"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

"For straight up monster-stomping goodness, nothing makes smoke shoot out my ears like Brilliant@Breakfast" -- Tata

"...the best bleacher bum since Pete Axthelm" -- Randy K.

"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Sunday, July 12, 2009

John Ensign's inability to keep it zipped has provided an unexpected benefit
Posted by Jill | 7:37 AM
I can recall reading about "The Family" before, probably this 2003 article from Theocracy Watch, which profiled Jeff Sharlet's undercover journey into this quasi-Christian fellowship of amoral greedmeisters -- a journey that led to Sharlet's 2008 book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. I've been interested in the power of these kinds of secretive Christofascist Zombie Brigade groups in government ever since Ronald Reagan tore down the wall between church and state which Jimmy Carter started to dismantle in the late 1970s. The reason I always shout loud and hard about these groups is that they are never, ever just about freedom of religion for "people of faith", they are about a usurpation of this country by these groups' corrupt and bastardized twisted version of religion. Whether it's United States Senators attending the crowning of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon as the Messiah in a Senate office building (chronicled by John Gorenfeld in his book about Rev. Moon) or the National Prayer Breakfast (which is run by "The Family") or Sarah Palin's recasting of herself as Queen Esther, the drive towards theocracy is very much with us. It may already be too late to save our secular nation, as theocrats (including, I'm starting to believe, the current President of the United States) have already dug in their heels in the corridors of power.

It's hardly surprising that a nation founded by Masons would give rise to Christofascists forming their own secret societies to infiltrate and take over the government. It seems to be in our national character, or at least in the character of the men who choose careers in government. I happen to think the world would be a better place if the National Prayer Breakfast were replaced with an annual Red Hat Society luncheon, but then there wouldn't be a need for Keith Olbermann to do John Ensign Puppet Theatre.

But l'Affaire Ensign has served one useful purpose, and that is to blow the door off of the "C Street House", which seems to be the headquarters of "The Family"'s efforts to replace American democracy with something akin to Divine Right of Kings:
The C Street House is run by a secretive Washington ministry known as The Family, or The Fellowship. Over the past year and a half, The Family has gradually come to public attention, mainly due to journalist and Harpers contributing editor Jeff Sharlet's ground breaking book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. The Family  runs the yearly National Prayer Breakfast and maintains a network of Capital Hill prayer groups which have enjoyed the participation of both top GOP but also top Democratic Party Congress and Senate members.

The Family runs but does not own the C Street House. According to a  June 26th, 2009 Washington Post story, by Manuel Roig-Franzia, "The Political Enclave That Dare Not Speak Its Name: The Sanford and Ensign Scandals Open a Door On Previously Secretive 'C Street' Spiritual Haven", the C Street House is owned by a "little-known organization called Youth With a Mission of Washington DC."

Youth With a Mission is a global Christian evangelical organization founded in 1960 which, declares YWAM, is "currently operating in more than 1000 locations in over 149 countries, with a staff of nearly 16,000."

As Cunningham introduces Reclaim 7 Mountains of Culture, "It was August, 1975... and the Lord had given me, that day a list of things that I had never thought about before. He said, 'This is the way to reach America, and nations, for God.' "

The video continues with a narrator who declares, "In every city of the world, an unseen battle rages for dominion over God's creation and the souls of people. This battle is fought on seven strategic fronts, looming like mountains over the culture, that shape and influence its destiny. Over the years, the church slowly retreated from its place of influence on these mountains, leaving a void now filled with darkness. When we lose our influence, we lose the culture and when we lose the culture we fail to advance the kingdom of God. And now, a generation stands in desperate need. It's time to fight for them and take back these mountains of influence."

Reclaim 7 Mountains of Culture then outlines seven areas of influence for Christian fundamentalists to reclaim:

  • The Mountain of Government, "where evil is either restrained or endorsed",
  • The Mountain of Education, "where truths, or lies, about God and his creation are taught.",
  • The Mountain of Media, "where information is interpreted through the lens of good or evil",
  • The Mountain of Arts and Entertainment, "where values and virtue are celebrated or distorted",
  • The Mountain of Religion, "where people worship God in spirit and truth, or settle for a religious ritual",
  • The Mountain of Family, "where either a blessing or a curse is passed onto successive generations and,
  • The Mountain of Business, "where people build for the glory of God or the glory of man."

The last is the key mountain, proclaims the video: "those who lead this mountain influences what controls our culture."

The interesting aspect to John Ensign's midlife crisis blowing the doors off the C Street House is the blogosphere has become far more prominent than it was when John Gorenfeld was writing about United States Senators attending the coronation of a Korean cult leader as the Messiah; and we also now have two late-night news/comedy shows and two prime-time cable news hosts who can deliver the information to those who don't read blogs. Rachel Maddow in particular has been all over this, and of course the brilliance of Rachel Maddow is that she explains the meaning of such things to people who think that this is just a nice men's dormitory for good Christian Senators:

I hope that this doesn't go away, because this is just the tip of the political iceberg where the march towards theocracy is concerned. And in case you think that "The Family" is just about Republicans, guess again.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share
Blogger Bob said...
I've been "preaching" for years the importance of "arts & entertainment." The theocratic right has not been able to deeply influence these through free market competition. A "Passion of the Christ" is a rarity. Most of the other successes they claim are harmless mainstream family entertainments. To succeed, they must fix the market through censorship or gaining control of production. Remember, you can't turn on the radio & hear Howard Stern anymore. I have tapes of professionally produced radio plays & literary programs that were aired on college stations 30 years ago but now would draw huge FCC fines.

Blogger jurassicpork said...
Am I reading correctly when I see the paperback version of this book is #3 at Amazon?

That's pretty encouraging. I wish I had the $10 to spare to buy this book. I never knew about either it or this Christofascist organization.