Elena Scotti/The Daily Beast

Have you heard of the $1,750-per-person “Gathering,” which started Thursday in Orlando, Florida?

Probably not. But if you’re female, gay, non-Christian, or otherwise interested in the separation of church and state, your life has been affected by it.

The Gathering is a conference of hard-right Christian organizations and, perhaps more important, funders. Most of them are not household names, at least if your household isn’t evangelical. But that’s the point: The Gathering is a hub of Christian Right organizing, and the people in attendance have led the campaigns to privatize public schools, redefine “religious liberty” (as in the Hobby Lobby case), fight same-sex marriage, fight evolution, and, well, you know the rest. They’re probably behind that, too…

To be sure, untangling webs of funders, organizations, and campaigns can often feel like conspiracy-mongering. Your brain begins to resemble one of those bulletin boards from A Beautiful Mind or Se7en, full of paranoid-seeming Post-Its and strings. Bruce Wilson has been untangling these webs for years, and sometimes it shows…

But often he’s dead on. And beneath the hyperbole, The Gathering is as close to a “vast right-wing conspiracy” as you’re likely to find. So with this year’s conference about to get under way, Wilson gave The Daily Beast an exclusive interview over email—heavily redacted here—about this shadowy, powerful network of hard-right funders.

Let’s start with the basics. What is The Gathering?

The Gathering is an annual event at which many of the wealthiest conservative to hard-right evangelical philanthropists in America—representatives of the families DeVos, Coors, Prince, Green, Maclellan, Ahmanson, Friess, plus top leaders of the National Christian Foundation—meet with evangelical innovators with fresh ideas on how to evangelize the globe. The Gathering promotes “family values” agenda: opposition to gay rights and reproductive rights, for example, and also a global vision that involves the eventual eradication of all competing belief systems that might compete with The Gathering’s hard-right version of Christianity. Last year, for example, The Gathering 2013 brought together key funders, litigants, and plaintiffs of the Hobby Lobby case, including three generations of the Green family.

RTFA for a long, detailed and dour description of how fundamentalist bigots organize much of the funding for their assorted hatreds. For a religion which purports to be founded on loving your neighbor, the sects fighting for theocracy in America require many individual ghettoes to separate out all the people, cultures and freedoms they don’t believe in loving.

Thanks, Mike

  1. NewFormatSux says:

    Thanks to this liberal hatred of Christians and Jews, we know have people in America being pulled over by cops for having an Israeli flag on your car, and others shouting praise Allah at a press conference where police spoke about an American who was beheaded, no doubt just another incident of ‘workplace violence.’

    • Nikelectric says:

      Liberal hatred of Christians and Jews is a total myth pushed by these fundamentalists, in an attempt to give them free reign to inject religion into our schools and other government institutions. It’s not the religion or its symbols most people have a problem with, it’s having them shoved down your throat. There is no “War on Christmas”, or any more of that Fox News garbage I keep hearing about. You can always find the occasional wingnut on either end of the political spectrum, that the opposing side uses to paint the rest of their political opposition with.

      • jpfitz says:

        Our country is referenced by its Judeo Christian values and morals.

        • Nikelectric says:

          As well as Greco-Roman foundations, and built by a group of men that were mostly Deists, not Christians

          • Jimmy James says:

            A common misconception is that Deism is a religion. It is not. It is a philosophy. Almost all of the founding fathers were members of either Episcopal or Quaker churches during their entire life. (Except for a handful, the rest were members of other Christian churches). Many Christians of the time also believed in the Deist philosophy. It is sad though when people who call themselves Christians don’t practice what they teach (as is true for Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, etc).

    • Greg Allen says:

      “”Thanks to this liberal hatred of Christians and Jews,””

      I hate to tell you this: Lots of Jews and Christians are liberal. LOTS.

      • deowll says:

        Yep, Nancy P. and Biden are supposed to be Catholics but so help me I don’t see it. The Clintons are supposed to be Methodist and that’s supposed to be a Christian denomination. They pretty much piss all over everything Jesus ever said. I’d say they treat their faith about like a country club and think anything they do is okay.

        A lot of the elite Jews are pretty much anti Jewish. I’d say they have a death wish or they are so brain washed by eating their own dog food they think the Islamist won’t do unto them as they want to do to all the other Jews.

        There are a lot of people who claim to be Christians are Jews who are progressives. I think they are wrong about being Christians or Jews.

    • Ah_Yea says:

      [Comment deleted – Violation of Posting Guidelines. – ed.]

  2. Captain Obvious says:

    If it keeps the Christian Right off the streets and away from our children for a week then it’s probably a good thing.

  3. AdmFubar says:

    soooo they are really the christian taliban… or the new boogy man the christian isis or is it isil?…

    • A # says:

      Either way, it’s ISIS or ISIL:

      (S)tupid &
      (S)ociety / (L)eague

      And like they say, “stupid hurts!”

      … They just didn’t say WHO!

  4. Gaytard says:

    What’s wrong with shit on your dick?

    • A # says:

      Ya, ya, ya…

      Question: How do you get a gay guy to fuck a woman?
      Answer: Smear some shit on her pussy.

      Come to think of it, that might work for religious nuts and one sided political pinheads too. Though it’s probably more effective when applied ORALLY!

      Just think. You just ate a little butt nugget right here reading this.

      … Oh my! How this thread has degraded.

    • Dr. Oz says:

      C. difficile in your pee pee?

  5. John E. Quantum says:

    George Soros isn’t scared


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