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Stop Religious and Political Hate Speech Against the President

posted by Paul Raushenbush
***update***
Read Thomas Friedman’s piece in today’s New York Times about the parallels between this time in America with President Obama and the time before Rabin was assassinated in Israel in 1995.  

As Progressive Revival readers know, I am worried about the level of violent language that is being leveled at our President.  This article from Religious Dispatches has brought me close to the edge of panic as I really am beginning to fear for our President’s life.  I missed this story when it first came out but someone recently brought it to my attention.  Reading that a christian “pastor” is leading his congregation by praying for our President’s death is repulsive and terrifying.  

But it is not only religious leaders – recently a sitting member of congress – Rep Trent Franks recently called the President an “enemy of humanity.”  He said this at a so-called Values Conference!!! Rep. Franks was specifically talking about President Obama’s pro-choice position, but this is hardly an excuse.  The consequences of the rhetoric of death towards anyone who disagrees with the pro-life movement has been clearly demonstrated in the murder of Dr. George Tiller.  
Pastors and politicians should realize that their words are being listened to carefully.  According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, domestic terrorist groups such as the Patriots who carried out the Oklahoma bombings are reforming.  All decent religious people should call upon their leaders to stop religious hate speech against the President.  If you hear it, confront it.
See the article about the pastor praying for Obama’s death 

Chris Broughton, 28, made national news when he showed up to protest a speech by President Barack Obama in Phoenix, Arizona with an AR-15 automatic rifle slung over his shoulder and a handgun. While Broughton claims that his (apparently legal) actions were not meant to threaten the president, there was more to the story than a single citizen’s dubious actions and pronouncements. Local print and television coverage in Phoenix, and bloggers all over the country, have led the way on an interesting and important story of religion and politics that has been almost entirely ignored by the traditional media.
Here is what they missed.


The night before Broughton’s fifteen minutes of fame, he attended a fiery Sunday sermon by his pastor, Rev. Steven L. Anderson, at Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. Rev. Anderson, also 28, explained not only “Why I Hate Barack Obama,” but also why he and God both want the president dead. “When I go to bed tonight,” Broughton’s pastor declared, “Steven L. Anderson is going to pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell.” He even goes so far as to claim that:
God appointed [Obama] to destroy this country for the wickedness of the United States of America. God appointed him because that’s what our country has turned into. That’s who we deserve as a president.


And yet, even though we may deserve Obama, Anderson urges his congregation to pray for the president’s death, issuing imprecatory prayers and repeatedly asking God to kill the president. Most dramatically, and in an interesting shift to the passive voice, he said Obama “ought to be aborted” because the president is pro-choice, and therefore a “murderer.” Despite all this Anderson has insisted to reporters that he was not calling for vigilante violence. Ditto for Broughton, who told a reporter for the Phoenix New Times: “I don’t care how God does it, I’m not going into further detail than that,” said Broughton. “It would be better now than later.”

“However it happens, I’m going be happy that it happens,” he continued. “I’m gonna be a happy man… I would rejoice.”


Read the entire story about religious hatred of the president here





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Thom Hunter

posted September 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm


It’s amazing that we as Christians stray so far as to think that hate speech can be as effective as truth speech. What we are called to do is speak the truth in love and follow it up with prayer. When we ratchet rhetoric up to the point where we inflame violence, we are not being representatives of Christ. We should certainly bold and expressive, as Obama is culturally-destructive. However, it is not his death we should seek, but the same thing we would seek from anyone who has gone astray: repentance and redemption. It may be that Obama will not change . . . but it is important to remember that God is aware of all the leaders who emerge and He uses them to accomplish His purposes for that time, regardless of whether the leader is attuned to Him or not. While I don’t see much evidence of faith in Obama’s life or his method of leadership, I am not privy to an inspection of his soul. SO, I’ll continue to pray for him and I will urge action against his destructive policies . . . but not against him . . . until it is time to vote.
Thom
http://thom-signsofastruggle.blogspot.com/



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Mitch Carnell

posted September 30, 2009 at 3:52 pm


Hate speech is so far removed from what Jesus taught that it is impossible to understand how Christians can engage in it, listen to it or even encourage it. It is impossible to love God and hate one of His creations. Debate is needed. Oposition to any president’s policies is part of our system. Hate speech is always harmful and has no place in a civil society.



