Monday, February 06, 2006

Senator Brownback, religious right cell leader

Rolling Stone has an article on Senator Brownback, the man who brought us the Broadcast Decency Enforcement act. It's an interesting article about a big player in DC.

The article has mildly amusing parts
Brownback's wife, Mary, heiress to a Midwest newspaper fortune, married Sam during her final year of law school and boasts that she has never worked outside the home. "Basically," she says, "I live in the kitchen." From her spot by the stove, Mary monitors all media consumed by her kids. The Brownbacks block several channels, but even so, innuendos slip by, she says, and the nightly news is often "too sexual." The children, Mary says, "exude their faith." The oldest kids "opt out" of sex education at school.
And deeply creepy parts:

One of the little-known strengths of the Christian right lies in its adoption of the "cell" -- the building block historically used by small but determined groups to impose their will on the majority. Seventy years ago, an evangelist named Abraham Vereide founded a network of "God-led" cells comprising senators and generals, corporate executives and preachers. Vereide believed that the cells -- God's chosen, appointed to power -- could construct a Kingdom of God on earth with Washington as its capital. They would do so "behind the scenes," lest they be accused of pride or a hunger for power, and "beyond the din of vox populi," which is to say, outside the bounds of democracy. To insiders, the cells were known as the Family, or the Fellowship. To most outsiders, they were not known at all.

"Communists use cells as their basic structure," declares a confidential Fellowship document titled "Thoughts on a Core Group." "The mafia operates like this, and the basic unit of the Marine Corps is the four-man squad. Hitler, Lenin and many others understood the power of a small group of people." Under Reagan, Fellowship cells quietly arranged meetings between administration officials and leaders of Salvadoran death squads, and helped funnel military support to Siad Barre, the brutal dictator of Somalia, who belonged to a prayer cell of American senators and generals.

Brownback got involved in the Fellowship in 1979, ...

Over the years, Brownback became increasingly active in the Fellowship. But he wasn't invited to join a cell until 1994, when he went to Washington. "I had been working with them for a number of years, so when I went into Congress I knew I wanted to get back into that," he says. "Washington -- power -- is very difficult to handle. I knew I needed people to keep me accountable in that system."

Brownback was placed in a weekly prayer cell by "the shadow Billy Graham" -- Doug Coe, Vereide's successor as head of the Fellowship. The group was all male and all Republican. It was a "safe relationship," Brownback says. Conversation tended toward the personal. Brownback and the other men revealed the most intimate details of their desires, failings, ambitions. They talked about lust, anger and infidelities, the more shameful the better -- since the goal was to break one's own will. The abolition of self; to become nothing but a vessel so that one could be used by God.

They were striving, ultimately, for what Coe calls "Jesus plus nothing" -- a government led by Christ's will alone. In the future envisioned by Coe, everything -- sex and taxes, war and the price of oil -- will be decided upon not according to democracy or the church or even Scripture. The Bible itself is for the masses; in the Fellowship, Christ reveals a higher set of commands to the anointed few. It's a good old boy's club blessed by God.

Hey, it's a free country, and there are people who believe wackier things than this. They are not, for the most part, United States Senators.

I have to find out more about this Doug Coe character.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why? Does what he does involve you?I think not. Mind your own business!!

Saturday, 20 October, 2007  

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