CREW Urges President and Members of Congress not to Attend Fellowship’s National Prayer Breakfast
Washington, D.C. - Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) urged President Obama and all members of Congress not to attend this year’s National Prayer Breakfast, scheduled for February 4, 2010. The breakfast, designed to appear as if government-sanctioned, actually serves as a meeting and recruiting event for the shadowy Fellowship Foundation.
The Fellowship, also known as “The Foundation” and “The Family,” is run by Doug Coe, a spiritual advisor to past government officials who uses the organization to push his unorthodox brand of Christianity within government circles. The Fellowship operates the infamous C Street House, a congressional residence and meeting place on Capitol Hill that has been a frequent haunt of some ethically challenged elected officials, including Sens. John Ensign (R-NV) and Tom Coburn (R-OK), Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) and former-Rep. and now-Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC).
The organization operates under an intense veil of secrecy, staying largely out of the public eye and hiding its donors’ identities. The Fellowship has used its government clout to facilitate backdoor meetings between U.S. and foreign officials, improperly claimed tax exempt status for the C Street House, and has persuaded members of Congress, including Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) to conduct Fellowship-sanctioned evangelizing while traveling at taxpayer expense. Members of the Fellowship also have been involved with legislation in Uganda calling for the death penalty for gays.
Melanie Sloan, CREW’s executive director, said, “The National Prayer Breakfast uses the suggested imprimatur of the elected leaders who attend to give the Fellowship greater credibility and facilitate its networking and fundraising.” Sloan continued, “The president and members of Congress should not legitimatize this cult-like group – the head of which has praised the organizing abilities of Hitler and Bin Laden – by attending the breakfast.”
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit www.citizensforethics.org or contact David Merchant at 202.408.5565 or email@example.com