Today we're publishing a fascinating, troubling investigation into something called the "International House of Prayer", the center of a charismatic Christian movement located just outside of Kansas City. It is a hive of young believers with branches across the world and a theology with a world-leaders-murdering Jesus which many evangelicals claim is distorting Christianity or even heretical. The movement has admirers and severe detractors within the broader charismatic and evangelical movements. And it has thrived on reputation for a less "muted", more radical and heroic version of the Christian message. One sermon, since removed from the group's website, speaks of the power of members' prayers which will soon bring a day "when every head of state in the United Nations will be killed by the prayers of the saints answered in person by Jesus."
The founder and leader is "prophet" Mike Bickle. And despite the extreme views on virtually everything, Bickle's movement put deep roots down into the right-wing of the Republican party, with ties to top leaders like Govs. Sam Brownback, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee and many others. AIPAC has also partnered with one of the group's key members, despite a theology which claims Jews are consumed with hatred of Jesus which will soon change on a dime as the Israeli Knesset embraces Jesus as the world hurtles toward its end.
Reporter Sarah Posner looks at IHOP's activities in Kansas City, Uganda, Jerusalem and other global locales and the internal strain of authoritarianism which gives IHOP many of the characterized many of us would associate with a cult. The organization 'prayer warriors' are made up of idealistic young people who serve as "interns" at the Kansas City headquarters and are often convinced to forego college and other planning for the future in light of imminent end of the world.
I'm wondering what the editors at Politico were thinking when they let through this bizarre line about Obama being such an abysmal manager that only his death by assassination is likely to bring about needed reform of the Secret Service.
An ex-con (who thankfully had no malicious intent) was allowed to go an elevator with the President while he was carrying a gun. "He agreed to hand over his gun as well, which surprised agents who did not know until then that he had been armed while he was near Obama." Read the rest.
In a terrible (for him) local TV interview, the GOP Senate nominee in Colorado brings the spotlight back to his support for anti-abortion "personhood" legislation by denying any such legislation exists at the federal level. It does. He is co-sponsoring it.
It's worth reading this piece from Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund Executive Director Jasjit Singh on the controversy surrounding a later-withdrawn penalty given to Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah for his "unsportsmanlike" touchdown celebration of kneeling in Muslim prayer. The NFL just demonstrated how it thinks about diversity:
Unfortunately the fans watching the game felt, if they, as a Jew, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, or Buddhist have a different way of praying than let’s say Tim Tebow, who has become known for his trademark prayer stance, they too would be quickly and swiftly ostracized.
With George Zimmerman's recent threat to kill a fellow motorist and his father's account of him waiting at home ready to blow away any FBI agents who come to arrest him, we thought it was time to put together a simple timeline of the various people George Zimmerman has beaten or threatened to kill or simply the times he's tried to put himself in a place where he might be able to kill someone in the little more than a year since he was acquitted in his last killing, that of Trayvon Martin.
Here at TPM HQ we're listening to the Director of the Secret Service testify on Capitol Hill. I'll start by saying that my understanding of this Secret Service/jumper controversy has changed pretty dramatically (as I suspect it has for many) after we found out yesterday that the jumper not only made it into the White House but actually ran around pretty far inside it. (Here's a map that illustrates just how far he got.) Indeed, he got pretty close to the actual living quarters of the First Family. That's amazing. And I say this as someone who's been in those rooms that he ran around and has seen just how many Secret Service agents and members of the military (though they're not there in a protective capacity) are packed into the White House.