Inside Sanford’s “Jesus Frat”
If there’s one thing we detest more than the creeping socialism that has infected our nation’s capital in recent years, it is the sanctimonious moralizing of a small band of hypocritical “conservatives” who claim to be fighting it.
We’re referring of course to “The Family,” an upper crust fraternity of (self-)glorified Christian Coalition types who occupy a “devotional house” on C Street in downtown Washington, D.C.
Made infamous by the sex scandals that have ensnared its members (including S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford, U.S. Sen. Jon Ensign of Nevada and former Rep. Chip Pickering of Mississippi) these “C Streeters” have become poster boys for political hypocrisy. Even God himself has taken them to the woodshed … (or so we were told).
Anyway, The New Yorker has an in-depth feature on this secretive organization in its latest editions … which opens with the behind-the-scenes drama surrounding the Ensign scandal before delving into the inner workings of the “Fellowship” and its leader, an elusive Oregon-born evangelist named Doug Coe.
To read the story in its entirety, click here, but here’s an excerpt that seeks to explain what “The Family” is …
The group rejects anything resembling a formal structure—there is no titled executive team, and even the name “Fellowship” is unofficial, an informal convenience. The business cards of those leaders who carry them list the individual’s name at the top and addresses and telephone numbers at the bottom, with a blank space in between, where the name of the entity might go. A formal foundation does exist—a 501(c)(3) called the International Foundation, which oversees three hundred or so ministries associated with the Fellowship, and has a board of directors that approves a budget for the ministries (in the fifteen-million-dollar range) and the salaries of the parent entity’s relatively few employees. The Fellowship’s affiliated ministries vary widely in their missions, from operating a secondary school in Uganda to funding a program for inner-city youths in Washington, D.C. The core mission of the Fellowship, however, is interpersonal ministry to the powerful, meant “to turn their hearts to the poor.”
“Interpersonal ministry to the powerful?”
Frankly, we think that hypocritical Christian politicians should be drummed out of D.C. right alongside their socialist “antagonists” in 2010 (and again in 2012, if necessary).
For one thing these “Christians” are weak in their convictions – as we have seen time and again in Sanford’s case and in the case of Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak, whose capitulation on abortion cleared the way for the passage of President Barack Obama’s new socialized medicine law.
Obviously, we have no use for Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Jim Clyburn, John Spratt or any of the other left-wingers currently running our nation (further) into the ground with their borrowed trillions and government-run everything … but we have even less use for the Sanfords of the world, whose “commitment” to limited government principles extends only so far as their political advancement.
Such self-serving part-time advocacy is not what the struggle for the American taxpayer demands.
Accordingly, we would encourage true fiscal conservatives like Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint (who are among the few Washington politicians we admire) to disassociate themselves from this organization immediately and seek spiritual guidance elsewhere.
After all this “Family” isn’t fighting for your family, it’s fronting for a bunch of morally-challenged hypocrites …