07 June 2009

The Psalms: Imprecatory Prayers for Christian Terrorists

Wiley Drake, a former Southern Baptist Convention officer, says the the murder of George Tiller was an answer to "imprecatory prayer" and that he is praying for Barack Obama's death.

Drake says that imprecatory prayer (praying for the misfortune or death of one's enemies) is found throughout scripture, particularly in the Psalms.

And he's right about that. Here are some of the verses from Psalms that Wiley especially likes.

Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them. ... Let destruction come upon him at unawares Psalm 35:6-8
Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell. Psalm 55:15
Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth ... let them be as cut in pieces. ... The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.Psalm 58:6-10
Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. ... they make a noise like a dog ... Behold, they belch out with their mouth ... But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision. ... The God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies. Psalm 59:5-10
Consume them in wrath, consume them ... let them make a noise like a dog. Psalm 59:13-14
But God shall wound the head of his enemies ... That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same. Psalm 68:21-23
Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake. Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. Let their habitation be desolate ... Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living. Psalm 69:23-28
So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame ... Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: Psalm 83:15-17
Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. 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 labour. Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children. Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out. Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. Psalm 109:6-14
Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God ... Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? ... I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Psalm 139:19-22
Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again. Psalm 140:10
Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8

Most Christians are embarrassed by these verses, as they are with most of the Bible. Maybe it's time for them to admit the obvious: the Bible is not a good book and it was not inspired by a kind and loving God.


Unknown said...

Dude, you totally rock.

Your blog is a brilliant religion research data source.
No pasaran bullsh!t :)

Viva creative Brick Testament and statistical analysis of Biblical content.

Modern Christians (those of them who are more thinking and less emotional) may criticize your for "biblical literalism", implying that they see "symbolic content" and "hidden messages from god" in the book, so maybe you can dedicate one post to that.
Like, finding hidden symbols of godly wisdom in Harry Potter.

I love and value world mythologies - Jewish, Greek, Scandinavian, Egyptian, Arabic, Hindu, Aztec etc., the point is not to take their nice invented plots as The Ultimate Truth ;)

busterggi said...

But if you edit out all the imprecatory prayers the books of the prophets & Revelations will disppear.

C Woods said...

As usual, I am enjoying your posts.

Despite trying to convince everyone that one has to believe in god to be moral, Christians are praying for Obama's death? Hmm ---wonder what they consider to be moral about that?

I hated George Bush, I mean I HATED him, but I never wished his death. Part of my reasoning was that President Cheney would have been more frightening to me than President Bush, but still, I wouldn't wish anyone's death. And I'm an atheist. I'm claiming the moral high ground on this one.

Of course you already know most Christians have never read the Bible, or at least not much of it. If they had, I'm sure there wouldn't be so many of them. Reading the Bible turned me away from religion more than 50 years ago, when I was 12, and nothing I've heard or read since has convinced me that I made the wrong choice.

Matthew Blanchette said...

Damn, that's creepy shit.

You know, the reason I became an atheist is because I actually read most of the Bible in my youth, and what I found there was incredibly disturbing; the first instance of this was when I was 13, and stumbled upon that lovely story in the Book of Judges where a man lets his concubine be raped and murdered, cuts her body into portions, and has the land of Israel declare war on the tribe where the people who killed his concubine were from.

Nice morals, wouldn't you agree?

C Woods said...

To: Matt311 ---that Bible story is also one that horrified me when I was a teen. I wrote about it on my blog post "Why I am An Atheist - The Bible Part 1." My family read a chapter of the Bible before dinner each night, so I plowed through it with them, reading it cover-to-cover about three times, before leaving for college and finding some rational people.

It is just one of many Bible stories about women ---they aren't allowed to speak in church, are worth half a man, etc. ---that made me doubt the existence of god.

When looking for horrific acts perpetrated by god, or those directed by god, there are so many stories to choose from, including those sited on the Dwindling in Unbelief blog.

Ian said...

Steve, you forgot my favorite of the hate-filled Psalms: 137


Now, The Melodians made a great song using parts of this Psalm, but for reasons obvious, left out verse 9. I guess they realized that making beautiful harmonies about dashing babies against stones would work too well as a pop song.

madcat said...

Oh yes. The Quran looks so peaceful in the light of these Bible verses.