Monday, November 09, 2009

Bart Stupak, The Family Guy

We know Bart Stupak as the Democrat who offered the infamous Stupak-Pitt amendment, right? But do we know Bart Stupak, the Christian fanatic? A member of the ultra-secret, ultra-powerful, ultra-rightwing Christian "Family"? Who used to live (and may still live, for all I know) in an ex-convent, a house belonging to the "Family", together with lots of other male politicians?

I'm not making this up, honest, though neither have I fact-checked any of it, and that's because Stupak didn't bother to fact-check what it's like to Live While Female. But here's what The Michigan Messenger wrote last summer:

Despite weeks of media attention paid to the now-infamous "C Street" house owned by The Family, a secretive Christian group, U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak — who lives at the house near the U.S. Capitol — denied any knowledge of the nature of the mysterious Washington, D.C., rowhouse and any involvement with the organization that owns it and uses as a seat of influence on Capitol Hill.

During a conference call with reporters Thursday morning, Michigan Messenger asked Stupak, a Menominee Democrat, about the house where he has lived for many years and his connections to the shadowy organization that owns it. The longtime Upper Peninsula legislator claimed to have "no affiliation" with the group, which is known as The Family or The Fellowship.

"I don't belong to any such group," Stupak said. "I rent a room at a house in 'C Street.' I do not belong to any such group. I don't know what you're talking about, [The] Family and all this other stuff."

The C Street house, a former convent, is still listed on official tax documents as a church but it functions largely as a boarding house, with six to eight members of the U.S. House and Senate living there at any given time. Current residents include Stupak, Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), and Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.).


Jeff Sharlet, contributing editor at Harper's magazine and the author of "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power," lived for a time at Ivanwald, another boarding house owned by the group in Arlington, Va., this one for younger men without political power.

Sharlet said that Stupak's denial of any knowledge of The Family or its activities is false. "When I lived with The Family at Ivanwald, a house for younger men being groomed for leadership, I was told that Stupak was a regular visitor to the Cedars," Sharlet said. The Cedars is yet another compound owned by The Family, one that hosts weekly prayer events led by former Reagan-era Attorney General Ed Meese.

Sharlet said that Stupak had much greater involvement with the group than he is admitting, noting that the congressman was "a Family-assigned mentor to one of my brothers at Ivanwald." That Ivanwald resident, Sharlet said, "regularly left for what he and others described as mentoring sessions."

Not sure about you but I find this pretty scary.
Link to the story from Joseph Nobles on Eschaton threads. Picture is of Savonarola, because he got gangs of teenage boys to attack women who were not dressed according to Savonarola's ideas of Christian modesty. Though all that was a long time ago.