There are at least two groups at work today in the mainline Christian denominations in order to disrupt these denominations to the extent they can be taken over by a fundamentalist cadre that is high on biblical literalism and "orthodoxy" in its most extreme forms and low on inclusiveness. These two groups are also homophobic and anti-abortion.
One of them is known as the Association for Church Renewal. Some would say that's a nice-sounding name, but it is simply a cover for a pack of fundamentalist predators. The president of the ACR is one David Runnion-Bareford, who has worked for years to impose his conservative nonsense on one the most liberal and inclusive Protestant groups, the United Church of Christ. He's an advocate of utilizing "stealth" tactics by ultra-conservatives to take over the mainline groups. Such stealth tactics involve infiltrating church boards, committees, Sunday schools, etc., in order to move them to the right so that eventually the church itself can be "redeemed" for the Lord.
These people are not above the slimiest of tactics. When it appeared the Gene Robinson would be elected as Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, they funded an intense smear campaign, falsely accusing him of sexual harassment and administering a bi-sexual website. The smears were successful in that as a result of these false charges, some wealthy Episcopal congregations left the Church to join with the "renegade" Anglican outfit.
A couple of days ago, Runnion-Bareford had the gall to "warn" President-elect Obama that his invitation to Bishop Robinson to participate in the inauguration festivities would be "destructive" to those rightwingnuts who might want to support him.
"Your decision to invite Bishop Gene Robinson to provide public leadership at the Sunday celebration of your inauguration is offensive and disappointing to many of us in Christian leadership who seek to be supportive of your presidency ... Robinson is a schismatic figure who has intentionally caused deep hurt and division in the Christian Church. To many mainline Christians who share you concerns for peace and justice, Robinson symbolizes the moral deviance of denominational leaders who have embraced the agenda of sexual license to the detriment and decline of their churches. ... "
Not only so, says wingnut Runnion-Bareford, but omigod, Obama's sending a signal to all those Christians in the "global south," (i.e. Africa and South America and Asia) that he intends "to embrace the virulent practice of western hedonism," blah, blah, blah.
It is no wonder that people look at the Christian church, Protestant and Catholic, and just laugh. Or cry. What a joke.
If there is a hell, there must be a special place reserved for bastards like Runnion-Bareford and his ilk.
More here. And here. And here.