Archive for July, 2009

I Said It Then, I Repeat It Now . . .

Friday, July 17th, 2009

. . . and, in doing so, I’ll probably irk both my liberal and my conservative friends. Still, it bears repeating:

In my debate with Wilson, I said that I did not think that Christians who read the Scriptures conservatively, who take the words in, say, Romans 1 at face value and thus conclude that all same-sex behavior is sinful, are necessarily homophobic. They’re trying to reconcile their views with the Bible, and I don’t fault them or think they’re worse Christians, or worse people, or stupid, for doing so.

Neither do I believe that that makes them better Christians than those who struggle with the plain reading of the Biblical text and endeavor to seek if Paul was referring to what he likely hadn’t ever seen — a committed, loving, monogamous relationship between adult men, something different from temple prostitution and the sexual license, hetero- and homosexual, it produced. I don’t believe that these Christians are worse Christians for doing so; conversely, I don’t think that makes them more “sophisticated” than other, more conservative Bible students.

I reject that homophobia, when found among the first group, is an inevitable product of conservative exegesis. It isn’t. It’s a product of hate. You might believe the Scriptures condemn all practice, under all circumstances, of homosexual relations and use that to fuel violence, hate, and bigotry against gay men and lesbians, OR you might walk in humility and seek the good of all, serving your neighbor and protecting his rights in love and in graciousness, taking stock of your own sexual and moral inventory whether you offer an Exodus Ministry tract to a GLBT person or not.

Likewise, you may well grasp that no one “chooses to be gay,” and believe that the starkly different cultural milieu of the 21st century, a period during which same-sex erotic behavior is demonstrated in committed, mature partnerships and not in pagan temple frenzy, permits if not requires the Church’s acceptance of the GLBT community AS the GLBT community. You are right, then, to denounce ugliness of any sort in the name of Christ — but you are wrong to label all conservative Christians as homophobes. Wait to see, in the same humility you want to see in others, what they do with it; wait to see if the fruit of the Spirit accompanies their defense of the clear, plain words, or if their “sticking to the text” produces fruit of another kind. The enemy is always hate, and being more liberal in your hermeneutic doesn’t provide immunity or excuse.

There are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people who love Jesus Christ and seek to be conformed to his character just as much as I do, or just as much as you do. Tragically, from what I’ve seen here recently, some of the “conservatives,” by their hatred, seem to love him a lot less than the GLBT Christians I know. And that, I think, is significant.

A Rendezvous With Talent

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Jeff and I went to the kick-off performances last night of Moscow’s annual Rendezvous In The Park, where half the fun is crowd watching and catching up with old friends while listening to a pretty diverse collection of musicians — always heavy on the folk/blues/country (alas, no Third-Wave ska, 2-Tone, or Celtic punk!) and almost always pretty good. The bill included Moscow singer-songwriter J.T. Grauke, a UI student, local Idaho Rep actor, and staple at Bucer’s and other local venues.

Wow. This young man (I’m not sure he’s 21 yet) has been blessed with a goodly combination of insight, lyrical ability, and musicianship that blew me away. Nothing treacly here, no pained attempt at Brooding Sensitivity and Artistic Torment (oh, how the talented and attractive suffer!) — just introspective, gentle, and sometimes surprising lyrics accompanied by his guitar and harmonica.

I suspect you’ll be hearing good things about him. A song about missing his brothers and the disconnect young siblings often feel around older ones was especially touching. As was the ease with which his parents, Christ Church elder John Grauke and his wife, Donna, received my compliments. I’m pretty sure they’d have rather received kudos from virtually any other Rendezvous attendee plus her cousins, but they handled any conflict graciously. J.T.’s considerable musical gifts come straight from the Lord, but he surely learned the poise, grace, and maturity he demonstrated on stage from his parents.

And no, I won’t be at Saturday’s Josh Ritter concert. One teenybopper meltdown is enough for me, I think, and surely mine a couple of years ago was enough for Josh.

A Hideous, Unwelcome Stranger

Friday, July 17th, 2009

For those who missed it in the comments section, I’m trying to figure out how to delete and further block the vomit sprayed on Prevailing Winds by Dontbia Nass, and until that time, please know that I’m heartsick over their presence on this blog. I don’t apologize that my words have resulted in his — stalkers, creeps, and perverts don’t need much encouragement — but I’m very sorry for the offense they cause the reasonable and sorrier still if they’ve managed to not offend the unreasonable.

