Thanks to our observant readers, I was alerted to the recent segments of the Rachel Maddow Show. In one segment, she reports about hateful anti-Obama bumperstickers (and t-shirts, mugs etc.) which are now apparently the latest craze amongst nutty right-wingers. These stickers say for example "Pray for Obama - Psalm 109:8". Why is this appalling?
"The Christian Science Monitor" explains:
There’s a new slogan making its way onto car bumpers and across the Internet. It reads simply: “Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8”
A nice sentiment?
The psalm reads, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”
Presidential criticism through witty slogans is nothing new. Bumper stickers, t-shirts, and hats with “1/20/09” commemorated President Bush’s last day in office.
But the verse immediately following the psalm referenced is a bit more ominous: “Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”
In this segment, Rachel Maddow also interviews Frank Schaeffer, who gives one of his most passionate pleas for denouncing the right-wing Christian extremists ever:
Frank Schaeffer is the author of the books "Crazy for God" and "Patience with God: Faith for People Who Dont Like Religion (or Atheism)."
An extremely informative article by Diana Butler Bass about the "Psalm 109:8 controversy" can be found HERE.
Diana Butler Bass explains:
Psalm 109 belongs to a special category of the psalms known as “imprecatory” prayers — it is a lament in the form of petition to destroy one’s enemies. It is the personal prayer of an individual, someone who has been dealt an injustice by another (usually more powerful) person.
The words of Psalm 109 are those of deep agony, the longings of a victim for retribution and justice. This psalm is considered one of the most difficult of all the psalms — full of violent images of vengeance and death. Many a biblical critic has struggled with its words, and not a few — including Roman Catholic and mainline Protestant theologians — recommend it not be used in public worship, much less as a bumper-sticker political slogan.
One example of this new dangerous Christian extremism is the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminar in Fort Worth, Texas.
Diana Butler Bass wrote about this "church" in her article "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition":
“Taking the Hill” is a bizarre call to evangelize depicting Christians as “soldiers” in a war for souls under their “real” commander-in-chief, Jesus. It reveals almost pornographic-religious obsession with guns and violence that should be deeply disturbing for any faith community. (...)
I know that it is a free country, and that we have both religious freedom and certain rights to own guns. But when these two rights interweave — as they are doing — it is dangerous to both church and state. Any church that advances such a crusading and violent vision is far from its founder’s vision, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for theirs is the Kingdom of God.” And the state that fails to understand that people with guns who believe that God has armed them are dangerous isn’t serving the good of a peaceable society.
Although weapons and religion may have been natural partners in the Middle Ages or on the American frontier, isn’t it time to recognize that we live in the twenty-first century? Guns and grace don’t go together. Shouldn’t true religion — genuinely transformative faith — call God’s people away from violence and toward passionate peacemaking?
On the website www.upyoursobama.com you will find the most disgusting collection of bumberstickers available ever.
The "mission statement" of this website reads:
"Anti Barack Obama, Pro-John McCain, Sarah Palin apparel, yard signs, bumper stickers, buttons, hats, mugs and more."
The articles are sold over "cafepress", and I think that a reputable company should not sell such inflammatory crap.
Here are screenshots (click to enlarge):
The first two rows with the "Psalm 109:8" stickers have now been removed from the website www.upyoursobama.com! Many thanks to everybody who has written to cafepress!
However, down in the 9th row on the website, one "109:8" sticker apparently has been overlooked. Could someone please email cafepress and point this out? Thank you!
In an example of incredible bad judgement, CafePress have reversed their decision! Read the details HERE.
In addition, Rachel Maddow reported about "Going Rogue" and showed in more detail what the former McCain staffer Nicolle Wallace has to say - that the parts in "Going Rogue" which concern Nicolle Wallace were basically made up retrospectively in Sarah Palin's mind.