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IRD: Evangelical Anti-Nuclear Statement 'Utopian'

"Unfortunately, this resolution is part of a continuing pattern in which NAE advocacy embraces specific policies that go far beyond clear scriptural teachings on which evangelicals are united." -- Mark Tooley, IRD President

Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell, jwalton@TheIRD.org

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- A resolution on U.S. nuclear disarmament issued recently by the largest U.S. ecumenical group of evangelical churches is one-sided and "utopian," according to a new analysis from the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

The statement adopted by the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) embraces simplistic solutions and does not reflect a consensus within the organization's professed constituency of evangelical Christians, according to IRD Adjunct Fellow Alan Wisdom. Wisdom has authored a point-by-point critique of the NAE resolution, which he contrasts with NAE's more realistic 1986 stance, and which can be viewed at www.TheIRD.org.

The NAE counts over 40 denominations in its representation, including the Salvation Army, the Assemblies of God, the Church of the Nazarene and the Presbyterian Church in America.

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:

    "Championing policies in a one-sided fashion is becoming a bad habit of today's NAE, which invites dialogue but then frames discussions in such a way that points in a leftward direction.

    "The NAE implies that steps taken by the United States and friendly countries alone -- 'verified mutual reductions in current nuclear stockpiles,' ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, abandonment of tactical nuclear weapons -- would facilitate 'a world free of nuclear weapons.'

    "Unfortunately, this resolution reflects a continuing pattern in which NAE political advocacy embraces specific policies that go far beyond clear scriptural teachings on which evangelicals are united.

    "Evangelicals are divided on issues like global warming, immigration, and federal budget priorities, yet their church officials make statements as though such consensus exists."

The Institute on Religion & Democracy works to reaffirm the church's biblical and historical teachings, strengthen and reform its role in public life, protect religious freedom, and renew democracy at home and abroad.