Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bob Hunter, Uganda, and Rachel Maddow

Bob Hunter, the Family/Fellowship associate who built the group's relationship with Uganda, appeared on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" tonight. I helped arrange it. That may surprise some readers of my book, The Family, but it shouldn't: transparency is the foundation of the democratic process the Family has so long sidestepped. Bob, who by his own admission is part of the group's small, relatively liberal faction, believes the time has come for greater transparency. I think he's about 75 years late -- the group should have been transparent from the beginning, in 1935 -- but better late than never.

Unfortunately, tonight was only a step in the right direction. Bob said he wanted to go public to set the record straight on the Family's relationship with Uganda. Instead, he opened by attacking me on trivial matter, arguing that my dislike for the cover my publisher chose for my book somehow invalidates everything in it. He continued by misrepresenting my views. In fact, I haven't acknowledged that the Family isn't political; just the opposite. Bob and I argued about it for awhile.

In the interest of transparency, I should add that I called him up after the show. He said he'd planned to talk about Senator Jim Inhofe, the fiercely anti-gay politician who is listed in Family documents as the "U.S. leader" responsible for working with Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni. Bob said he wants to see Inhofe take a bolder stand against this awful bill. But he got sidetracked.

So here's hoping we can all stay on message. I'll do my best when I get a chance to review clips from the show.