Last Sunday at church a friend stopped me and said, “You’ve seen the prayer about the President on the Internet by this Kansas politician. It’s terrible.” I looked it up when I got home. It seems that the Kansas' House Speaker, Mike O’Neal sent this email to his fellow Republican representatives just before Christmas.
O’Neil’s email began this way: “At last—I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our President. Look it up—it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!
He then quoted from Psalm 109.8, which is a prayer for vengeance and prays for the death of a leader.
“Let his days be few, and let another take his office.
Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow."
The most damning lines in the prayer can be found in verses 7-12:
"When he shall be judged, let him be condemned and let his prayer become sin.
Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
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.
Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labor.
Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favor his faithless children.”
Since this prayer came out bumper stickers and t-shirts have spread across the nation reading: Pray for Obama: Psalm 109.8.
If this was not bad enough he sent out another email with a picture of the President’s wife alongside a picture of the Grinch. He subject line read: “Twins separated at birth.”
The forwarded portion of the email stated: “I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing Mrs. YoMama a wonderful, long Hawaii Christmas vacation—at our expense of course.”
Since these emails came to light in early January Mr. O’Neal has apologized. He insists that he was only referring to the president’s days in office. This is what many people who have sent the email out claims the quote meant. Yet the email continues to make its rounds. In his apology Mr. O’Neal stated: “To those I have offended I am sorry. That was not my intent.”
His communications director, Alyson Rodee defended O’Neal. “Political cartoons are part of American culture. It’s hard to see how Mike O’Neal poking fun at himself and forwarding a lighthearted political cartoon about the first lady’s extravagance spending of taxpayers funds during a time when many Americans are financially struggling is newsworthy.”
Need I say more? Not much. The Bible is not a club—ever. No real Christian would pray for the death of a President or even joke about this matter. This is racism pure and simple. So when O’Neal’s words went viral and some deranged person tries to take them seriously—I wonder if the House Speaker will feel any regret at all.
I put this email in the same category as that Preacher in Florida that burned the Koran and that Pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas that has petitioned the government to exterminate gays.
No wonder the atheistic movement has made such strides lately. But no real faith person subscribes to this madness. Neither should we judge all Republicans by the antics of this politician in Kansas. And if we are going to pray—perhaps it would be more fitting to pray that we would finally stamp out every shred of racism and hatred that still stalks so much of the land.