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…
(we need it here on planet earth)