Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A "Mafia" That's Holier Than Thou

The secret fundamentalist cabal, known as "The Family," which runs the secretive C Street townhouse where famous Republican serial adulterers have recently bunked, is discussed by the leading authority on the group, Jeff Sharlet, who wrote the book "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power." Sharlet sums up the secret group and the Washington men who have affiliated with it this way:
...Family men are more than hypocritical. They're followers of a political religion that embraces elitism, disdains democracy, and pursues power for its members the better to "advance the Kingdom." They say they're working for Jesus, but their Christ is a power-hungry, inside-the-Beltway savior not many churchgoers would recognize. Sexual peccadilloes aside, the Family acts today like the most powerful lobby in America that isn't registered as a lobby -- and is thus immune from the scrutiny attending the other powerful organizations like Big Pharma and Big Insurance that exert pressure on public policy.

The Family likes to call itself a "Christian Mafia," but it began 74 years ago as an anti-New Deal coalition of businessmen convinced that organized labor was under the sway of Satan. The Great Depression, they believed, was a punishment from God for what they viewed as FDR's socialism. The Family's goal was the "consecration" of America to God, first through the repeal of New Deal reforms, then through the aggressive expansion of American power during the Cold War. They called this a "Worldwide Spiritual Offensive," but in Washington, it amounted to the nation's first fundamentalist lobby. Early participants included Southern Sens. Strom Thurmond, Herman Talmadge and Absalom Willis Robertson -- Pat Robertson's father. Membership lists stored in the Family's archive at the Billy Graham Center at evangelical Wheaton College in Illinois show active participation at any given time over the years by dozens of congressmen.

Heath Shuler has already been linked to the C Street cabal.

And now ... Mike McIntyre, that other N.C. blue dog, who votes with the Republicans even more than Heath.

Whose interests are they serving, and why do they hide the strings by which they dangle?

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