IRD-INFO.COM Announces Speakers Bureau
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Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 01:17:58 PM EST
With today's official release of "Renewal or Ruin? The Institute on Religion and Democracy's Attack on the United Methodist Church (see previous TTA post)," the IRD Information Project ( announces the formation of its speakers bureau.   Now you have the chance to bring a noted author, researcher, or filmmaker to your church, district, and Annual Conference for unprecedented analysis of the IRD.
The Institute on Religion and Democracy is something of a "wolf in sheep's clothing" in the religious world. On the outside, it appears to be a conservative group working to renew the life of the mainline denominations. Scratching the surface reveals something entirely different.

How to book screenings, speeches, radio/TV appearances, or other events:

These persons are available for meetings, seminars, and other public events where persons seek a better understanding of the attacks against mainline churches and what can be done about them. Speakers can be connected to live radio talk shows via ISDN at the production facilities of Vital Visuals, Inc.

The IRD Information Project's speakers bureau can be contacted by email and programs can be tailored to your organization's individual needs.   For more information visit

Speakers include:

Frederick Clarkson is an independent journalist, author and lecturer who has written about politics and religion for twenty five years. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, and online publications, including Mother Jones, The Nation, to, Christianity & Crisis, Church & State, Ms., The Public Eye, The Houston Chronicle and The Christian Science Monitor. His articles have been anthologized in the Encyclopedia of Millennialism and Millennial Movements, Routledge, 2000; Harcourt Source Readings for American Government, Harcourt College Publishers, 2000; and Eyes Right: Challenging the Right-wing Backlash, South End Press, 1995.

He is the author of Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy, Common Courage Press, (1997). Church & State magazine called it "essential reading for anyone who cares about freedom." The Humanist magazine called it "the best book yet written about the religious right." He co-authored Challenging the Christian Right: The Activist's Handbook, (Institute for First Amendment Studies 1992; Ms. Foundation edition, 1994) for which he and his co-author were named among the "Media Heroes of 1992" by the Institute for Alternative Journalism. They were described as "especially brave at taking on powerful institutions and persistent about getting stories out... journalists and activists who persevere in fighting censorship and protecting the First Amendment," and "understanding the Christian Right's recent strategy of stealth politics early on, and or doggedly tracking its activities across the U.S." In 2005 he cofounded the national group blog site,, which specializes in reporting, analysis and discussion of the religious right.

He is often cited by major newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times. His national radio appearances include NPR's Fresh Air, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Talk of the Nation, and Pacifica's Democracy Now. His television interviews include PBS, Fox News, CNN, ABC's 20/20, and the CBS Evening News as well as the BBC and the CBC. He is also a featured interview in the forthcoming Hollywood documentary, Lake of Fire.  He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer is currently serving on the Conference Staff of the Missouri Mid-South Conference of the United Church of Christ. His time on staff has afforded him many opportunities to encounter the presence of trained activists who have been charged with fomenting dissent, disrupting congregational life, and attempting to drive a wedge between a local church and its denominational leaders. He has worked very closely with members and clergy of local churches to detect signs of an attack; to develop strategies to protect and defend churches that have been targeted; and to establish practices and policies that insulate churches from future attacks. Along with his colleague on staff, Rev. Sheldon Culver, he has co-authored a book entitled Steeplejacking. The book documents just how local churches experience, endure, and suffer from sustained attacks in which the IRD and their right wing allies are engaged. John regularly writes on IRD activities on

Rev. Steven D. Martin has served churches as pastor in the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church since 1983.   He holds an M.Div degree from Candler School of Theology. His career in documentary filmmaking began as a hobby and has since grown into a ministry with an international reach.

In 2001 his documentary film Muslims in Appalachia gained distribution to PBS stations just prior to the September 11th attacks and was subsequently broadcast to over 70 million households in the months that followed.   He followed this success with Human Cloning: Bane or Blessing?, the first documentary to take an in-depth look at the science and theology behind the stem-cell debate; and Islam in America After September 11th. In 2005 his film, Theologians Under Hitler, was released to public television and since, Rev. Martin has engaged national religious leaders in its subject matter through facilitated dialogues, lectured at Chautauqua Institute, and has spoken at churches, colleges and seminaries across the country.   His radio appearances include Air America's The Thom Hartmann Show and local NPR stations. His latest film, "Renewal or Ruin?" exposes the funding, intent and tactics of the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

Andrew J. Weaver, Ph.D. is a United Methodist minister and licensed clinical psychologist. He has published over 170 scholarly articles and book chapters and is co - author of 14 books.  His most recent titles include Counseling Troubled Teens and Their Families, Reflections on Forgiveness and Spiritual Growth, Counseling Families Across the Stages of Life, Reflections on Marriage and Spiritual Growth,  Counseling Survivors of Traumatic Events, Reflections on Grief and Spiritual Growth and Wells of Wisdom; Grandparenting and Spiritual Journeys. He has researched and written on the right-wing attack on mainline churches and is a major contributor to a new volume, Hardball on Holy Ground, The Religious Right vs.The Mainline for the Soul of the Church.

Dr. Weaver has given numerous presentations, most recently at the American Psychological Association, The National Association of Jewish Chaplains and The Association of Professional Chaplains.  He has been interviewed by ABC, NBC Television, CBS Radio, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Chicago Tribune, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, and the New York Times.  He was awarded the Templeton Foundation Prize for Exemplary Paper on Religion and Behavioral Science three times.


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