My GLBT friends deserve better and God knows the testimony of the Gospel does, too.

Answering A Non-Anonymous Critic From The Kirk

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

. . . And doing it with delight. Finally, someone brave enough to use his name!

I’m going to post brief, point-by-point responses to David D., a Kirker who, in offline emails, takes me to task on my recent posts. I’ll quote from him directly as appropriate (cutting and pasting, editing only for typos), with thanks, again, for what I can see is a basic decency in him that’s lacking in some of my correspondents.

This exchange comes from my critique of what I think is his faulty hermeneutic, or manner of interpreting Scripture, as well as my assertion that the imprecatory (“harm to enemies”) prayers of the Psalms are not a model for us today, nor were they intended to be. I believe that the entire Word of God is, first of all, the Word of God — and within that cohesive, comprehensive Word, there are different genres (history, law, proverbs, epistles, poetry, etc.), and that we draw doctrine from law and the epistles, say, but generally not history or proverbs. It’s on this point that David, who has asked me to use his name rather than the pseudonym I offered to use, remarks:

DAVID: On the Psalms, where, exegetically, do you get that they are in Scripture but reflect non-scriptural prayers? Which ones are the word of God and which “don’t belong” except as bad examples. Starting w/ (the premise) that all Scripture being God-breathed, and ending with singing psalms and spiritual songs and hymns, there is plenty of Scriptural warrant for seeing all the Psalms as righteous in their place. If not, then perhaps you should let us know which are to be abandonded.

KEELY: I said they were not an example incumbent upon believers to follow, and cries of lament and hyperbole from David are abrogated by the cries of literal love and specific mercy from Jesus on the cross. I stand by that — that doesn’t make the prayers “non-Scriptural,” it makes them not an imperative for the believer. Cutting the thumbs off of warring enemies is “Scriptural,” in that it’s part of the historical record, but I hardly think you’d argue that it would be “Scriptural” to chop off the thumbs of enemy combatants in Iraq. I fail to see how Christ Church’s singing of psalms, along with Sabbath feasting and strong patriarchal families, is an effective three-way means in and of itself of taking the Palouse for Christ. Singing the psalms is, of course, Biblical. But it is not even reasonable, much less in accord with the Gospel, to sing the imprecatory psalms as a rallying template for Christian engagement.

DAVID: We are already at a huge divide on the word. Inconvenient truths are interpreted away. (What is your stand on corporal punishment? Based on your writings as I recall, you are against it. If so, which Proverbs are wrong?)

KEELY: I believe that the Book of Proverbs is a book of just that — proverbs, which are adages, general truths, and observations, not hard-and-fast guidelines. We believe that generally speaking, kids raised in the Way won’t depart from it. We don’t do “spiritual autopsies” on their parents if they do end up departing from the faith, even unto death. Too often, for example, the Book of Proverbs is used as a smackdown of the poor when we try to simplify the cause of poverty in a given situation, or refuse to co-sign a loan for a needy friend because of admonitions and observations that point out that the signer can end up being stuck with the loan. Do we provide real help, or take the “out” that a wooden application of the Proverbs could allow?

And yes — I am opposed to corporal punishment. I take “rod” metaphorically and agree with the Proverbs that withholding discipline is a way of “hating” your child. I don’t, however, confuse “discipline” with “punishment” — and I don’t picture Jesus, or any shepherd, whose “rod and staff, they comfort me,” then using the rod to beat the sheep. We swatted our kids a total, for both of them, of about six times.

I wish you could have heard the prayer my son offered at our extended family July 4 gathering, or hear the kindness in my son’s voice when he calls to check on me, or benefit from the glow of an elderly friend’s commending me on having raised a polite, responsible, decent young man. One of my sons is on an academic scholarship to the UI who drives to Pullman for church because the teaching is good there; the other is a gifted poet, artist, and writer, a voracious reader adamently opposed to drinking, smoking, drugs, and premarital sex. They’re far from perfect, but spanking them wouldn’t have made them better. When they do, as is inevitable in the young, screw something up, it won’t be because they didn’t get spanked. I endeavored, with Jeff, to raise them with pretty much the Fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5 as my “parenting plan,” and God’s prospering of Jeff’s business enabled me to stay home with them. I consider every instance — all half-dozen of them — of swatting my kids to have been a failure on my part to do better.

