Rosenhouse wasn't impressed with the Bible-thumping sermon, and was surprised to see at least a dozen people going forward in response to the inevitable altar call at the ending. While he was wondering if something was wrong with himself for feeling unmoved, one of his Christian friends who did accompany him to the tent meeting said, "I hate this part, pressuring people to make a public display of faith."
Palau's histrionics were, for his friends, a caricature of Christianity, wrote Rosenhouse. Whereas he found the proceedings slightly silly, they found them offensive. It was his introduction to very different facets of modern American Christianity.
We have our own homegrown oddities, one who cajoled heartlanders to "give until they bleed", one who dabble in magic tricks to preach about real miracles, and one who perverted a good Samaritan role into a Dominatrix charade. The mother who believes that her son is "a fantastic child, perhaps born in the wrong country" should take heart that there is still a compassionate God. It's the misguided charlatans who give him a bad name.