Ephraim Radner who just attended the HoB meeting at Camp Allen to deliver this paper, is a member of the Covenant Design Group, and of the Anglican Communion Institute, and whose day job is being Rector of the Church of the Ascension, in Pueblo, Colarado, is now also a Director of the Institute for Religion and Democracy. You can see this by looking here.
By the way, am I the last one to learn that the Rev. Ephraim Radner, who is helping to write the proposed Anglican Covenant, is a member of the IRD’s board? Does it bother anybody else that this sensitive work is being done by a man so closely allied with an organization that aims to “restructure the permanent governing structure” of “theologically flawed” Protestant denominations? (see FtM, Part one, footnote 3.)
The board is chaired by Roberta Ahmanson, whose billionaire husband Howard has said that while he no longer thinks it is “essential” to stone gay people, adds “It would still be a little hard to say that if one stumbled on a country that was doing that, that it is inherently immoral, to stone people for these things.” (See FtM, Part one, footnote 13.)
The Rev. Philip W. Turner is a member of the IRD’s Board of Advisors. He, like Radner is one of the six members of the Anglican Communion Institute. It is worth keeping these ties in mind when reading the ACI’s frequent interventions in the current debate over homosexuality and church order.
Yes, I am a new board member of IRD. I have great respect for the the organization, in that it was one of the first to attempt to provide views regarding church-supported political activities around the world that challenged the standard liberal claims of our mainline denominations. These views simply were not being heard within our church structures — a form of conscious and unconscious censorship that I know first hand, and that has deeply limited and wounded these churches (including the Episcopal Church’s) intellectual and moral integrity. IRD’s work in bringing attention to matters of religious freedom around the world, woefully and ignominiously ignored by American Christian denominations, has been a critically needed witness. I do not in fact agree with all of IRD’s past positions or even current ones, but I respect and co[n]tinue to respect its work and its leaders. But I have made it clear that I am my own person. I am, for instance, a Democrat who often, although not always, votes with my party, but also struggles with it for a host of reasons. I try to be responsible and critical in my political thinking and acting. Diane Knippers was a great leader and Christian, whose witness inspired me in many ways, and I am more than willing to help carry on a work she began. Obviously, one is judged by one’s associations. I am, for instance, in the same church as Jim Naughton. What are we to make of this? It is odd, and in fact sad, to the utmost that the Church of Jesus Christ has crumbled to such an extent that Mr. Naughton (along with many others on the left and the right) is more interested in political segregation as a way of exercising his ecclesial vocation than in understanding.