DAVID: (On my use of “the serrated edge” of rhetoric) So Doug uses the serrated edge, calls it scriptural, defends it and gets nothing but crap from you. You, in order to hold your own, are “sharp” and “sarcastic” (or) otherwise people would call you names.

KEELY: Frankly, if I didn’t deal sharply and even sarcastically with Dontbia Nass, he’d accuse me of icky feminine sentimentalism. Notice, though, that I do not use sarcasm or harsh words with unbelievers, and it’s on this point that I’m critical of Doug and those men who fillet those outside of the church. I stand by that; it’s those in the church I might rhetorically sting, but never those outside.

“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” Paul, to the Church in Corinth, 1 Cor. 5:12-13.

Aha! Just As I Thought

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Don’t let the exclamation mark fool you. This is one of my most serious posts.

A comment by the infamous Dontbia Nass left yesterday on my post on “The Serrated Edge, Purposeful Defamation, And Now The Death Prayer” troubles me deeply.

The hateful, scatological, and juvenile nature of his comment against homosexuals confirmed what I had long suspected: “Dontbia Nass” is who I thought he was, and I will immediately cease engaging with him. I have had experience with this deviant before and I’m not eager to continue dealing with him now. Sadly, he is a Wilson fan and follower living far away from Moscow, a man who prides himself on his grasp of Scripture and glories in his shame as a “Covenant” man with no evidence of any fruit of the Spirit.

He needs to understand that if he is “Dontbia Nass,” it’s over. If I’m wrong — if he’s not who I think — then he can confirm that with me by telling me where he lives, but only after an apology for the ugliness and lies in describing the perversities he delights in wrongly applying to the entire GLBT community. Even if he’s not who I think he is, he gets no response from me ’til he apologizes.

There’s another man, a local Kirker who disagrees with me on virtually everything I write but who has shown nothing but respect during our year of offline correspondence. I will call him “Barry” (don’t try to figure it out; I just came up with it) when I respond directly to something he says . . . with gratitude to him for the robust but dignified discussion we’ve been having.

Happy Birthday, Johnny! Now, Bend Over . . .

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Logos’ Christian School here in Moscow this week hosted its annual teacher training workshop for teachers who embrace Wilson’s Classical Christian education model.

I wonder how they worked in those famous birthday spankings? The punishing spankings are bad enough, but oh, to be a fly on the wall when memories of little kids getting birthday swats are shared. There’s nothing that brings to mind classical pedagogy like the image of a grown man spanking kids on their birthdays.

So Much For Family Values And The Preciousness Of Children

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

A particularly sickening example of the horrible stuff swirling around the halls of political discourse, by the way, is the reaction of some on the Right to 10-year-old Malia Obama wearing a T-shirt with a peace symbol on it during the Obamas’ trip to France. It’s a T-shirt. It’s a kid. Political statements in pink glitter really ought not incur the vitriol of the bigot. But those who took umbrage at this little girl’s T-shirt, presuming it to be an overt political statement in poly/cotton, pale in comparison to other conservatives, for whom the Obamas are just a Black family representing what they believe to be the innate scariness of Black people.

This vicious bigotry is documented in the July 12 edition of the Vancouver Sun, which reports some of the more despicable comments from right-wingers who see only the Obamas’ race when analyzing the T-shirt choice of a beautiful little girl and the conduct of her beautiful family. Quoting the Sun directly:

“A typical street whore.” “A bunch of ghetto thugs.” “Ghetto street trash.” “Wonder when she will get her first abortion.”

These are a small selection of some of the racially-charged comments posted to the conservative ‘Free Republic’ blog Thursday, aimed at U.S. President Barack Obama’s 11-year-old daughter Malia after she was photographed wearing a t-shirt with a peace sign on the front.

The thread was accompanied by a photo of Michelle Obama speaking to Malia that featured the caption, “To entertain her daughter, Michelle Obama loves to make monkey sounds.” Though this may sound like the sort of thing one might read on an Aryan Nation or white power website, they actually appeared on what is commonly considered one of the prime online locations for U.S. Conservative grassroots political discussion and organizing (copied from The Vancouver Sun, copyright July 12, 2009)

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I think I’ll pour a glass of wine while I await a horrified response from the Religious Right to this sample of racist hate . . .

Link To My Debate With Doug Wilson

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

A good friend and Kirk observer sends this direct link to my July 2006 debate with the Christ Church pastor, defender of patriarchy, New St. Andrews and Logos School founder, Canon Press author and Sage of the Neo- and Paleo-Confederates, Doug Wilson:

http://www.notonthepalouse.com/Church_Debate_Mix_Wilson_071106.htm

As I told him at the debate, I’m always open for a sequel, or an NSA Disputatio . . .

