Sunday, July 19, 2009

Next Time "Ensign-Gate" Comes Up in Your Dinner Table Conversation...

Please, please bring up this article in today's Sun! Jeff Sharlet has been following John Ensign's bizarre "C Street" Christianist power cult for a number of years, so he has gained some real insight into the real Ensign behind the public facade he lets us "non chosen ones" see.

Take a look at this quote from Sharlet.

When you vote for someone, you want to know that they are their own man, you want to know they make decisions for themselves. More important, we want to see to what end this group applies its beliefs.

Doug Coe, David Coe’s father and leader of The Family fellowship going back to the mid ’60s, likes to call The Family “The Christian Mafia.” I knew Coe when I was part of The Family. He explained what it means to be a chosen politician.

Talking to another man, he said, “Let me explain to you the concept of ‘chosen.’ Suppose I hear you raped three little girls. What would I think of you?”

The man says, “You would think I was awful, a monster.”

And Doug Coe said, “No, I would not, because you’re chosen, and when you’re chosen, the normal rules don’t apply.”

I think that’s important for the voters of Nevada to know.

... And pay really close attention to this snippet from Sharlet.

I’m saying this not just to the voters of Nevada, but to all the Christian conservatives in Nevada who voted for Ensign because he presented himself as a Christian. Perhaps they would like to know what he means by Christian.

Does he read the New Testament and think it is only about power, and then does he apply that in the world?

One of the things that has come out is that when we look at Ensign’s travel records and Coburn’s travel records, we find them traveling around the world, doing official government business on The Family dime.

In other words, they’re representing U.S. interests, but they are going overseas, paid for by The Family and talking about this Family theology with foreign leaders. That becomes almost a national security issue.

Doug Coe in one presentation talked about Nazi Germany and the allegiance many Germans had to the Nazis. He said it was something of a role model for the approach that Family members need to have to their organization.

David Coe, a former assistant to George W. Bush at the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, told NBC Nightly News last year that Doug Coe’s references to Nazis in his sermons were really a metaphor, a metaphor for commitment.

I don’t think Jesus used a metaphor of genocidal maniacs for commitment. I know David Coe and like him, but I think this is where you really get to the heart of the problem with The Family, this confusion over what their faith is about. Doug Coe will go so far as to say that he is not a Christian, that Christianity has got it all wrong.

The group began during the Great Depression because the founder thought that God came to him and revealed a vision that the New Deal was satanically inspired and that Christianity was getting it wrong for 2000 years by focusing on the poor, the weak, the suffering.

He said God came one night in April 1935 and said, “I want you to be a minister to not the down and out, but the up and out,” he called them, the powerful. And God’s going to choose a few powerful people, he’ll work through those people, and those people will distribute the blessings to the rest of us.

It sort of becomes this trickle-down fundamentalism that’s all about the fetishization of strength.

Hitler is not an appropriate metaphor for the teachings of Jesus; neither is Stalin or Mao.

When I was at the C Street house with Coe in a counseling session with Congressman Todd Tiahrt (Kansas Republican), he offered as examples Osama bin Laden and Pol Pot.

These were men, Coe said, who knew how to wield power, and we should wield power that way, too, except we should do it for Christ.

They say it’s the means, not the ends.

But when I look at Hitler I have trouble with both the means and the ends. I think any sane human being does.

If this doesn't scare you, I don't know what will. Oh hell, I think I actually do!

So please bring this up next time you hear someone talk about Poor Lil' Johnny Casino.

1 comment:

  1. The Congressional Recess is coming. Don't forget to sign up for the Fellowship's Vacation Bible School.