- The Facebook page titled "DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN" has over a million fans.
- Wiley Drake, a former Southern Baptist Convention official, has made public statements that he prays for Obama to die, saying that he's been praying an "imprecatory prayer" against Obama. Imprecatory Prayer is a prayer, such as some of the Psalms, which asks God to damn, curse, or otherwise harm an individual.
- T-shirts, bumper stickers, and more are available which say "Pray for Obama" and cite Psalm 109:8, which reads, "May his days be few; may another seize his position" (NRSV). This verse is followed by, "May his children by orphans, and his wife a widow," and other curses. Psalm 109 is an excellent example of imprecatory prayer.
- A fellow who brought a gun to an Obama event apparently worshiped at a church just prior where the minister was praying for Obama's death. The minister's statement was: "Nope. I'm not gonna pray for his good. I'm going to pray that he dies and goes to hell."
On the other hand, that assumes that we believe that prayer has no effect, that words are just words, doesn't it? If someone was taking violent action against the president, we'd believe it was the right and responsibility of the law to stop that action, even if that action was done in the name of religion.
And the case has been strongly made before, in such circumstances like Dr. Tiller's murder, that there's a link between this rhetoric calling for harmful action and the harmful action that follows.
But setting aside the question about whether or not these groups and individuals should be boycotted or even prosecuted, I want to address the question of imprecatory prayer iteself.
In the Wiccan tradition, there's talk about good magic and bad magic, and there's the three-fold law and the Wiccan Rede to follow which tell us that magic is only acceptable if it harms none, and that anything negative you do will come back to you three-fold.
I just wish the average Christian using the Psalms to pray for our President's death had half the moral fiber of the average Wiccan.
Maybe one has every right to pray this sort of prayer. But just because, once again, one has the right to do something, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. Just because imprecatory prayer exists, is legal, and is in the Bible, doesn't mean that it's right or appropriate or Christian of someone to choose to pray that prayer in any circumstance just because he or she disagrees with an elected official. Everyone has the choice, the ethical choice, given a situation like a president one disagrees with, to choose to pray the psalms for his death or to choose to turn the other cheek like Jesus. This is a moral and ethical choice. Maybe both are Christian answers, but both aren't morally right.
And, yes, maybe liberals were secretly or even openly wishing Bush were dead while he was president, but I never heard them praying, to a God they believe answers prayers, for that death to come about. More often I heard things like, "Well, I wouldn't wish him harm, just wish him out of office."
My thoughts: praying for the president's death may not be illegal, but it is immoral, and it does make those who choose this path bad Americans and bad Christians.