Praying for God to Kill the President

Wow. Just, well … wow.

It seems that some folks are now driving around with bumper stickers that read, “Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8.” What does that Bible verse say?

“Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”

And what does that mean? The verse that immediately follows clears up any ambiguity:

“Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”

So now we have extremists using Bible verses to pray that God will kill the president of the United States. Of course, it would be absurd and offensive to suggest that all Christians agree with such sentiments. Almost certainly, nearly all would be appalled to learn about this. But some folks — like the Rev. Peter Marshall — don’t seem to have a problem suggesting that all Muslims be treated as potential criminals because of the actions of a few (or one).

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19 Comments

  1. David
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I can only hope that the sincerely righteous people of all faiths will continue to preserve their faith as a personal relationship with God, the Dharma, or simply the truth as their conscience dictates, and let that relationship inform their sense of civic duty, within the context of our constitutional democracy.
    It boggles my mind that we can’t see that the dark forces of religious totalitarianism such as exist in Iran are as foolish and malevolent as that that existed in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia.
    Those that pursue Christianity as a political ideology are foolish to think that the establishment of a Christian State would be advantageous to individual spiritual salvation. The modestly intelligent should be able t0 recognize that a Christian State will quickly be Christian in name only. Politics is about power.
    The people who claim to believe in “freedom” should recognize that Christian institutions have thrived in the “freedom” of a secular environment.
    If these people had true faith in the power of God, they wouldn’t feel like they had to fight for the supremacy of their religion.
    They project their insecurities onto the “other”, anyone they see as a threat to their world view.
    I think it’s good that people who believe in the power of prayer should pray for good things, and for positive results.
    However, those of us who believe in responsible action have to remain vigilant lest the apesh*t crowd panics and goes , well, apesh*t.

  2. dorothy
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    This is why we need to pray for the blessings of our God to be upon President Obama, his family, his administration, and our nation. Never did I anticipate that so much hate and negativity would be spewed by people calling themselves Christians. This truly is a sad revelation, and what is even sadder, is that thay are not concerned about the message and images they are sending to others about Christianity and the love of God.

    Our nation… our world, is in such a terrible state, and it is for such a time as this that we are supposed to be a living example of Jesus Christ, a time when people are more willing to accept the fact they need to depend on and have faith in God, a wonderful time for harvesting, instead… many are turning their backs on Him because they do not want to be like the “haterful hypocrites,” that are being exposed.

    I only want to remind those who are so determined to create and add to all the hateful and sinful controversy… there will always be consequences for your actions. And as I continue to pray for our President and our nation, I will pray for those who have chosen to try to destroy him instead of trying to help him or even just “get out of the way,” and let those who are trying to make things safer and better for every American, not just those of a certain social or racial status, religion or gender.

  3. David
    Posted November 23, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Sociologists say the primary flaw of Marxism (if it had ever actually been tried, I think what they had was the same old czarist/serfdom model dedicated in name to Marx) , was that it was based on a static historical model of social development, and that it failed to recognized that societies are in constant flux.

    Our living Constitution allows us to adapt and evolve in response to new situations that arise inevitably out of the passage of time. The knuckleheads on the right want the world to stop turning so they can feel secure that tomorrow will be just like yesterday.
    I think restoring the old ’58 Belair and rolling down to the malt shop on Sunday is a great hobby, but as an energy policy it’s got it’s limitations.
    You’ve got the Christian fundamentalists who feel threatened by the greater zeal of the Islamic fundamentalists, and the gun-whacks who fetishize and fondle their weapons due to insecurity about their manhood, and then you’ve got the people who hate blacks and jews. Where those three groups merge you have the truly dangerous who only need the dogwhistle. And then you have Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, all tweeting away.

  4. Charles
    Posted November 23, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    David Said:

    “Back before big government exceeded the limits of the Constitution and built the interstate highway system. It doesn’t say a damn word about the interstate highway system in the constitution. What would “free enterprise” look like if everyone was driving around in their Model A’s on gravel roads? Getting stuck or breaking down every 5 miles?”

    That is a perfect description of the Soviet transportation system from 1917-1991—and probably about the same in Russia today.

