Shuck and Jive

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lovin' Jesus

Viola Larson of the Voices of Orthodox Women who checks in often at Shuck and Jive wrote in a recent comment that Rev. Jim Berkley of the IRD loves Jesus. I don't doubt that. I am quite thrilled that Rev. Berkley has a love affair with Jesus. However, the institution for which he works has an odd way of showing its love for Jesus. Or perhaps it is an odd Jesus that he loves.

The IRD's Jesus among other things...

doesn't love gays.

The IRD spends about one million dollars per year to press forward with right-wing causes all for the love of Jesus in three denominations: the PCUSA, the UMC, and the ECUSA as well as taking shots at the National Council of Churches.

I love Jesus, too. But not the IRD's Jesus.


  1. Here's another link from 1989 that provides some interesting historical perspective on the IRD.

    From that link, we get more info on the original funding of the organization from right wing groups:

    "IRD had a budget of $613,000 in 1988, 85 percent of which came from ten rightwing foundations."

    According to this 1995 article,"In 1993, foundations were supplying 79 percent of IRD funding."

    And here is a 2003 article about Howard Ahmanson and Richard Scaife's roles in funding right wing organizations like the IRD.

    And from this Washington Post article from 2003 we learn the following:

    According to public tax filings, the IRD received $3.8 million in grants from conservative foundations from 1985 to 2002, including $1.7 million from the Carthage, Scaife Family and Sarah Scaife foundations. All three are run by Richard Mellon Scaife of Pittsburgh, who is also a major funder of the Heritage Foundation and who bankrolled American Spectator magazine's $2.4 million "Arkansas Project" to investigate President Bill Clinton.

    And some people actually objected when I suggested that the IRD is a right wing front group!

  2. Oh yes, and when the IRD was first founded by its far right benefactors, one of its early causes involved supporting Reagan's policies in Central America. Personally, I'd take Oscar Romero's love of Jesus over that of the IRD's any day of the week.

  3. Might I make a small suggestion? Send an email to Allan Tooley or Jim Berkley and ask for a copy of their 2006 financial report. that should tell you where the IRD gets its money from now. I suspect they will give it to you. Also you might check their site and not just the sites of what people say about them. You can find them at:

    You don't have to agree with them to read what they say.

  4. Thanks Seeker for all of those links!

    Bob, you can get their financial report on-line at Guide Star. The last time Jim Berkley visited Shuck and Jive, he provided that link.

    In 2004, the last year recorded, the IRD took in contributions of $1,089,012. But there is of course no information on the sources. I doubt the IRD would ever say in an effort to protect the identity and anonymity of its donors. I have never found that information on their web site.

  5. As John mentioned, Jim Berkley gave a link to Guide Star, but Guidestar didn't give the necessary details. When I had suggested that lots of funding has come to IRD from right wing organizations, he was vague in response--asking me if I knew where the funding came from, and he didn't respond when I quoted from sources in the press and various articles on the internet that talked about the major input of cash that came from these sources in past years.