The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, by Jeff Sharlet [Kindle Edition]
Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade, Rousas John Rushdoony, J. Edgar Hoover, Rev. Billy Graham, Prayer Breakfast, John C. Broger, Papa Doc., Chuck Colson – Prison Crusade, Promise Keepers.
Dictators for God: Papa Doc, Emperor Selassie (Ethiopia), General Park – Korea, General Suharto – Indonesia, General Medici in Brazil. It almost seems that the bloodier the dictator the more the Family adores the guy.
All of these organizations and individuals are closely associated with the Family (or the Fellowship). Sharlet builds the list of players slowly, showing how each individual and organization is directly linked to the family.
This is not an easy book to read and for that reason many people will not bother. Also, anyone who reads the book and realizes the implication of what these New Christians have done and are doing to America could be at some point considered a raving lunatic.
There is an individual on a popular liberal blog who has appointed himself as gate keeper — that poor sucker is in deep denial about the existence of a virulent form of fundamentalism. But in a way this is exactly what the Family planned when it went underground. The plan was to fly under the radar of the media and thus the majority of Americans. Little groups of believers took on the role of front men with different projects. Although the Family’s main constituency is the very top of the food chain, the Family still needs soldiers and workers to carry out the goals of the leadership. So where is the proof that this powerful American Fundamentalist group exists? This group is hiding in plain sight.
“Elite fundamentalism, unlike the moralistic masses of popular crusades, did not care much about sin; they cared about salvation, a concept they understood in terms of nations, not souls, embodied by the rulers to whom God had given power, whether through ballots or bullets.”
America has perhaps the most complicated religious history of any country in the world. Sharlet reviewed the early history of American Fundamentalism in the first third of The Family. Sharlet’s review of the early history of religion in America followed the direct religious ancestors of the current leadership of The Family. Anyone who has studied Genealogy knows that some churches kept detailed records of church members. Sometimes the church records are the only records still in existence to trace family lines. I’ve traced my family’s roots back to the early days of the English colony in the new world, in the process of my research I’ve discovered religious sects rarely mentioned in history books. Along with the small extinct religious sects, there were also the large denominations like the Church of England, Catholic, Jews, and assorted major Protestant sects. Two hundred years ago there were many, what we might today call, New Age religions, Shakers and Quakers and commune living sects and cults.
The American fundamentalists evolved from the Baptists and Puritans and earlier sects. However, what is different with The Family is that the founding religious personality realized that a very special segment of the population has been ignored. The very rich and very powerful also needed a “personal relationship” with the American Jesus. Some churches like the Methodists have humanitarian goals and beliefs. Methodists is the second largest organized religion and Southern Baptists is the largest. The Family is no such lofty creed compatible to the Methodists.
The goal of the leadership of the Family is to collect small Nations with leaders who are God friendly. The founder of the Family or the Fellowship very much admired the fascist dictators of the 20th century — their dictators where some of the most blood thirsty monsters the world has ever seen. Indonesia’s General Suharto was responsible for well over one million deaths, both before and after he started his “personal” relationship with God.
The Family and their close allies — the New Life church in Colorado Springs brand of Evangelical Fundamentalism is totally alien to the Evangelical sect that I grew up in. The members of these new style of fundamentalism use all the familiar code words, but these words and phrases have a completely different meaning. Sharlet spends a lot of time decoding the Secret Fundamentalism. So while those of us who have been raised in one of the many Fundamentalists sects may understand the words — we still need a score card and a decoder to understand the world view or glasses these people are using.
“Which came first, American fundamentalism or the Cold War? Is American fundamentalism the essence of the economic policies by which we unraveled the New Deal, or is it simply a coincidental phenomenon of the Reagan Revolution and the “globalization”?
The New Christians ; “His followers are not anxiously awaiting his return at the rapture; he’s here right now. They’re not envious of the middle class, they are the middle class. They’re not looking for a hero to lead them; they’re building biblical households, every man endowed with “headship” over his own family.
Part III of the book review of The Family— coming soon. 0bama probably made some sort of deal with the elite Fundamentalists. The proof is his close association with known members of The Family. The proof is the fact that the continued support of the religious right just like GW Bush’s support of the religious right — Faith Based social services. The key words to Google are — Faith based — which will lead you directly to the White House website. On the first page of the google search using “Faith Based” as the key search phrase, the White House’s website turned up as the third listing.