I just saw this at Gawker, about folks selling Cafe Press merchandise with “Psalm 109:8” on it and the words “Pray for Obama.” The shop’s not up at CafePress any more, because as cute as folks might think it is to make veiled Christian death threats against the President, the Secret Service tends to not find it so funny.
There are quite a few things wrong with this. But let’s just set aside the whole smug “I’m bragging about wanting our President dead” crap. If I have to point out to you how fucked up that is, whew, I don’t even know where to start.
But two is the smugness of it. You know what? Most people in the United States are Christian or have been Christian at some point. You are not actually a persecuted minority. You’re a very privileged majority. So, when this small subset of folks start throwing out Bible verses like only a small, chosen group will know or be able to find out what they mean? They look like dumbasses. Guess what? The Bible is a perennial best seller. Churches give them away for free. You can read them on the internet. Your secret code is not secret.
Three, reciting scripture in order to learn it or to know it when you need to draw strength from it, is a time-honored tradition. But calling forth a Bible verse in order to make the things described in that Bible verse happen to someone else? That’s magic. It is, in fact, witch craft in the most basic and historical sense. For centuries, people who wanted to bring the reality described in a Bible verse into their lives have written down those verses and worn them or attached them to dolls or stuff them into bottles or written them on walls. It could not be any more clearly witch craft if you wore a pointy hat while you did it.
And I believe you are forbidden from practicing the crafts of witches, are you not?
Four, you are not the only Christians. You’re just not. But you are ruining it for everybody by making it seem like, in any group of caring, compassionate, loving Christians, there are a subset who cannot wait until God comes around to really smite their enemies. And, if God doesn’t work fast enough, this subset gives the impression of being willing to act “as an instrument of God’s will” in order to hurry things along.
People are afraid of you. Because you are Christian.
That’s what it’s come to. You smug, vengeance-seeking, magic practicing Christians have made non-Christians afraid of Christians.
There should be some mechanism by which you can apologize to other Christians for this nonsense, but I don’t know what it would be. Maybe another round of t-shirts with another Bible verse?
I don’t know.
But I do know this. If you were tempted to buy this merchandise, you have gone off the path and are wandering adrift and rather than trying to convince other Christians that you know where you’re going, you might should consider getting back up on the path with your fellow believers.
And the fact that people are passing this around like “Oh, too funny“? Or trying to claim they didn’t realize what followed that verse?
I don’t know. To me it says something so deeply troubling about the state of Christianity in this country that it just breaks my heart. It’s like these folks think the Bible is the equivalent of a laugh-a-day calendar or something, with a pithy quote for every occasion.
And it makes me feel very bad for the people I love who believe the Bible is deeper than that.
I mean, frankly, my Dad didn’t devote almost forty years of his life to a religion that could be reduced to making jokes about the death of a President. And I resent seeing the public face of that religion represented by people who believe it can be.