A Pagan's Blog


 I have been following Jeff Sharlet’s reports about “The Family,” for some time.  His report in Harper’s  initially alerted me to this loathsome organization.  It was followed by his book, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.  Today he published a good summary of what this group is about in Salon. The sexual escapades of men who believe they are now beyond good and evil are finally getting them the publicity they deserve. 

Why be concerned?  In Salon Sharlet writes “Christian right leader — and Watergate felon — Chuck Colson,
converted through the efforts of the Family, has boasted of it as a ‘veritable underground of Christ’s men all through government.'”  And the more we discover, the more worrisome the picture becomes.  I do not exaggerate when I describe The Family as the perfect picture of a Sauronic organization, as you will see, below the fold.

The family is a conservative Christian cabal of Congressmen and other
politicians that live together at the ‘C’ House in Washington DC for
some time.  It turns out that the sexually adventuresome Senator
Ensign, Representative Pickering, and Governor Sanford were all associated with ‘C’ House.  Along wirth Sanford, Ensign, and Pickering, a list of
current politicians  “under the Family’s religio-political counsel”
include Sens. Tom Coburn, Chuck Grassley, Jim
DeMint, Lindsey Graham, James Inhofe, John
Thune, and Mark Pryor – 7 out of a total of 40 Republican Senators.  With Tiahrt, at least 9 members of the House
are also involved.  But “The Family” likes secrecy, so it’s difficult
to tell.

Sharet writes in Salon that in Counseling Kansas Rep. Tiahrt,  Doug Coe, the group’s ‘spiritual’ leader  “offered Pol Pot and Osama bin Laden as
men whose commitment to their causes is to be emulated. Preaching on
the meaning of Christ’s words, he says, ‘You know Jesus said You got
to put Him before mother-father-brother sister? Hitler, Lenin, Mao,
that’s what they taught the kids. Mao even had the kids killing their
own mother and father. But it wasn’t murder. It was for building the
new nation. The new kingdom.'”

Traditional morality takes second place to the Hitler and Mao
comparisons.  It is not simply exaggerated rhetoric.   David Coe, 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.” 

This attitude is not simply hypothetical. Yesterday, in a NPR interview, Sharlet reports

David Coe . . . came around and gave us
this long lesson. He says, ‘What made King David great?’ And the men I
was with are all trying to say, ‘Well, he loved God,’ all this. He
[says], ‘No, No, that’s not it. King David was a terrible man. You
know, he was an adulterer and a murderer. So why is he a hero of the
Bible?’ And the answer is because God chose him. King David is beyond
morality, in their limited understanding of scripture. … I could
almost hear Doug Coe’s voice when Gov. Sanford was saying, ‘I need to
keep governing, because I’m like King David.’


Rachel Maddow has just interviewed Sharlet for more on the creeps at ‘C’ house.

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