Documents show financial ties between ERLC & left-wing George Soros Open Society Foundations, Pierre Omidyar of the Democracy Fund, and Paul Singer of the American Unity Fund.
A report from Enemies within the Church, printed below, contains documents obtained by the filmmakers that link grants and funding from leftist billionaires to the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention and its head Russell Moore. The documents include grant data showing the Democracy Fund provided $50,000 to the controversial ERLC’s and The Gospel Coalition’s MLK50 Conference.
Other documents in the report include Dr. Moore’s name in the Podesta emails published in 2016 by Wikileaks.
Special to the Capstone Report
by Henry Anderson of Enemies Within The Church
On Friday, November 6, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Commission (ERLC) posted a statement on its website:
“Currently, there has been no evidence that voter fraud has been occurring…
“There are numerous reasons why widespread election fraud is difficult, if not impossible, to pull off at the presidential level… Extensive research has shown that voter fraud is exceeding rare, that voter impersonation is virtually nonexistent, and that many instances of alleged fraud are merely mistakes by voters or election administrators.”
The article is attributed to the “ERLC Staff,” and the statement is date-stamped November 6, 2020, at which point a number of states had not fully resolved allegations of balloting improprieties: most notably Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada. It is difficult not to assume that the ERLC (Ethics and Religious Leadership Council) is purposefully seeking to influence the election outcome for primarily two reasons: (1) Dr. Russell Moore, the president of the ERLC, has consistently and publicly opposed Donald Trump and actively sought to undermine his evangelical reach, and (2) the ERLC seems to have financial ties to at least three progressive billionaire activists: left-wing George Soros of Open Society Foundations, Pierre Omidyar of the Democracy Fund, and Paul Singer of the American Unity Fund.
Who are these donors? Are they influencing the ERLC?
Behind Billionaire Door #1: George Soros
Dr. Moore’s ties to George Soros have been the subject of heated debate. At various times, those sympathetic to Dr. Moore have denied that he receives funds from Soros. Denials have hinged on arguments about whether the National Immigration Forum (NIF) and the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT) – both progressive organizations – are actually the same thing. EWTC was able to obtain what appear to be authentic internal documents from a 2015 meeting in New York of the Open Society U.S. Programs Board;
These should put debate to rest.
George Soros’ Open Society Foundations have been clear that they hope to infuse left-wing ideology into every community of discourse that exists. To broaden the influence of his radical agenda, he has made a point to fund “rent-an-evangelical” schemes like the kind underscored in a cautionary article by Stream writer John Zmirak four years ago:
Joining “faith” fronts, Soros also funds thousands of … collaborators and projects that suggest his goal is to demoralize America (and Europe)… In the ironic rhetoric of compassion, Soros and friends also fund mass immigration followed by voting “rights” and redistricting schemes, while financing the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. (Soros is a major donor to the Democratic Party and co-chairman of Ready for Hillary PAC.)
Earlier this year, Baptist Standard ran an article disputing “rumors” that Russell Moore received funding from Soros’ foundations. Dr. Moore and the ERLC have found themselves in the crosshairs of Soros-related debates because of Moore’s active involvement with the EIT. A document from November 13, 2012, addressed to President Obama clearly lists the ERLC alongside nine other groups as the groups comprising the EIT: World Relief Corporation, Sojourners, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Bread for the World, Liberty Counsel, National Association of Evangelicals, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, National Latino Evangelical Coalition, World Vision, and G92.
In 2013, spokespeople for the EIT had already admitted to Breitbart News that their group “does not exist as its own non-profit” and “sought a neutral third-party institution, the NIF, to help facilitate our work.” Despite the strenuous denials that Mr. Soros’ money was involved, it is clear that the “facilitation” of the EIT depends on a structure financed by Mr. Soros, the NIF. Any doubt of separation between the initiatives now hold no weight since Dr. Moore is prominently listed as a speaker for the 2020 convention of the NIF and has his own webpage on the NIF website.
