Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What?...Just, What???

I'm having one of those seriously WTF moments, so please bear with me.

Today on my Facebook, one of my acquaintances there posted that they had become aware of a bumper sticker that asked those who read it to "pray for Obama" and then offered the Old Testament verse, Psalms 109:8, which reads,

Let his days be few, And let another take his office.

Some might find that innocuous, just asking for prayer that the president be out of office after not being there very much longer.

However, I wonder how many would still be comfortable with that sentiment if they saw that verse in its context. The verse starts out with the Psalmist, traditionally David according to the dedication at the beginning of the chapter, complaining that the "wicked" and the "deceitful" had spoken against him, have "rewarded me evil for good, And hatred for my love", and then launches into quite the tirade:

6 Set a wicked man over him,
And let an accuser stand at his right hand.
7 When he is judged, let him be found guilty,
And let his prayer become sin.
8 Let his days be few,
And let another take his office.
9 Let his children be fatherless,
And his wife a widow.
10 Let his children continually be vagabonds, and beg;
Let them seek their bread also from their desolate places.
11 Let the creditor seize all that he has,
And let strangers plunder his labor.
12 Let there be none to extend mercy to him,
Nor let there be any to favor his fatherless children.
13 Let his posterity be cut off,
And in the generation following let their name be blotted out.

Clearly, the implication...no, not even implication, but overt call...is for the death of the "wicked" and "deceitful" person he is complaining about. By implication, that bumper sticker is calling for the death of the president, and for the ruin of his entire family, both now and in the future.

Aside from the violence called down on his family, which seems a bit like overkill to me; isn't it considered treason to call for the death of the president? Certainly, there were those during the time of Bush.2 who considered it treason to even criticize the president, let alone threaten him.

But the Psalmist doesn't stop there; he continues on:

14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD,
And let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.
15 Let them be continually before the LORD,
That He may cut off the memory of them from the earth;
16 Because he did not remember to show mercy,
But persecuted the poor and needy man,
That he might even slay the broken in heart.
17 As he loved cursing, so let it come to him;
As he did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him.
18 As he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment,
So let it enter his body like water,
And like oil into his bones.
19 Let it be to him like the garment which covers him,
And for a belt with which he girds himself continually.
20 Let this be the LORD’s reward to my accusers,
And to those who speak evil against my person.*


I did not vote for George W. Bush as president, and I did not support the majority of his policies. However, I never, ever prayed for his death. I hoped that he would have a nice, long, happy retirement as soon as he could legally be removed from office, and wasn't as hesitant as some to consider that he might have committed an impeachable offense. But I did not wish him harm, nor did I wish harm or unhappiness to his family, to his ancestors or to his descendants.

I find it incredibly disrespectful for people who portray themselves as Christians to call, even in this passive-aggressive way, for the death of the sitting president. I would find it incredibly disrespectful for anyone of any faith, or of no faith at all, to do so. But I was raised to believe that Christians are better than that. I don't believe that most Christians would do that.

So, I guess my question here is, What the hell is wrong with this (hopefully) small subset of people, that they feel entitled to wish for...no, advocate that people actively pray for...the death of someone who they don't agree with? I don't agree with a lot of people, but I don't wish any of them dead.

However, that post is going to be removed from my Facebook feed, because I cannot let such a sentiment remain on my Facebook page. I suppose that, arguably, under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the person who posted that has a right to do so. I, however, do not violate that person's speech rights by not facilitating dissemination of her speech.

Additionally, I'm going to have to seriously consider whether I can keep the individual who posted it on as a Facebook friend.

*This translation, by the way, is the New King James Version, which I found at biblegateway.com.

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