Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Praying for McCain's death -- sequel

Since the first praying post has had a lot of traffic, I feel owe everyone an update. Of the two sources that were quoted praying for McCain's death, one is legit and one is a satire.

Calvinists 4 Conservatism written by Ixion is a satire in the same style as Blogs 4 Brownback. It's very straight-faced and so close to some real sites I've looked at, that I took it seriously. I should have checked further.

The second site, The Forerunner written by Jay Rogers, is for real. Ixion's satire was actually in reference to Rogers' piece. The attention he gained (mostly from Pharyngula readers) has led him to change his post. Rather than reading, "Pray for John McCain's salvation and speedy death," it now reads, "Pray for John McCain's salvation and pray specific imprecatory prayers if he fails to pro-actively defend the sanctity of human life." Lawrence Salberg, a friend of Jay's wrote to say that Jay is a harmless fellow who likes to create controversy. Well, he did. Apparently more than he could handle.

Jay, according to Salberg is fixated on the concept of imprecatory prayer, an old idea of praying for God to either convert or kill certain leaders. A quick browsing of Jay's blog shows this to be true. He has a new post explaining the idea. The use of imprecatory prayer had almost faded from everyday use in this country (except for in college athletics) until it was rediscovered by right-wing religious extremists. It's a popular idea in the anti-abortion movement. There lies the danger. As we have seen, it's easy for religious extremists to make the shift from praying for God's wrath on their opponents, to believing that they are the tool of God's wrath. The result is assassination, car bombs, hijacking, suicide killers, or combination of all of the above.

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