Unfortunately in the US Catholic Church, conservatives who are appalled at the US Bishops record of burying their head in the sand for 20+ years over clergy sexual abuse, out-to-lunch seminaries, ignoring the vocations crisis, etc have no real place to go. I know several who have just plain left the Church. Sounds like an unmet need to me.
Anyway, in the Protestant scene the Times story reports that:
"Although the institute has an annual budget of just less than $1 million and a staff of fewer than a dozen, liberals and conservatives alike say it is having an outsized effect on the dynamics of American politics by counteracting the liberal influence of the mainline Protestant churches. Together, the Methodist, Presbyterian and Episcopal churches have 12.5 million members, and for decades they and other mainline denominations have provided theological backbone and foot soldiers for liberal causes like abortion rights, racial and economic equality, the nuclear freeze, environmentalism and anti-war movements.
For their part, the institute and its allies say they are saving the denominations from themselves by agitating for a return to Biblical orthodoxy. They argue that the churches' liberalism has contributed to their steep decline over the last 30 years even as more conservative evangelical churches have grown.
'It's pretty clear that the church elite in the mainline denominations are to the left of the people in the pews,' said Diane Knippers, the institute's president and an Episcopalian who helped found the American Anglican Council and now sits on its board. "
"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.