by Max Brantley
The Family, a secretive fundamentalist group with tentacles deep in Congress, has gotten plenty of attention recently -- when its members stray (Ensign, Sanford); when its friends try to restrict abortion rights (Stupak), or when they try to make homosexuality a crime punishable by death in Uganda.
We've written before, too, about Jeff Sharlet, who's written a book about the group and who's raised the ire of Sen. Mark Pryor's staff by noting some of Pryor's statements on religion and association with Family events, such as the national prayer breakfast. They disavow Pryor is a "member" of the group.
A reader calls my attention to Sharlet's appearance on NPR with Terry Gross last week. He undoubtedly put Pryor people's teeth on edge again with this about The Family, from the transcript of Gross' show:
They survived for 70 years by not locking themselves in with any one faction. So you see Democrats like Representative Mike McIntyre, a very conservative Democrat from North Carolina; Representative Heath Shuler, also from North Carolina; Representative Bart Stupak; Senator Mark Pryor, who is pro-war, anti-labor, anti-gay and a creationist, but he is a Democrat. And he's a guy who explained to me a couple years ago that through The Family, he had learned that the meaning of bipartisanship was that, quote, Jesus didn't come to take sides; he came to take over.