UPDATE: More of Thune’s ‘C’ Street Lunacy, circa 2005 – H/T Helga

Here are some interviews from 2005 where Thune is talking about the ‘C’ Street Mafia. I don’t have time to add commentary, I am still laughing my ass off.

Jesus plus nothing:

Undercover among America’s secret theocrats

By Jeff Sharlet

http://www.therevealer.org/archives/today_001687.php

The Education of Senator Thune
22 February 2005
Sharlet: Daschle defeater John Thune cites spiritual influence of a man who cites spiritual model of Osama Bin Laden. In this Q&A Christianity Today conducted with Senator Thune (R, SD), he says that the “C Street ministry” of Doug Coe helped keep him on the Christian path when he was a Representative. As it happens, I’ve witnessed that “ministry”; here’s what I wrote about it in Harper’s: “The day I worked at C Street I ran into Doug Coe, who was tutoring Todd Tiahrt, a Republican congressman from Kansas…. ‘We gotta take Jesus out of the religious wrapping,’ [Coe said.] ‘All right, how do we do that?’ Tiahrt asked. ‘A covenant,’ Doug answered…. ‘Like the Mafia,’ Doug clarified. ‘Look at the strength of their bonds.” He made a fist and held it before Tiahrt’s face…. Coe listed other men who had changed the world through the strength of the covenants they had forged with their ‘brothers’: ‘Look at Hitler,’ he said. ‘Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Bin Laden.'”
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/februaryweb-only/42.0a.html
Interview with Thune 2005

Do you find fellowship with other legislators?

I do. There are several different Bible study groups on Capitol Hill. I’ve not had an opportunity yet in the Senate to really get immersed. But when I was a member of the House, there were a couple of organizations, one called Christian Embassy that is affiliated with Campus Crusade for Christ whose mission it is to reach out and reach and disciple people in the legislative branch, the executive branch, and in the military at the Pentagon. And also the C Street ministry, which initially came from Doug Coe. Coe was influential at Chuck Colson’s conversion too. But those are a couple of ministries that are active out there. And there are other members of Congress who come to those events. There are a number who are very serious about their faith. I do have a chance to interact with them.

In the campaign, you sharply criticized those who blocked the President’s judicial nominations. What’s ahead?

To shut off a filibuster, you have to have 60 votes in the Senate. We still don’t have 60 votes. But we have new leadership on the Democratic side. I hope members of the Senate who previously had been held hostage to their party’s leadership will now feel more freedom to vote their conscience. I don’t know, maybe they did. But it seems to me that some of these guys who represent states that are more conservative than their national party, might now be thinking twice and might be more inclined to support not only legislation but also judicial nominations that are more in line with their state’s interest and their state’s fundamental beliefs and values.

Skipping back to foreign policy, why might Christians have a special interest in seeing democracy spread in the Middle East?

Christians obviously want to see people come to the Christian faith, but they want to see people have the choice to be able to choose. Religious freedom, political freedom, political liberty, and economic freedom all tend to go hand in hand. Liberating Iraq from decades of tyranny and dictatorship, bringing about political freedom, will create an atmosphere of where religious freedom will come to Iraq. And that opens the door, obviously, for the Christian faith there as well.

Christians look around the world and want to see people who are in a position to be able to make decisions, to have the freedoms that we enjoy in this country. That is, like the President says, our birthright. Our Declaration of Independence, our Founding Fathers said, “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” And those rights are endowed by our Creator, they’re not bestowed by any government.



10 comments ↓

#1 Scott on 07.21.09 at 9:05 pm

Whatever happened to the girlfriend he supposedly had in DC?

#2 l3wis on 07.21.09 at 9:11 pm

I’ll say it again, until the rumors and accusations of Thune’s infidelity are proven I don’t want to discuss it. Trust me, if it is true and proven, I will be all over that shit like stink on shit. So, please, stop posting about the issue on here. I still think the whacko group of x-tians he belongs to worries me more then him getting a little honey on the side.

#3 John2 on 07.22.09 at 3:49 am

Thanks, again, for posting this C-street info.

#4 l3wis on 07.22.09 at 4:54 am

Isn’t it just Bizarro? Especially this line;

“Christians obviously want to see people come to the Christian faith, but they want to see people have the choice to be able to choose. Religious freedom, political freedom, political liberty, and economic freedom all tend to go hand in hand. Liberating Iraq from decades of tyranny and dictatorship, bringing about political freedom, will create an atmosphere of where religious freedom will come to Iraq. And that opens the door, obviously, for the Christian faith there as well.”

Notice he doesn’t mention that most Iraqis are Muslim, he seems to think that they just need to be converted and everything will be fine and dandy. I agree, they do need to be converted, but not to Christianity but to deism.

#5 Costner on 07.22.09 at 6:46 am

People tend to look at things using their own eyes Lewis, so it is natural Thune would think of Christianity when discussing the topic of religious freedom, but I don’t see anything in his statements that make it appear as if he feels we should push Christianity or try to convert Muslims.

In fact his last sentence in the portion you quoted seems clear that relgious freedom is first – and that merely opens the door for the Christian faith, but it clearly opens the door for other types of faiths also.

Unless you really stretch or try to read into that paragraph more than is intended, I think Thune is being genuine here. Whether you are a practicing Christian or not there is a lot of validity to what he is saying.

#6 l3wis on 07.22.09 at 7:57 am

I would agree if the statement if Obama said it, but Thune said it as a member of the ‘C’ Street group. There whole goal is to intertwine Christianity with Democracy. It has been noted by Noam Chomsky that Bush and the Bushites (Thune) that Bush had a Messianic vision for Iraq and I believe Thune beleives in that vision (or at least he did in 2005). Troubling, very troubling. Thune has a way of crafting his language to leave himself an ‘out’ and I think that is what he did in the interview.

#7 Jackie on 07.22.09 at 8:33 am

Biblically, there’s certainly enough written about behavior of hypocrites – what they say, then what they do.

To deny hard working people the health care coverage that elected Rep. and Sen. enjoy – for their whole lifetime – coverage that the hard working people PAY for … to turn a blind eye and continue to enable insurance lobbyists and greed – speaks louder and more clear as to what kind of people C Street folk are.

#8 Randall on 07.22.09 at 9:19 am

Frankly, I, for one, would like to see people start reacting when anyone brings their religion to the political arena.

The instant anyone holding, or running for, any public office mutters any praise for any deity their desks should be packed up and they should be escorted to the door, handed their final paycheck, and be reminded that they are NOT welcome back.

We need to get this country back to what the Founding Fathers really meant by separation of church and state – NOT separation of church and state (nudge nudge, wink wink.)

Render unto Caesar and all that, you know.

#9 Costner on 07.22.09 at 12:18 pm

Well Randall I suppose it is all open to interpretation, but I think our founding fathers fought for the right to practice your religion just as much as they fought to ensure you weren’t forced to.

I sincerely don’t think they would have a problem with our elected leaders openly proclaiming their personal viewpoints on the subject… and I don’t think they could care if those viewpoints “steered” their decision making processes.

It is only a problem when those leaders attempt to pass laws dictating what you and I can believe or telling us that one religion is “right” while everyone else is “wrong”.

#10 John Thune And The C Street Christian Mafia | South Dakota Humanist on 08.02.09 at 5:23 pm

[…] while I think Scott has much of this covered over at his place including the Thune link I just wanted to add a clip […]

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