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.




Recalling FDR & Lincoln this Week

April 13, 2015

All the justifiable hoopla about the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s end and Lincoln’s assassination has overshadowed yesterday’s 70th anniversary of FDR’s death. Like Lincoln, FDR died after a four year war that…


Is Christian Support for Israel Waning?

April 13, 2015

On Friday, IRD will convene a conference of prominent theologians to discuss and analyze “People of the Land: A Twenty-First Century Case for Zionism”.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Easter Hope for Christianity’s Future

April 8, 2015

Is Obama more Christian than David Cameron? Their respective Easter pronouncements might indicate so. The President gave “thanks for the extraordinary sacrifice that Jesus made for our salvation” and professed to “rejoice in the…

Mosaic, "Christ in Majesty," Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC

Liberal Religion and Easter Victory

April 8, 2015

John D. Rockefeller Jr., heir to the world’s largest fortune, was a pious, earnest man, a teetotaling Baptist who believed in modernity. He thought Christianity, to remain relevant, would have to be modernized. His…


Russia & Mideast Christians

April 7, 2015

Recently there was an exchange between a senior Russian church official and a Russian Foreign Ministry official in which both largely fault the West for the current Mideast tumult and for the torment of…


IRD: Defend Christian Businesses Against ‘Lynch Mobs’ of Secular Groupthink

April 6, 2015

A small town Indiana pizzeria has experienced a dramatic reversal of fortune just days after shutting its doors in the face of condemnation and threats.


Indiana, Arkansas, Religious Freedom & Constant Struggle

April 2, 2015

The media and corporate intimidation aimed at Indiana and Arkansas over their Religious Freedom Restoration laws has justifiably alarmed many Christians and other defenders of conscience rights.  Laughably, histrionic critics of these laws are…


Cardinal Burke, Murderers & Stereotyping

March 28, 2015

Lifesite News has a nearly 5,000 word interview with a traditionalist Cardinal about Catholic controversies and doctrine, which a Religion News Service headline remarkably distilled down to “Cardinal Raymond Burke: Gays, remarried Catholics, murderers…


Disciples of Christ Eye Convention Pullout to Protest Indiana Religious Liberty Law

March 27, 2015

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination announced its governing convention may not meet in Indiana after the state approved its own version of the longstanding federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.


A Church Against Religious Liberty

March 27, 2015

Hardly anyone ever talks anymore about the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination, even though it is historically Mainline, because it doesn’t have many members left and has become culturally marginal. But the denomination,…


John Wesley and Religious Liberty

March 26, 2015

Last year I wrote for First Things on John Wesley’s reaction to anti-Methodist riots in the mid-1700s as it relates to contemporary assaults on religious liberty. Recently a letter by John Wesley revealing his views…


Remembering Methodist Renewal Warrior Ira Gallaway

March 24, 2015

IRD co-founder and 30 year board member Ira Gallaway, a longtime soldier for United Methodist renewal, died last week, age 91.  He was a WWII veteran, a former oil man, a former Texas judge,…