The story made my heart sink.
A headline on the internet said “Pray for Obama not what it seems.” I went to the story and read that tee shirts, bumper stickers and more, are being made that say, “Pray for Obama. Psalm 108:8”
But, the article said, the prayer is not what it seems. Psalm 108:8 says, “May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.” Reading further, the psalm says, “May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes. May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor. May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children…” and so on.
It is not an explicit death threat, but it certainly is not a prayer for life.
As much as I did not like Mr. George W. Bush, I never prayed anything like this, nor did I, as a pastor, encourage my flock to pray anything like this either. I prayed that he would not be re-elected, and was glad when his term was finally over. But while he was in office, though I did not like him, I prayed for his wisdom and for the safety of the country.
This outright praying for our president’s death, for his demise, and for the demise of his family, sickens me to my core.
And what bothers me is that it is all being done in the name of God.
Wait, someone would say. This psalm was entreating God for the demise of the writer’s enemy.
Yes, but Mr. Obama is not our enemy. He is our president. We are bound to respect the leader of our country. Were we to pray for the demise of someone, it should be for Osama bin Laden, or terrorists who want to harm America.
What is the deal with this hatred of Obama? Is it because he is trying to get more people affordable health care? Is it because he put into place a stimulus package which costs taxpayers, but probably saved the economy, which was on a collision course largely because of the policies of the Bush administration?
It is because he is being slow and methodical in deciding what to do in Afghanistan, not willing to put his country into a war could feasibly go on indefinitely? Is it because he seems genuinely concerned about Americans who have no health care and who are suffering foreclosure because of Wall Street’s antics?
Or is it because he is a black man and people just cannot get past their fear, worry and contempt for black people, president or not?
What really bothers me is that I know that many who would pray Psalm 108:8 and following verses are probably people who are pro-life. You know, “save the fetus” champions. How can anyone be a champion for life yet pray for the demise, the death, of a president with whom they are at odds?
It is a scary thing to think about and it is bothersome that such a hateful spirit would exist in a land which calls itself religious. It is even more bothersome that people who will fight for the life of a fetus would pray for the death of a man who is merely leading the country in a way which is different than they would like. We all go through it; presidents are elected all the time which make some of us really sad.
This praying for the president’s demise, though, falls into my bag of reasons why I do not respect the pro life movement. If the only life worth saving is a fetus, then the movement is not about life at all. Any person who cannot care about a fetus once it is born, or about the leader of his or her own country, is not a champion for life.
It would seem, by supporting the demise of man and his family, that life is not so important to you after all.
That’s just a candid observation.