Mark Tooley

Mark Tooley

Prior to joining the IRD in 1994, Mark worked eight years for the Central Intelligence Agency. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and is a native of Arlington, Virginia. A lifelong United Methodist, he has been active in United Methodist renewal since 1988, when he wrote a study about denominational funding of pro-Marxist groups for his local congregation. He attends a United Methodist church in Alexandria, Virginia.  Mark Tooley became president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) in 2009. He joined IRD in 1994 to found its United Methodist committee (UMAction). He is the author of Taking Back The United Methodist Church, published in 2008, and Methodism and Politics in the 20th Century, published in 2012. His articles about the political witness of America's churches have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The American Spectator, First Things, Patheos, World, Christianity Today, The Weekly Standard, National Review Online, Washington Examiner, Human Events, The Washington Times, The Review of Faith and International Affairs, Touchstone, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Post, and elsewhere. He is a frequent commentator on radio and television.




Surge in Black Church Burnings?

July 6, 2015

Media reports of the last week have speculated that recent fires at black churches are racist arsons somehow linked to the horrible murders at the historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. A July…


Can Christians Still Celebrate July 4 after Same Sex Marriage?

July 4, 2015

Conservative Christians are in a funk after the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling. Some have wondered if traditional Christians, especially Evangelicals, typically known for their patriotic ardor, will ever think of America the same…


IRD: United Church of Christ Votes to Divest from Israel

June 30, 2015

“The fast declining United Church of Christ’s vote today to divest from and boycott businesses doing business with Israel is sad but fortunately mostly inconsequential.”

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

IRD: Supreme Court Marriage Ruling ‘Fashion Over Law’

June 26, 2015

“There are no winners, and the biggest losers are children in America who are the chief victims of the breakdown of marriage and family,” says IRD’s Mark Tooley on the Supreme Court ruling.


The Eternal Victory of the Charleston Martyrs

June 25, 2015

The nine Bible study attenders murdered in Charleston were targeted for their race but they can rightly be honored as Christian martyrs, slain in their church while examining God’s Word and offering hospitality to…


The Pope, Climate Change & Air Conditioning

June 19, 2015

The new papal encyclical addressing climate change comes as I’m having central air conditioning installed in my Northern Virginia home. Likely I’m one of the last people in the notoriously muggy Washington, DC area…

Tony Campolo of Eastern University speaks at a 2009 press conference calling for protected status for transgender persons sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign. (Photo: Jeff Walton / IRD)

Does Campolo Announcement Signal Move From Evangelical Left to Post-Evangelical?

June 12, 2015

A longtime social justice activist and a former Christianity Today editor have announced their affirmation of same sex couples, signaling a gradual movement among politically liberal Evangelicals towards a reappraisal of historic Christian views on marriage and sexual ethics.

Tony Campolo of Eastern University speaks at a 2009 press conference calling for protected status for transgender persons sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign. (Photo: Jeff Walton / IRD)

Tony Campolo and David Neff: From Evangelical Left to Post Evangelical?

June 11, 2015

Can Evangelicals who are liberal politically continue to affirm orthodox Christian teaching about marriage and sex?


Every Age Has Its Scandalously Admired Devonshires

June 9, 2015

Social confusion about marriage and morals is not new and existed even back in the old days of Christendom when supposedly most everybody attended church and behaved reasonably. Keira Knightly and Ralph Fiennes demonstrated…


Christian Despair, “Star Wars” & the Old Republic

June 6, 2015

There’s a lot of Christian despair over disturbing social trends: Bruce Jenner’s transgenderism, the Supreme Court’s likely invention of a right to same sex marriage, intimidation against Christian businesses, increasing legislation to legitimize assisted…


Stalin, Transgenderism & Reinventing Reality

June 5, 2015

A new biography of Stalin’s daughter records that her understanding of him as a monster solidified when she overheard her father on the phone, when hearing that a Soviet Jewish leader was murdered on…


World Vision, Code Pink & Henry Kissinger

June 4, 2015

Recently a professor told me that his student had gone to the West Bank on a trip organized by World Vision, the evangelical relief group that is sharply critical of Israel. She was radicalized,…