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Mainline Church Coalition to Host Incendiary Pastor Jeremiah Wright

"Hosting the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whom even Senator Obama has denounced, further showcases how radical RCRC is." - UM Action Executive Director Mark Tooley

Contact: Loralei Coyle 202-682-4131, 202-905-6852 cell, lcoyle@ird-renew.org; Radio Interviews: Jeff Walton, jwalton@ird-renew.org; both with the Institute on Religion and Democracy 

WASHINGTON, June 18 /Christian Newswire/ -- An abortion rights coalition comprised primarily of mainline Protestant denominations is hosting controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright at its upcoming National Black Religious Summit on Sexuality in Washington, D.C. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) will sponsor the event July 9-11, 2008 at the Howard University School of Divinity. The Institute on Religion & Democracy is urging RCRC and its member denominations to withdraw the invitation to Wright.

Wright has been denounced by his former parishioner, Senator Barak Obama, for his numerous incendiary comments, among them that the U.S. government was responsible for infecting African Americans with the virus that causes AIDS.

Washington-based RCRC defends unrestricted abortion rights in the name of its denominational members. The Washington-based United Methodist Board of Church and Society and the New York-based United Methodist Women's Division both belong to RCRC, as do the Episcopal Church and Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

UM Action Executive Director Mark Tooley commented,

"That Mainline Protestant denominations continue to belong to a shameless abortion rights coalition is outrageous. That they would do so after the coalition invited Jeremiah Wright is nothing short of a scandal.

"RCRC is not a faith organization. It is a radical political lobby that advocates limitless abortion on demand. It is funded primarily by left-wing foundations, while appropriating the credibility of mainline churches for a religious veneer over its abortion rights extremism.

"It is bizarre that RCRC would invite Jeremiah Wright after he had ignited so much controversy. But in some ways it is fitting that a group as extreme as RCRC would choose an equally extreme spokesman.

"Hosting the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whom even Senator Obama has denounced, further showcases how radical RCRC is. If RCRC will not withdraw the invitation, hopefully there will be further motivation for RCRC's member denominations to withdraw from RCRC."

The Institute on Religion and Democracy, founded in 1981, is an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform their churches' social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.