Friday, January 11, 2008

Frank Wolf and the "Christian Nationalists"

Courtesy of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee, perhaps this explains our previous article about Wolf's support for an abortion ban in Israel (bolding added for emphasis).
The Family Research Council (FRC), a “Christian Nationalist” organization with strong ties to Loudoun has once again awarded Frank Wolf a 100% perfect score for promoting their mission to subvert our democracy and turn America into a “Christian Nation.” Formerly headed by Gary Bauer, the FRC has been one of the worst offenders working to undermine the religious freedom of everyone except themselves.

Then there's this article, which discusses another group Frank Wolf associates with (the "Family" -- "a secretive association of dominionist politicians and others that can be regarded as the first documented dominionist group in the US"):
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. The Family maintains a closely guarded database of its associates, but it issues no cards, collects no official dues. Members are asked not to speak about the group or its activities.

[...]

...During the 1960s the Family forged relationships between the U.S. government and some of the most anti-Communist (and dictatorial) elements within Africa's postcolonial leadership. The Brazilian dictator General Costa e Silva, with Family support, was overseeing regular fellowship groups for Latin American leaders, while, in Indonesia, General Suharto (whose tally of several hundred thousand “Communists” killed marks him as one of the century's most murderous dictators) was presiding over a group of fifty Indonesian legislators. During the Reagan Administration the Family helped build friendships between the U.S. government and men such as Salvadoran general Carlos Eugenios Vides Casanova, convicted by a Florida jury of the torture of thousands, and Honduran general Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, himself an evangelical minister, who was linked to both the CIA and death squads before his own demise. “We work with power where we can,” the Family's leader, Doug Coe, says, “build new power where we can't.”

Yes, this is the group that "moderate" Frank Wolf belongs to. What more do you need to know about this guy? No, he's NOT who you thought he was.

7 comments:

Lowell said...

Here's a synopsis of Dominion Theology, courtesy of Wikipedia:

"Dominion Theology is a grouping of theological systems[4] with the common belief that society should be governed exclusively by the law of God as codified in the Bible, to the exclusion of secular law, a view also known as theonomy. The most prominent modern formulation of Dominion Theology is Christian Reconstructionism, founded by R. J. Rushdoony in the 1970s. Reconstructionists themselves use the word dominionism to refer to their belief that civil government should be controlled by Christians alone and conducted according to Biblical law.[5][6] Social scientists have used the word "dominionism" to refer to adherence to Dominion Theology[4][7][8] as well as to the influence in the broader Christian Right of ideas inspired by Dominion Theology.[4] Although such influence (particularly of Reconstructionism) has been described by many authors,[9][10] full adherents to Reconstructionism are few and marginalized among conservative Christians."

Lowell said...

There's more at reglioustolerance.org.

Lowell said...

Also, see Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism.

hoobie said...

Kingdom Coming is a great book which I recommend to anyone who values the Constitution and our American way of life.

Christian nationalists are an internal religious threat to America.

Jeff Sharlet said...

I'm Jeff Sharlet, the author of the 2003 Harper's article that identified Frank Wolf as connected to the Family, a secretive network of elite fundamentalists in government, the military and business. Harper's, as many readers know, is an old and august magazine, hardly prone to conspiracy theory; that article went through fact checking and legal review. Nothing was disputed.

Late April, I'll be coming out with the result of four years of research related to the group Wolf is associated with: "THE FAMILY: THE SECRET FUNDAMENTALISM AT THE HEART OF AMERICAN POWER," to be published by HarperCollins on May 20. (In stores late April).

Here's a sample of the rhetoric of Doug Coe, the leader of the Family. In this sermon, he's discussing his method for winning a congressmen to his peculiar concept of Christ: "You say, hey, you know Jesus said you got to put Him before
mother-father-brother-sister? HITLER, LENIN, MAO, THAT'S WHAT THEY TAUGHT THE KIDS... Mao even had the kids killing their own mother and father. But it wasn't murder. It was for building the new nation. The new state. The new kingdom."

Here's Coe on the secrecy of the organization he built: "The more you can make your organization invisible the more influence it will have. Jesus Christ, when he organizes, the way he puts the organization together he makes it invisible."

In THE FAMILY, I tell the 70-year-history of the group (as well as write about several different fronts of contemporary fundamentalism). The group has long been involved with some very nasty stuff -- genocide in Indonesia, support for military dictators in Central America, etc. Wolf's specialty is Eastern Europe.

In 2004, Wolf's Democratic opponent tried to put this issue into the public. The Washington Post broke several rules of journalistic ethics to defend Wolf. (I taught journalism for 2 1/2 years in New York University's graduate journalism program, I'm a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and Harper's, I've been a senior writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education; which is to say, I'm for better and worse a media insider). The paper had to issue two corrections, as I recall, though they never apologized for writing an editorial defending Wolf BEFORE they sent out a reporter to investigate the allegations.

I can't speak to Wolf's qualities as a congressman, but I'm quite certain that a close association with a group as contemptuous of democracy as the Family is not good for the citizens of northern Virginia or the rest of us. I hope you'll all take Representative Wolf to task for refusal to come clean on his associations.

And, I admit, I hope you'll buy the book. THE FAMILY. It's an uphill fight to get this issue into the public. Both Harper's and the LA Times have examined the Family and found some frightening things (please -- ignore the conspiratorial stuff online), and yet the rest of the press takes a pass. That's not the way it is everywhere -- in 2004 and 5, Norwegian reporters, concerned about their own conservative government's ties with this group, put it on the front page for weeks. That government was voted out. That's how democracy works, right?

Lowell said...

Jeff -- I strongly encourage you to post this comment as a diary at Raising Kaine and elsewhere. Thanks! - Lowell

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