The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Matt Jacob 202.408.5565

CREW Urges President and Members of Congress Not to Attend Shadowy Fellowship's National Prayer Breakfast


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

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 legitimize this cult-like group - the
head of which has praised the organizing abilities of Hitler and Bin
Laden - by attending the breakfast."

Click here to read CREW's letter to the president and congressional leadership.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests. CREW advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation and media outreach.