No invitations yet, though.

From The Serrated Edge To Purposeful Defamation To The Death Prayer, or An Unfortunate Trajectory of "Christian" Political and Social Engagement

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Christians, particularly those who identify with the Right and who assume no one else not from the Right could possibly be a disciple of Jesus, have become among the most belligerent of social commentators — the example below of the pastor praying for Barack Obama’s death, while extreme, illustrates the point.

Those in Moscow are also privy to Doug Wilson’s Blog and Mablog, Dale Courtney’s Right-Mind blog, and the occasional, but always head-spinning, ugliness of Doug Farris and Chris Witmer, as well as those staunch Reformed defenders with pseudonyms, like Dontbia Nass, No Weatherman, and the inimitable Princess Sushitushi, Witmer’s nom de plume from a couple of years ago. I’m unaware of any other self-identified Christians in our area who match these guys in meanness — never mind imprecatory prayers directed at their enemies, accompanied by tortured exegesis of the indefensible.

In a college town with thousands of students questioning their lives and sorting through their faith, it’s always nice to have the most influential, biggest church in town spawning a culture of bitter derision, flippant disregard, and a classical vocabulary of pejoratives in the name of Christ. It’s an evangelism strategy from one of Dante’s nether-regions, to be sure, and the relative silence from other Evangelical churches — anyone? anyone? — is deafening and, perhaps, comforting to our Trinitarian trash talkers.

And bitter it is — I’m not aware of any pastor who features on his blog, for example, the many possible words heterosexual Christian men can use in referring to homosexuals, but for those who were confounded beyond “sodomites,” Wilson and his commenters cheerfully supply “Catamites, buggarers, faggots, poofters, and perverts,” discounting the homosexual community’s chosen descriptor, “gay,” as dishonest.

Just in case we don’t get that he finds homosexual men and women disgusting . . .

And Wilson is the author of “The Serrated Edge,” a paean to snarkiness in the name of Christ published by Canon Press, his in-house organ for his thoughtful musings and steadfast analysis of the world — an analysis that offers “Father Hunger” and a return to Biblical patriarchy as diagnosis and cure. In “The Serrated Edge,” he describes various Old Testament and New Testament examples of caustic, sarcastic rhetoric employed against enemies by faithful men of God. Most Moscow residents, and certainly most Kirk/CREC/ACCS men, remember Wilson’s analysis of Jesus’ interaction with the Syrophoenician woman, a vignette he exploits to the advantage of his embrace of the offensive by recasting it with Christ using the N-word to refer to Gentiles.

It was not, shall we say, a high point in the history of Biblical exegesis and pastoral guidance.

Then again, most of what Wilson writes is accompanied by the “serrated edge” of God-ordained dismissiveness and disdain for opponents; one wonders why it took him ’til 2002 to develop a book-length doctrine thereof. I met with Wilson in May 2002, when he was writing the book, and we talked about its content and his purpose. Wilson was, typically, very gracious to me as I pleaded with him not to publish “The Serrated Edge.” I made two points: First, I disagreed — passionately — with him that the New Testament shows Jesus and the disciples engaging in the spewing of verbal spitballs toward non-believers, much less giving the imperative for Christians to follow suit. Second, I said, even if there was a Biblical precedent and call for Christians to engage in mockery, sarcasm, insult and bite — a point I will not concede — shouldn’t he, as a self-identified pastor, follow the Biblical admonition to set aside his “right” to employ a serrated edge in engaging with the world in order that the Gospel not be maligned? Wouldn’t it be a powerful Gospel witness, especially in light of the “Southern Slavery As It Was” turmoil he had created, to decline to publish “The Serrated Edge” — even though he legally could, and felt he morally could, write and publish a theological guide to Christian snottiness?

Wouldn’t that’ve been great?

Alas, while Wilson promised me he’d consider my counsel, the book came out, and hundreds of NSA students, Kirk men, and Wilson accolytes nationwide gleefully explored its pages to find new ways to “skylark” and behave badly. And he continues to lead the charge, smacking down non-believers in the name of the Lord.

