Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell, jwalton@TheIRD.org
WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Institute on Religion & Democracy celebrates 30 years on October 3 at 6:30 p.m. with its first annual Diane Knippers Memorial Lecture by distinguished Catholic ethicist Michael Novak. His talk is titled "Don't Confuse the Common Good with Statism." Knippers is the beloved former IRD president who died in 2005, the same year Time Magazine named her one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in the United States, and one of only two women to appear on the list.
What: 2011 Diane Knippers Memorial Lecture
Who: Dr. Michael Novak
Where: Hotel George 15 E St NW, Washington, DC
When: Monday, October 3, 2011, 6:30 p.m.
In 1981 IRD was founded to rebut the often anti-democratic and pro-Marxist stances of some church groups during the Cold War. IRD's founders included a Methodist evangelist, an AFL-CIO official, Michael Novak, then-Lutheran theologian Richard John Neuhaus and eventually evangelical theologian Carl Henry, among others. In the early 1980s, IRD kicked up a firestorm by exposing pro-Marxist funding by the National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches and Mainline Protestant agencies. Most of those groups today remain only a shadow of their former selves.
After the Cold War ended, IRD continued its robust critique of the churches' political witness and call for solidarity with persecuted Christians and other religious believers globally. Today, IRD is especially focused on the ascendant Evangelical Left, warning evangelicals not to heed its call to replicate the disastrous, liberalizing course of declining Mainline Protestantism. IRD emphasizes the importance of America's churches robustly affirming theological orthodoxy and a thoughtful political witness, both of which are essential to upholding America's democracy.