Sunday, December 11, 2005

Magical Thinking in the Nation's Capital: Justice House of Prayer

One Good Move has a Nightline presentation from a series called "Faith Matters" about Lou Engle's "Justice House of Prayer." Engel, who is supported by a wealthy woman whose identity he keeps secret, rents a $7000/mo office space which is "shaped like an arrow pointing at the Supreme Court building" where 70 interns pray 24 hours a day in shifts. They appear to be Christians of a charismatic variety, though I didn't actually notice any speaking in tongues. They jump, they babble on, they face out the window attempting to move God to move the justices of the Supreme Court to ban abortion. They refer to Engle as "Papa Lou."

These are the same people who have been praying outside of the Supreme Court building with red tape with the word "LIFE" written on it, taped over their mouths.

The interns each spend three months in the program, and pay $1500 for the privilege, which includes housing costs. The internship application requires two biographical essays, recommendations from a parent and a pastor, two copies of a recent photograph, and a $20 nonrefundable application fee. If you aren't involved in a local church or ministry, you must offer an explanation. A list of your "spiritual gifts mix" is requested. You also must describe your sources of income and whether you have any savings accounts and debt. As part of your personal history in the past year, the application asks if you've struggled with eating disorders, pornography, or homosexuality, whether you've been sexually active, and whether you've been pregnant or fathered a child.

More at Pharyngula, and you can find the website of these lunatics here.

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