International House of Prayer

The International House of Prayer, or IHOP, says on its website that it is

“Committed to praying for the release of the fullness of God’s power and purpose, as we actively win the lost, heal the sick, feed the poor, make disciples, and impact every sphere of society — family, education, government, economy, arts, media, religion, etc.”1

But what does that mean? Judging by the church’s actions and affiliations, it means an astonishing amount of bigotry toward anyone not following a fundamentalist Christian lifestyle — especially those who are gay or who support women’s reproductive rights.

Take a look at some of the statements attributed to IHOP’s leaders, as well as the agendas of the organizations and individuals that IHOP is affiliated with:

  • The International House of Prayer’s founder, Mike Bickle, claims that Christians who are gay are opening themselves up to attacks from Satan. Bickle, who is best known for saying  Oprah Winfrey is the harbinger of the Antichrist2 and arguing that the “gay marriage agenda” is “rooted in the depths of Hell,”3 said in an interview about homosexuality that gays and lesbians must “declare war” against their sexual orientation or will face “flaming missiles of the Evil One.”4 (RightWingWatch.org)
  • IHOP is affiliated with the Desert Stream and Living Waters “ex-gay” ministries5 which promote “therapy” that purports to turn gays into heterosexuals. These therapies have been condemned by all leading medical and mental health organizations in the United States, including the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association6. Consider the words of one man who was active in the ex-gay ministry movement and has since left:

“There’s psychological damage … when sexual orientation remains homosexual. I certainly heard stories and knew people who committed suicide. I’ve seen what I believe is a higher incidence of risky behavior and alcohol and drug use among a lot of people who go through an ex-gay ministry.”7 (Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, Winter 2007)

  • Lou Engle, an evangelical who has spoken at IHOP conferences and whose books and sermons are for sale on the IHOP website, has openly affiliated with and supported individuals who work to push through of legislation aimed at gay people — including a bill in Uganda that would have made homosexuality punishable by death. Engle praised the country’s “courage” and “righteousness” in promoting the bill.8 (The New York Times)
  • In associating closely with Engle, IHOP is associating with a man who believes that the tornado that killed more than 150 people in Joplin, Mo., in 2011 was sent by God. At IHOP’s 2011 Onething conference, Engle reiterated his claim that the Joplin tornado was a sign of “the beginning of God’s redemptive judgments” for abortion.9
  • Alarming reports from former IHOP interns have surfaced about the treatment they received while in the organization. One former IHOP staff member and Christian blogger recounts the use of sleep deprivation, mandatory fasts and other cult-like isolationist practices, such as not being allowed to have an outside job. IHOP tightly monitors and controls information and freedom to leave IHOP premises. Protesting or failing to comply results in strict disciplinary actions, such as manual labor or the loss of free time.10
  • Other former interns complain

“that the sensory overload and isolation had left them unable to think for themselves, and that some leaders had urged them to avoid contact with skeptical parents.”11

These are only a few examples of the statements and worldviews that IHOP supports, either directly or through close association. We encourage anyone attending the Onething conference to learn more about the IHOP organization, whose radical and dangerous views are described in numerous reports widely available online, and ask themselves whether this is a group worthy of their support.

__________

  1.  http://www.ihopkc.org/about/
  2. Watch video: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/rick-perry-partners-pastor-who-thinks-oprah-precursor-antichrist
  3. Watch video: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/rick-perry-ally-bickle-says-marriage-equality-rooted-depths-hell
  4. Watch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcNnhTQv2D8&feature=youtu.be
  5. http://www.desertstream.org/Groups/1000040180/Desert_Stream_Ministries/Looking_For_Help/Friends_of_Desert/Friends_of_Desert.aspx
  6. http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/the-lies-and-dangers-of-reparative-therapy
  7. http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2007/winter/coming-out
  8. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/03/world/africa/03uganda.html?ref=africa&_r=2&
  9. Listen: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/lou-engle-has-prophecy-looming-natural-disasters-and-economic-wreckage-because-legal-abortio
  10.  http://gospelmasquerade.wordpress.com/2009/02/18/why-i-believe-ihop-is-a-cult/
  11.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/us/10prayer.html?_r=1&http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/us/10prayer.html?_r=5&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha23&