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Tom

posted September 30, 2009 at 4:11 pm


From the day that Obama won the election, I have feared for his life. This article shows why. I pray for the President’s safety.



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Sam

posted September 30, 2009 at 11:13 pm


Spare me the faux indignation.
I would wager you said nothing about all of the times Bush was called Hitler, spoken hateful against, a movie and a book both discussing how to assassinate him, etc. etc. etc. Obama would need 3 terms to gather as much slander against him that Bush has experienced. Obama is far away from BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome). We live in a large country with a lot of people and mentioning one nut-job pastor does not give your case (that this is about racial bigotry) any credibility.



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SODDI

posted October 1, 2009 at 7:29 pm


This is what Christianity is, whether you apologists want to admit it or not. Christianity has been like this for CENTURIES. You’re ALL like Rev. Anderson. I stay as far away from Christians as I possibly can – you can never tell what one of your crazies is going to do.



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Andreas Petofi

posted October 3, 2009 at 11:23 am


White Evangelical Christians are beyond hope and any rationality. They are consumed by abortion rights but have no problem with born babies being killed by collaterial damage. They make me puke and glad to be a pagan.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 3, 2009 at 4:38 pm


Andreas Petofi
October 3, 2009 11:23 AM
White Evangelical Christians are beyond hope…
—————————————————-
We have hope in God, through Christ, and He has Hope in us. That’s good enough.
Andreas Petofi
October 3, 2009 11:23 AM
They are consumed by abortion rights…
———————————————
No, YOU people are.
We are concerned that pro-choice=pro-abortion=wrong-choicers are working against what God intends. We want what the Constitution wants — that is, Rights for ALL persons.
Andreas Petofi
October 3, 2009 11:23 AM
… but have no problem with born babies being killed by collaterial damage.
———————————————
Really?? That’s news to us.
Andreas Petofi
October 3, 2009 11:23 AM
They make me puke and glad to be a pagan.
————————————————–
Oh, well.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 3, 2009 at 4:56 pm


Andreas Petofi
October 3, 2009 11:23 AM
They make me puke and glad to be a pagan.
————————————————–
Soooo, if we have the power to make you puke, and we have the power to make you glad to be a pagan, how come we don’t also have the power to make you see the error of your ways? You’re awful selective on whether to blame somebody else, or to credit yo’se’f. Can’t you take yo’ own responsibility?
Why did you choose to be so angry and hateful?



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 3, 2009 at 4:59 pm


SODDI
October 1, 2009 7:29 PM
This is what Christianity is, whether you apologists want to admit it or not. Christianity has been like this for CENTURIES. You’re ALL like Rev. Anderson. I stay as far away from Christians as I possibly can – you can never tell what one of your crazies is going to do.
————————————————————
Where did you learn to stereotype? Was it forced on you? You had no choice but to receive such instruction, and, now, you won’t blame yo’se’f for stereotyping?



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 3, 2009 at 5:21 pm


Andreas Petofi
October 3, 2009 11:23 AM
White…
——————————————————————–
RACISM ALERT! RACISM ALERT!
Andreas Petofi
October 3, 2009 11:23 AM
Evangelical Christians are… consumed by abortion rights…
——————————————————————–
No, we’re consumed by God, through Christ.



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Richard Clark

posted October 3, 2009 at 6:51 pm


Mr. Incredible,
Maybe Andreas Petofi is sick and tired of the hypocrisy he sees coming from Christians who identify with the Religious Right. They never had a bad thing to say about Bush but they will never a good thing to say about President Obama either. As a Christian (Presbyterian) myself, I see a lot of parallels between the self-righteous Pharisees of Yeshua bar Yosef’s time, and the Religious Righters who seem to be exclusively WHITE Evangelicals.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 3, 2009 at 7:36 pm


