Right-wing politicians may seem to be pursuing their goal of enshrining free-market capitalism as a sacred doctrine. That’s because they are.
Capitalism and Christianity
According to Jay W. Richards, author of Money, Greed, and God, capitalism is not the obstacle to a just society, it is the solution. Many Conservative politicians believe that the “Invisible Hand” Adam Smith mentioned in Wealth of Nations is literally the hand of God, guiding the free-market economy in a sovereign and mysterious way in order to produce prosperity for his children. To interfere in any way with this process is therefore to oppose God.
God and Politics
Terrible catastrophes would result from opposing God in this way and conservatives point to the collapse of the “godless” Soviet Union as an example. By far most Christians suspect Jesus was a bit to the left (from our perspective), what with his warnings against greed and encouragement to help the poor. Why, then, would most Christians not align with liberal organizations? Left-leaning organizations have contributed to this polarization by rejecting religion and mocking the deeply held beliefs of millions of citizens as mere irrational, primitive superstitions. This attitude has pushed many Christians, with some reluctance, into the conservative fold, since they perceive they are not welcome on the left unless they first abandon their beliefs.
The Underground Fellowship
According to Records of the Fellowship, For seventy-five years an organization has been ministering underground to power brokers, discipling them through personal relationships and teachings to support the capitalist doctrine. The Fellowship, sometimes called the Family, (or the Christian Mafia by members) operates from a mansion on C street in Washington, D.C. Openly they coordinate the Prayer Breakfasts, but quietly they interact with power brokers and form covenants, or binding agreements with each other, to bring about their vision of Real America.
The Fellowship: Ordained by God
According to Jeff Sharlett, writing in Harper’s, the organization began when Abraham Vereide, founder of Goodwill Industries, had a supernatural vision in 1935 in which God told him that helping the insignificant poor was not the way to go. Instead, power brokers should be discipled in order to change society; sort of “trickle-down” righteousness. In 1958 then 30 year-old Doug Coe went to work for Vereide in Washington, D.C. and Coe has led the organization since then. Coe uses Hitler and Mao as examples of strength through unity; the important thing is that group members maintain solidarity on important issues.
Religion Serving Power
Although the movement is emphatically framed in Christian terms and prayer and Bible study is mandatory (including for legislators who live at the C street mansion) the real emphasis is on power: Men in power have been placed there by God and have a divine mission to fulfill. This male-oriented, militaristic, unified group not only refers to Hitler as an example of strength through unity, but displays other alarming relationships to fascism.
The Fellowship and Fascism
The making of covenants, or binding promises, would seem to divert the loyalty of legislators from their constituents to the ideals of the Fellowship, which is devoted to reversing the decadence (as they define it) that has affected American society. The word fascism itself is derived from “fasces” a bundle of rods tied around an axe, an ancient Roman symbol of authority, carried by lictors to inflict physical or capital punishment on his command. The fasces is a symbol of power through unity and even has a Biblical parallel: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12.)
Authoritarian Right Anti-Democratic
There is no room in this ideology for democracy; it harks back to ideas about the divine right of kings and the absolute authority of those in power. To oppose the leader is to oppose God himself, an idea that was overthrown only with much bloodshed hundreds of years ago in England, France, and the infant United States and an idea that is once again rearing its ugly head. This time it was not announced by trumpets but has been quietly fermenting on C Street in Washington, D.C.
Dangerous ideologies are allowed to promote their agendas in America and we cannot stop them without damaging the freedom of all of us. However, they should be exposed and scrutinized instead of working under cover of secrecy. A free society must grant fascism, anarchism, and any other “ism” that emerges freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom to try to persuade others to join them. Hiding fascist agendas behind a pseudo-Christian front is, however, not only deceptive, it is disgusting.