For most of the decade Bart Stupak has enjoyed subsidized rent living at the swank Washington DC "C Street House," registered as a church, that became notorious over the last summer because of a trio of sex scandals and which is run by a theocratic fundamentalist group, The Family, headed by a man who celebrates the leadership lessons of Hitler, Lenin, and Mao.
Now, Stupak may be perfectly situated to sabotage health care reform.
In a July 17th conference call, Stupak's C Street housemate Jim DeMint told conservative activists that "...if we're able to stop Obama on this [health care] it will be his Waterloo. It will break him." Congressman Stupak has lied about his extensive association with The Family, whose members have been reported as calling the group a "Christian mafia."
News broke late Friday that Michigan Representative Bart Stupak (D-Mich) has used his leverage as Co-Chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus to win from Democratic Party House leadership the opportunity for a vote on attaching an anti-abortion amendment to H.R. 3200. Reproductive rights groups warn Stupak's amendment could further restrict the already limited access Americans have to a currently legal medical procedure, abortion.
As I've recently covered, Republicans have openly discussed Bart Stupak and his Pro-Life Democrats as being the GOP's best hope for sinking health care reform. Although Rep. Stupak (D-Mich) has said he will vote for the H.R. 3200 health care bill if it comes to the House floor, he may well succeed in sinking the current health care reform effort by weakening the support of reproductive rights advocates for the bill.
For several months, Representative Stupak has been appearing on hard right and Christian conservative media venues and declaring his intent to either force a "clean up or down vote" on his proposed Stupak-Pitts amendment or else lead a block of Democrats to join with House Republicans in blocking the H.R. 3200 health care reform bill from coming to the House floor.
But there's reason to question Stupak's role; for the better part of the decade Bart Stupak has enjoyed subsidized, below-market rent living in the now-notorious "C Street House" that is legally registered as a church and is run by "The Family", an anti-democratic fundamentalist Washington influence peddling group covered in journalist Jeff Sharlet's New York Times bestselling book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart Of American Power. Sharlet accuses The Family, also known as The Fellowship, of being an unregistered lobby.
Bart Stupak has openly lied about his association with The Family.
Although Stupak in 2002 told LA Times reporter Lisa Getter, concerning the C Street House, "We sort of don't talk to the press about the house." But more recently, in a July conference call with journalists, Representative Stupak declared to Michigan Messenger reporter Ed Brayton, "I don't belong to any such group. 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."
On April 9, 2008, at the 56th National Prayer Breakfast, Stupak told attendees, "I am Bart Stupak, co-chair of the House Prayer Breakfast. In my sixteen years in the house this is the second time that I have had the honor to address you from the dais." Both the National Prayer Breakfast and the House Prayer Breakfast are institutions established over half a century ago by The Family, and speaking spots at the National Prayer Breakfast are reported to be tightly controlled by Family head Doug Coe.
In an April 2008 NBC exclusive story, Andrea Mitchell and Jim Popkin covered the astounding influence The Family has developed in Washington, DC over the last half-century. Footage obtained obtained by NBC revealed Coe's distinctly unorthodox views:
In one videotaped sermon from 1989, Coe provides this account of the atrocities committed under Chairman Mao in Communist China: "I've seen pictures of the young men in the Red Guard...they would bring in this young man’s mother...he would take an axe and cut her head off. They have to put the purposes of the Red Guard ahead of father, mother, brother sister and their own life. That was a covenant, a pledge. That's what Jesus said."
In his preaching, Coe repeatedly urges a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. It’s a commitment Coe compares to the blind devotion that Adolph Hitler demanded from his followers -- a rhetorical technique that now is drawing sharp criticism.
"Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler were three men. Think of the immense power these three men had, these nobodies from nowhere," Coe said.
Later in the sermon, Coe said: "Jesus said, ‘You have to put me before other people. And you have to put me before yourself.' Hitler, that was the demand to be in the Nazi party. You have to put the Nazi party and its objectives ahead of your own life and ahead of other people."
The C Street House, where Bart Stupak has lived since 2002, is owned by Youth With a Mission, an international Christian evangelizing organization whose founder is on record encouraging Christians to infiltrate key sectors of society such as government, business, education, and media. As I described in a Friday, November 6th post, Family members were responsible for inserting language, into the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, that enabled George W. Bush's Faith Based Initiative. Representative Stupak has recently been accused of crafting legislation that would be unconstitutional and violate separation of church and state.