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.




IRD: Thanksgiving “the supreme season for gratitude for God’s blessing”

November 25, 2014

“For all of our problems, there is much for which Americans of all faiths can be extremely grateful,” says IRD’s Mark Tooley.


Liberal Church Groups React to Ferguson Grand Jury

November 25, 2014

Two liberal church groups responded immediately to the Ferguson grand jury verdict.


Two Deaths, Ebola, ISIS & United Methodism

November 24, 2014

Two recent prominent deaths tied to important global events reveal much about United Methodism’s character. Dr. Martin Salia was a Sierre Leone doctor at a United Methodist hospital in his native country who contracted…

Source: Wiki Commons

Churches and Obama’s Executive Amnesty

November 21, 2014

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler has critiqued President Obama’s executive amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants as a “danger to separation of powers” that “should be unconstitutional.” Mohler, before Obama’s speech, noted…

An Israeli Priest Defends Israel

November 21, 2014

Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox priest in Yafia, near Nazareth, made news in 2012 when he publicly urged Israeli Christians of Arab descent to join the Israel Defense Forces. Since then, he’s become…

Sign located near the border between California and Tijuana along the Via de San Ysidro warning motorists of families potentially fleeing from border crossing checkpoints. (Photo credit:  Zilia Castrillon/Flickr)

Christian Response to Executive Amnesty?

November 19, 2014

“Church bodies in the U.S. addressing immigration would do well to avoid legislative specifics and instead offer broad principles that affirm rule of law, social order, security, human dignity, and economic opportunity for all Americans,” says IRD President Mark Tooley.

Source: American Spectator

Protestants Should Heed the Pope This Week

November 18, 2014

Pope Francis has offered counsel over the last week that culturally adrift Protestants and Evangelicals especially should heed the timeless truths regarding human life intrinsic to Christian faith and organic to nature itself, not…


Ditching Christmas on School Calendars?

November 14, 2014

Recently the education board of Montgomery County, Maryland, an affluent, liberal suburb of Washington, DC, voted to remove reference to religious holidays on the school calendar. Christmas will be “Winter Break,” and Easter week…


God Tore Down the Berlin Wall

November 13, 2014

Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s collapse, leading to the quick implosion of Soviet-imposed Communism in Eastern Europe, climaxing with the quick Christmas Day execution of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and…


Brad Pitt & Jim Wallis

November 9, 2014

Brad Pitt’s new WWII film Fury is violent, vulgar, maybe not entirely realistic, but also inspirational. He’s a veteran tank commander pushing against heavy German resistance during the war’s final days. Inflicted with a…


How Should Christians Vote?

November 4, 2014

Here’s John Wesley’s counsel to Methodists in Britain for election day as of October 6, 1774: I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them, 1. To…


Massachusetts Protestants Recall True Selves by Opposing Casinos

October 30, 2014

Old-line Protestant officials in Massachusetts are backing a state referendum that would revoke casinos permitted since 2011. They note that casinos are “bad news” for the poor, don’t create prosperity, breed corruption, and foster…