Praying for Obama

psalm109shirtAccording to the Christian Science Monitor, there’s a new slogan taking root on the fundamentalist right. It’s “Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8”. Some of you may recognize the Biblical reference. Psalm 109:8 is commonly translated as:

Let his days be few; and let another take his office.

So, folks advancing this slogan aren’t so much praying “for” Obama, as much as they are praying that something might happen that would make him unable to serve. Some have defended the usage, saying that it just means that they don’t want him to win a second term, but, to others, it’s clearly a call for assassination.

Given the lines following Psalm 109:8 in the Bible, I’m inclined to agree with the more sinister interpretation. Here’s what directly follows:

Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.

Doesn’t sound like they just want him voted out, does it?

From what I understand, these shirts, after being pulled from a number of online stores, are now available again. So, if you want to order one, you can head over to Cafe Press. Apparently, as it doesn’t overtly urge assassination, it falls within the realm of what they find acceptable. (I’d love to see some of the anti-Obama stuff they reject at Cafe Press. It would probably make for a good coffee table book.)

And, for what it’s worth, I’m not suggesting that these shirts shouldn’t be made. I believe in free speech. I just think that, when you see someone wearing one of these shirts, you should know what it really means. And, if you’re wearing one of these shirts, I feel as though you should be ready to publicly defend your decision.

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16 Comments

  1. DRich
    Posted November 22, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the info., Mark – I wouldn’t be surprised if I see some of those show up in my school sometime soon.

  2. Peter Larson
    Posted November 22, 2009 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    I hate generalizing about Christians since I know that many of them aren’t complete assholes, but wishing ill will and death, in addition to wishing that children become homeless, make them all look like assholes.

  3. Brackinald Achery
    Posted November 22, 2009 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    As someone intimately familiar with paranoia, it’s about him not serving a second term. It’s supposed to be funny. Lighten up.

  4. Me
    Posted November 22, 2009 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Paranoia is just heightened awareness.
    I saw some kind of news story recently about a study that seemed to suggest that politically conservative people were fearful by nature. I think they showed some people scary pictures of things such as a big angry gorilla, and measured their pulse. The conservatives’ pulse went up. The liberals’ pulse didn’t go up. Or maybe conservatives just believe everything they see in a picture is going to jump out at them and eat them up?
    I will look for the story sometime.
    Right now I am busy googling for those semen viscosity pills.
    Will get back later.

  5. Brackinald Achery
    Posted November 22, 2009 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    So conservatives are afraid of gorillas, and liberals are afraid of praying hands. That does sound about right.

    I should have let EOS say that, it sounds more up his/her alley.

  6. Me
    Posted November 23, 2009 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Hold on. I am still looking for the news story. But as I recall, it was a very small study. They only tested two people, and one of those was put through some enhanced interrogation techniques before they showed him the gorilla picture.
    Being more liberal than the liberals and more conservative than the conservatives, I have no personal stake in the study, but I thought it was interesting. Then, I forgot where I read it.
    By the way, I really need those semen enhancement links, Mark. I would love for my ejacualte to just be one solid, extremely large pellet.

  7. Posted November 23, 2009 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    I’m just curious as to why some Bible writer dude would write this in the first place. Isn’t the Bible supposed to be about love and, well, not assassinating? (Sorry, I don’t know much about the Bible). But if I were writing a religious text, I would uh, you know, not including stuff about assassinating people. But that’s just me.

  8. Peter Larson
    Posted November 23, 2009 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    You obviously don’t know very much about the Bible. The love part is actually really short. It’s mostly killing, hate, suffering and more killing.

  9. Brackinald Achery
    Posted November 23, 2009 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    There is at least one very specific assassination story in the book of Judges, wherein one lone left-handed swordsman leaves one fat tyrant dead on the crapper.

  10. Carol
    Posted November 23, 2009 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I see that these are available for sale, but is anyone buying them? I’ve yet to see anyone here in Dayton wearing them. Maybe this is more of an urban myth than a real trend.

  11. TeacherPatti
    Posted November 23, 2009 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    As I said, Peter, I don’t know much about it. But that still doesn’t make it right. If I were religious, I would want my holy book to be about, well, not murdering people or killing dudes on the shitter.

  12. Posted November 23, 2009 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Most of the love is in the New Testament. The Old Testament tends to be pretty brutal; if it were a movie, it would be a hard R for violence.

  13. Posted November 23, 2009 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    God is love, right?

    It’s strong, and it’s sudden, and it can be cruel sometimes, but it might just save your life.

    That’s the power of love.

  14. Cousin Carl
    Posted November 23, 2009 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    No, this is the power of love!

  15. Me
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    Patti, you should sit yourself down and read that thing. It is a fascinating little book. So are other religious texts, and they tend to be a little violent, too.
    If you were to write a “religious text”, you would probably want to put everything, but everything about the world and its relationship to heaven in it. The world, for its part, is completely full of violence. It is only natural that the violence would come out in a book written by humans, even if the book is “inspired” by the Holy One.
    And the New Testament is, among other things, a story about murder, scapegoats, oppression, violence, love, understanding, hatred, bigotry, healing, birth, death… All the things that are in the Old Testament, but with a different perspective.
    A priest once told me that the Bible is not something that just ends. It is being written every day.
    You are a teacher, Patti. You might want to go ahead and read that book.

  16. Me
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    And oh. I still cannot find that study about the gorilla photos. Remember though, the conservatives were not necessarily scared of big, hairy gorillas; just scared of pictures of them.
    The closest thing I could find to the gorilla story was a Cornell study about conservatives being afraid of “yucky” things such as worms, gooey, dirty stuff, muck, gay sex and abortions. The information highway is apparently a great place to actually lose information that you once had.

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