On praying for president Obama’s death and Christian black magic…


I’m puzzled again about Americans…

I must say, as a belgian I don’t understand much of American politics, and neither do I understand the role that something that is for some weird reason called Christianity plays in it. Nor do I allways understand what is Christian about american consevative politics…

The dichotomy between republicans and democrats is just weird to someone living in a country where there are more than 5 parties. And Obama would not even qualify as ‘left’ here, a bit less right than Bush maybe, but still… Everybody calling him a socialist doesn’t know anything about socialism at all… The dichotomy in politics between liberals and conservatives is even stranger, because the liberals here (the party together with the ectreme right party I’ll never in my life vote for) are the ones obsessed with the same kind of free -market capitalism (lassez faire jugle law capitalism more correctly) that the American conservatives believe in, which is pure economic darwinism (‘struggle of the fittest’) But the conservatives are supposed to be against darwinism? WelL I don’t get it but nevermind…

But some other things are beyond my head. All this anti-Obama hate speech (even on facebook) from conservative Americans is really odd. From roaming on the internet in the Bush era I though one shouldn’t even be too critical ofthe president (Romans 13), but that was only before there was a non-‘conservative’ president I guess… Now I didn’t like most of Bush’s politics (as did most people on my continent, including much evangelicals) and I am not always too enthousiastic about Mr. Obama, but overall I like him al lot more than Bush (and he is less lethal to the third planet of the star called sun) but if we are critical of a president, we criticise his politics. We don’t want evil to happen to his person.

But the the thing that worries me is the (mostly so-called humorous) call to pray for the death of president Obama. There is a facebook group protesting another group called “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” Now this is supposed to be humor I guess, and if anyone has this view of God that alose is troubling, so I hope no-one realy will pray like this. But still there is so much hate speech on this group (and pure nonsense, and freakiness). And the troubling thing is that it isn’t the first weirdness in this direction that I see. The ‘psalm 109:8′ bumper stickers with a request to pray for Obama are really dark if you take your bible and read the verse in context…

1 I praise you, God! Don’t keep silent.
2 Destructive and deceitful lies are told about me,
3 and hateful things are saidfor no reason.
4 I had pity and prayed for my enemies, but their words to me were harsh and cruel.
5 For being friendly and kind,they paid me back with meanness and hatred.
6 My enemies said,“Find some worthless fools to accuse him of a crime.
7 Try him and find him guilty! Consider his prayers a lie.
8 Cut his life short, and let someone else have his job.
9 Make orphans of his childrenand a widow of his wife;
10 make his children beg for food and live in the slums.
11 “Let the people he owes take everything he owns. Give it all to strangers.
12 Don’t let anyone be kind to him or have pity on the children he leaves behind.
13 Bring an end to his family,and from now on let him bea forgotten man.
14 “Don’t let the Lord forgive the sins of his parents and his ancestors.
15 Don’t let the Lord forgetthe sins of his family,or let anyone rememberhis family ever lived.

I don’t know what I have to do with such psalms, there is a lot of hatred in them, and it is directed towards the enemies of the psalmist, who most likely were evil and unrighteous people (vs 16: e was so cruel to the poor, homeless and   discouraged that they died young.) There is a place for this kind of feelings in the human experience, but Jesus teaches us to do otherwise… And this surely is not a prayer to pray for your president.

Now whatever you say of president Obama’s politics, this has crossed a lot of lines. First as a Christian, we are supposed to pray for leaders, not for their death… And when Paul wrote this the Roman emperor was persecuting Christians, so any comparison with Mr Obama wall fail. If you want to pray for the American president, fine, pray for wisdom, pray for insight, pray for the Spirit to guide him…

But praying for his death? I may have missed something, but I never heard of people praying for the death of GW Bush, (or even Saddam Hussain for that matter). None of the more progressive and left American Christians I’ve met has ever said anyhthing about praying for GWB’s death. Now I hope that all of this is nonsens and satire, and that I’m speaking about people that do not exist, but anyone who would genuinely be praying for the death of the president has crossed the line, and has fallen into dark black magic disguised as Christianity.

Yes, black magic, that’s how I would call the use of prayer to try to kill someone. What is the magic the bible forbids? It is using supernatural power to get more power yourself, and it is mostly connected to manipulation… Now abusing the Christian God for something like this is foolishness beyond the folly of Simon the sorcerer who thought to make personal profit out of the Holy Spirit, and it won’t work either, but the idea is still there: the invocation of supernatural powers to destroy people is black magic.

