Magazine article Church & State

Big Business Builds Command Center for Family Research Council

Magazine article Church & State

Big Business Builds Command Center for Family Research Council

Article excerpt

The Family Research Council is getting a new home: a six-story building in the heart of the nation's capital, courtesy of well-heeled right-wing business executives.

FRC head Gary Bauer announced the move in the group's Washington Watch newsletter last month. Bauer explained to readers that no donations from FRC supporters were used to build or decorate the new facility, but rather the money came "through resources provided by our benefactors the Prince and DeVos families."

Bauer is referring to Elsa Prince and Rich and Helen DeVos, two Michigan-based families who have a history of underwriting far right causes. Bauer reports that Ed Prince, founder of the Prince Corporation, approached the DeVos family, founders of the Amway multi-level marketing firm, and suggested a joint venture to give FRC a new home. (Ed Prince died in 1995.)

Brandishing some military rhetoric, Bauer wrote, "Carved on the facade are the words "Faith, Family, and Freedom," proclaiming what we stand for and our intention to remain in the battle. The signal is clear. We have planted our flag, the battle lines are drawn, and the troops are ready."

Continuing the military theme, Bauer announced that the building's "family center" also includes "a section memorializing those who have served our nation in uniform" arid that the library offers "computer kiosks featuring an inter-active war archive video ...." Bauer did not say how much it cost to build, decorate and equip the facility.

FRC functions as the Washington political operation of Focus on the Family, a religious broadcasting empire founded by radio counselor James Dobson. …

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