  5. David
    Posted November 23, 2009 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Yes, they want to return to the 50’s they remember. I E Father Knows Best, Ozzie and Harriet, etc.
    There’s some good things about those times.
    We should bring back the good things. Those that we can.
    We forget a lot of stuff about that time.
    The fact is that Billy Graham was so successful with his “crusades” because there were so many people during that time that had given up on the mainstream denominations.
    They didn’t want to go to church every week, tithe 10% etc.
    His brand of “born again” Christianity was basically Christianity meets existentialism. Your life is meaningless, unless you make it mean something. Let Jesus be the meaning for your life.
    Islamic fundamentalism is basically a substitute for Marxism, which wouldn’t work in the Islamic world. The young, idealistic college students and intellectuals concerned about social justice, inciting a revolution among the impoverished and ignorant.
    Today, a lot of people are weak in their faith. They receive it passively, on tv, or they can’t sustain it without it being a big mass gymnasium event like a rock concert or something. There are so many facts challenging their beliefs.
    So they demonize an enemy, an other, and place all their fear and loathing on the other.
    Now we have the internet, and cable news, that complicate things and throw gas on the fire.
    There’s a “real” conservative critique of government that should be co-opted and understood by progressives. That’s the best way to succeed with solving the problems we have.
    However, knee-jerk, phony conservatism is silly. Let’s go back to the good old days. Eliminate big government.
    Back to the days when robber barons in control of the railroads enslaved the farmers, until their community “organized”.
    Back to the days when 10 year old kids died in unsafe coal mines, until the miner’s community “organized”.
    Back before big government exceeded the limits of the Constitution and built the interstate highway system. It doesn’t say a damn word about the interstate highway system in the constitution. What would “free enterprise” look like if everyone was driving around in their Model A’s on gravel roads? Getting stuck or breaking down every 5 miles?
    Back before goldang newfangled fancy-shmancy inventions like toilet paper.
    These people supported Bush/Cheney because they assumed that God was on our side. We are good, they are evil, therefore we will win. That was exactly the propaganda of the Bush. (I’ve decided to excise the “administration”) From now on, it’s the Bush.
    What’s going on now, and is so dangerous, is that these people are being manipulated by the big corporate money interests.
    Health insurance, defense contractors, wall street bankers, etc. That’s where the power is. That’s why the responsible, rational, educated, ADULT section of the country will have to have strong spines and intestinal fortitude.

  6. Charles
    Posted November 22, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Welcome David. You said:

    “It’s important not to under-estimate the extent to which the anti-abortion/”social conservative” element are the loudest and most strident constituents of the tea-bagger anti-health reform bunch. That stridency exploded after the nomination of Justice Sotomayor. They’re desperate.”

    I agree. It’s a mistake to underestimate anyone or any group. Sometimes it seems as if conservatives want to return us to the 1950s. The desperation of the groups you mention (e.g., Tea Party Movement) is a reflection of their fear that the nation will return to that small, hated portion of the 1950s and 1960s when most mainline conservatives AND liberals blew off the far right icon of their times (their holy grail known as the John Birch Society) as a collection of local nuts who saw communists and left wing radicals hiding behind the living room curtains in every house in the United States. Can I trust my local butcher? Can I trust my local candlestick maker? Can I trust my baker? What if my baker is lacing the water in his bread dough with a secret Russion substance designed to weaken the spines of my children?

    This is their historical legacy. They are afraid that normal people everywhere will wake up to the fact that they are a bunch of nuts who cannot find the room to take anything they have to say seriously, just like they did with their historical counterparts. This “ignoring of them” is where things seem to be headed. Most regular people and smart people know they are just plain nuts, and their childlike tantrum behavior in the health care townhall meetings underscored that as “…nuts behaving badly.”

  7. David
    Posted November 21, 2009 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    The polls have had me a little worried too, but when you get into the details, it’s not necessarily so bad.
    If the polls can shift to the right in that short of a time period, they can shift back to the left in the same time period.
    While President Obama obviously is preferential to the progressive, left of center approach to governance, he recognizes that the electorate is pretty much in the center. He ran on a centrist platform. But he ran on a problem solving platform.
    There is a need for real conservatism. Some critiques that come from the right are well-reasoned. Progressives should heed them.
    The best way to keep government small is to keep it effective.
    A lot of the polls show new life on the right, but they also show diminished enthusiasm on the left. That’s one reason the polls trend to the right.
    There is a white reactionary element in the country that feels like they carry the water for the rich and the poor. There’s an element of truth in that. However, they’re being manipulated by the rich and powerful to blame the problem on the poor, inner-city, community organizer, black, etc.
    It’s important not to under-estimate the extent to which the anti-abortion/”social conservative” element are the loudest and most strident constituents of the tea-bagger anti-health reform bunch. That stridency exploded after the nomination of Justice Sotomayor. They’re desperate.
    The administration needs to pursue policies which will create (private sector, esp. ) jobs. They’ve also got to do a better job of communicating on that issue. Health care reform will create a demand for hundreds of new nurses, nurses aides, etc. , as well as doctors.
    Development of America’s natural gas resources as a bridge to a clean energy future will create thousands of jobs as well.
    It will also “decrease our dependency on foreign oil “.
    Etc.
    They’re doing the right thing on Afghanistan, that is, putting the full force of rational thought into the best way forward, and out of that mess.
    There’s a lot of stuff that isn’t being discussed right now in the pitifully shallow debate being generated out of the Republican Party. For instance, winter has started over there. We couldn’t do much fighting even if we had 500,000 troops over there.
    We have to squeeze all of the logistical support for the troops through the Khyber Pass.
    We don’t have 60, 000 troops to send over. Period.
    We don’t need to be killing Afghans who are simply resisting a foreign invader. In addition to being wrong, it’s stupid.
    When the strategy announcement comes out, the American people will respect it and get behind it.

