Saturday, May 22, 2004

The New York Times > National > Conservative Group Amplifies Voice of Protestant Orthodoxy: "Bill Schambra, director of the Bradley Center at the Hudson Institute and a former director of the Bradley Foundation, one of the biggest conservative donors, said the foundations' supported the institute as part of a broader effort to build a conservative infrastructure after decades of liberal ascendancy had shut out the right.

'The I.R.D. is a kind of parallel universe that upholds the conservative standpoint in the world of religion,' Mr. Schambra said. 'It is no different in that sense from what the National Association of Scholars is for University Professors or the Federalist Society is for lawyers,' he said, referring to two other groups backed by the same foundations.

James Piereson, executive director of the Olin Foundation, said his foundation saw the institute as a Protestant counterpart to the conservative magazine Commentary for Jews or the Father Neuhaus's journal First Things for Catholics. 'If no one commented on and criticized the churches' political activities, it would appear that this was an unobjectionable religious position that was being brought to bear instead of a controversial position,' he said, adding that 'the sexuality issues and the liturgical issues in the churches have never been of great interest to us.'"

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