Open Meeting Agenda: October 2013

KCAC DIRECTORS MEETING—October 2, 2013

Member Input

  • Evan Helmuth: fundraiser to bring a Syrian freethinker to UCM
  • Helen Stringer: “Sunday Assembly” proposal
  • Other attendees’ input

Old Business

  • Treasurer’s Report—Daniel
  • Site Changes—Veronica
  • Membership—All
  • Online Store Ideas—Veronica
  • Harassment Policy—Emily

Events

 “Past Event” Write-Ups Due
 Past Events
  • Ask an Atheist @ Plaza Art Fair
  • Giving at the Green Room

New Business

October Events
  • Hug an Atheist
  • Spofford Home
  • Officer Elections
  • Pastafarian Evangelism
November Events
  • Movie Theater Ad
  • Skepticon: Speaker schedule: http://skepticon.org/schedule/
  • Turkey Day with KCRM
  • Thanksgiving Dinner
December Events
  • Philanthropy Event?
  • Onething Conference
January Events
  • Philanthropy Event?

Morality Study: Atheists Wanted!

Joshua Hyde, acting president of the Kansas City Atheist Coalition, and Veronica Brown, acting vice president of the Kansas City Atheist Coalition, have reviewed the interview materials presented by Joseph Tennant to us with regard to his study. We gladly and willingly agree to help in the recruitment of atheist members of our community who would consent to participate in this study as it has been presented to us. This is a great opportunity not only to help advance our knowledge about morality and cultural influence, but also make a little extra spending money in the process.

Participate in a Psychological Study on Morality!

My name is Joseph Tennant, a PhD student studying psychology at the University of Chicago. I’m hoping to recruit participants for a study on morality as part of my dissertation research. The study will consist of an interview that will focus on questions about a series of scenarios and your judgments about them. Participation is confidential and totally voluntary. Interviews will take roughly 45 minutes to an hour, and you will be compensated $10 for your time. If you’d like to take part, please contact me at  jctennant@uchicago.edu. Thank you and hope to hear from you soon!

 

Open Meeting Agenda: August 2013

KCAC DIRECTORS MEETING AGENDA–August 7, 2013

Member Input

  • Jamie Kelsey – Charity Kickball Tournament
  • Open Floor For General Member’s Input

 

Old Business

  • Read Last Meeting Minutes – Dave
  • Treasurer’s Report – Daniel
  • American Atheists affiliation – Josh
  • Screen Tee Online Store – Veronica
Past Events
  • Atheists in the Park
  • Heart to Heart International
  • Members-Only Movie Night

 

New Business

August Events
  • Fun with Animals: Ask members to bring rolls of paper towels to donate?
  • Ask an Atheist @ City Market: Where do we stand on professional-looking signs?
September Events
  • Darrel’s Labor Day Party: Monday, September 2, 2013
  • Philanthropy: KC Zoo? KC Library?
  • Atheists vs. Christians Softball Game – Jozef: Do we want to promote the soft ball event in the media?
October Events
  • Officer Elections Event: Availability of Jewish Community Center, Alternate locations if needed?
  • Philanthropy: Spofford Home
November Events
  • Skepticon
  • Philanthropy: Thanksgiving Turkey Day
  • Thanksgiving Day Event
  • Movie Theater Ad with Screenland Armour
December Events
  • Philanthropy: ?
  • Holiday Party
  • Secular Santas

 

Miscellaneous:

  • Discuss about getting an official KCAC iPad or Tablet that is owned by the KCAC.
  • Guest bloggers – Sandra Meade? Will there be an option to allow a comments section on the blog? Do we really want this?
  • Discussion about ways to handle membership. Yearly signup, lifetime sub, signing up online.
  • Partner with Camp Quest Kansas City for Light the Night FBB walk
  • Discuss possible activism events such as demonstrating against the WBC with a positive message? They are frequently in the KC area protesting shows.

Kansas City Atheist Coalition is the newest American Atheists affiliate!

We’re pleased to announce that we have been approved as a local affiliate of American Atheists. American Atheists is a like-minded 501(c)3 dedicated to develop­ing and supporting a healthy, thriving, and respected atheist community in the United States. Their Affiliate Program provides a relationship with groups like ours that benefits both the local group and American Atheists in meeting our goals and mission. As a local affiliates, we have the option to collaborate with the national organization about addressing civil rights issues or to seek out assistance on local issues. They can also provide organizational and leadership support and we keep them informed of emerging local civil rights issues so that we can meet the challenge together. The value of affiliation comes from the recognition of the relationship and the shared values and bonds that we have as an affiliates have with American Atheists.