EWTC obtained meeting notes from “OPEN SOCIETY US PROGRAMS BOARD MEETING,” hosted by Open Society Foundations in New York City on October 1-2, 2015. One section of the meeting notes states the following:
“In part, our active role reflects our observation that the refugee advocacy community while long-standing and sophisticated in the inner workings of refugee policy, does not have a strong advocacy capacity or deep grassroots ties. In the course of our work, we were able to generate engagement by a group of mayors through Emma Lazarus II Fund grantee Cities United for Immigration Action… and some conservative voices such as evangelical Christians and Southern Baptists through grantee NIF. In the face of this pressure, the Obama administration announced Sept. 20 that by 2017, it would raise to 100,000 the total number of refugees the US takes worldwide each year. “
The bolded section above makes clear that the Open Society Foundations earmarked a grant to the NIF, specifically so funds could be channeled to the Southern Baptist Convention in exchange for the SBC’s help in putting “pressure” on officials to raise the number of refugees the US could take in.
EWTC obtained the following three documents showing the undeniable purpose of a significant funding stream earmarked by Open Society Foundations for Dr. Moore’s clique at the ERLC:
As more refugee resettlement means more grants to faith-based organizations to resettle refugees a great potential for corruption exists. The North American Mission Board oversees the SEND Network, which plants churches. These plants stand to gain if they can pitch their efforts as community revitalization; something that pairs neatly with refugee resettlement. One vice president of the SEND Network is Dhati Lewis, whose ties to the ERLC are evident by his appearance on their website. Dhati Lewis also takes the stage prominently with Kevin Ezell, leader of the SBC’s North American Mission Board. Kevin Ezell’s leadership of NAMB has been fraught with controversy, as one can see quite clearly by following the website of Will McRaney, a Southern Baptist who has spent years documenting the corruption at NAMB online.
Dr. Moore has tied ostensible gospel efforts to a political lobby funded by George Soros, a man who opposes Biblical doctrine on ethics, life, sexuality, etc., and who openly says he wishes to invest large amounts of money in any willing evangelical that can spin his left-wing politics into a “Christian” endeavor.
Behind Billionaire Door #2: Pierre Omidyar
Russell Moore survived the 2017 post election push-back, becoming emboldened even further the following year during a conference marking the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. The “MLK 50” Conference brought out rhetoric that was not merely liberal or Democratic, but overtly steeped in critical race theory.
The conference received a grant of $50,000 from Pierre Omidyar’s Democracy Fund according to the left-wing group’s 990 tax form for 2018.
What does the billionaire founder of e-Bay, have to do with a Southern Baptist conference? As Omidyar has a philanthropist streak that delights some progressives and dismays others, it’s not difficult to identify his stake in the conference. In an interview with EWTC, progressive musician Michelle Shocked (who happens to be Christian) explained that Mr. Omidyar has a hybrid philosophy of philanthropy, believing that a charity without a profit motive would be suspect. Therefore Omidyar liked to cast his social-justice pursuits as “charity on a for-profit model.” Pando writer Mark Ames explained this laid this philosophy: He says, “Perhaps no other figure embodies the disconnect between his progressive anti-state image, and his factual collaboration with the American national security state and the global neoliberal agenda, than Pierre Omidyar.”
To clarify this, Ms. Shocked provided several articles by left-wing Yasha Levine. Mr. Levine has flagged the relationship between Pierre Omidyar and Brazil-based journalist Glenn Greenwald as problematic. Mr. Omidyar funded the creation of the Intercept by Glenn Greenwald. Mr. Greenwald built the Intercept into a vibrant online news and commentary source but then ran afoul of management (and presumably, Omidyar), when Intercept principals told him he could not publish anything critical of Joe Biden. Yasha Levine explains the deceptive nature of Omidyar’s political involvement:
“Pierre’s surprising generousness — combined with the fact that he seemed to be on the Good Side, on the side of Edward Snowden and his NSA leaks — brought the man a huge amount of good will… Even now, while Silicon Valley’s leadership — from Zuck to Bezos — have been getting knocked about and criticized from every angle, Pierre has been able to skate by with no critical attention thrown his way, despite his involvement in funding far-right regime change ops, global surveillance projects, and the trail of impoverished bodies he’s left behind in the wake of his various colonial investment initiatives.”
