Hillary and the God Botherers

By Michael J. Smith on Saturday October 7, 2006 05:05 AM

J Alva Scruggs passed along this gem from the Atlantic Monthly :
Of the many realms of power on Capitol Hill, the least understood may be the lawmakers’ prayer group....

Most of the prayer groups are informally affiliated with a secretive Christian organization called the Fellowship, established in the 1930s by a Methodist evangelist named Abraham Vereide....

Though it still sponsors what is now called the National Prayer Breakfast, the Fellowship scrupulously avoids publicity, as Vereide insisted it must.... Speaking about a group is strongly discouraged, and what transpires at meetings is strictly off the record....[A]mong the prayer groups, one holds special status: a tight-knit gathering of about a dozen senators which still meets every Wednesday morning for prayer and discussion, led by Douglas Coe himself.... The roster of regular participants has included such notable conservative names as Brownback, Santorum, Nickles, Enzi, and Inhofe. Then, in 2001, just after the new class of senators was sworn in, another name was added to the list: Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I hadn't known about this outfit The Fellowship. Appears to be a sort of Methodist version of Opus Dei. Vereide, the founder, according to an LA Times piece from 2002, was
a Methodist evangelist who feared that Socialists were corrupting municipal government in Seattle in the mid-1930s. He thought he could bring about change by organizing regular prayer groups with local business and government leaders.

He took his idea to Washington, D.C., in 1942.... Pentagon officials secretly met at the group's Washington Fellowship House in 1955 to plan a worldwide anti-communism propaganda campaign endorsed by the CIA.... [T]he group financed a film called "Militant Liberty" that was used by the Pentagon abroad.

Wikipedia adds that "The organization has been active in anti-Communist activities globally, and has had ties to Brazilian dictator Marshal Artur da Costa e Silva, General Suharto of Indonesia, Salvadoran general Carlos Eugenios Vides Casanova, as well as Honduran general Gustavo Alvarez Martinez. "

A 2003 piece in Harper's is quite an eye-opener:

The Family is, in its own words, an “invisible” association, though its membership has always consisted mostly of public men. Senators Don Nickles (R., Okla.), Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), Pete Domenici (R., N.Mex.), John Ensign (R., Nev.), James Inhofe (R., Okla.), Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), and Conrad Burns (R., Mont.) are referred to as “members,” as are Representatives Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), Frank Wolf (R., Va.), Joseph Pitts (R., Pa.), Zach Wamp (R., Tenn.), and Bart Stupak (D., Mich.). Regular prayer groups have met in the Pentagon and at the Department of Defense, and the Family has traditionally fostered strong ties with businessmen in the oil and aerospace industries.

... [T]he Family's unofficial headquarters [is] a mansion ["the Cedars"] that the Family bought in 1978 with $1.5 million donated by, among others, Tom Phillips, then the C.E.O. of arms manufacturer Raytheon, and Ken Olsen, the founder and president of Digital Equipment Corporation....

The LA Times piece adds that
A four-story townhouse on C Street, two blocks from the Capitol, is owned by a sister organization of the Fellowship, and is registered with the IRS and the District of Columbia as a church. It pays no taxes. Yet eight members of Congress live there. "We sort of don't talk to the press about the house," said Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who lives there.... But at least one member of Congress who lives there, Rep. Michael F. Doyle (D-Pa.), said he didn't know the property was registered as a church.... Besides Stupak, Wamp and Doyle, residents include Nevada's Ensign and Reps. Ed Bryant (R-Tenn.), John Elias Baldacci (D-Maine) and James DeMint (R-S.C.). Former Rep. Steve Largent (R-Okla.) lived there until he left Congress to run for governor.
I don't imagine for one second that Hillary believes in anything but success, and indeed the same is surely true for many, though probably not all, of the Fellowship/Family's professed and oblates. It's interesting to see how these initiate groups form spontaneously in society, sometimes with an original purpose like Vereide's, and sometimes not, like street gangs. Once established, though, they become their own raison d'etre and continue to thrive on the adherence of those who simply want to get close to others who have formerly adhered. (That would be Hillary.)

In a pleasing coincidence, it seems that one of the Senatorial front men for the Fellowship's national prayer breakfast this year was corn-fed Arkansas donk Senator Mark Pryor, abused here only yesterday.

Comments (12)

js paine:

i will reveal a personal prejudice...
methodism is to me
the lowest form of non papist christian existence
through its episodic morphs
it seeems faultlessly
to be the soul
of artful bathos
and heepish sanctimony

js paine:

now i digest it

i'll take 100 hundred zionistical neocons
all raging for the blood of the turbin types
over a single methodist in the senate

yes even one hundred micro devils
joe lieberman

at least
we could fight em
like an alien

methodists on the other hand
are as amerikan
as coyotes
and pole cats

J. Alva Scruggs:

JSP has disliked Methodists ever since the Scopes Monkey Trail, in which William Jennings Bryan's loathing for social darwinism was used to further a publicity stunt organized by the Chamber of Commerce.


Huh. The Fellowship? So we should keep our eyes out for triangle pendants, fat druids, and big red megalomaniacs.

Perhaps the flag lapel pins serve as a substitute for the necklaces.

(all will be clear)

js paine:

once again j alva makes a living mockery out of my free spirited open book mind

for the record:

my hero bryan
if memory serves
was a soft shell presby
at least
till his arteries hardened
and the coral gables sunshine
got to his faculties

such are the wages
of a life time
lack of strong drink

as my grandfather used to say
gene debs was
ole bill bryan plus a fifth of scotch

yes the great commoner was a dupe

yes he fell
for the blandishments
his bumkin fame awarded him

and as to that chamber of commerce
on the other hand
a bunch of high dixie methodists
no doubt
nothin but big hat
ugly from from jump street ...

much like mr scruggs hizzseff

that type despite all the amens
and bible citations
you can pile up over a century of sundays
never strays
far from the likes
of alva's own spiritual
first cousin
col. tom parker

their motto

be one time two timer
just be one
two times less
then one time too often

J. Alva Scruggs:

The calumnies I'm forced to endure. I've been driven to buy an SUV, Mr. Paine. I plan to have large gold crosses painted all over the body. Mankind itself will be hood ornament. The license plate will read "GR8T C0MN3R".


Now, I don't like to believe in the Illuminati, but, oddly, this doesn't surprise me one bit.

Djur, at least they have a good theme song.

I think that Christopher Cross should come out of retirement and write Hillary's club's theme song. Name and all, it's a match made in-- ah, you know.

Actually, having read some of the articles, I did know about The Fellowship. I also think I read that Rove is/was a member. The Jesus Camps are an offshoot.

The Brownshirts are coming! The Brownshirts are coming! Oooooops . . . the Brownshirts are here!!

js paine:

"GR8T C0MN3R".
never never never trust a mind that can slap something like that together

my fantasy plate for my dualee

exo 9066

that was fdr's executive order
that put
our citizenry of japanese ancestry
in concentration kamps

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Why people still make use of to read news papers when in
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