Mark Tooley, @theIRD, Silent on #SandyHook

Typically, I only mention The Institute on Religion & Democracy when I feel they have reacted to top stories or world events in a less than faithful and compassionate way. I have never brought their name up for nothing at all.

Until now.

The IRD typically jumps on a chance to include itself in the dialogue surrounding top stories and national cultural and political debates. Recently, Kevin Pavlisheck has spent a great deal of time speaking against the evils of pacifism. They have also been speaking quite frequently about how woefully inadequate the US has responded for Israel in the wake of their recent conflict with Palestine. They even took time this past week to speak about violence in Africa.

They have been silent on the gun massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I know I speak for my colleagues when I say that this is suspiciously curious.

To be sure, they are their own people. They can do what they want. The IRD is not an organization that purports to be specifically tied the the subjects of gun violence or domestic mass slaughters of American citizens. They are not obligated to speak to an issue unless they are obliged to do so.

The IRD claims ties to the United Methodist Church and was founded by disenchanted United Methodists. Given the widespread reaction of the church and specific involvement of the UMC–and their willingness to speak their specific brand of neo-conservatism to any issue–I want to know why. Why are they silent on this issue?

Without an answer to that question, we only have speculation to go on. Are they worried to publish their own beliefs on the subject? Do they think they would lose some kind of high ground on the matter of the 2nd amendment and a citizens unfettered right to own guns of any type and killing power?

To be fair, The IRD–and their president, Mark Tooley–could just be waiting for all the information to come in. Like the NRA, the IRD could be waiting to give the families time to grieve and bury their loved ones–right before Christmas.

However, until they say something, those of us who wonder have nothing to do but speculate–no matter how wild that speculation gets.

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