Josh Hyde Acting President; Sarah Hargreaves Steps Down

The Kansas City Atheist Coalition is sad to announce that its president, Sarah Hargreaves, has stepped down both as president and as a member of the board. As a farewell to both the directors and the members of our community, she writes:

I have happily served the Kansas City Atheist Coalition as a founding board member and president for two years. KCAC has added a huge amount of personal enrichment and joy to my life. It has been enormously gratifying to watch KCAC grow into the exceptional organization it is. While I am proud to say I have helped KCAC’s development, I also understand that organizations need to adopt new leadership to allow for fresh ideas and to progress.

As I step down from my board position and the KCAC presidency, I am as happy and proud today as I was when I helped found the organization two years ago. As vice president, Josh Hyde will assume the role of acting president until KCAC’s officer elections in October. I am confident that Josh will continue to serve KCAC as an outstanding leader, and I look forward to seeing KCAC prosper and grow under his and the entire board of directors’ guidance.

I will remain in service to the Kansas City freethought community as a board member of Camp Quest KC and organizer of the KC Skeptical Women Meetup group. Looking back on the past two years with KCAC, I hope I have benefited the Kansas City Atheist Coalition half as much as it has benefited me.

We are pleased to announce that our vice president, Joshua Hyde, will be acting president until the officer elections, currently scheduled for this coming October.In addition, KCAC’s treasurer and member of the board of directors, Kimberly Dobbs, has stepped down for personal reasons. Although KCAC is saddened by the loss of Ms. Dobbs, we are excited to announce that Daniel Boyd, with a treasurer background and strong background in financial institutions, will be assuming her duties as KCAC’s official treasurer.We look forward to continue serving our community in ever-increasingly new and innovative ways as we progress forward under this new leadership and assembly of officers and directors. To learn more about our directors and officers, visit their profiles in the Volunteer section of the website.

KCAC Joins Zombie Walk for Hunger

June 7, 2013, the Kansas City Atheist Coalition joined the 10th semi-annual Kansas City Zombie Walk for Hunger. Everyone brought five nonperishable food or hygiene items in our most gruesome zombie attire and handed out special “Atheists Have BRAINS” buttons for everyone to wear.

The Kansas City Zombie Walk is a grassroots charity event dedicated to gathering resources for people living in the Kansas City area who are experiencing hunger or homelessness. Now in its fifth year, the Kansas City Zombie Walk has gathered over 5,000 pounds of food for hungry people.

Check out the full album on our Facebook page!

Kids and KCAC at Play: Spofford Home

May 4, 2013 the Kansas City Atheist Coalition played kickball with the children of Spofford Home. Everyone enjoyed playing, socializing and making new friends.

Since 1916, Spofford has been a leading provider of prevention and therapeutic treatment services for children ages 4 to 12 suffering the effects of physical and sexual abuse, neglect and mental health disorders.

AIDS Walk 2013

April 27, 2013 The Kansas City Atheist Coalition and Camp Quest KC participated in the 25th annual AIDS WALK Kansas City. Thanks to the generosity of our members and supporters KCAC and CQKC raised $1,405 for the AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City and was the 24th highest ranking team in donations raised!

All proceeds go to raise awareness and funding for local AIDS service organizations that provide shelter, emergency services, medical care and long-term nursing care to the women, men and children living with HIV/AIDS in our community. Beneficiaries include SAVE Inc., Good Samaritan Project, Kansas City Free Health Clinic and Hope Care Center.

KCAC Goes to Reasonfest

April 20, 2013 KCAC had a great time at Reasonfest 3 in Lawrence, Kansas.

We enjoyed hearing speakers; workshops; an interfaith panel of an atheist, Christian, Jew, Muslim and Hindu; a debate featuring Matt Dillahunty, titled “Moral Combat”; entertainment from comedian Keith Lowell Jensen and singer/songwriter Shelley Segal; and the debut of Godless Perverts Story Hour, featuring Greta Christina and David Fitzgerald.