and the ordination of persons in same sex-relationships.” “ I think the relevant phrase here, is what does the ABC mean by “does not see itself” (and whom, exactly, was the subject of the quoted sentence?). The ABC knows that he cannot dictate to the member churches. Nor would he, I think, see the Primates, or Lambeth, or the ACC as being able to dictate to the member churches, either.… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Precisely, Simon, and thank you. Generally, Network talk about the “the majority of the Primates” means Dromantine. I wonder whether George Conger believes that what was decided at Dromantine supersedes the actual recommendations of the Windsor Report. If so, does he believe that the Windsor Report is a dead letter? Or would he be willing to accept, under the same logic, that what was decided at Nottingham supersedes what was decided at Dromantine? I would also like to ask George Conger whether he believes TEC must 1) agree to a moratorium on the ordination of Lesbian and gay priests, or… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

Dear Charlotte, I won’t defend things that “my lot” say if they are inaccurate! I hope that “liberals” would be that honest too.. After all we are all wrong quite a lot of the time. The issue, however, is what God wants – not whether we are sinners! As for “mis-statements, mis-characterizations, mis-interpretations” I also regularly see misinterpretation of conservative positions, and hyperbolic invective misrepresenting our beliefs and attitudes. For instance above: conservative’s alleged “preferred totalitarian paradigms” – isn’t this comment “distasteful, aggressive, hate-filled” the very things that “liberals” condemn blogs like virtueonline for (and, I suspect, anyone who has… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

Simon wrote: “The point at issue here appears to me to be whether WR called for ordinations of priests or deacons to be included in its concerns. I’m quite sure George is right in what he says about many primates thinking WR should have said that, and behaving as if it had said that, but that doesn’t affect what the actual text of the WR says. Which anyone can determine by reading it.” Dear Simon, I guess this is one effect of the “fudge” approach often taken by Anglican leadership to try to keep as many people in board as… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

Dear Charlotte, the law of the land is irrelevant to theological discussion – though it might mean legal consequences!

I think it’s great that there are many faithful “gay and lesbian” priests ministering within the CofE. However the church rightly reminds them to abstain from same-sex sexual relationships. The pity is that some Bishops allegedly then turn a blind eye (or worse) to lgb priests who live in same-sex relationships.

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Yes, does God want us to mis-define and mistreat people the ways that conservative believers are urging us to pledge? Yes, does God wish us to turn a blind eye to the new empirical data? Yes, does God wish us to use an absolute new conservative notion of who God is, to conform our love of neighbor into a new domination of neighbor? Are conservative believers the sole holders of all the good keys to the Kingdom of God on earth? Plenty of us dissent from the New Conformity for good and careful reasons of conscience. So we carefully and… Read more »

George Conger
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George Conger

Charlotte,

What I think is irrelevant. It is what the Primates think that will drive events. And a sizeable number of Primates believe that the actions taken by the 74th General Convention are wrong.

As to your questions about the Church of England, you should review Rowan Williams comments to the Egypt Global South meeting as to whether or not the CoE will/can/should permit partnered gay clergy.

RMF
Guest
RMF

I wonder if Mr. Conger can answer the question posed.

Is it his position that the Dromantine statement supersedes the Windsor report, which is supposed to have Communion wide application.

Is it his position that “it is what the Primates think matters” includes some of them being able to decide for themselves what elements of Windsor applies, and to which provinces.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Since when does one describing a duck make one a duck? The absolutists’ repeatedly make the claim that if you disagree with them that infers you are also an absolutist. Are they hoping by calling us a duck often enough that we will become a duck? It’s a pretty hard stretch to say that encouraging monogamous relationships (hetero- or homo-), tolerance to “the other”, respect for women, hospitality to people of other faiths is the same as “no sex please”, unless your a married heterosexual (and the women can’t say “no” to their husbands), denying communion to sexually active homosexuals,… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Even Jesus and the Letters of John in the New Testament caution us that how one treats an LGBTQ neighbor – queer, ethnic or racial minority, woman, unbeliever, or alternative believer – on the civil side of the fence might be a key moment in which we can actually discern what is really going on, in a particular conservative form of the alleged, conformed, public, vaunted love of the holiest God possible. We cannot afford to pretend that this is all something to simply be settled by Primate voice or Primate vote. Particularly if the libraries and the research centers… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

George Conger writes, in answer to my earlier questions: “A sizeable number of Primates believe that the actions taken by the 74th General Convention are wrong.” I believe he is referring to the approval General Convention gave to the election of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, as well as to a refusal to place an outright ban on the blessings of same-sex unions. And I do not dispute this. But does he also assert that this “sizeable number of Primates” are demanding that TEC cease ordaining gay and Lesbian priests? And that a majority of Primates now demand… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Charlotte One of the things they do is make it “unbiblical” to speak against their position. That to speak against them is to be in league with the “evil one” (their term). One of my favourite hypocrite encounters was with a church leader who tried to tell me that we are to submit Ephesians 5:12. But then disputed that there is ever a struggle against corrupt authorities (see Ephesians 6:12). Last year there were a number of sermons where my parish was told that only Jews could have corrupt priests, because Christian priests were covered by Jesus’ grace. I was… Read more »

Marc
Guest
Marc

Hey Cheryl – my reference to ducks, etc., was a way of answering the quip about conspiracy theories – namely, if the Network/GS folks are conspiring (and they are), but dishonestly refusing to acknowledge it as such, that doesn’t mean they aren’t conspiring. Just take even a cursory look at their tactics and it’s obvious what they are up to. Thus, shoes, ducks, etc…