Christianity and black magic have nothing to do with each other. I may sound fundamentalist here, but we should not tolerate this kind of Christian black magic in any way. It goes against everything Jesus stood for. It goes against the love of our neigbor and our enemies. Even as humor it goes to far. To wish someones death is as bad as to kill someone, to paraphrase the sermon on the mount…

Pray for the peace in America, some things are really weird over there…
Pray for president Obama, for wisdom, and guidance from the Spirit, and protection…
Pray for the Churc to become more like jesus, without being tied to weird politics…

Shalom

(we need it here on planet earth)

Bram

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11 responses to “On praying for president Obama’s death and Christian black magic…

  1. dont publish rubbish article

  2. I don’t know if I can really explain some of our irrational political behavior, but I can testify that it comes out of some very deep fears. We like to think of our country as the ‘land of opportunity’, a place of hope, but other side of the hope coin is fear. Unfortunately, we haven’t been very good about naming our fears so they stay hidden growing bigger in the dark and come out as projections onto other people.

    Please pray for revival for us. God needs to break through our denial so we can repent. We need to own our fears and learn to trust the Lord rather than ourselves. Thank you for naming sin sin.

    • Interesting analysis about fear as the other side of hope.

      We need a ‘revival’ too. The real kind, like what you describe, not what some people make out of that word… and to learn to seek first His Kingdom and His justice, not our kingdom and our system and our little empire…

      Naming sin sin is important. I think we should learn to see sin more as a reality, and not as something mystical that we can’t help that does not do anything except for keeping us out of heaven after this life. Sin is something real, and it’s destroying us, and all of creation. And if there’s salvation in Jesus (whic I believe) there is an answer for sin. Even if we still live in the ‘already and not yet’ of the Kingdom now… Jesus didn’t just come to save us from mystical theoretical problems to ‘save us’ if we just would believe the right theology about his death. That makes no sense at all to me…

  3. This post moves me in many ways, thank you for sharing what you observe. I’m going to sene you several links you might find useful, many are American teachers that speak out against crazed lunatics like the ones praying for obamas death.

    • I know that a lot of americans are not like this, but I’m amazed sometimes at how christianity can be used by weird political agendas that have nothing even distinctly christian to me… even the liberal-sliding-to-no-faith-at-all catholics I grew up with seem to have much more of Jesus’ message… (Belgium where I live is a post-catholic country, whhere the final stage of dechristianisation -is that an english word?- has taken place between WW II and now… )

      I’m interested in the links you’ll send me. I’m still growing in my theology (like I will be my whole life) so I’ll appreciate any input

      peace

      Bram

  4. Hi Bram, one small correction, Psalms were not written by Paul. Paul wrote the various letters to the first christian churches, that are found in the New Testament. Psalms is an Old Testament Book, and the psalms were written by various persons, including David.

    Shalom

    • I do know who wrote the books of the bible, and that Paul wrote the epistles in the New Testament…. I was not referring to the psalm anymore, but to Paul telling us to pray for our leaders, in 1 Tim 2:2; but maybe I wasn’t clear enough then…

  5. Good post! Amen! As an American, goodness, I don’t understand our political system or why so called Christians are calling for an innocent man’s death. I was truly appalled when people were upset that he won the Nobel peace prize. Seriously? Some felt he wasn’t deserving and it was a political ploy. I say so what? Besides, he was more deserving than past recipients (Yasser Arafat and Al Gore).

    As for socialism, Americans were brainwashed during the cold war that government intervention into health care , etc is socialism. Most Americans don’t know the true definition or even care. After all, it is socialist!

  6. Excellent work here. As a person who once was on that side (I’ve come a long way since then) I can explain that it is a fear that the older generations many times pass onto the younger ones. It was terrible the amount of persecution that some of the public schools would place on those who would support the then candidate when I still attended them.
    The amount of prejudice in the United States against anything that can be labelled is at a disgusting level, on any topic. It is difficult to get away from, and something that even I get into occasionally. Much of it is the stock that a person will put into their political alignment. Many will, in this day and age, consider the party their identity, much like any novel about the age of state-capitalism that they so fear under the banner of Communism.
    So, thank you for the opinion. I found it a wonderful perspective.

  7. Pingback: On magic, miracles, and the differences between them. | Brambonius' blog in english

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