    The country’s need to remain competitive globally will eventually drive religiously directed science education etc into extinction.
    Etc.
    In the meantime, the rational, the educated, and the progressive are going to have to stick together and push back hard against the ignorant and their puppet-masters. It’s my belief that Pres. Obama is especially in danger in the short term.
    For anybody that hasn’t heard Frank Shaeffer on the Rachel Maddow Show, I encourage you to check that out.

  8. Cytocop
    Posted November 21, 2009 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    To David: Yes, that’s true what you wrote. The worrisome (and scary) thing is that polls show the nation is moving to the right. Therefore, the majority of Americans are more likely than not to side with the Christian Taliban – the Christian Neo-Fundamentalists – whether they themselves are of that persuasion or not. They see the Christian Neo-Fundamentalists as just as anti-government as they are; thus they will join forces. Just as the democrats and bolsheviks had a common enemy in the czar, so the secular conservatives and libertarians, the teabaggers, birthers, and the Christian Neo-Fundamentalist Taliban have a common enemy in the government.

    “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

    We’re likely to see things get far far worse before they get better. IF they get better.

  9. Charles
    Posted November 21, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I think the appropriate term would be “Christian Neo-Fundamentalist Jihad.” I do not say this lightly or to be provocative— but just to be honest. The people who study fundamentalist movements of different kinds around the world have found that these movements have much in common with regard to what they believe, how they think, and how they operate. Predictably, with people like Jim Adkisson, we are begining to see our own homegrown versions of suicide shooters and bombers. It will get worse before it gets better.

    I can see Terri Leo now. Hm-m-m-m-m. Jim Adkisson? Whoever is that? I know. I’ll Google it. J-i-m A-d… Go for it Terri. Look it up. It’ll do you some good.

  10. David
    Posted November 21, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Make no mistake. This and similar invocations of evil or supposed evil (Nazi, socialism, Hitler, Acorn, Muslim ,etc) by RR and by the likes of Glenn Beck are definitely “dog whistle” for the mentally unhinged.

    In fact, “dog whistle” will probably be the new term of note for 2010.

    These folks have gained strength because they’ve been enabled by the insurance industry and wall street to kill reform.

    They hope to kill reform by killing Pres. Obama.

    The rational, educated people in this country are going to have to have a STEEL SPINE in order to get this country moving in the right direction.

    The Christo-fascists have no moral compass because they excuse any thing and everything done to further their cause as being “God’s will”. They see this as a “civil war”.

    The rational educated people will have to TAKE THEM ON. Agressively. Put the ball in their court. Take the offensive.
    And all the other cliches. The truth is the weapon we have to use.

  11. Cytocop
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Texas Hill Country Tom: Actually, as we’ve seen, it’s more likely someone from the lunatic right will assume this verse as signal from God to make his move. Have you forgotten the gentleman who assasinated Dr. George Tiller, and the right wingnuts who shot the people at the UU church and the guard at the Holocaust Museum?

    Montie Guthrie, you are “spot-on.” This is yet another example of how the RR – indeed all of Christianity – loves to cherry-pick Jewish scripture to support their doctrine while at the same time ignoring (even trashing!) verses that do not support their doctrine. (A perfect example: Isaiah 53). They select out what SEEMS to appear supportive of whatever they want supported (109:8) but ignore the rest of the verse which, as you point out, does not apply to Obama.

    I have a Jewish Bible and, since the Psalms are Jewish, not Christian, I place more confidence in Jewish commentators. This is what the Jewish commentators say about 109:6-19:
    “David asks that his treacherous enemies be punished. The abrupt shift from plural to singular indicates a reference to the leader of these enemies, Doeg the Edomite [see Samuel chapters 21-22].”

    David (or whoever the author is) continues:
    (109:20) “This is the reward of my adversaries from Hashem, and those who speak evil against my soul.”
    (By “my,” David is talking about himself! ‘Hashem’ is respectful Jewish term for God).
    David continues by talking about how destitute and needy he has been and how good Hashem has been to him. He praises Hashem.

