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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

February 1, 2010

GROUP URGES PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS NOT TO ATTEND PHONY NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has urged President Obama and all members of Congress not to attend this year's National Prayer Breakfast, scheduled for February 4. The breakfast, designed to appear as if government-sanctioned, actually serves as a meeting and recruiting event for the shadowy Fellowship Foundation.

The Fellowship, also known as "The Foundation" and "The Family," 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. The Fellowship operates the infamous C Street House, a congressional residence and meeting place on Capitol Hill that has been a frequent haunt of some ethically challenged elected officials, including Sens. John Ensign (R-NV) and Tom Coburn (R-OK), Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) and former-Rep. and now-Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC).

The organization operates under an intense veil of secrecy, staying largely out of the public eye and hiding its donors' identities. The Fellowship has used its government clout to facilitate backdoor meetings between U.S. and foreign officials, improperly claimed tax exempt status for the C Street House, and has persuaded members of Congress, including Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) to conduct Fellowship-sanctioned evangelizing while traveling at taxpayer expense. Members of the Fellowship also have been involved with legislation in Uganda calling for the death penalty for gays.

Kathryn Joyce And Jeff Sharlet, Mother Jones - Through all of her years in Washington, [Hillary] Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the Fellowship. Her collaborations with right-wingers such as Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) grow in part from that connection. . .

When Clinton first came to Washington in 1993, one of her first steps was to join a Bible study group. For the next eight years, she regularly met with a Christian "cell" . . . Clinton's prayer group was part of the Fellowship (or "the Family"), a network of sex-segregated cells of political, business, and military leaders dedicated to "spiritual war" on behalf of Christ, many of them recruited at the Fellowship's only public event, the annual National Prayer Breakfast. . . The Fellowship believes that the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes. Its mission is to help the powerful understand their role in God's plan. . .

The Fellowship's ideas are essentially a blend of Calvinism and Norman Vincent Peale, the 1960s preacher of positive thinking. It's a cheery faith in the "elect" chosen by a single voter - God . . .

The Fellowship's God-led men have also included General Suharto of Indonesia; Honduran general and death squad organizer Gustavo Alvarez Martinez; a Deutsche Bank official disgraced by financial ties to Hitler; and dictator Siad Barre of Somalia, plus a list of other generals and dictators. Clinton, says Schenck, has become a regular visitor to [the group's] Arlington, Virginia, headquarters. . .


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