Monday, July 20, 2009

breaking the spine of organized labor

Behind the closed doors on C Street
The Family — which has counseled Sen. John Ensign — lives and prays as a
fundamentalist group with power at the center of its agenda

Berns: The movement was founded in Seattle in 1935 by Abraham Vereide, a
Norwegian immigrant, a traveling preacher who had been working with that
city's poor. He opposed the New Deal, was worried that Socialist
politicians were about to take over Seattle's municipal government. One
of the things they pushed for, and you talk about, is the push in 1947
for the anti-labor initiative, the Taft-Hartley Act, which monitored,
limited the activities of the labor unions.

Sharlet: Exactly. However you look at it, The Family is effectively a
union busting organization. They're particularly concerned about the
Teamsters and the Longshoremen. They thought they were run by some sort
of devils. The Family was instrumental in the breaking of the spine of
organized labor.

One of the things that makes them different from other Christian
conservative organizations, and I think even upset some Christian
conservative organizations, is that the issues for them are not abortion
or morality or same-sex marriage. The important issue to them is what
they call Biblical capitalism, and I think what even some conservative
observers looking at them call crony capitalism.

Berns: Does some of the criticism of The Family have an anti-religious
bent — in a nation that values religious freedom?

Sharlet: Why is Sen. Tom Coburn (Oklahoma Republican) going to the
government of Lebanon, one of the most religiously torn countries in the
world, and going as a U.S. senator paid for by The Family — and saying
to the government that the solution to their problems is to create more
Christian prayer cells, like the one he and his friend Ensign and are in?

On the National Prayer Breakfast:
If you want to understand, look at the foreign delegations from around
the world. Again and again, you see they send a leader from their
country who is spiritually motivated, but it happens to be the defense
minister, and the defense minister is coming for meetings with defense
contractors, organized by The Family at seminars on how to pursue this
business for the glory of God.

Berns: You note that many of these defense ministers are from those
classic authoritarian Third World countries: Central America, South
America, Africa.

Sharlet: I looked at the travel records of Ensign and Coburn and others
who travel with them. As they explain it, they have been going to build
relationships with brothers in Christ in places like Serbia, Sudan,
Albania, Belarus, Ukraine, Pakistan, ruled by Musharraf. These are not
known as great democratic nations.

At times I asked Family members about their relationship with, say, a
dictator of Uganda. I would ask, "Perhaps we should hold him accountable?"

And they would say, "He's a better dictator because of his relationship
with The Family."

They said that of Suharto, too, the Indonesian ruler to whom a death
toll of 1.2 million is attributed by very reliable sources, killed with
weaponry supplied by the U.S., through the agency of congressmen who
thought Suharto was a man of God.

There is more on Hillary Clinton's connections, mentions of other
members and other info in this interview transcript so please check out
all out at the link

I belive this is the source of the interview transcript above here:

Click here to listen to the stream im m3u
Click here to listen or download the MP3

Link to the book Sharlet wrote on the family:


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