Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Pastor Supports Huckabee for President, Asks Followers to Pray for Death of Critics Who Filed Complaint with IRS Over His Political Activities
American United for Separation of Church and State has filed a complaint with the IRS requesting an investigation of First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, CA for issuing an August 11 press release in which the pastor, Dr. Wiley S. Drake, endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and urged the congregation to do so as well:
“After very serious prayer and consideration,” Drake said in the press release. “I announce that I am going to personally endorse Mike Huckabee. I ask all of my Southern Baptist brothers and sisters to consider getting behind Mike and helping him all you can. First of all pray and then ask God, what should I do to put feet to my prayers.
“Do what God tells you to do,” Drake continued. “I believe God has chosen Mike for such an hour, and I believe of all those running Mike Huckabee will listen to God.” The press release was issued on the letterhead of First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park. The letterhead lists Drake as pastor.
In response, the pastor issued a press release calling on his followers to pray for the deaths of two leaders of Americans United for Separation of Church and State:
- Associated Press: Minister Calls for Death Prayers Over IRS Complaint; Californian Names 3 Who Filed Case After He Endorsed Huckabee
- L.A. Times: Pastor Asks Followers to Pray for His Critics to Die; His Response Comes After a Call to the IRS About a Political Endorsement He Issued on Church Letterhead, by Dave McKibben
How did you link Psalm 109 to this press release? It's not cited and not quoted that I can see. Are you saying Psalm 109 is itself the source of all imprecatory prayer? I had never heard that, and I know plenty of psalms contain such pleas without necessarily invoking fatherlessness.
Is your theory that the entire Bible is fair game for interpreting what this press release really meant?
Posted by: Don't Know if I'm a True Christian | Aug 22, 2007 7:48:07 AM
The prior two commentators are ignoring the unambiguous pleas contained in Psalms 109, the source of the imprecations this false-Christian quoted verse-by-verse:
""Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow."
The last time I checked the meaning of the word "fatherless," it seemed to imply that someone's father had to die for this label to apply.
Posted by: TrueChristian | Aug 22, 2007 5:55:46 AM
An imprecatory prayer is not a prayer for death necessarily. It is instead a prayer for enemies of God to repent and--if not--eventually be brought to justice.
Posted by: Phillip | Aug 21, 2007 10:32:41 PM
I think imprecatory prayer means praying for God's justice against someone. I'm not saying it should be used in this instance, but I don't think it means praying for someone's death.
Posted by: Thor's Hammer | Aug 21, 2007 2:24:57 PM
Praying for the death of opponents seems to me dubious on religious and ethical grounds. There is also the not wholly unfounded fear that a congregant may attempt to make the prayer come true on their own. I don't think such a "prayer" is illegal, but it is highly dubious.
With permission, I will add my own prayer for the health and safety of all tax bloggers, neither specifically including or excluding myself.
Posted by: Michael Livingston | Aug 21, 2007 8:35:23 AM
In response to Don't Know ... (which appears to be a pretty good handle for you):
Are you reading the same press release I am? Or did you just miss this passage:
"David as our Old Testament shepherd gives us many Imprecatory prayers, and can be found to be in best focus in Psalm 109....Pray these back to God and He will answer."
See http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/44143894.html (fourth and fifth paragraphs)
Posted by: TrueChristian | Aug 22, 2007 10:51:40 AM