Southern Baptist Pastor Wiley Drake of Buena Park sent out an email Monday night, saying that perhaps his prayers had been answered with the death of [Democratic] Rep. John Murtha yesterday.
“Maybe God took him out,” Drake wrote. “Maybe God Answered ourIMPRECATORY prayerthat we prayed every 30 days.”
The Pennsylvania congressman, a decorated former Marine who fiercely opposed the Iraq war, died at the age of 77 after complications from gallbladder surgery.
I asked Drake if his statements weren’t distasteful, particularly coming immediately after Murtha’s death. He said that as a Christian, he didn’t buy into the sentiment of not speaking ill of the dead.
“It’s not distasteful to pray the word of God and include somebody’s name,” he said. “I didn’t celebrate his death. I said maybe it was God’s answer to our imprecatory prayer.”
Drake regularly asks his “prayer warriors” to participate in prayer targeting “unrighteous” politicians. He typically uses Psalms 109, including these passages including in his Monday email: “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.” And, “Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”
At one point, Drake prayed for the death of President Barack Obama. However, he dropped that because he wants to see Obama faces charges that he is not a natural-born citizen and so cannot be president. Drake has such a lawsuit on appeal. Drake said he and his prayer warriors had been praying for Murtha’s death for four or five months. Among other things, Drake said Murtha’s use of profanity and his use of God’s name in vain [caused Drake to offer the imprecatory spells]. Beside praying for the death of specific politicians, he said they pray for “politicians in general who are taking unrighteous stands."
Of course, one can imagine the cries of outrage if Pagans announced that their spells had caused the death of some right-wing politician. (If Psalm 109 is anything other than a spell, I'd like to know what it is. ) Sensible Pagans would line up to disassociate themselves from the practice and we'd hear all about the Rule of Three.
I'm sure that "mainstream" xians will fall all over themselves denouncing this practice.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."