Jeff Sharlet explores the borderlands of belief and skepticism, and in Sweet Heaven When I Die: Faith, Faithless, and the Country in Between, he profiles religious radicals, realists, and escapists—from Dr. Cornel West to legendary banjo player Dock Boggs, from the youth evangelist Ron Luce to America's largest "Mind, Body, Spirit Expo." He offers a spiritual landscape.
Jeff Sharlet discusses C Street, where piety, politics, and corruption meet in Washington. In C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy, he looks at religious fundamentalism in politics, and at what goes on inside the C Street residence of the fundamentalist group: The Family, where efforts are made to transform the very fabric of American democracy.
Jeff Sharlet, journalist and author of C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy, Azi Paybarah, WNYC reporter and blogger, and conservative columnist and author of Paranoid Nation Matt Towery, talk about religion, the Republican Party, and whether or not some candidates are pandering to religious bigotry.
133 C Street Southeast is a nondescript red-brick building in Washington DC. Behind the bricks, however, the building registered as a church and affiliated with a secretive Christian group known as “The Family.”
C Street friends and “Family” have included Strom Thurmond, Pat Robertson's father (Absalom Willis Robertson), John Ashcroft, and some of the biggest names in government.
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford shares ties with C Street. In fact, he disclosed the truth about his extra-marital affair with his friends there before the affair went public.
But Sanford’s isn’t the only sex scandal linked to C Street. And sex scandals are, in fact, only one of many questionable things linked to the brick structure on Capitol Hill.
“As much as I did talk about going to the Appalachian Trail ... that isn’t where I ended up.”
— South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, at the June 24, 2009, press conference at which he confessed to cheating on his wife.
In 2008 I published a book called The Family, which took as its main subject a religious movement known to some as the Fellowship and to others as the Family and to most only through one of the many nonprofit entities created to express the movement’s peculiar approach to religion, politics, and power. One of these entities is the C Street Center Inc., in Washington, DC, or, simply, C Street, made infamous in the summer of 2009 by the actions of three Family associates: a senator, a governor, and a congressman, each with his own special C Street connection.
The senator lived there; the governor sought answers there; and the congressman’s wife says he rendezvoused with his mistress in his bedroom at the three-story redbrick town house on Capitol Hill, maintained by the Family for a singular goal, in the words of one Family leader: to “assist [congressmen] in better understandings of the teachings of Christ, and applying it to their jobs.”
Event: Jeff Sharlet will be speaking and signing ...