Mark Tooley

Mark Tooley

Prior to joining the IRD in 1994, Mark worked eight years for the Central Intelligence Agency as an analyst. 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 currently attends a United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia.  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, Patheos, Washington Post On Faith, World, Christianity Today, First Things, 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.

Believing in the Resurrection?

This morning I was awoken by LOUD music at a Pentecostal Hispanic retreat center across the street. I would like to have slept later, but it is Easter. The Methodist church I’ll attend later this morning will be more subdued. The Hispanic Pentecostals across the street represent surging global Christianity. By some counts, for example, […]

Christian America and the White House Easter

The Religious Left enthusiasts at this year’s Easter breakfast don’t directly represent large constituencies within churches. But their causes echo and reinforce America’s cultural divisions.

Importance of Enduring Hymns

Recently the new head of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society visited with IRD’s UMAction Steering Committee. It was the first such meeting between two often adversarial sides in the denomination. And it was very cordial, even enjoyable. During introductions, Susan Henry-Crowe asked each of us to recall an anecdote about our […]

Catholics, Methodists & Deportations

The religious enthusiasts for liberalized immigration and mass legalization rarely if ever acknowledge their proposals’ potential if not likely consequence of encouraging further illegal immigration.

Mark Tooley’s Report to IRD Board

My report to the April 7 board of directors of the Institute on Religion and Democracy in Washington, DC. The World Vision imbroglio, in which Evangelicalism’s largest international relief group recognized same sex marriage among employees for 48 hours before backtracking after loud denunciation by much of organized Evangelicalism, aptly illustrates where we are today […]

Why I Don’t Read Fiction

Recently retired United Methodist Will Willimon mentioned to me his new and first novel, Incorporation, which focuses on a local church’s drama across four Sundays. Next week I’ll interview him about it for a podcast, but first I’ll need to read it! I haven’t read a novel since about 1988, having largely quit after college. […]

Understanding a More Religious and Assertive Russia

Historically Moscow politically and religiously has understood itself as the “third Rome” and the natural successor to Constantinople as protector of Orthodox civilization.

Despair or Hope for the Future?

Yesterday The Washington Post had a fascinating obituary on Saigon’s last CIA station chief. Presiding over the CIA’s largest overseas presence, he was tasked to help preserve non-Communist South Vietnam after the U.S. military withdrawal. Of course, North Vietnam violated the 1973 peace accord, and the Nixon Administration, followed by Ford, was too enmired in […]

Christians, Jews & Israel

Evangelicals have “become very wonderful friends, probably the best friends we have in the world today,” pronounced Rabbi Shlomo Riskin at this evening’s session on “Christians, Jews, and the State of Israel” at the Tikvah Fund in New York. They have “shown important empathy” and have a “very real sense of camaraderie with the Jews […]

Should The Church Pander to Millennials?

Should The Church cater/pander to the reputed majority views of young people, i.e. the much mythologized Millennials, in pursuit of their allegiance? There’re ongoing insistent demands from liberal church voices that Christianity, especially the Evangelical world, will crumble unless key teachings at odds with purported Millennial preferences are amended or abandoned. The larger issue is […]