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Pro-Gay Secular Foundation Funds Episcopal Consultation on Blessings and SS Rite

Pro-Gay Secular Foundation Funds Episcopal Consultation on Blessings and Same-Sex Rites
Whose piper, whose tune?

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
April 18, 2011

Pro-homosexuality foundations are pouring millions of dollars into Catholic and mainline Protestant gay groups. The worst offender is the Arcus Foundation. Recently they funded - to the tune of $60,000 - the Episcopal Chicago Consultation that met last month with the stated Gospel agenda that opposition to full inclusion of lesbigays is a sin.

Who exactly is the Arcus Foundation? According to their website, it is a leading global foundation based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, advancing pressing social justice and conservation issues specifically to "achieve social justice that is inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity and race." Arcus then works to advance Lesbigay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) equality, as well as to conserve and protect great apes.

Liberals and pansexualists within the Episcopal Church have for years bemoaned and screamed their outrage at conservatives who received grants from Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr., of the Ahmanson Foundation, the savings and loan heir for their causes. Apparently it is okay when pansexual organizations in The Episcopal Church get them from liberal foundations. The hypocrisy and hubris knows no bounds.

Following the conference, the Consultation received a $60,000 grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation to support its future work. The Foundation will consider funding public charity projects (e.g. programs, conferences, resources, etc.), according to a blurb at their website. This foundation, apparently secular, "offers support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons of faith, or endeavoring to insure faith communities' understanding, affirmation, and inclusion of such persons." There is nothing specifically Episcopal in its ethos or foundation statements.

As the result of a grant from this foundation, Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS)provided English language training to seminarians in Haiti and the Dominican Republic for entry into its Masters in Theological Studies Program.

There is at least one very clear difference between Arcus and Ahmanson. Arcus is secular in ethos with no particular interest in religion except that it serves their purpose of pansexual advancement and inclusion. The Ahmanson family is orthodox Episcopalian and, until 2004, worshipped in an Episcopal Church. They now attend a conservative Presbyterian Church in Southern California. Either church, they are Christians who support a few Anglican causes as well as a number of conservative religious organizations.

Over the years, Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr., has sent contributions to organizations such as the American Anglican Council (AAC) and the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) in the context of the donors' other philanthropic activities, which include support for conservative political candidates, think tanks and causes such as the intelligent design movement.

There has been a long historic relationship between conservative foundations supporting conservative causes. That they have used money to offset the growing pansexual influence in The Episcopal Church is no secret. And why shouldn't they? This is done every day in political circles.

Jim Naughton of Episcopal Café who documented what he said were millions of dollars funneled into such organizations as the American Anglican Council and IRD, goes on to say, quite falsely, that "one year later, they achieved one of their most important goals when the 1998 Lambeth Conference passed Resolution 1.10, declaring that same-sex relationships were incompatible with Scripture."

The vote at Lambeth '98 had nothing to do with money channeled to IRD and AAC. IRD had no influence on that vote whatsoever. The AAC was accused, at that time, of buying African votes with rubber chicken dinners, an equally false assertion. The Africans are well educated enough to know exactly what they were voting on and for. They overwhelmingly rejected homosexuality, affirming marriage only between a man and a woman.

Naughton then wrote in a second article, "A Global Strategy," using internal emails and memos from leaders of the AAC and IRD, to examine efforts to have the Episcopal Church removed from the worldwide Anglican Communion and replaced with a more conservative entity.

That "entity" - GAFCON - arose years later (2008). The Anglican Province of Nigeria raised most of the funds for its first meeting in Jerusalem.

To argue that Howard F. Ahmanson Jr. has underwritten internal opposition to the Episcopal Church's policies on homosexuality must be weighed against the millions poured into pro-gay organizations by wealthy homosexuals who have nothing better to do with their money than support gay causes - among them the Arcus group.

Andrew Goddard, a neo-conservative British blogger, CofE priest and former ethics professor, has perpetuated across the Atlantic lies about the extent of funding and influence by the Ahmanson foundation. He noted at that time that significant amounts of funding for many of these leading organizations - notably the American Anglican Council, Anglican Communion Network and Anglican Mainstream - have come from the Ahmanson family and other non-Anglican, politically conservative foundations based in the United States. According to Goddard, this funding has enabled the due processes of the Anglican Communion to be subverted and hijacked, raising issues of family life and human sexuality to a prominence within the life of our church which is unjustified and contrary to the Gospel values of love and justice.

This is blatant nonsense. It makes the Ahmansons to be into people who could, with their money, manipulate millions of Global South orthodox Anglican believers who are allegedly incapable of making their own theological and moral decisions without the help of Western money. This is both racist and colonialist.

This begs the question, whose piper? Whose tune?

The Rev. David Fischler, a church planter in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and the founder of The Reformed Pastor blog, notes that the Arcus Foundation and homosexual billionaires have poured almost $600,000 into various Catholic groups in order to undermine the Roman Catholic Church's position on homosexuality.

Thomas Peters at CatholicVote.org catalogs Arcus' efforts to undermine Christian orthodoxy on faith and morals.

