Christian Extremist Pastors Pray for Death of Enemies Including President Obama
by Sheila Musaji
Earlier this year, I wrote an article “Former Navy Chaplain Prays for the Death of Those Who Disagree With Him” about former US Navy Chaplain (and Air Force Academy graduate)
. As I said in that article: “It would seem that whatever form of “Christianity” the good chaplain represents, it has more in common with the sort of “Islam” represented by the Taliban than anything else. It is probably legal to issue such a statement, but the morality is questionable. I hope that all of the mainstream Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs — everyone other than these nuts offers prayers for compassion, justice and peace for all of us, and I am pretty sure that such a prayer has more chances of being heard by the God who loves us all.”
At that time I thought that this was a single individual with a distorted view. It was not something I had ever heard about before. But, it seems that there are more folks out there who believe that praying for the death of people who disagree with you or that you consider to be enemies is perfectly reasonable.
said he is praying “imprecatory prayer” against Obama. He had also called for such prayers previously against other individuals.
Frederick Clarkson also pointed out in an article entitled “ Pray For Barack Obama To Die And Go To Hell”: The Story The Media Missed that the Pastor of Chris Broughton who was one of those recently in the news for showing up armed at an Obama speech: “Chris Broughton, 28, made national news when he showed up to protest a speech by President Barack Obama in Phoenix, Arizona with an AR-15 automatic rifle slung over his shoulder and a handgun.” ... “The night before Broughton’s fifteen minutes of fame, he attended a fiery Sunday sermon by his pastor,Rev. Steven L. Anderson
, at Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. Rev. Anderson, also 28, explained not only “Why I Hate Barack Obama,” but also why he and God both want the president dead. “When I go to bed tonight,” Broughton’s pastor declared, “Steven L. Anderson is going to pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell.” Also reported on here.
There is a legitimate concern that the sort of folks that this sort of rabble rousing stirs up may take matters into their own hands. I also cannot help but wonder how it is that anyone could be allowed to get anywhere near the President of the United States, or any other elected official for that matter carrying a loaded weapon. It seems as if this goes well beyond the right to bear arms.
Wonder what an imprecatory prayer is?
“Radical Islam is incorrigible, period. So, face it and embrace it. We are not going to convert or appease these cats. We have nothing they want. There is nothing to negotiate. They want us exterminated. Capisce? That said, what do we, Christians in particular, do when faced with an implacable radical enemy?” ... “As people of faith, dust off and use what’s afforded to the believer within the Old and New Testaments, namely the imprecatory prayers.
What is an imprecatory prayer?
It is a prayer asking God to crush a clear enemy of His, an enemy which is an aggressive adversary of freedom and peace loving people. Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Precious Moments Figurine Collector, the Bible is filled with maledictions prayed by saints and speedily answered by God against violently impenitent enemies of liberty and righteousness. Here are a couple examples:
“Break the teeth in their mouths, O God; tear out, O Lord, the fangs of the lions! Let them vanish like water that flows away; when they draw the bow, let their arrows be blunted. Like a slug melting away as it moves along, like a still born child, may they not see the sun. The righteous will be glad when they bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.” Psalm 58.6-10.
“Pour out your wrath on them; let your fierce anger overtake them. May their place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in their tents. For they persecute those you wound and talk about the pain of those you hurt. Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation. May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous.” Psalm 69.24-28.”
Actually there is more of this stuff in the Bible than even Doug Giles mentions, e.g.:
Do give heed to me, O Lord, and listen to what my opponents are saying! Should good be repaid with evil? For they have dug a pit for me. Remember how I stood before Thee to speak good on their behalf, so as to turn away Thy wrath from them. Therefore, give their children over to famine, and deliver them up to the power of the sword; and let their wives become childless and widowed. Let their men also be smitten to death, their young men struck down by the sword in battle. May an outcry be heard from their houses, when Thou suddenly bringest raiders upon them; for they have dug a pit to capture me and hidden snares for my feet. Yet Thou, O Lord, knowest all their deadly designs against me; do not forgive their iniquity or blot out their sin from Thy sight. But may they be overthrown before Thee; deal with them in the time of Thine anger! (Jer. 18:19-23; cf. also 11:18ff.; 15:15ff.; 20:11ff.).
Luckily most Christians don’t take this literally, and I would certainly love to know what Giles definition of a “radical Muslim” is and whether or not it applies to all of us who consider ourselves Muslims, or if his definition is as generalized as that of the Dove World Outreach Center who simply consider Islam itself “of the devil”.
You can find a Christian attempt to explain all of this at “Psalm 109: A Prayer for the Punishment of the Wicked” by Bob Deffinbaugh. However, I don’t believe that any explanation can explain away the fact that this sort of extremist religious belief is dangerous. I believe that it is time that all religious people speak up loudly against extremists in their own religious communities.
Secret Service ‘Aware Of’ Gun-Toter And Pastor’s Prayers For Obama To Die http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/08/secret_service_aware_of_gun-toter_and_pastors_pray.php
Gospel of Hate: Arizona pastor Steve Anderson spews bile toward Obama, Frank, and gays, David Neiwert http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/gospel-hate-arizona-pastor-steve-and
Arizona pastor’s sermons call for execution of gays, Barney Frank and the President, Pam Spaulding http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/12591/
Alan Colmes Jerks a Metaphorical Knot in Pastor Steven Anderson’s Noggin, Stephen Lemons http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard/2009/08/alan_colmes_jerks_a_metaphoric.php
Christopher Broughton’s Pastor Steven Anderson Prays for President Barack Obama’s Death, Stephen Lemons http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard/2009/08/tempe_pastor_steven_anderson_p.php
Theocrats to Pray for McCain’s Death, Frederick Clarkson http://www.talk2action.org/story/2008/9/3/11483/34706 9/08
Bill Moyers http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article23450.htm on his September 4th program made a comment that turns out to be right on target in connecting these two: “Those crackpots on the right praying for Obama to die and be sent to hell — they’re the warp and woof of home-grown nuttiness. So is the creature from the Second Amendment who showed up at the President’s rally armed to the teeth. He’s certainly one of us. Red, white, and blue kooks are as American as apple pie and conspiracy theories.”
There was a demonstration outside Anderson’s church on Sunday September 6th http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/arizona-protesters-rally-obama-hating-pastor/story?id=8510835