The American conservative movement treats the IRD like the bladder on a set of bagpipes, pumping air into it when certain notes must be hit, leaving it more or less empty the rest of the time. At the moment, it serves no real purpose,
The Diocese of New York on Saturday passed a resolution at its annual convention that
calls upon the General Convention of the Episcopal Church to authorize creation of a joint task force of the affected denominations to:.
1) Assess the threat to religious freedom posed by the activities of the IRD and related groups
2) Develop recommendations to mitigate such threats, and
3) Ascertain the cost to the three denominations to date of litigation to prevent the alienation of church property and other assets
As readers of the Cafe may know, I have written extensively about the IRD, its activities and its sources of funding. I think the organization at this point exists almost entirely to undermine the mainline Protestant Churches. I say almost, because the IRD doesn't care much for Muslims, either. What the IRD desires, however, and what it achieves are two different things, and that is why I have mixed feelings about this resolution.
The American conservative movement treats the IRD like the bladder on a set of bagpipes, pumping air into it when certain notes must be hit, leaving it more or less empty the rest of the time. At the moment, it serves no real purpose, in part because the schismatic Episcopal churches no longer need it to act as their financial agent, and in part because the world now sees it coming. People know the IRD has a special relationship with Howard Ahmanson, an extremist on just about anybody's yardstick, and that it is driven by a political rather than a religious calculus.
This, in its way, can be quite helpful. The fact that Ephraim Radner was a member of the IRD's board of directors while serving on the Covenant Design team has done much to undermine the credibility of the covenant process. However, members of the mainline denominations have a tendency to overestimate the influence of the IRD. (Whatever you may have read, it had almost nothing to do with the fact that Kevin Thew-Forrester did not get consents sufficient to become the Bishop of Northern Michigan.)
I haven't kept up as closely with the IRD as I did four or five years ago, but my strong sense is that it is no longer an important player in the various upheavals within the mainline churches. Its activities in that regard are probably not worth the energy it would require to investigate them. We run the risk of amplifying the bark of what is now a very small dog.
Father Jake has written about this issue as well, and he sees the matter differently than I do.