C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat To American Democracy
Investigative journalist Jeff Sharlet follows up his mammoth best-seller The Family with this expose of a mansion on the District of Columbia’s C Street. Therein dwell a cabal of military officers; once, future and present office holders; politicians; lobbyists; and various hangers-on.
Aided by a tiny army of Christian activists who live in a smaller house nearby that caters to their every whim, these men (they’re all men) plot the Christian hegemony, not only of the United States, but of the entire world.
This would be laughable in the 21st century if it weren’t for the tens of thousands -- hundreds of thousands -- who have perished in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Haiti ... the list goes on.
As Sharlet points out, none of those names means much to the average American, and thousands dying at the hands of a brutal dictator far afield of Las Vegas or Charleston, S.C., remain too abstract to cry over. But when Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) and Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) were discovered to have been cheating on their spouses -- now that’s something Americans can relate to. A jilted spouse: the horror!
Sharlet places these sordid picadillos, as well as one or two others, right at the doorstep of C Street. The "ministers" and preachers therein facilitated the men’s adultery, juicing it up with all of that pseudo-King James blabber that drives any sane person crazy (plenty of "thees" and "thous" in there).
When you read about the way in which the United States’ military has been so thoroughly polluted with these rabidly Christian crazies, however, it’s no joking matter. Sharlet details the way in which high-up officers -- up to and most definitely including Gen. David Petraeus, the leader of the allied forces in Afghanistan -- have inculcated the Armed Forces with proto-Evangelical fervor.
At the receiving end are atheist soldiers, those who don’t practice their brand of Christianity (Mormons and Catholics in particular), and especially Jews and Muslims. One Jewish Marine recruit was driven so crazy by the constant anti-Semitism of his superiors that he stabbed his own father 60-something times.
The soldiers also broadcast at full volume pro-Jesus, anti-Mohammed messages at the inhabitants of the cities of Afghanistan and Iraq. And then we at home wonder why the wars are going badly.
Of particular interest to this audience is Sharlet’s takedown of C Street’s very active involvement in what is shaping up as an anti-gay holocaust in Uganda. This impoverished North African nation, once the breadbasket of the British Empire, has been reduced to poverty and subsistence on Western aid.
Like much of Africa, the blame lies squarely on the overweight, well-suited shoulders of the ruling elite. But in the case of Uganda (as well as Nigeria, Kenya and other nations where primitive Christianity has taken root), U.S. evangelical preachers have stoked the fires of anti-gay prejudice.
Sharlet spent some time in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and had several meetings with the legislators and presidential staff responsible for the horrific law being promulgated against all gay men and lesbians. If this were Jews instead of gays, the international outcry would be much louder.
As it is, Sharlet shows by detailing the life of a local gay man he meets, how much like Ann Frank this man’s life has become. It is sad but also inspiring. After reading this book, I have renewed respect for people like Sharlet who are unafraid to reveal the truth.
I can’t recommend C Street highly enough to the readers of this site. Sharlet has done an exemplary job of detailing the shenanigans of this elitist (they believe that are a Calvinist chosen "select") bunch of fools. If they kept their idiocy inside the four walls of C Street, we wouldn’t have to read about their spouting their inane rhetoric. As it is, we should be afraid, very afraid. Now, at least, thanks to Sharlet, we’re informed.
by Jeff Sharlet
C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy
by Jeff Sharlet
Little, Brown & Co.
(also available as an audiobook and ebook)