So this is a pretty neat trick.
Rep. Jerry Moran (R- KS) is trying to turn charges that he’s getting a break on his rent at C Street into attacks on his Christian faith. Seriously.
Last month, as we reported, a group of Ohio pastors filed a complaint with the IRS alleging that the lawmakers who live at the C Street Christian fellowship house — a group that includes Moran — aren’t paying close to market rate for rent. That means, according to the pastors, that they’re getting an unreported gift from the house’s owners. Those owners have ties to a secretive Christian group, The Family, which has worked to curry favor with numerous world leaders and Washington lawmakers. Soon after the pastors acted, the good-government group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics followed up by making an ethics complaint.
Moran has been getting questions about the charges back in his district. And in response, he told the Topeka Capitol-Journal that criticism of his cozy arrangement amounted to “a national effort to exclude matters of faith by public servants.”
Moran continued: “I don’t think that my interest in studying the Bible with other colleagues of mine in Congress ought to be seen as anything but good or at least personal — whether you think it’s good or bad it ought to be a decision I make as a member of Congress, as a human being.”
Because everyone understands that criticizing someone for appearing to get an unreported gift from a powerful interest group is basically the same thing as criticizing someone for studying the Bible.
The C Street house also has been under scrutiny lately after it figured in sex scandals that engulfed three of its members: Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, and former Mississippi GOP congressman Chip Pickering.