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C Street House

Definition and Impact on the Marriages of Residents


Definition: The C Street House is a residence for members of Congress. It is sponsored by The Family. The residents pay $600 per month for a private room which appears to be below market rent. Residents dine together once a week. The residents of C Street are charged extra for meals.
"Other politicians come to the house for group spirituality sessions, prayer meetings or to simply share their troubles."
Source: Manuel Roig-Franzia. "The Political Enclave That Dare Not Speak Its Name." WashingtonPost.com. 6/26/2009.

Also Known As: C Street Center, C Street Prayer Group.

Other names of The Family: "National Committee for Christian Leadership, International Christian Leadership, the National Leadership Council, Fellowship House, the Fellowship Foundation, the National Fellowship Council, the International Foundation."
Source: Jeff Sharlet. "Jesus plus nothing: Undercover among America's secret theocrats." Harper's Magazine. 3/2003.

C Street and Marriage:
Jeff Sharlet: "The wife of a Fellowship member describes her role in the Family: 'I'm always third. The Fellowship comes first in my husband's life. Then our children. Then me.'"
Source: Jeff Sharlet. "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power." Harper. 2008. pg. 399. Compare Prices
Ben Daniel: "One from the archives: Dysfunction in the Fellowship Family." bendaniel.org.

Jeff Sharlet: "The wives of C streeters and the wives of members of The Family ... one of the wives described it like this: You know I'm very comfortable with the idea that in my husband's life, first comes his brothers in the family, and then comes me."
Source: Video. 7/16/2009.

Jeff Sharlet: "In the core of The Family, they actually reject the idea of morality for their members. They believe that morality is a secular construct, that morality is something made by man for little people like us, and that if you are part of God's chosen, as we've been talking about -- what The Family believes that they are the sort of New Chosen by God -- morality, ethics, these things don't apply to you. That doesn't mean that they endorse adultery, it just means that they're not paying attention as much to it. And then you combine that to a, frankly, fairly misogynist viewpoint. They subscribe to an idea of male headship. In some of their documents, Doug Coe, the leader of the group, was actually advising another member on what to do with his wife, who the member felt was demonically possessed, and Doug Coe said that's quite possible. The symptoms, were, and there's just no way to make this sound respectable, the symptoms were that the woman was complaining that she wasn't sexually satisfied by her husband. That was, to them, a symptom of demonic possession."
Source: "Rachel Maddow: C Street -- Wife Unsatisfied w/Sex Life Was 'Demonically Possessed.'" 7/16/2009. Video

Additional Quotes:
Michael Collins: "The house occupants, which include Democrats and Republicans, reportedly meet regularly for dinner, hold Bible studies and often seek spiritual guidance from one another. Other members of Congress and various groups sometimes stop in for prayer meetings or sessions on spirituality."
Source: Michael Collins. "Wamp, housemates hurt by links to scandals." KnoxNews.com 7/10/2009.

Rev. Barry Lynn: "What concerns people is when you mix religion, political power, and secrecy. Members of official Washington should always be open and direct about the groups they choose to join, just to dispel any concerns that there's an inappropriate or unconscious agenda in these groups."
Source: Lara Jakes Jordan. "Congressional group house is subsidized by religious group, records show." The Associated Press. 4/19/2003.

Location: 133 C Street, SE, Washington, D.C. According to The Washington Post, the Capitol Hill house is "tucked behind the Library of Congress, a few steps from the Cannon House Office Building, a few more steps to the Capitol."

Owner: Youth With a Mission, registered as a church with tax free status. It is considered to be a secretive, fundamentalist Christian organization.

Size: 7,914-square-feet.

Description: Three-story, red brick town house. "The 8,000-square-foot detached townhouse has 12 bedrooms, nine bathrooms, five living rooms (including one with a big-screen TV), four dining rooms, three offices, a kitchen -- and a small chapel."
Source: Lisa Getter. "Showing Faith in Discretion." LATimes.com. 9/27/2002.

Assessed Value: $1.84 million per DC tax records

Some of the Current and Past Residents/Members of C Street House/Prayer Group:
Senators: Don Nickles (R., Okla.), Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), Pete Domenici (R., N.Mex.), John Ensign (R., Nev.), James Inhofe (R., Okla.), Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), Sam Brownback (R., Kan.), Conrad Burns (R., Mont.)

Representatives: Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), Frank Wolf (R., Va.), Joseph Pitts (R., Pa.), Zach Wamp (R., Tenn.), Bart Stupak (D., Mich.), Mike Doyle, (D., Pa.), Heath Shuler (D., N.C.), , Randy Forbes (R., Va.), Joe Pitts (R., Pa.), Mike McIntyre (D., N.C.)

Former Representatives: Chip Pickering (R., Miss.), Mark Sanford (R., S.C.), Ed Bryant, (R., Tenn.), John Elias Baldacci (D., Me.), Steve Largent (R., Okla.)

Annual Gathering: National Prayer Breakfast every February.

History: With an aim to end the separation between religion and politics, Abraham Vereide founded The Family in April 1935 in Seattle, Washington. He moved to Washington D.C. on September 6, 1941. Vereide died in 1969 when he was in his mid 80s. The Family's current leader and spiritual adviser is Doug Coe.

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