    Thus, 109 is not talking in generalities; it is a narration by a SPECIFIC person, talking about SPECIFIC people in a SPECIFIC time and place. Is it godly of David to speak this way about his enemies? No! But is it human? Of course it is! David was a human being; he was not God. It’s only to be expected that David (or whoever wrote the Psalms – who were also humans!) would write as human beings from a human perspective.

    Indeed, as Charles has logically pointed out, even if President Obama were to die, how in the world would anyone be able to attribute his death to God’s wishes? You m ight as well say Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy were killed by God’s will; indeed that the Holocaust and WWII and 9/11 were God’s will. They might be, and they might not be. I’d just like to know how anyone knows.

    Notice the RR won’t say how they know these things. That’s because they don’t know; they’re just too deceitful to admit they don’t know.

  12. Posted November 20, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Montie Guthrie is too kind. ” . . .someone other than President Obama.”

    Cursing? Hounding the poor? It’s gotta be Dick Cheney, or Newt Gingrich, or Rush Limbaugh, or maybe all of them.

    Points to Guthrie for being so gentle.

  13. Posted November 20, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    And I’ll pray for these bumpersticker bearers using an excerpt from Psalm 50.9: “I shall take no bull from your house . . .”

  14. Texas Hill Country Tom
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    If Obama is assassinated, look for someone from the lunatic left who has been manipulated by the power corporatsts. Who will, as usual have their hands lilly white clean.

  15. Montie Guthrie
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    But this is obviously NOT referring to our President, because after six more verses of imprecations upon this man, we find a description of him:

    16 For he never thought of doing a kindness,
    but hounded to death the poor
    and the needy and the brokenhearted.

    17 He loved to pronounce a curse—
    may it come on him;
    he found no pleasure in blessing—
    may it be far from him.

    18 He wore cursing as his garment;
    it entered into his body like water,
    into his bones like oil.

    This obviously refers to someone other than President Obama.

  16. Charles
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone here thought about what a “God-killed” President might entail? If some nut killed the President, I would not count that as God-killed. That would be nut-killed. Of course, one might ask: “What if God told the nut to kill the President? That depends on whether the voice was really God or a nonexistent schizophrenic voice. Ben would argue that the same would apply to the God voice. We would never really know, so I do not think we could fairly specify that God actually killed the President through somebody’s action.

    If God actually killed the President. what might that look like? Maybe the president is struck by lightning? The president chokes on a caper? Air Force 1 crashes? He collapses on the basketball court? Botulism in the mushrooms on his burger? What would satisfy Wiley Drake such that he could walk out and say, “Ma prars ha been ainsered!”

    Now. Let us consider something else. People like Wiley Drake are forgetting something very important in the midst of their heart’s desire. Lincoln, Garfield, and Kennedy were shot. Excluding the badly beaten Confederate States of America, these murders did not occur in times like ours when a large percentage of U.S. citizens (I speak of nutcase conservatives) were inwardly or outwardly praying the President would drop dead or be bumped off by someone—really for no other reason than the fact that they dislike his policies. Wiley and those like him expect that the aftermath of such as murder today would be the same as in 1865, 1881, and 1963. President is shot. Nation grieves. VP takes over. All is well.

    Quite frankly, I don’t see that aftermath sequence occurring if someone were to bump off Obama. Too many people in this country and all around the world love him, Michele, and the kids—as well as his policies—as I do. If he goes down and the person who puts him down turns out to be some conservative “whack job” like Jim Adkisson or that racist conservative guy in D.C. a few months back, I would bet my last dime that the aftermath would be nationwide rioting in the streets that the National Guard would be extremely hard-pressed to stop. During that potentially unfortunate period, I would hope that people like Rush Limbaugh, Wiley Drake, Terri Leo, and other far right extremists would have enough good sense to escape before the people with torches and pitchforks arrive. As a friend at our church often says in my wife’s Sunday school class, “…pray but be careful what you pray for because when God’s response comes, it might not be the one you were expecting.”

  17. KateNonymous
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Yet another example of why extremism is the issue, regardless of what adjective precedes it.

    And if people are going to call for moderate Muslims to decry the actions of extremists, then Christians must be called on to do the same.

  18. John C
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    If we are talking bumper stickers, I’m quite fond of the word ‘Darwin’ set inside the symbol of a fish.
    I presume this sticker has not been banned in Texas.

  19. Posted November 19, 2009 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Would that be linked to Wiley Drake or is there another violently disturbed Biblical quote-miner out there we should be worrying about? I’m not sure I even understand why I ask that – if one is truly a biblical literalist, the Old Testament gives plenty of justification for murder, rape, slavery, and other barbaric mayhem. I should be surprised this doesn’t happen more often.

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