July 17, 2009
The House on C Street

You’ve been hearing about the C Street house where Sanford and Ensign and Wamp and many another sinner of the GOP lived and loved and laughed together.

But it’s all a whole lot creepier that you even think, unless you happen to remember Jeff Sharlet’s 2003 piece in Harper’s called “Jesus plus nothing: Undercover among America’s secret theocrats.”

The book which grew out of it, The Family, is just out in trade paperback, and I urge you to buy it. And you will, once you read the 2003 piece. Excerpt:

It is April 2002, and I have lived with these men for weeks now, not as a Christian — a term they deride as too narrow for the world they are building in Christ’s honor — but as a “believer.” I have shared the brothers’ meals and their work and their games. I have been numbered among them and have been given a part in their ministry. I have wrestled with them and showered with them and listened to their stories: I know which man resents his father’s fortune and which man succumbed to the flesh of a woman not once but twice and which man dances so well he is afraid of being taken for a fag. I know what it means to be a “brother,” which is to say that I know what it means to be a soldier in the army of God…

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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at July 17, 2009 03:02 PM
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When does the reality TV show of the place start. The "showered together" part could get mighty interesting. Not that I'm interested in watching of course, but it could make for some great filler for the online porn sites.

Posted by: Buck on July 17, 2009 4:02 PM

The writer of the book, Jeff Sharlet has a blog at this location: http://jeffsharlet.blogspot.com/2008/02/blog-post.html

If you'd like some advance information direct from the author before committing your cash, I'd suggest taking a look. Looks like the book might be really helpful in understanding what these folks are about. The shocking part to me was the fact that one of Roosevelt's VP's, John Nance Garner was the guy who introduced the Norwegian preacher from Seattle who started the whole thing.

I enjoyed reading the 2003 Harper's piece and since I subscribe, also the follow up letters in the archives. The whole story makes me wonder if there is a family connection (indirectly) as my grandfather's second wife was the son of a Norwegian traveling minister from the Seattle area who met my grandfather when he was stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington in the early 1930's. I can't remember the maiden name but it wasn't Veriede but how many traveling Norwegian immigrant preachers in the Seattle area at that time could there have been. Maybe a lot but if not....

My granddad went on to become a higher up in Army and later Air Force intelligence circles and I had some pictures of him with some intelligence groups in the 50's in the Pentagon that I gave to the War College because they were marked restricted and I just didn't want to have them laying around here.

My granddad was Deputy Chief of Communications for the 8th Air Force in WWII and Chief of Communications for the 12th Air Force and I donated a good bit, most all of it actually, of his trunk full of memorabilia from the late 1920's to the late 1950's to the Carlisle Military Museum. He retired as a Colonel in the Air Force and then went on to work for Collins Radio before Arthur Collins lost the company. He sold electronic equipment to foreign governments and to NATO. Included in my grandfathers things was a passport belonging to my grandfather's brother who the family believed all during his lifetime and most of mine that he was a merchant marine and a bum as well. Up until I ran across my Uncle's passport that my grandfather had kept in that trunk for some reason I found out that was a cover story. The War College's history employees suggested "OSS" and CIA when I showed them the passport. But none of those guys were particularly religious but my grandfather had a few drinks and told my dad a story that involved espionage, intrigue and foreign governments and, according to previous family tradition my "worthless bum" great Uncle was quite involved.

But now I'm asking myself how many Norwegian immigrant ministers were there in Seattle in the early 1930's and did my granddad's second wife's father have some connection or did he know Veriede, the guy that started this whole thing.

Not likely but I still can't help speculating. Maybe the second wife's father, my relative in law, was the suspected Communist. If I knew that for sure it'd sure make me feel better knowing that than wondering if these two Norwegian traveling preachers had some connection. I know Seattle had a large immigrant population from Norway and maybe I'm just taking speculation farther than I should which I find myself doing much too often. But all those government connections that my grandfather and his brother had never had until my grandfather abandoned his family and joined the army in the late 20's and met this daughter of a Norwegian immigrant itinerant preacher in the early 30's makes me wonder. Not likely I guess as my grandfather was not a religious man in the least. N But still I wonder even though I know I'm making a mountain out of a molehill and the greatest likelihood is that there's nothing there and no connection whatsoever.

Posted by: Buck on July 17, 2009 7:59 PM

There's nothing sinister about the C Street Fellowship. The group just believes that "love thy neighbor" trumps the Ten Commandments if you're rich, white, male and Republican.

See:

http://notionscapital.wordpress.com/2009/07/18/c-street-sex-scandal

Posted by: Mike Licht on July 18, 2009 9:58 AM

"I have wrestled with them and showered with them..."

Maybe the C Street Boyz are heaving a sigh of relief that the public thinks the schupping was limited to women.

The reporters should do a little more investigating and see what else when on between the family members.

Posted by: susan on July 18, 2009 5:37 PM

Did Rick Santorum live there? Maybe that "man on dog" comment meant something and it was more than just a slip of the tongue. Do they have someone named Rover living over there?

Posted by: Lucky Luciano on July 19, 2009 2:38 PM
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