This site has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
http://endpoliticsasusual.com
and update your bookmarks.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hillary's Strange Minister

It sounds like a cult or something out of the Da Vinci code. Here's Ben Smith:

"The Atlantic's Josh Green rounds up a lot of recent reporting on what he calls a 'deeply strange' Christian organization that Hillary is associated with:

Since Hillary Clinton has launched a frontal attack on her opponent's church and pastor, it's worth noting that she has some odd religious ties of her own. When I was profiling her two years ago, I learned about her involvement with a secretive Christian organization called The Fellowship that has operated in the Washington shadows since the 1930s. I found the story of Clinton and The Fellowship so bizarre that I made it the lede to my piece. In light of recent events, it's worth revisiting.

If you've never heard of The Fellowship (also known as The Family), it will sound like some shadowy organization in a John Grisham novel. (Indeed, as a Google search will demonstrate, critics consider it a cult.) The group was formed in the 1930s to minister to political and business leaders throughout the world, modeling itself as a kind of Christian Trilateral Commission. Several members of Congress are affiliated with the group, mostly Republicans, but some Democrats, too. To the extent The Fellowship is known beyond its members it is probably for founding the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

Like Jeremiah Wright's Trinity Baptist Church, The Fellowship is run by its own mysterious and controversial figure, Douglas Coe, although temperamentally Coe is Wright's opposite. He eschews the spotlight and has never made a controversial public utterance that I'm aware of — mainly because he rarely speaks publicly at all. (You won't find him on YouTube.) But like Wright, Coe has ministered to a Democratic front-runner. He personally leads a private Senate prayer group that Clinton has been a part of.

In my piece, I chose to focus on the Senate prayer group, but others have written extensively about the strangeness and secrecy of The Fellowship. As this Los Angeles Times story and this exquisitely reported Harper's piece make clear, there is something deeply strange about the group. They certainly do not like press coverage, so in that regard Clinton's attraction might make sense. Reporters hoping to look into the group might want to think again. A few years ago, The Fellowship’s archives, which are held at Wheaton College, the evangelical school in Illinos, were reclassified as “restricted” and placed under lock and key."

Sphere: Related Content

0 comments: