Thursday, February 02, 2006

Praying for death
Here's another minister asking his flock to pray for God to kill people whose opinions he doesn't approve of. Jay Stapleton is the pastor of Calvary Christian Fellowship in northern Virginia and he writes in World Net Daily:
In Roberts and Alito, Bush got what he requested and conservatives got what they wanted: a crime-fighting duo of young, bright, originalist justices able to slap down the court jesters who've lampooned American jurisprudence the last 50 years.


Here's my prayer list: Ginsburg – gone! Stevens, Souter, and Kennedy – gone! Installed in their place: God-fearing, Constitution-loving justices flanking Roberts on both right and left! There are four remaining liberal judges on the nation's high court. That equates to four justices who are anti-life (in the name of choice), pro-perversion (in the name of privacy) and anti-American (in the name of progress). May God banish them from the court.

Remove from power, oh Lord, those who hate You and have used their power to abolish Your name from the ears, minds and hearts of our nation's children.

God, give us more justices who fear You and respect Your law. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Pastor Stapleton never explicitly says kill; he's more subtle than Ann Coulter. He allows himself plausible deniability. When confronted by people like me, he can claim to have never to have though of such a thing and reverse the accusation by saying that I must be the one with homicidal fantasys to have jumped to that conclusion. But his flock knows what he means and we know what he means. After all, he could have asked God (in good biblical language) to change the hearts of those judges and make them his kind of conservatives. Stapleton didn't ask for that; he wants those judges gone.

Murder in the name of the prince of peace is hardly a new hypocrisy. What is a little more original is the cheerful vindictiveness that has become such a strong element in American fundamentalism. One of the attractions of rapture theology, is the image of being safely whisked away from danger and then having a front-row seat to watch all those other people suffer through the tribulation. They don't want to win over the other side; they want to vanquish them. They want to hear the sweet sound of wailings and lamentations.

Stapleton describes how the prospect of getting rid of their enemies animates his flock.
During a time of prayer in our church this past Sunday evening, we brought the various issues and needs of our country before the Lord, including thanks for judge Alito's confirmation. Someone then asked God to replace a particular liberal judge on the court (I won't mention her name) with a God-fearing one. It was a simple request, but a breath of enthusiasm entered the meeting.

He "won't mention her name." Isn't that cute? I wonder which one of the remaining liberal, female justices that they could have been talking about.

The "needs of the country"--whatever he sees those as (feeding the hungry? clothing the naked? comforting the afflicted?)--didn't catch the imagination of his flock. But getting rid of a liberal? That brought "a breath of enthusiasm" to the meeting.

Ed Brayton comments on some of the other theological aspects of Stapleton's prayers.

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