click to enlarge
Zach Wamp is talking publicly again about the mysterious Family, the Christian society that owns the C Street house where the congressman has lived in Washington for the past 12 years. This is an outfit whose guiding philosophy is helping rich white men grow ever more powerful and whose leader often publicly presents Hitler, Stalin and Mao as leadership models. So naturally, Wamp won't discuss the Family's beliefs, preferring instead to cast the C Street house as a place of innocent Christian fellowship. To hear Wamp tell it, living there's not much different than attending a Sunday school picnic.
The center is not "a bad thing," Wamp tells the Chattanooga Times Free Press's Andy Sher
. "I see it as a good thing ... To us, it's just Tuesday-night dinner, talk about your life, a place to live with people who are like-minded in a bipartisan way."
Historically, he adds, the C Street Center "should have shared more about what they do, but they didn't want to violate people's private decisions to come there. And you know what happens when you share and the media writes about it? Nobody comes, and the whole thing evaporates."
Wamp called the Family "just a loose, totally non-denominational ecumenical piece of faith on the Hill which has been a real good thing."
"It's not secretive. It's that that's the only way something like this can exist. That's why it happens that way, man. So, it's not like anybody's trying to hide anything. It's so that people can feel like they can (confide)."
In Sher's article, Jeff Sharlot, author of a book about the Family, notes that Wamp has been quoted as saying that, in Tennessee, if "you are involved in a Christian fellowship, it ain't going to hurt you." Sharlot says:
"There's plenty of Christian fellowship (in Washington). So if you decide I'm going to choose the one that is secretive, that denies it exists, that has a leader who says things like 'the more invisible you can make the organization the more influence you'll have' ... I'm guessing (Tennessee Christians) will say, 'You know, I haven't heard that kind of thing at my church. Tell me more about this Christian fellowship. So, yes, Zach Wamp has some explaining to do."