If this unflattering assessment of Mr. Omidyar’s philanthropy is honest, we can see the obvious attraction of Omidyar’s non-profit to the ERLC. The SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, with roughly 46,000 churches. This is a massive client base.
As to Russell Moore’s interest in Pierre Omidyar, given the extent of Baptist tithes that flow into the ERLC, why would Dr. Moore take upon himself such an unfavorable business connection? The lavish scale of the MLK 50 event seems rather exaggerated since Dr. Moore could have put on a simple conference with speakers drawn from churches across the SBC rather than booking bigger names like Karen Swallow Prior, Matt Chandler, and John Piper. The oversized scale entangled Dr. Moore in the funds of a man described even by left-wing activists as “a rapacious tech oligarch.”
A likely draw was Mr. Omidyar’s anti-Trump fervor and his profit-driven charity model. Mr. Omidyar has funded all kinds of anti-Trump activities, including projects to bring evangelical Christians into his sphere of influence. It seems that Dr. Moore likes the money that comes with Christian causes, except that he wants to shift away from abortion and gay marriage to more consumer-friendly causes.
Pierre Omidyar funds the Trinity Forum as well. This organization recently hosted an event billed as a symposium to ask, “how do Christians discern ways of engaging culturally and politically that pursues justice, the common good, and love of neighbor?” Coming just before the heated 2020 election, this overtly socialist reading of the gospel fit in perfectly with Omidyar’s anti-Trump political goals as well as the crass “for-profit charity” model that progressives despise. The main speakers for the Trinity Forum event were Justin Giboney, the president of the AND Campaign, and the “co-chair of Obama for America’s Gen44-Atlanta initiative”; and Shirley Hoogstra, president of the “Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.” Hoogstra states in her press release that she “focused on expanding diversity and inclusion on CCCU campuses,” which refers, at least partly, to the movement to force Christian colleges to water down their stance on LGBTs.
EWTC was able to obtain what appears to be a February 3, 2012, memo from “Bill Vandenberg, Program Director, Democracy Fund” to “U.S. Programs Board.” In this memo, Vandenburg states the group’s goals: (1) investing “in faith-based advocacy and the engagement of the faith community,” (2) “public opinion research…of faith demography,” (3) “strategic communications work”, (4) “field meetings,” and (5) “fellowships to faith-based thinkers.”
That Russell Moore intertwined the Southern Baptist Convention with these cynical efforts to manufacture and disseminate liberal Christian dogma raises serious concerns.
Behind Billionaire Door #3: Paul Singer
Finally, Dr. Moore remains tied through mutual partnerships to the funding of Paul Singer, arguably the most pernicious of the three billionaires. Unlike Omidyar and Soros, Mr. Singer does not present himself as a leftist in any way, rather funding Republican and conservative organizations. He was a major backer of Marco Rubio, the candidate that Dr. Moore seemed to favor in the 2016 Republican primaries.
On this issue Tom Littleton once again offers a bank of invaluable information. In a broadside posted in late 2019, Mr. Littleton spells out how Paul Singer’s longstanding quest to normalize homosexuality in conservative circles left a trail of bread crumbs to an effort called Fairness for All (as well as the typically connected AND Campaign). The American Unity Fund, Paul Singer’s organization, funds the Alliance for Lasting Liberty, which is tied to the Fairness for All Movement. Like a merry-go-round of funding, these groups then contribute to the AND Campaign, which features leaders Justin Giboney and Michael Wear. These men all travel in the same circles, as Mr. Littleton documents at Thirty Pieces of Silver.
A man as intelligent as Dr. Moore must know that there is a mountain of evidence pointing to significant voter fraud in the 2020 election. Since Dr. Moore is neither foolish nor crazy, it’s difficult not to come to the somewhat obvious conclusion: those who wanted Donald Trump defeated have been financing Dr. Moore’s friends, associates, and partners for years. This has clearly influenced him and the SBC.