Derek
Guest
Derek

Dave wrote: “And the feared “realignment” is really just aimed at bringing ECUSA back to it’s catholic apostolic roots within the reformed church. “ And this means precisely what? That we follow the received tradition of the Western Church? So the procession of relics will be reintroduced into the evangelical churches? As happy as I’d be to hear it, I suspect that’s not what you mean. The main problem that I see is that this phrase: “catholic apostolic roots within the reformed church” is a cipher, an ideological construct that refers not to any particular body of beliefs than reflecting… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Dave, “Back to the funding issue, it is hardly surprising if conservative’s within ECUSA are funded by conservatives! I suspect that the liberal organisations are funded by liberals. Neither is it surprising that BOTH sides are planning strategically. Shock horror !! ;-)” Well, actually, yes. Shock! Horror! In my idealism, I like to think that synods of dioceses and national churches are about attempting to discern the will of God for His church, to attempt to listen to the guidance of the Spirit. It’s why we sing Veni, Creator, after all. I fail to see that lobbying and the funding… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Marc Sorry. That was an inadvertent parallel in imagery. I actually liked your posting. It reminded me of a letter I wrote to my diocese in mid 2005 naively thinking they listened. In that letter I mentioned that a friend of mine had said there was a US legalistic concept that “If something looks like a duck, acts like a duck and sounds like a duck; then it is probably a duck”. The letter to the local diocese commented that following tsunami, Nias quake, Aust’s drought breaking rains if “It looks like God, acts like God and sounds like God;… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear Ford, my point is that it is a storm in a teapot, and a distraction from the real issues.

And I’m not sure that you have thought through your idealism… would you really suggest that causes and movements that you approve of in conservative provinces should refuse to accept outside funds ? As an obvious instance the gay support group in Nigeria that is receiving funds from Changing Attitude UK ? I think you would raise howls of protest from most commentators here if you decried CA UK’s funding !

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Dave, While I doubt many gay Nigerians would be brave enough to, if they were to use their funding to lobby bishops to change things in their favour, then yes, I’d decry their funding. I am well aware that both sides in this issue are hotly lobbying their bishops and plotting strategy. That’s why I’m certain that whatever happens in this, we will not be following the will of God, we will be following the will of whoever played the game the best. Do you really think that this kind of behaviour enables us to discern the will of God?… Read more »

Kendall Harmon
Guest

“It seems clear that the intention of the [Windsor] report was to curtail further same sex blessings.”

Who said that Charlotte? An Anglican Communion Network leader? Some other reasserter?

No. FatherJake:
http://frjakestopstheworld.blogspot.com/2004/12/bishop-robinsons-interview-on-npr.html

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Kendall
Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t find anywhere that Charlotte has suggested that Windsor did not seek to curtail same sex blessings in this thread. Most of her comments I just read were about (non-episcopal) ordinations.
Simon

Jim Naughton
Guest

Bishop Mark Dyer, who was a member of the Lambeth Commission, said in a speech at Virginia Theological Seminary in either November or December of 2004 that the Lambeth Commission had not requested a moratorium on the blessing of same sex unions. He said the Windsor Report requested that bishops stop authorizing rites for same sex blessings. “We are not talking about pastoral provisions that local priests make, and not talking about clergy who are homosexual or lesbian and who form long-term partnerships,” Dyer said. (quoting here from my story in the Dec. 04 issue of the diocesan paper. You… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Thanks once again, Simon.

Now you all know what life is like in a Network diocese!

Marc
Guest
Marc

I gotta one-up you, Charlotte (knowing that we are in the same diocese.) It’s even more “fun” if you are non-Network *clergy* in a Network diocese! 😉

Kendall Harmon
Guest

Jim Naughton regularly trots out the interpretation of Mark Dyer on this question, which brings us into the world of what the meaning of “is” is casuistry. Then he avers that there is no authoritative interpretation. This is intriguing, Jim, that we produce documents which can apparently have no authoritative interpretation? Is/was that really the Lambeth Commission’s intent? I have no problem in saying that the majority of the commission and the majority of the Communion understand it the way FatherJake does above. I think a lot of reappraisers see that, though they differ greatly in terms of how to… Read more »

Jim Naughton
Guest

I think what is noteworthy, Kendall, is that Mark Dyer was on the commission, and you were not. What you are engaged in now is an attempt to make a document mean something that at least one of its drafters is on record saying is not what it meant.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Kendall

I still don’t understand why you, not Jim, introduced the topic of ss blessings into this thread, when the main thrust of it was diaconate/presbyterate ordinations.

I don’t think there is any unclarity (despite this apparent dispute) about what Windsor is calling for in respect of ss blessings, “we call for a moratorium on all such public Rites,…”

I note the words “public Rites” and in Bishop Langrish’s words the phrase “any authorisation of any person”.

It’s really quite clear what’s covered there.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

A quick note about funding for Integrity in the US. Information can be found via the web site. If you go to the ‘donate now’ option, there are links to financial data. Also, each year the budget in full is published in Integrity’s magazine. There are from time to time modest donations from pro-gay foundations, but nothing like the resources poured into IRD and its kin. The information on the Diocese of Washington web site is not a ‘conspiracy theory;’ it is a conspiracy to supplant ECUSA with a confessional fundagelical church.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Simon, some observations by Bishop NT Wright on what the Windsor Report meant have just been posted. As he was a member of the Windsor Commission, I guess that his interpretation is more-or-less as authoritative as they come. It’s here: http://www.globalsouthanglican.org/index.php/comments/we_can_all_celebrate_diversity_bishop_tom_wright/

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Thanks Dave; this article was first published in the Church Times in October 2004.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Thanks a second time for this comment, Dave. As I noted elsewhere, this article by Tom Wright goes back to October 2004, and first appeared in the Church Times.