The Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C., released a report in May that revealed how a small group of wealthy funders are influencing the denomination’s debates on homosexuality in the church. “The donors include five secular foundations that have contributed heavily to politically conservative advocacy groups, publications, and think tanks, and one individual, savings and loan heir Howard F. Ahmanson Jr., who has given millions of dollars to conservative causes and politicians,” wrote Jim Naughton, author of the report, titled “Following the Money.”
Specifically, these funders have supported campaigns by the American Anglican Council and the Institute for Religion and Democracy that oppose the ordination of gays and lesbians and the blessing of same-sex relationships. Working in concert with Anglican bishops in Nigeria, Uganda, and Argentina, these organizations and others are attempting to split the U.S. Episcopal Church from the worldwide Anglican Communion.
“The articles have gotten a terrific response,” Naughton, director of communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, told Sojourners. “People are curious about who stands to gain from the turmoil in our church, and I hope now that they have a pretty clear idea.”