Politics in the western region of North Carolina are beginning to become more interesting due to the heated race in its eleventh district between Democrat Heath Shuler and Republican Jeff Miller. This is largely due in part to Shuler who has acknowledged he is one of the newest “blue dogs” to have ties within one of the most powerful (and secretive) religious organizations within the United States. Known as The Family or The Fellowship, it has embraced a vast number of fundamental Christian congress and business members since founded in 1935 by Abraham Vereide.
The Family’s Secrets
The Family has denied its own existence publicly until 2009. Formed to share worship, bible studies, prayer meetings and to give spiritual support to its invited members, the Fellowship appears to have transformed over the last 75 years into an entity far more powerful and dangerous than the public might realize. The Family has had far-reaching influence in the political staging within Uganda of targeting gays and lesbians for arrest and execution, as referenced by President Obama at the organization’s National Prayer Breakfast in 2010.
Interesting Situations Now Rising
As the “New Kid On The Block” in the Fellowship, this fall’s congressional campaign between Blue Dog incumbent Heath Shuler and Republican Jeff Miller might bring out some interesting political jockeying as well as a bit of major mud-slinging. The largest city in Shuler’s district is Asheville, NC, a city of approximately 76,636 residents in 2009. Known as the San Francisco of the southeast due to its tolerance and diverse attitudes towards Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender individuals. It has become a Mecca for those seeking a welcoming environment in regard to the open acceptance of alternative lifestyles.
Many believe Shuler’s ties with a known organization who fully supported the alleged murdering of Gays and Lesbians in Urganda could be a cobra in Shuler’s political camp. Shuler presently appears to be counting on the conservatives in the outlying areas of his district to get him back to Washington, but his alliance with the Fellowship might prove to be too much to overcome in this Gay/Lesbian-friendly area. With more and more interest beginning to focus on this congressional battle, election day in North Carolina could prove to be quite…curious.