|Kansas Senator and GOP Candidate for Governor|
Member of the Family
Jeff Sharlet, in his book, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (New York: HarperCollins, 2008) argues that there two major strands of American fundamentalism - elite and populist. Obvioiusly, the Family, is his idea of a good example of the elite. Unlike the populist branch of Christian fundamentalism that focuses on building a mass base, the Family is foicsed on powerful political figures. In a review of the book, posted on the blog threewayfight taken from New Politics, it is argued that the Family is, "less focused on enforcing so-called traditional values and much more concerned with bolstering capitalist rule and U.S. global power." The review also contends that the group has been amazingly successful over the course of the last seven or so decades at wedging itself into the US power structure.
Yes, this is the group we've all heard about after news of various GOP sex scandals brought it into the light of day.
The sex, I could care less about, the power and the politics are a concern.
- regard Jesus's divinity as absolute truth and all other belief systems as evil;
- advocate expanded Christian influence on or control over public policy;
- promote a hierarchical social order, including patriarchal gender roles, heterosexism, European ethnocentrism, and "free market" capitalism; and
- regard the United States as the greatest country in the world and promote U.S. global dominance.
His religion was radical, available to all classes and even to slaves, an inspiration to the nascent sense of individual liberty that would become the American Revolution, but his politics were warlike and controlling. Empire struck him as an ideal vessel for the Gospel. He preached often against envy, but named as envy only that feeling which filled those of lesser wealth, or lesser land, or lesser status, who determined to band together to wrest power from above (69).