Jeff Sharlet presents an excerpt from his 2008 book, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, to explain what Stonewall Jackson monuments look like to fundamentalists who tell themselves “it’s not about race.” Continue Reading →
In a statement on their website and a follow-up video released on April 5th, IC elaborates on the background behind the Kony story and encourages everyone to explore inhumane conditions throughout the world. To this end, they devised a worldwide day of action titled “Cover the Night (Make Kony Famous 2012). Continue Reading →
An interview with Jeff Sharlet about his new book of essays, Sweet Heaven When I Die: Faith, Faithless, and the Country In Between. Sharlet is the bestselling author of The Family and C Street and a contributing editor to Harper’s and Rolling Stone. Mellon Assistant Professor of English at Dartmouth College, he taught literary nonfiction through New York University’s Center for Religion and Media from 2006-8 and created The Revealer for the Center in 2003.
by Ashley Baxstrom
The only reason I write this stuff is because I’m a nerd whose heart was broken when he discovered there are no hobbits. ~ Jeff Sharlet, author of Sweet Heaven When I Die
Jeff Sharlet is best known for The Family and C Street, a pair of books about what he calls “the avant-garde of American fundamentalism,” a religious and political movement that fuses conservative evangelicalism with a laissez-faire, expansionist vision of American power. But really, Sharlet he has been writing about the people in whom belief lives, and the meaning that comes during – and out of – their experience of faith. Over several years, while writing those two books, Sharlet wrote the stories of those he met and their experiences with belief, with causes, with struggle and survival. In his latest book, Sweet Heaven When I Die, Sharlet gathers these stories together to explore an American landscape that is at once a whole country and yet a world apart. He writes about friends and about strangers who become less strange. Continue Reading →
At the last minute Friday night, Brenda Namigadde, an activist from Uganda, was granted a reprieve by the UK from deportation. She had already boarded a plane bound for Uganda.
Targeted by the Ugandan paper Rolling Stone as a lesbian, along with one hundred other gay and lesbian activists — one of which, David Kato, was brutally killed last week — Namigadde is in danger should she return to her home country.
For more on Namigadde and the Rolling Stone (not affiliated with the U.S. magazine) article and on Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill and the influence American religious organizations have had on anti-homosexual violence there read here, here, here and here. Continue Reading →
Truth Wins Out takes the time to note contact information for senators and representatives as well as Ugandan officials affiliated with The Family and the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda. A vote, according to TWO’s Wayne Bresen is slated for some time after January 18th.
The Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, also known as the “kill the gays” bill, never went away. We were just supposed to think it did. A debate of the bill is set to begin before Uganda’s parliament in the next few months, writes Warren Throckmorton, who last week interviewed the author of the bill, David Bahati. Continue Reading →
From “Is the Tea Party becoming a religious movement?” by Jeff Sharlet at CNN.
Liberals and centrists wring their hands over Miller and giggle about O’Donnell, hoping that her political hopelessness somehow proves that the movement isn’t going. They compile lists of what they take to be her craziest statements, such as her confession that as a young woman she dabbled in witchcraft.
That’s a strategic mistake, because they’re mocking what is, in fact, a mainstream evangelical view — that witchcraft and “spiritual war” are real — and a narrative with powerful resonance in American life. Consider not O’Donnell’s words, but her theme: Once I was lost (making bad choices), but now I’m found. Who didn’t do something stupid in their youth?
But it’s the “found” part that reveals the religiosity of the Tea Party movement, spirituality not at odds with the Tea Party’s economics but intertwined with it.
By Jeff Sharlet
This article is cross-posted from Mother Jones and is adapted from C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy.
THE OLDEST AND MOST politically influential Christian conservative organization in Washington is known to the public, if at all, for one thing: adultery. In particular, that of three Republican politicians, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), and ex-Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.)—all caught last year in various states of moral undress, all linked to a Capitol Hill townhouse at 133 C Street SE, which the blogosphere promptly tagged “the Prayboy Mansion.” The organization behind the townhouse, which is used to provide subsidized housing for “brothers” in Congress, is known to outsiders as the Fellowship. But its leader, a quietly charismatic octogenarian named Doug Coe, calls it the Family.
Coe is only the second leader of the movement, which began as a fundamentalist anti-labor coalition of political and business elites in 1935. Coe’s mentor, Abraham Vereide, shared with him a revelation from God: For nearly 2,000 years, Christianity, with its emphasis on the down and out, had been getting it all wrong. Their focus would instead be on the “up and out,” the “key men” in positions of power who would be able to usher in the kingdom of God—which, to the Family, has always looked a lot like the country clubs where it conducts much of its soft-sell evangelism. The best way to help the weak, it teaches, is to help the strong. Continue Reading →
“Jeff Sharlet has an incredibly rare double talent: the instincts of an investigative reporter coupled with the soul of a historian.” —Hanna Rosin