It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
In the heat of summer, a din of voices arose from the U.S. Senate in opposition to the health care reform legislation that was taking shape in both houses of Congress. Overlooked in media coverage of the health care brouhaha is the membership of many of the senators who most vociferously oppose the legislation in the right-wing religious cult known as The Family.
With the Senate Finance Committee's passage last Tuesday of its version of health care legislation, expect the debate to flare again as the bill moves to the Senate floor. The Family's point men -- "key men" in the cult's theological lexicon -- will likely try once again to defeat reform in the service of their Supply-Side Jesus.
Author Jeff Sharlet did intensive research in the Family's archives, before the Family archives were closed to the public. He also spent a month in 2003 living at a Fellowship house near Washington, and wrote a magazine article describing his experiences. In his 2008 book about the Family, he criticizes their theology as elitist, an "elite fundamentalism" that fetishizes political power and wealth, consistently opposes labor movements in the US and abroad, and teaches that laissez-faire economic policy is "God's will." He criticizes their theology of instant forgiveness for powerful men as providing a convenient excuse so that elites who commit misdeeds or crimes can avoid accepting responsibility or accountability for their actions.
...Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Family members who did their bit to slow down reform in their roles on the negotiating team for the Senate Finance Committee health care reform bill, remain unmoved by the 865 preventable deaths suffered each week by people without access to proper health care.
The God of The Family's teaching would never hold Grassley or Enzi -- or any other official -- to account for those deaths, because Grassley and Enzi are key men in God's plan...
...It's that theology that led The Family, over the years, to aid and abet such dictators as Haiti's Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, Indonesia's Haji Muhammad Suharto, Chile's Augusto Pinochet, and the brutal Angolan rebel Jonas Savimbi, who among them killed more than a million people.
The Family is not the religious right as we know it -- that noisy, moralizing fracas of a movement, rooted in the most conservative forms of the Baptist and Methodist denominations (and more recently expanded to include Pentacostals). In the 1990s, "family values" became the credo of the religious right's populist front, as its leaders set about convincing the nation's most socially conservative Protestants that the values of the left were inherently anti-family.
Sharlet refers to The Family's theology as one of "elite fundamentalism," but that's not quite right. Fundamentalism refers to a literal reading of the Bible. Little in The Family's ideology seems rooted, either literally or figuratively, in the Gospels, or much in the Bible at all.
The Jesus of The Family is a Jesus unmoored from his own teachings; a blank slate of a Jesus who demands nothing but acceptance of the power structure of the world as it currently exists in exchange for his blessing. And since this Jesus is offered mostly to men of high rank, that's not so hard a bargain.
It's an idea that Coe, as Sharlet reports, calls "Jesus plus nothing." As the man who invited Sharlet into The Family explained, "We're not even Christian. We just follow Jesus."
Originally posted by Libertygal
Originally posted by endisnighe
All I have to say about health care reform is-
Show me the bill. Let me say it again. SHOW ME THE BILL.
There is 1,502 pages to keep you busy for a while.