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Preachers praying harm to our President

September 22, 2009

Preachers praying harm to our President end up harming out country.
By Kay Marshall Strom,
Eugene author of 36 books,

A minister in Tempe, Arizona, praying for the death of the president after delivering a sermon entitled “Why I hate Barak Obama”?  Other preachers, from California to South Carolina, telling their congregations that they pray President Obama will die in office?   Yikes!

On election day when George W. Bush was declared winner of his second term as president, I was in India.  An Indian man said to me, “Do you understand how unique you Americans are?  You fight hard during a political campaign, but after the election is over, you all settle down and work together.  No one burns an opponent’s village.  No one beats members of the other party to death.  You still have strong disagreements, but you work together for the good of the country.  We cannot understand that.  The whole world watches you with admiration.”

I wonder what they are saying this year?

Two years ago I wrote Once Blind: The Life of John Newton, the story of the author of the hymn “Amazing Grace.”  An 18th century English slave ship captain caught by God, Newton was transformed into a powerful preacher and an abolitionist who helped turn the heart of a nation against the slave trade.  Looking back on the brutalities he had personally witnessed (indeed, that he himself had committed!), John Newton shuddered in horror.  He vigorously condemned the atrocities, but he didn’t stop there.  He insisted that the actions of slavers so changed and hardened them that they themselves became out-of-control barbarians.  Then he went further still.  He expanded this charge to say that allowing slavery to exist calloused British society as a whole into dangerous moral compromise.

“In treating [the Africans] as less than human, we become less than human ourselves,” Newton said.  “How else could we act in so uncivilized, so unchristian, a way?”

John Newton could well be speaking to the United States of America in 2009.  Does the hate-filled vitriol we hear today come from deep-seated racial prejudice?

“No, no,”  some are saying.  “It is merely politics as usual.”

Not when preachers of the gospel of Christ stand in their pulpits spurring their parishioners on with hate-filled prayers, it isn’t.  No, at that point we must look inward and ask, “What is happening to us?  What are we becoming?”

Americans—Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians… those who agree with current policies and those who disagree—if the president of the United States ever needed your prayers… if our country ever needed them… now is the time.   For the sake of us all.

Kay Marshall Strom, Eugene author of 36 books including  her most recent, The Call of Zulina, Book 1 of the Grace in Africa fiction trilogy (Abingdon Press).

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Discuss this article

Zoe September 22, 2009

When Kay taps this into the past you realize forgiveness and religious zealotry have not changed over time. What an amazing perspective. Thank you Kay.

Ally September 22, 2009

How sad our Lord must be–the One who prayed, not even for the destruction of those who were his enemies, but for their forgiveness by the Father. Even when we soundly disagree with a President–any president–and Congress, surely we ought to be able to pray as Jesus taught us, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Dolly September 22, 2009

Sounds like we have a job to do to pray for ministers like these: “Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing.”

Alice September 22, 2009

Seems to me that anyone who understands him or her self as John Nelson did would know that until we experience God’s heart-changing Grace, we are ALL wretches with no stones to throw in any direction.

Richard September 22, 2009

Even if an individual, certainly a minister, were to believe that–worst case scenario–a president (any president) is actually evil, doesn’t Scripture require that person to pray for the other’s reformation/ conversion and not his death?

Ron September 22, 2009

My goodness! This experienced author has made a terrible literary blunder. Sentence number two is an unqualified statement. There are probably hundred’s of thousands of ministers in America. Because of her statement, the reader is left to imagine how many ministers she is talking about. It is 3 or is it 30,000? I imagine it is a very, very, very tiny minority of nutjobs. And how does she know that they are preachers of the Gospel? For all we know, they maybe ministers of the Aryan Nation or some other cult.

By the way, I voted for McCain. My candidate lost and now my president is President Obama. I strongly disargree with his policy objectives. Nevertheless, he is my President and merits my prayers for him and his family to be protected from evil.

Kay Strom September 22, 2009

You are correct, Ron, that I didn’t give a number. I don’t know the number. I agree that it is certainly quite small. I purposely did not list the names or major denomination affiliations of several pastors most prominently involved, although the most outspoken of them are easily located on the internet. Followers of Christ have a responsibility to do exactly as you are doing – pray for those in positions of responsibility, especially the man who is charged with leading this country. May God’s will be done.

Trevor September 23, 2009

I wonder how this pastor would feel if his congregation members were to get mad at him and pray for his demise. How would that feel? I am sure he would do a sermon on that and how bad that is.

cc33 September 23, 2009

I do not care if it is only one preacher, that is one too many. Enough to warrant a public rebuke. If people like Kay do not speak out about this then surely those crazies who do it feel like they have the country agree with them through their silence. It is twisted thinking but this is how twisted minds think.

Preachers continue to pray for Obama’s death | The Good Atheist September 24, 2009

[…] Here’s an interesting article from a person of faith deriding the slew of preachers that have prayed publicly for the death of President Obama. The author believes that these acts of barbarism set a dangerous and deadly precedent, and that their religion is vulnerable to the manipulation of the few relative extremists that use their pulpit to promote their bigotry and racism. […]

The bystander September 24, 2009

That comment made me smile. : )

Kay Strom September 24, 2009

It is true that human beings have an endless capacity to rationalize and justify their behavior, and Christians are no exception. But throughout time, Christians have spoken out about just such behavior. Consider the Reformation. Also consider the leadership of Christians in attacking such social injustices as slavery and child labor that some individuals used the Bible to justify. We do more than just pray: hence the speaking out on this issue. Still, we Christians do understand that there is indeed great power in prayer!

Lucaswashier » Blog Archive » God is Liefde September 26, 2009

[…] boekjes had geschreven, en dus wordt in een aantal Amerikaanse congregaties naarstig gebeden om de dood van president Obama. Zo veel liefde, daar kunnen zelfs de aanhangers van Gertjan Goldschmeding niet tegenop. Stem of […]

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