Sometimes I wonder if I’ve been paying attention because as much dirt as I seem to know on Christianity I’m always discovering something new. On Rachel Maddow’s show for 9/22/2010 she did an ominous report on “C Street” to coincide with author Jeff Sharlet’s book of the same name. This is the author’s follow up to The Family, and no it is not about Charles Manson but it may be just as kooky and scary.
At first I thought Maddow and Sharlet were talking about a new political frat club of Christians living together sharing the same ideology–but no, this C Street cult has been going on for quite some time. Per the review by Publisher’s Weekly “…the Family was established in 1935 to oppose FDR’s New Deal and the spread of trade unions; since then, it has organized well-attended weekly prayer meetings for members of Congress and annual National Prayer Breakfasts attended by every president since Eisenhower.”
The apparent goal of C Street is to put God back into democracy so much that it becomes theocracy. Fortunately, as is the case with fundie politicians, some of the key members have recently gotten themselves in trouble with sex scandals such as Sen. John Ensign boinking a staffer, Gov. Mark Sanford boinking an Argentinian woman, and former Rep. Chip Pickering boinking someone his wife publicly called him out on.
The scary part of C Street is not the usual infiltration of Bible Thumpers into our government system of separation of church and state, but the interactions with foreign governments and attempts to instruct oppressive regimes to crack down on sinners. In particular, Maddow reported on the ties between C Street and the “Kill-The-Gays” bill in Uganda. What?! Yes, there is an actual law being proposed in Uganda that would kill people tried and convicted of being gay. Uganda already has outlawed homosexuality with a penalty of 14 years if caught. A member of parliament named David Bahati wants to make this offense punishable by death. He even invited the author Jeff Sharlet to Uganda to explain the bill. Sharlet asked Bahati if the actual intention of the Kill-The-Gays bill was to really “kill all gays?” Bahati responded something to the extent, “Well, in a perfect world, yes, but we live in a democracy so we go step by step.”
If you don’t get chills from that answer, you may not be a humanist.