They Prayed for the United States to "Come Back to God"
Joan Bokaer printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue May 23, 2006 at 08:39:03 PM EST
One man was perhaps the most powerful Congressmen in U.S. history, the other was his Chief of Staff. But Ed Buckham was more than just Tom DeLay's powerful Chief of Staff. He was also Tom DeLay's spiritual advisor. They were devoted to bringing the United States "back to God."

Time Magazine reported last March that Ed Buckham, "a licensed nondenominational minister, was also DeLay's pastor... the two of them frequently prayed together privately, joining hands in DeLay's office."

NPR's Morning Edition (May 22) tells the story of Chris Geeslin, an evangelical pastor of a Maryland church, and his wife, who believed that through Buckham and DeLay they would help bring "the United States back to God."  

The unsuspecting couple served on the Board of the U.S. Family Network, a shell organization that raised millions of dollars for former Congressman Tom DeLay's Political Action Committee. Geeslin became suspicious when they received a gift of a million dollars from a Russian oil magnate.

Perhaps the most ironic gift was the half million dollars from the textile mills of the Mariana Islands, now in the limelight for their sweatshop-like working conditions for women. The gift was used to fight Clinton administration efforts to regulate the islands.

Pastor Geeslin was particularly upset by the fact that the textile mills sponsored forced abortion and forced prostitution - a hard pill for anyone to swallow let alone an evangelical pastor who believed he was helping bring the United States to God.

He said in a pained voice, "I feel like we were used in a grand way."

I'm the first to admit that I'm a real pushover and, listening to the NPR report, I felt sadness for pastor Geeslin - that is until a friend also listening to the report asked some tough questions. "How long has he known about this and said nothing?" "Why is he speaking out only now?" "Is he afraid of being dragged into the legal morass?"

Those questions lead me to ask one question: did he believe so strongly that he was going to, in his words, "make U.S. society more Christ-like," that it didn't matter how it was done?

NPR's Morning Edition aired the piece about Chris Geeslin and Ed Buckham this morning, May 23, not May 22.

by Joan Bokaer on Tue May 23, 2006 at 08:42:02 PM EST

And the pastor's attitude struck me as no less stellar a performance than Claude Rain's delivering the immortal line in Casablanca, "I'm shocked! shocked! to find there is gambling here".

I felt nothing but contempt for this rat who set up this operation in that former carpet warehouse and hung out a shingle to go into 'business'.  It seemed very clear to me that he's attempting some rather late and lame PR damage control before it becomes completely clear that his operation was utterly corrupt.  That will put him out of the business of working this particular con.  

I'm sorry to be harsh, but really, this kind of naivete requires deliberate ignorance - that he is dumb enough to publicly admit to having struggled with accepting money from an outfit he knew was engaged in practices he felt were abhorrent, well, let's just say we got a good sense of the measure of the man - clearly he's less ruled by his conscience than his wallet - or at least falls short of the standard these self-flagellating chest beaters set for themselves.

by montpellier on Wed May 24, 2006 at 05:22:54 PM EST

Your friend's questions are important; but, they should have been directed at Geeslin by the NPR interviewer. Perhaps this is another example of our too-often ineffective media treating conservative subjects with soft gloves. Then again, at least NPR threw some light on the story, even if they somewhat let Geeslin off the hook.

by IseFire on Thu May 25, 2006 at 04:13:42 PM EST

The State (Government) should never be allowed to have a elected or appointed offical that is or has been a religious leader or held a religious position.

The countries that are religiously controlled have done poorly in life, with the exception of Israel which appears to be supported by the US and UK.  

The sixteenth century Europe, the Church had the power to Tax, convict and execute (including burning books) and that became known as the Dark Ages.  If their is a strong seperation between Church and State as the Dark Ages proved that it is necessary.  

This would allow the Church to become the unofficial opposition to the Government.  This would not be necessary if we controlled our Government as do the Swiss.

God gave man choice so that man could evolve.  This choice allowed men to be evil.

Because we do not control our (elected officials) Government like Swizerland does, we have become victims.  God demands that Man takes responsibility for his actions as well as accept responsible challenges. We have failed to accept responsibility to control our elected officials.  

Thus God has punished us in Europe - except for Swizerland, UK and North America etc.  For the most part most, religions have taught their parishners to obey without question.  God has punished us severely for this lack of responsibility.  It is these teaching that prevented us from demanding control over our Government.

The Swiss demand control their Government and thus have a binding vote every 4 months on all important legistation.

If you would like to understand why we are in this mess in the first place and how to get out.  Then go to, there you will find the answers as well as how to get out of this mess and how to understand the world in which you live.  

Further how to understand yourself better and how to recognize those who would victimize you, so you will be much more difficult to victimize you.  

There are 50+ Sermons, each will teach you something of value.  There are 40 Commandants which are designed to make your life better and to protect you for those who would like to victimize you.  Today I would suggest that 50% of your pay cheque goes to pay those who victimize you.

This Church is founded upon the Logic found within Nature, the only verifable living word of God. Facilitator Peter

by Facilitator Peter on Mon May 29, 2006 at 04:51:11 PM EST

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