IRD Conspiracy, Part III
Here is the first use of the verb in the document:
Working with other renewal organizations, we will identify electable conservative candidates for national church conventions. We will help train elected delegates to be effective at church conventions.
First, note the object of the verb: `elected delegates.' Who are these elected delegates? Not representatives of the IRD organization itself, which would make sense and would draw no comment from me. No. And where are these delegates, once trained, to be deployed? At the national gathering of the IRD? No.
These are elected delegates to conventions or annual meetings held in our local church, regional, and national gatherings. I have never as a local church pastor, as a member of Conference staff, or as a representative to a National body asked for anyone outside of our church, our Conference, or our Denomination to train my delegates. Why would I? Why would we? And I certainly would not want them to be trained by an organization committed to my/our demise. That would be insane.
The point here is you are not asking the IRD to train your delegates. And they are not telling you they are training your delegates. You didn't even identify this delegate: they did. And you don't even know it. "We will identify conservative candidates for national church conventions. We will train elected delegates..." They identify. You elect. They train. What does this training entail? You will never know. Where is it held? You will never know. When is it held? You will never know. Who attends? You will never know. For an organization so proud of what they do, they sure seem to want and need to keep everything they do in secret. But I am getting just a little ahead of myself. Let's get back to the document, and continue looking at this verb.
Beginning in 2001, we will emphasize training conservatives and moderates for the debates on marriage and human sexuality.
Remember the time before the 2004 election when no state had ever thought of amending their constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman? Remember how also in 2004, in an effort to mobilize their base, the neo-cons in the Republican Party imagined that just such an effort might bring fundies out in droves to vote back in to office our current White House? Do you think that just because the same people who fund the ultra conservative wing of the Republican Party also fund the IRD it is only a coincidence that they developed the same divisive wedge issue to mobilize their bases at the exact same time?
Before you ask what qualifies the IRD to conduct debates on human sexuality and marriage, first ask why in 2001 they invested so much time, effort, and energy in training conservatives for this debate. Is it because they felt like this issue was tearing at the fabric or our being, rending the country asunder? Did they believe Jerry Fallwell when he announced that the bombings on Sep. 11 were the fault of homosexuals? Or did they just correctly assess that the vast majority of simple, plain speaking, church going Americans could be riled into a mass of human emotion if led to believe that the gays had an agenda to destroy the institution of marriage?
Carefully framing the debate around the latter, they once again `trained' conservatives to be deployed in our churches. Every one of us in our local churches who found ourselves all of a sudden, and fully unprepared, engaged in unexpected controversy over homosexuality and marriage equality did so because of the training efforts of the IRD. Does that mean that every one of our local churches has a trained IRD operative in them? No. It simply means that those they train know full well how to build a network; how to phone bank every conservative they know; how to invite them to call every conservative they know; how to script the conversation so that by the time they leave the phone with someone they too are willing in defense of God, Bible, Church, and Country to attack anyone unwilling to defend the sanctity of marriage against the wiles of Satan and his gay minions.
Where do these conservatives get trained? We will never know. What are they taught? We will never know. Who are they? We will never know. Why? The very next sentence in the document tells us why:
We intend to conduct invitation-only training seminars and consultations
All this training we are talking about takes place with our people, our delegates, our church members and we don't know who, where, when, what. They go and return, and we have no idea.
Lest you think the document has said all it needs to about training, let me finish with this:
Within key mainline denominations, the IRD conducts the following: reporting, analysis, and exposes of national church activities; education on positive policy initiatives which the church ought to undertake; organizing and training of church activists; and coordinating the efforts of conservatives within and among the denominations.
Note the italicized words. The IRD identifies delegates from our churches, regional bodies, and national structures based on their conservative theology. They have the audacity to train them around issues of their choosing for deployment on the floors of our deliberative bodies. They do so at clandestine, invitation only events which we will never know about, even though they are being deployed in our deliberative bodies. And within our denominations the IRD is organizing a cadre of trained activists. And this is their language.
In all the years I have been writing, I have used this strong language. People like David Runnion-Bareford, who still has on the front page of his Biblical Witness Fellowship website a quote implying I have no evidence or proof of that which I say or write; people like James Hutchins of UCCTruths.com who at one time was so obsessed with my work he had eight articles about me on the front page of his website, all arguing I am making this stuff up and have no evidence or proof; people like Rebekah Sharpe, John Lomperis, and Matthew May who are deployed by the IRD to follow me around the country and report about my activities, whereabouts, writings, and speech and who also make the claim I have no proof or evidence: all these people and many others act as if I create a fictional account of what has been going on in our churches.
"Within key mainline denominations the IRD conducts the following: ...organizing and training church activists."
The Association of Church Renewal "allows us to synchronize strategies across denominational lines."
"Twice a year we will conduct invitation-only training seminars."
People, I ain't making this stuff up.
IRD Conspiracy, Part III | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden)
IRD Conspiracy, Part III | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden)