Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Monday, April 21, 2003  

Via Thousand Yard Glare, a story on the Family. (See NotA: 2/28/03, 3/3/03, and 3/4/03.)

"WASHINGTON - Six members of Congress live in a $1.1 million Capitol Hill town house that is subsidized by a secretive religious organization, tax records show.

"The lawmakers, all Christians, pay low rent to live in the stately red brick, three-story house on C Street, two blocks from the Capitol. It is maintained by a group alternately known as the "Fellowship" and the "Foundation" and brings together world leaders and elected officials through religion....

"The six lawmakers — Reps. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn.; Bart Stupak, D-Mich.; Jim DeMint, R-S.C.; Mike Doyle, D-Pa.; and Sens. John Ensign, R-Nev. and Sam Brownback, R-Kan. — live in private rooms upstairs."

Interestingly, the article is fairly critical of the group (undermining my post of an hour ago).

"Few in the Fellowship are willing to talk about its mission.

"It organizes the annual National Prayer Breakfast attended by the president, members of Congress and dignitaries from around the world. The group leaves its name off the program, even though it spent $924,373 to host the event in 2001, bringing in $606,292 in proceeds, according to the most recent available IRS records, and pays travel expenses for foreign officials to attend....

"'My living arrangements are totally appropriate and within the House rules,' said Doyle. 'There's no direct correlation between the tenants and the Foundation — there are tenants who have absolutely zero involvement, and some do. And there's no benefit to live there, other than the fact that it's convenient....'

That secrecy is unsettling to the Rev. Barry Lynn, a United Church of Christ minister who heads watchdog group Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

'"What concerns people is when you mix religion, political power, and secrecy,' Lynn said. 'Members of official Washington should always be open and direct about the groups they choose to join, just to dispel any concerns that there's an inappropriate or unconscious agenda in these groups.'"

posted by Jeff | 6:14 PM |
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