Tag: Mark Tooley

Is @JohnLomperis “Skeevy” or “Hateful?”

"Irony" ft. John Lomperis


Before today, I wouldn't have characterized the IRD's UM Action Director John Lomperis as “skeevy” or “hateful.”

That was before today.

For, you see, I've read his latest diatribe against his fellow creatures of sacred worth in the LBGT community.

In response to Arizona laws that discriminate against and criminalize the behavior of transgender brothers and sisters who identify as a sex other than the one they were born with – by preventing them from using public bathrooms according to the sex they identify with – the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church passed a resolution stating the following:

  1. the Desert Southwest Annual Conference and the United Methodist

  2. 42 Churches of the Desert Southwest Annual Conference make the public statement that our

  3. 43 Churches and facilities (building, gathering spaces and bathrooms) are safe places for all

  4. 44 regardless of gender identity and that transgendered people may use the bathroom of their

  5. 45 choosing in our churches and affiliated buildings.

As you can see, this policy is designed to treat with dignity all of God's people – not just the ones people like John Lomperis are weirded out by.

Mr. Lomperis, however, decides it isn't enough to say he disagrees with it – he has to demean an entire class of people to get his point across.

Such an “open bathrooms” policy is ripe for abuse by a few perfectly heterosexual, non-gender-identity-disordered, perverted individuals who now seem to have an invitation in Desert Southwest UMC congregations to go into the opposite sex’s bathroom. If anyone questions them, they simply need to claim (perhaps with a sarcastic smirk) that they identify with that sex, at least that day. The resolution suggests no safeguards or concerns for such abuses.

Any church worth anything already has a “safe sanctuaries” policy that is designed to deal with such individuals to which he refers. In other words, it's a non-starter and an attempt to emotionally manipulate the reader into siding with him.

Along with using dog-whistles such as the term “gender-bending,” Lomperis just takes his shot (by lumping transgendered individuals into the same category with heterosexual abusers) at anything with which he doesn't personally agree – pretty skeevy, if you ask me.

He even tries to co-opt the argument of an LBGT activist to mislead his readers (a tactic he isn't new to, as you will see me address in the closing paragraph of this Huffington Post piece).

Overall, his piece demonstrates just how hateful he and his ilk can be when they try to approach an issue that both upsets them and weirds them out.

The policy he rails against is designed to treat all persons with dignity. His attempt to pervert the idea or make it into something it isn't shows just how weak his argument truly is.

P.S. Lomperis is likely to treat this type of article as a badge of honor, rather than criticism he should listen to, so I don't ever really expect a reply. The fantasy of living as some type of martyr is very appealing to the conservative, evangelical elite.


Yes, @MarkDTooley, Murder is Murder

  Mark Tooley – @MarkDTooley and President of The Institute on Religion & Democracy – is reactionary enough to be the president of a Washington D.C. based think tanks, but too reactionary to be the religious leader he believes himself to be. Por ejemplo… His latest article is his reaction to an article by Christianity Today.  The

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The ‘Unthinking Pacifist’ Calls-Out The ‘Indiscriminate Warmonger’ – @MarkDTooley

Mark Tooley – president of the pseudo-Methodist, Washington think tank, The Institute on Religion & Democracy – reviewed a book and posted it on the IRD’s blog.  I get their email notifications, and was prepared to hit the delete button on this one, when I saw that Mr. Tooley had engaged (once again) in what the

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Yes, God Is Against Drone Strikes – @MarkDTooley, @TheIRD

Mark Tooley, president of the neo-conservative think-tank The Institute on Religion & Democracy, continues his childish PR effort to make the term “Religious Left” synonymous with cowardice. If he cannot mention “the Religious Left” in the pejorative, he doesn't write the editorial.

Unfortunately, he just doesn't know what he's talking about.

Evidently, his years serving under President George W. Bush have impaired his ability to portray those with which he disagrees, accurately.

In his most recent article (it seems he just can get enough of his pontification in as many outlets as possible) – found here – Tooley claims the same crap he usually claims about “the Religious Left.” They want to see an America weakened to the point of impotence. They see no difference between the US and Nazi Germany. They only want to sit back and snipe at the those with which they disagree.

None of these accurately describe progressive Christianity, but that doesn't stop Tooley from continuing to say them.

In his response to religious liberal ethicisists and their suggestions that US drone policy is religiously problematic, Tooley sums up his argument pretty pathetically:

People of faith trust that God, in His own time, will fully redeem the world and defeat evil forever. But the utopian Religious Left sometimes wants to pretend their policies can preempt God. Fortunately, their counsel is mostly ignored, on drones, and virtually on every other issue.

In his attempt to further talk down to those Christians he believes deserve his derision, Tooley actually proves the opposite of his argument. Drone strikes are nearly the epitome of an ideology's policies preempting God. Tooley is using the Rovian tactic of turning your weakness into a weakness for your foe.

Drone strikes are, at the very least, morally problematic and religiously troubling. For someone – even a former CIA analyst like Tooley – to be so sold out to the idea of drone strikes as standard procedure, is unfortunate.

I pray the issue might cause him a little more moral uncertainty.

Tooley Claims Bible Vague On Modern Issues – @MarkDTooley, @TheIRD

Mark Tooley makes a living ensuring that “leftist religionists” are held to account for the entirety of scripture. With that in mind, you can imagine my surprise to read Tooley talking about immigration reform. He – as usual – uses his platform to ridicule the “leftists,” then proceeds to point out: …the Bible does not

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An Open Letter by @csalafia To The Folks at @TheIRD

My friend, Christian – @csalafia & homebrewedtheology.com – wrote this amazing open letter to the neo-con, Washington think-tank posing as a United Methodist renewal group, The Institute on Religion and Democracy. There is scripture. There is Book of Discipline. It has it all, and should haunt the consciences of all those who inhabit the Washington

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Mr. Tooley (Pot) – @MarkDTooley – I’m The Kettle

In response to a press conference that featured prominent clergy people from across the ecumenical spectrum, Institute on Religion & Democracy president Mark Tooley decided he needed to weigh in on it – as if we didn’t already know what he was going to think about it.  However, he didn’t just go to the point of saying

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The Church Is Not A Business, Jeffery Walton – @TheIRD

  In the wake of Atlanta-based pastor Louis Giglio’s decision to back out of praying during President Obama’s 2nd inaugural – due to backlash he received based upon an anti-gay sermon he preached in the 90’s – The Institute on Religion & Democracy has made sure to display it’s righteous indignation. I’m not writing to comment

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Bart Gingerich: @MarkDTooley Shows ‘Objectivity’



With one last gasp in 2012, Bart Gingerich – of The Institute for Religion & Democracyshares the books he thinks top various types of lists for 2012.  The list of controversial books he names included books by Mike Slaughter and Rachael Held Evans.  The list of “books worth reading” included the book written by Mark Tooley – who just happens to be Gingerich’s boss.

If you follow this blog or the IRD at all, you will no doubt see the humor and irony in Gingerich’s quote about Tooley’s book:

Another example of perfect objectivity, we’ve nominated our own president’s historical analysis of Methodism’s intersection in the political sphere from McKinley to George W. Bush.

In case you missed it, Gingerich expects his readers to believe that Mark Tooley shows perfect objectivity.  This is the same Mark Tooley that has said that Christmas commercialization is a good thing, using capitalism as the supporting argument – conveniently leaving out the plight of the Chinese worker in the run-up to the holiday.  Bart Gingerich is a poor cultural analyst.  The proof is in equating anything that Tooley says with “perfect objectivity.”

Another hit to the credibility of this organization.

The Poor PR of @TheIRD

In the aftermath of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, The Institiute on Religion & Democracy was apparently silent. This was uncharacteristic, as they typically take any opportunity to use the news of the day to make a point. I was critical of them. Not because I typically agree with their

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