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.



Group leaving the Paoli Methodist Church after a service in the early 1960s. (Photo:

Fifty Years Since Methodism Grew in America

January 28, 2015

Methodism had been America’s largest Protestant denomination until surpassed by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1967, whose membership is now more than double United Methodism’s.

Source: Youtube

The Death of Marcus Borg, Christian Panentheist

January 26, 2015

The heterodox theologian and controversialist Marcus Borg, who died recently at age 72, has been eulogized in countless blogs and articles by admirers acclaiming his spiritual insights. Others, including some theological traditionalists, have recalled…


Calvinist Evangelicals in United Methodist Church!

January 26, 2015

Last evening in Washington, D.C. I was walking by an old United Methodist sanctuary and heard uncharacteristic music emanating from the windows. Curiosity drove me inside, where I was surprised to see a full…


Winston Churchill’s Favorite Hymns

January 25, 2015

Winston Churchill died 50 years ago. His funeral was one of the great pageants of the 20th century. Marching bands, military processions, worship in glorious St. Paul’s Cathedral, the reverent attendance of prime ministers,…


Christians March for Life Plus Some Methodist Mockery

January 23, 2015

Yesterday’s March for Life in Washington, D.C. was a tremendous day both as a demonstration for human rights and a display of Christian unity. Catholic bishops marched with Anglican bishops and Orthodox clergy, with…

March for Life

Christians Declare Solidarity with Unborn at March for Life

January 22, 2015

Tens of thousands of members of the pro-life community descend upon Washington D.C. for the March for Life Thursday.


“The Imitation Game” & Government’s Vocation

January 21, 2015

The Imitation Game, like all historical movies, has little relation to actual history and is primarily a fictional interpretation of the brilliant British mathematician Alan Turing who helped break the German military code during…


Duke Chapel, Islam & Religious Liberty

January 19, 2015

Protesters claim that Duke University’s revoking its brief plans for Duke Chapel’s bell tower to become a minaret for Islamic prayer calls every Friday violated religious liberty and hospitality. The current multiculturalist zeitgeist has…


Walter Brueggemann’s Coercive Collectivism

January 15, 2015

Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann is very influential in some Evangelical and Protestant circles as an exponent of social justice. In this latest interview, he describes some of today’s most pressing social witness issues…


Putin’s Orthodox Autocracy & American Christianity

January 13, 2015

This fascinating blog by an Eastern Orthodox writer provocatively examines Vladimir Putin as a potential “Orthodox Jihadist” who’s possibly both a sincere Orthodox Christian and an unapologetic autocrat who leads an unofficial global coalition…

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Up From Superficial Christian Compassion

January 9, 2015

Reflections on Christian social justice and eternity


Paris Terror & World Council of Churches

January 8, 2015

The Islamist terror attack killing 12 persons at a French journal in Paris that has published cartoons mocking Islam’s Prophet Muhammad prompted this response from the Geneva-based World Council of Churches: The fatal attack…