A review of the Arcus website, shows that it isn't just Roman Catholic groups this foundation is funding. Money is also going to many dissident groups in mainline Protestant denominations.

Here are some of the grants listed for 2010 alone:

* Central United Methodist Church (Detroit): $50,000 for The Reconciling Project, "a reconciling education and advocacy initiative to positively transform attitudes and beliefs about LGBT [Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgendered] people among United Methodist congregants and pastors in Southeastern Michigan."

* Christian Community: $300,000 (over two years) "to increase support for and advocacy on behalf of LGBT people of faith in mainline Protestant congregations across the U.S."

* Emory University (United Methodist affiliated): $100,000 (over two years) for continued support for Religion Dispatches, "a progressive online magazine dedicated to analysis and critique of the role of religion in public culture, with a focus on LGBT justice issues."

* Intersections International: $100,000 for the Believe Out Loud campaign, "which seeks to move moderate people of faith to publicly advocate for LGBT inclusion within their mainline Protestant faith communities." (The Reconciling Ministries Network in the United Methodist Church is integrally involved with the Believe Out Loud campaign.)

* Lutherans Concerned: $90,000 for "two convenings to advance the full inclusion of LGBT people of faith by convening pro-LGBT denominational leaders from the Episcopal Church USA, the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutherans of America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the United Church of Christ, and by convening nationally recognized pro-LGBT Lutheran theologians."

* Methodist Federation for Social Action: $93,120 "to advance the full inclusion of LGBT people of faith within the United Methodist Church through a coalition of progressive justice organizations working within the UMC." (MFSA used these funds to hire a coordinator for the Common Witness Coalition, an alliance of progressive groups that will press the UM 2012 General Conference to vote for "full inclusion of all people in UMC membership and leadership"-PDF.)

Here are several other Arcus grants from last year: * Church Divinity School of the Pacific: $404,351 "to develop official rites for the blessing of same-gender relationships within the Episcopal Church."

* More Light Presbyterians: $75,000 "to support the ratification of denominational policy that permits the ordination of partnered LGBT persons within the Presbyterian Church (USA)."

* The Gay Christian Network: $73,018 "to develop, test, and refine a pilot program that prepares young adult evangelicals to support pro-LGBT dialogue within evangelical communities."

* Truth Wins Out: $40,000 "for general operating support to enable Truth Wins Out to continue to challenge the ex-gay movement and monitor the anti-LGBT efforts of the religious right." (Truth Wins Out is the group behind pressuring Apple to drop apps developed by the Manhattan Declaration and Exodus International.)

Despite the lack of stated religious connections on the part of its staff or its board members, the Arcus Foundation has a "Religion and Values" program, the goal of which is described this way:

"[Our] goal is to achieve the recognition and affirmation of the moral equality of LGBT people. To accomplish this goal, the program supports the efforts of religious leaders to create faith communities in which LGBT people are welcomed as equal members; it also supports civic leadership to promote the moral and civil equality of LGBT people at state, national, and international levels."

In his article at CatholicVote.org, Peters notes that the total given by the Arcus Foundation since 2007 to groups operating within Catholic and Protestant churches is $6.5 million. "That's a lot of scratch."

The question that must be raised is this: What right does a secular foundation, which has no vested interest in Christian morality or 2,000 years of biblical and church teaching on sexual behavior, have to influence Christian churches, even quasi religious ones like The Episcopal Church, to abandon fundamental aspects of their faith?

Writes Fischler, "Liberals have been claiming for years that there is something insidious, if not downright evil, about support the Institute on Religion and Democracy has received from conservative foundations. That funding is dwarfed - in both scale and breadth - by the money given out by Arcus.

"It's also the case that the IRD supports the traditional stances of the churches to which it speaks. It is not seeking to bring about radical change in historic teaching and practice."

What the Arcus Foundation is doing may be more public, and may involve using money to fund others rather than using their own "agents," but make no mistake: this is just as much about infiltrating the churches to push a political agenda.

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori has repeatedly said she is primate of the Episcopal Church and 15 countries - countries that TEC has bought and paid for, and continues to pay for - the worst example of financial colonialism. Meanwhile, Episcopal revisionists blast orthodox bishops and organizations, like the AAC and Network, for taking money from the Ahmanson Foundation and other conservative bank accounts. The question must be asked, would there be an Episcopal presence in Central and South America if it wasn't for TEC Trust Funds? What about the millions of dollars of TEC money (now mostly from dead men) has the Anglican Church of Mexico squandered over the years? What of TEC's ability to manipulate the Province of Brazil into buying its gay agenda, an agenda that has seen one of their dioceses - the Diocese of Recife - split away from the liberal clone of TEC? And the millions poured into the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

The truth of the matter is that pansexual foundations like Arcus will continue to pour millions of dollars into (liberal) mainline Protestant denominations like the Episcopal Church as well as secular organizations throughout the country in an attempt to transform the culture in universities and schools with a perverse sexual agenda. They have been successful in influencing even a president. By doing so they are attempting to overthrow 6,000 years of a Judeo-Christian moral order from which we will reap the truth that all we have done, in fact, is overthrow ourselves.

END

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