That’s wrong. I’ve written this before, but it bears repeating: I will not employ sarcasm, dismissiveness, meanness, or insult toward those who do not identify as Christian, with the possible exception of my choice to call Limbaugh obnoxious, or say that Dick Cheney is evil. They’re public figures whose cruelty and deception call for truth in the form of sharp rebuke. But what I believe is the prophetic (lower-case “p”) nature of my writings is, by definition and intent, to be directed toward the Church.

It is good to remember that Jesus’ rebukes and anger were directed at those within the community of the faithful, the Pharisees, Saducees, and ecclesiastically powerful, and not toward those who were on the outside. He wove leather cords into a whip and angrily tore up the moneychangers’ booths in the Temple. He didn’t set fire to either the house of Herod or the local gay bar. That’s the model all Christians should follow; we withhold judgment of those who don’t claim the name of Christ, praying for them to find the Light, and we truthfully, lovingly, sometimes sharply — angrily — respond to those who do that Name dishonor.

That model, then, would preclude the entire sickening premise of “The Serrated Edge,” which holds that the world and the “reprobates” it’s teeming with are fair game for the preacher’s verbal spitballs, mocking, and attack. The premise — that Jesus and the Apostles did the same — is utterly vacuous. The result is absolutely vicious, and, coupled with the enthusiastic defense of imprecatory prayer, gives blessing to all sorts of bad behavior, much of it embraced by young men of chest imitating their elders as well as their Elders. And it stinks.

The “serrated edge” Wilson employs has cut many. It also gives license to explore the far reaches of innuendo, suspicion, gossip and, finally, outright slander — the kind of slander that leads to hate and violence. The hatefully anonymous “No Weatherman” of the recent presidential campaign, presumed by one and all to be affiliated with the Kirk (how sad is that?), flooded Moscow’s Vision 2020 forum with a torrent of lies, bigotry, and unGodly innuendo directed toward Obama. Those of us who waded even partway into his sewer got quite a bit directed at us, too.

No more honorably for having used his name, Wilson paralleled the stream of anti-Obama rantings by his reckless blog forays into the future President’s actual birthplace and citizenship; his shadowy nature; his socialist policies; his insouciance, if not encouragement, of “baby killing;” his easy acceptance of terrorists and his false Christian testimony. It was a smorgasbord of rotting bread and sour wine offered by a pastor, one of thousands, perhaps, who joined with ministries and para-church organizations to ruin a man. In doing so, they formed careless alliance with the racist Right, too often called “Christian,” in putting into real danger the life of a man who has publicly confessed Christ as Savior and whose “otherness” scared the living hell out of them. I hold every blogger, pastor, author, commentator and strategist who fans the flames of anti-Obama bigotry responsible should some hideous devil shoot him down in the name of Christ.

Note: That’s “responsible,” not “accountable.”

And so I continue to explain why a local pastor’s teaching of imprecatory prayer and his snotty conduct toward the unbelieving world around him is part and parcel of the ugliness we see today — the kind of ugliness that somehow seems to gratify men in power, and men in power who like being called Christians.

I just wish mine weren’t such a lonely voice, but each of us has our part in spreading the Gospel, whose witness on the Palouse over the last few years is about as foul as foul gets.

Imps of the Imprecatorio, Or When Bad Men Pray For Your Harm

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Let’s start with a sickening display of hateful Gospel witness before I go further, shall we? The following is an exchange between a Baptist minister and a television host, and I think it’ll introduce today’s subject just fine, sadly:

Talking to Alan Colmes of Fox News Radio, Pastor Wiley Drake of First
Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, California, asserts that he is praying for Barack Obama’s death. The two are discussing prayer.

—————————————–

Colmes: …you then said, I asked for whom else are you praying in that
fashion and you said President Obama. Are you praying for his death?

Drake: Yes.

Colmes: So you’re praying for the death of the President of the United
States?

Drake: Yes.

Colmes: Are you concerned that by saying that you might find yourself
on some secret service call or FBI most wanted list. Do you think it’s
appropriate to say something like that or even pray for something like
that?

Drake: I think it’s appropriate to pray for the will of God. I’m not
saying anything; what I’m doing is repeating what God is saying. If that
puts me on somebody’s list then I’ll just have to be on their list.

Colmes: You would like for the President of the United States to die?

Drake: If he does not turn to God and does not turn his life around I am
asking God to enforce imprecatory prayers throughout the Scripture that
would cause him death, that’s correct.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8NJPsj5kdU

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More readers than you might expect are familiar with the term “imprecatory prayers,” because they’ve been taught by Doug Wilson and his cohorts to pray them. Most people, however, not only don’t know what the term means but, when I tell them, will likely not believe me. “Imprecatory” prayers are prayers for the harm of one’s enemies. The thesaurus includes “curse” as a synonym for “imprecation,” and they truly are scattered through the Old Testament, primarily in the Psalms.

