Kudos to Rachel Maddow for latching on to the captivating and chilling story about not just the lascivious and potentially illegal activities of some of the “C Street” Family, but — more importantly — focusing on their belief that they are chosen by God to lead and infiltrate our government.
And she hasn’t stopped pursuing this startling story, defying the normal news cycle of a nano-second of coverage unless it’s Michael Jackson’s death or a blonde white girl disappearing in Aruba.
What gets lost in the disgusting details of Ensign’s adulterous affair, Mark Sanford’s (an associate member of the Family) lust for an Argentine, and former Congressman Chip Pickering’s adulterous bonking on-site at the C Street “Christian fellowship house” is something that Maddow has repeatedly come back to: these men don’t believe they are responsible to moral or governmental laws. If they deviate from the “righteous path,” God is only testing their strength, because they are the ones divinely chosen to lead — and it is weakness to succumb to remorse about one’s “misbehavior.” That is why Mark Sanford said he won’t resign and compared himself to King David, who slept adulterously with Bathsheba and then had her husband killed.
Jeff Sharlet, of “The Family:The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power” writes:
Family leaders consider their political network to be Christ’s avant garde, an elite that transcends not just conventional morality but also earthly laws regulating lobbying. In the Family’s early days, they debated registering as “a lobby for God’s Kingdom.” Instead, founder Abraham Vereide decided that the group could be more effective by working personally with politicians. “The more invisible you can make your organization,” Vereide’s successor, current leader Doug Coe preaches, “the more influence you can have.” That’s true — which is why we have laws requiring lobbyists to identify themselves as such.
But David Coe, Doug Coe’s son and heir apparent, calls himself simply a friend to men such as John Ensign, whom he guided through the coverup of his affair. I met the younger Coe when I lived for several weeks as a member of the Family. He’s a surprising source of counsel, spiritual or otherwise. Attempting to explain what it means to be chosen for leadership like King David was — or Mark Sanford, according to his own estimate — he asked a young man who’d put himself, body and soul, under the Family’s authority, “Let’s say I hear you raped three little girls. What would I think of you?” The man guessed that Coe would probably think that he was a monster. “No,” answered Coe, “I wouldn’t.” Why? Because, as a member of the Family, he’s among what Family leaders refer to as the “new chosen.” If you’re chosen, the normal rules don’t apply.
I have not heard much about this Christian dominionist organization in the Washington D.C. area until now. These monsters are a very serious threat to our Democracy. Vjack at Atheist Revolution posted some information about the Family that he found at Religion Dispatches:
* The Family is the oldest conservative Christian organization in Washington D.C.
* The Family runs (but does not own) the notorious “C Street House” as a church to provide assorted politicians with inexpensive living space, Christian bible study, and “spiritual counseling.”
* “C Street House” is owned by an organization, Youth With a Mission D.C., headed by Loren Cunningham, a man with a vision for worldwide Christian dominion. Cunningham links to Campus Crusade for Christ and Christian Embassy, a D.C.-based ministry that tries to convert Pentagon officials.
* The Family is responsible for the annual National Prayer Breakfasts and runs assorted prayer groups in which both Republican and Democratic members of Congress participate.
* According to Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (added to my to-read list), the Family is “committed to a political theology that views democracy as a form of secular humanism, to which they’re deeply opposed.”
I thought this was something that is extremely important to bring to everyone’s immediate attention.