Monday, February 01, 2010

Church & State

A Washington ethics watchdog [CREW] is asking President Obama and members of Congress not to attend a National Prayer Breakfast this week, saying the event is being organized by a "shadowy" Christian conservative group for the purposes of recruiting new members.

The event, to take place Thursday morning, is being organized by the Fellowship Foundation, also known as "the Family."

  Raw Story

That sounds familiar. Could it be the same group that has been in the news regarding Congress critters and sex scandals? Why yes, I believe it is.

The Fellowship Foundation's image suffered last year when no less than three Republican lawmakers were linked to its C Street House, a boarding house and meeting place for Christian conservative lawmakers that is run by Youth With A Mission, a group affiliated with the Fellowship.

Among the lawmakers with links to the C Street House are Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), who is alleged to have had an affair with an aide of his; South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who last year admitted to absconding from the state to meet his Argentinian mistress; and former House Rep. Chip Pickering (R-MS), whose ex-wife has alleged infidelity on his part.

But perhaps the largest hit to the group's reputation came last fall, when some of its members werelinked to a proposed law in Uganda that would see HIV-positive homosexuals sentenced to death. News reports indicate that the Ugandan authors and principal backers of that law are members of the Fellowship.

I can understand CREW’s concern. And it’s not like these issues with “The Family” were quiet or underreported. There’s no way Obama can be ignorant of them.

"The breakfast, designed to appear as if government-sanctioned, actually serves as a meeting and recruiting event for the shadowy Fellowship Foundation," says a statement from CREW. "The Fellowship ... is run by Doug Coe, a spiritual advisor to past government officials who uses the organization to push his unorthodox brand of Christianity within government circles."

Adele M. Stan at AlterNet reports that President Obama is scheduled to appear at this year's prayer breakfast. The White House has not yet responded to CREW's request.

It will be in the negative, if they do. Obama is not going to risk being castigated over some Jesus issue again.

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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