A Capital City With The Devil in the Details?

These Roads Aren't Paved With Good Intentions

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 9, 2008; Page C01

Presidential candidate John McCain keeps calling Washington the city of Satan. Turns out he's not alone.

"McCain was right," said David Bay, speaking by phone from Lexington, S.C., where as director of Cutting Edge Ministries he has long asserted that Washington's streets are positioned to usher in Lucifer as "the ultimate master of Government Center."

"You will need to have your maps of Washington, D.C., opened in front of you as we proceed," reads a treatise on the subject posted on Bay's Internet site.

Using Dupont and Logan circles as northern points, Bay instructs, you can trace various interlocking streets to form a demonic pentagram, one that bores directly into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

"It must be true, it's on the Internet," Larraine Wolman, a British tourist, said in perfect deadpan while gazing at the White House just before midnight recently.

She agreed to review Bay's map. Could she feel Satan?


Wolman and her three British companions turned to walk back to their quarters at the Mayflower Hotel. This reporter followed, determining what they knew about the place. They knew that former New York governor Eliot Spitzer had stayed there, reportedly with a high-priced call girl. They didn't know how near the hotel is to the center of Bay's pentagram.

"He didn't get in trouble with Satan," Wolman said of Spitzer, as she stood in the Mayflower's lobby. "He got in trouble with his wife."

McCain, a Republican senator from Arizona, has regularly called Washington Satan's City over the past 10 years. He did so twice last month, including during a visit to the Atlanta headquarters of Chick-fil-A, the fast-food chain whose founder is such a devoted Baptist he keeps the eateries closed on Sundays. "It's harder and harder trying to do the Lord's work in the city of Satan," McCain said, according to an Associated Press account.

Brian Rogers, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, said the Satan comments are obviously jokes. Indeed, on the stump, McCain doesn't refer to the District per se, but to the culture of special interests and ethical lapses in Congress he has long railed against.

Satan and Washington go back. After John Wilkes Booth murdered Abraham Lincoln, printers rushed out images of a horned and clawed devil whispering into Booth's ear at Ford's Theatre, according to "Manhunt," a book about the search for Booth.

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