The inclusion of these prayers, not devotions but rants — cries of heartbreak and pleas for rescue — doesn’t mean they’re endorsed by God, and most Bible students who’ve been taught by trained teachers understand that one of the reasons we don’t draw doctrine or practice directly from the Psalms is their use of hyperbole and imagery. We cringe at the thought that men of God prayed like that, but we at least understand two critical points: One, these prayers are DEscriptive, not PREscriptive, like so much of the Bible that seems ugly to us. Two, the New Testament has no examples, not one, of imprecatory prayer, unless you include Peter’s rebuke to the sorcerer Simon (Acts 8), in which he condemns him for trying to buy the Holy Spirit’s power; yet the desire is only that Simon’s money perish, not him.

Further, the believer’s model is Christ, not King David, and the reconciliation offered by our Lord’s atonement and resurrection is the only Way appropriate for us to walk. I’ve noted before that Jesus prayed for those who were killing him; David, on the contrary, was well known for his “warlike” spirit. Christians don’t get to look back to him or any other Old Testament figure when the example of Jesus is too much. We don’t, when we’re feeling manly, root around through King David’s Psalms to find imprecatory utterances that we can mimic out of a desire to be like him. Sorry, but that option’s out for the Christian, although taking a rhetorical whip through a Father Hunger Conference might have precedent. Anyway, the difference between King David’s use of imprecatory, and likely hyperbolic, prayer is a point I made during my July 2006 radio debate with Christ Church leader and all-round Reformed poster guy and posturer; you can find links to all 2 1/2 hrs. by googling my name, and I’m happy to send copies to anyone who writes. I won’t belabor David’s example of imprecatory prayers here.

I don’t have to. This week’s spewing of vomit from a Baptist “pastor” about his praying for Obama’s death, and the continued practice of encouraging imprecatory prayers amongst the Christ Church and Trinity Reformed congregations, brings the issue up close and personal. Has hatred of Obama, hatred that I’m convinced is brought on largely by his name, his color, and his origin, become so entrenched on the Right that we’ve now got a dearth of angry Evangelical rebuke when a preacher confidently asserts his right — nay, duty — to pray for the death of the leader Scripture insists he submit to?

A few months ago, a former Christ Church member, now out of state but not far from the Kirk in his heart, delivered a curse on me and all I put my hand to. That was upsetting. Not because I felt threatened; God has the number of my days and no amount of cursing, imprecatory prayer, evil eye, or fire from Super Gamma Laser Ray Guns will change that. No, what was upsetting was that Wilson’s accolytes — given the content of much of their education and the results of much of their pastoring, I hate to go with “students” here — pray prayers like this, aloud or not, during worship services. Right here in Moscow, there are people who I believe truly love the Lord, or truly love the idea of being a Christian, who pray for harm to befall those they perceive of as enemies. And there are those who defend a grown man’s stated, public, specific desire that God cause harm to me. I’m grateful this man has since apologized, and I absolutely forgive him, but there are many in the Kirk, here and throughout those communities saturated by Kirk teachings, who can’t imagine why he ought to — and who wonder how it’s gonna happen to me.

Dear God. Still, cursing a middle-aged housewife with a bad back and a B.A. is of relatively little consequence. Broadcasting one’s vocation as a pastor — remember, the word means “shepherd” — and calming explaining that the Bible instructs him to pray for the death of his President is of tremendous consequence. I hope the FBI and Secret Service run him through the investigatory wringer, and I hope his church and its denomination (there are more than a hundred Baptist denominations in this country) severs all ties with him. It would be sin not to.

It is wrong for every single Christian who hears this exchange to NOT stop and pray for Obama’s protection and the Spirit-conversion and filling of this evil man who wants him dead, and to NOT tell someone, ANYONE (hell, chat up the checker at the deli counter), how grieved you are AS a Christian to hear someone utter such filth, such violence, in the name of your Savior.

And then pray that everywhere the “pastors,” the “teachers,” the “fellows,” and other imps of the Imprecatorio gather, they be consumed by the Righteousness of a Holy God, convicted of their sin, and brought to their downy soft knees to correct the vicious hardness in their hearts.