The Republican Party-aligned Institute on Religion and Democracy has another hit piece posted on their web site against the United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society. IRD staffer John Lomperis (who also worked on the Bush reelection campaign) criticizes the United Methodist agency for supporting a liberal agenda. Lomperis writes that United Methodists should “talk to others in your church about the importance of church agencies not favoring one political party over the other, and the value of standing with John Wesley in promoting a church of unity in essential matters of core doctrine and liberty in non-essentials such as prudential judgments of means in the sphere of public policy.” He doesn’t disclose that he worked for the Republican effort this fall or that IRD is funded by some of the most extremist activists in the Republican Party. The IRD’s “non-partisan” agenda for the United Methodist Church – and other mainline denominations – reads like the platform of the Bush campaign: pro-military intervention in the Middle East, anti-civil rights and anti-choice. Published reports state that IRD’s point person on the United Methodist Church is a former employee of the CIA. The group parades as a religious organization when in fact they are part of a political movement hoping to discredit the prophetic voice of mainline churches in the United States. They have no honor and no shame.