This week, a large number Conservatives began purchasing bumper stickers, t-shirts, and Starter Jackets adorned with Psalm 109:8 as a “prayer for Obama.” It reads:
“May his days be few; may another take his office.”
This seems innocuous enough. I mean, it’s almost Christmas – you want to balance that political opposition with some practical biblicality before leaving the house.
After all, Bumper Sticker Liberals slapped 1/20/09 all over their Subarus for the last 4 years.
However, while certain people thrive on to taking quotes out of context, the snooping widow in me was curious to check out the following line. This reads:
“May his children be orphans, and his wife a widow.” (Psalm 109:9)
Yikes. That just went from pious opposition to hateful desire. Apparently, these Psalmericans don’t want to wait for the wheels of democracy to turn to 1/20/13.
Some further background:
Psalm 109 belongs to a special category of the psalms known as “imprecatory” prayers — it is a lament in the form of petition to destroy one’s enemies. It is the personal prayer of an individual, someone who has been dealt an injustice by another (usually more powerful) person. The words of Psalm 109 are those of deep agony, the longings of a victim for retribution and justice. This psalm is considered one of the most difficult of all the psalms — full of violent images of vengeance and death. Many a biblical critic has struggled with its words, and not a few — including Roman Catholic and mainline Protestant theologians — recommend it not be used in public worship, much less as a bumper-sticker political slogan.
I guess it’s not surprising the people who have toiled through 10 months of oppressive Obama policies (such as the tax cuts for 98% of working Americans) maintain this ongoing feeling of victimization that so suddenly arose in January.
Former evangelical activist Frank Schaeffer put into a little more perspective on Maddow’s show:
The situation that I find genuinely frightening right now is that you have a ramping up of Biblical language, language from the anti-abortion movement, for instance, death panels and this sort of thing, and what it’s coalescing into is branding Obama as Hitler…as something foreign to our shores, we’re reminded of that he’s born in Kenya, as brown, as black, above all, as not us. He is Sarah Palin’s “not a real American.” But now it turns out that he joins the ranks of the unjust kings of ancient Israel, unjust rulers to which all these Biblical allusions are directed, who should be slaughtered, if not by God, then by just men. So there’s a direct parallel here with Timothy McVeigh’s t-shirt on the day of the Oklahoma City bombing in which he said the tree of liberty had to be watered occasionally by the blood of tyrants. And that quote we saw again at a meeting at which Obama was present being carried on a placard by someone carrying a loaded weapon.
…This is serious business. It’s unAmerican, it’s unpatriotic and it goes to show that the religious right, the Republican far right, have coalesced into a group that truly wants revolution and if it turns out to be blood in the streets, so be it.
Will someone please wake me up when these clowns get to one of the many parts of the Bible that condemns blind hate or extols selfless love?
Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all offenses. Proverbs 10:12
Bam. That’s some serious versing.