If you've been a follower of not just Crooks and Liars, but my little corner over here at Video Cafe, you're fully aware already that Rachel Maddow has given the C-Street creepy, Christian cult plenty of coverage on her show on MSNBC. Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, was a guest on this week's Real Time with Bill Maher, and they delved into one topic that I've yet to see Rachel devote a lot of time to, and that was the topic of mega-churches on military bases, and the likes of C-Street member Zach Wamp making sure they're funded. If this isn't enough to make your skin crawl if you care about separation of church and state, I don't know what is.
Maher: And they are you say more of a lobbying group, even though it somehow gets away with being a tax exempt church.
Sharlet: Yeah, at one point they actually discussed, you know we should, we should register as a lobby. We can be a lobby to advance god's kingdom, and then they had a brain storm, you know what, we can be much more effective if we don't register as a lobby and we just work behind the scenes. Which is true. And which is why we have laws requiring you to register as a lobby.
Maher: And one of the things they're lobbiying for is for example mega-churches on military bases.
Sharlet: That's one of the things that's come out in fact as a result of the C-Street revelations. Zach Wamp is a Congressman who lives at the C-Street House.
Sharlet: Zach Wamp. Great name. He's running as the Governor of Tennessee.
Maher: Zach Wamp.
Sharlet: Wamp. Remember his name. Wamp.
Maher: How could I forget it. It's...Zach Wamp, where is he from?
Sharlet: Chattanooga. Wamp of Chattanooga. Um, Wamp pretended...
Maher: What does he want to do?
Sharlet: Well, he's ganged up with a group of his buddies on the subcommittee of the appropriations committee, and what they're doing is funneling last years, over fifty million dollars towards the construction of mega-church chapels on military bases around the country. Fort Campbell in Kentucky, Fort Hood down in Texas, and a lot of these constructions, in fact I think the biggest buildings that the Army is building now.
Maher: And you've written about this too. I mean broaden this out a little bit. The military, I don't think people know this story either. This is really scary stuff, that the people with the guns are becoming sort of a messianic cult.
Sharlet: That's, that's when, you know, it starts getting scary. When there are guns attached, right? Well fifty years ago...
Maher: Guns and tanks. I mean, you know...
Sharlet proceeded to quote from his article at Harpers, Jesus killed Mohammed: The crusade for a Christian military. Scary, scary stuffl. As Maher pointed out when ending the segment, Sharlet is a brave man for doing the reporting he's done.