Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Who is funding the Anglican reactionaries?
According to the British Observer, California multimillionaire Howard F. Ahmanson Jr has bankrolled a number of controversial right-wing causes over the years:
These include a magazine called the Chalcedon Report, which carried an article calling for gays to be stoned [this one?]; a think-tank called the Claremont Institute which promoted a video in which Charlton Heston praises 'the God-fearing Caucasian middle class'; and a scientific body which rejects the theory of evolution.
Among his projects is the American Anglican Council:
Leading the backlash is the American Anglican Council (AAC) based in Washington. Until recently the AAC's chief executive officer, David C. Anderson, ran St James Church in Newport Beach, California, where Ahmanson is often to be found in the congregation. The AAC's vice-president, Bruce Chapman, is president of the Discovery Institute, on whose board Ahmanson sits and which publishes research insisting Darwin was wrong.
AAC stalwart James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas, admits that Ahmanson gives $200,000 a year, although many observers believe it is considerably more. An internal memo from the vice-president makes fascinating reading. 'Fundraising is a critical topic ... But that topic itself is going to be affected directly by whether we have a clear, compelling forward strategy. I know that the Ahmansons are only going to be available to us if we have such a strategy and I think it would be wise to involve them directly in setting it as the options clarify.'
The AAC's influence is bolstered by its close links to another right-wing religious organisation, the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), which operates out of the same Washington office as the AAC, and on whose board Ahmanson's wife, Roberta, sits.
Between 1997 and 2002, the IRD, set up during the Cold War to fight the spread of communism, spent at least $2.5 million to monitor and resist the liberalisation of America's churches.
Much of the IRD's money comes from the conservative philanthropist Richard Scaife, heir to a banking and oil fortune and owner of the Greensburgh Tribune Review, the Pittsburgh newspaper that became the bane of President Bill Clinton's life, with a series of allegations surrounding the Whitewater affair.
("US millionaire bankrolls crusade against gay Anglican priests," Jamie Doward, Observer 10.12.03)
Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 14 October 2003 at 6:23 PM