Richard Clark
October 3, 2009 6:51 PM
Mr. Incredible,
Maybe Andreas Petofi is sick and tired of the hypocrisy he sees coming from Christians who identify with the Religious Right.
—————————————————
“Hypocrisy” as HE sees it.
Richard Clark
October 3, 2009 6:51 PM
They never had a bad thing to say about Bush…
———————————————
“Never”?
Richard Clark
October 3, 2009 6:51 PM
… but they will never a good thing to say about President Obama either.
———————————————-
Cuz he’s on the wrong side of the fence.
Richard Clark
October 3, 2009 6:51 PM
As a Christian (Presbyterian) myself, I see a lot of parallels between the self-righteous Pharisees of Yeshua bar Yosef’s time, and the Religious Righters who seem to be exclusively WHITE…
—————————————————
RACISM ALERT! RACISM ALERT!
Richard Clark
October 3, 2009 6:51 PM
…Evangelicals.
———————————————————
When a person is predisposed to see something, he usually sees it what he wants to see.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 3, 2009 at 8:06 pm


Richard Clark
October 3, 2009 6:51 PM
Mr. Incredible,
Maybe Andreas Petofi is sick and tired of the hypocrisy he sees coming from Christians who identify with the Religious Right.
—————————————————
Like…



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 3, 2009 at 11:45 pm


Richard Clark
October 3, 2009 6:51 PM
As a Christian (Presbyterian) myself, I see a lot of parallels between the self-righteous Pharisees of Yeshua bar Yosef’s time, and the Religious Righters…
——————————————————————–
First of all, tell us what the Pharisees did that the so-called “Religious Righters” do that makes the parallel.
Second: Make no mistake that I’m not happy with Christians today who are still living under The Old Testament. I’m not happy with Christians today who honor Him with their lips, not with their heart; and you can discern them very plainly.
Now, how do YOU discern between self-righteousness and Christ-Righteousness?



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Ben Stokes

posted October 4, 2009 at 9:04 am


The Religious Righters are hypocrites because they identify with the American Empire and have thrown their alliance in with the Corporate powers that oppress the poor. They have very little to do with the actual teachings of Jesus of championing the rights of the poor, and it’s going to take more than private charity to take care of that. You also need to read the book AMERICAN FASCISTS by Chris Hedges. Hedges exposes the fascist and anti-democratic tendencies of the Religious Right. I’m glad they don’t speak for all Christians in this country, but they do seem to be a group that is Nativist in nature to America.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 4, 2009 at 10:56 pm


Ben Stokes
October 4, 2009 9:04 AM
The Religious Righters are hypocrites because they identify with the American Empire and have thrown their alliance in with the Corporate powers that oppress the poor.
——————————————————————–
You’re a correspondent for The Daily Kooks, aren’t you. That’s right outta the radical Left’s handbook of clichés.
Ben Stokes
October 4, 2009 9:04 AM
They have very little to do with the actual teachings of Jesus of championing the rights of the poor…
——————————————————————–
Biblically, what’s “poor”? Could it be, “poor in spirit”?
Ben Stokes
October 4, 2009 9:04 AM
You also need to read the book AMERICAN FASCISTS by Chris Hedges.
——————————————————————–
I have no such need. The people at The Daily Kooks read that stuff.



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James Gilmore

posted October 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm


Biblically, what’s “poor”? Could it be, “poor in spirit”?
um, no. That’s what conservative Christians like to say to rationalize their defense of a system that enriches the already-rich and empowers the already-powerful at the expense of the poor and powerless, but it’s not what the Bible says. It’s tempting to spiritualize poverty, because that removes any responsibility from you to work against a system that perpetuates and magnifies poverty and need. But it’s not Biblical.
Reread your Old Testament prophets sometime, buddy. Reread the words of Jesus sometime, or the Acts, or the book of James. I understand that you want to avoid your responsibility to stand prophetically against the exploitation of the poor, but please don’t insult God by pretending that your position is in any way justified by the Bible.



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Gee

posted October 6, 2009 at 1:25 pm


Religion of any type is designed of the “SHEEP” of the world. Religious people hang on faith based ideology because they have no fact based answers to anything. You preach love but from the beginning of all this non-sense, religions people have been the the basis of hate, murder, slavery, bigotry and any other horrid behavior you can think of. I think that the tax exempt status should be revoked because most religious organizations are businesses. If they use our Police department, fire department, roads and other social benefits that we all pay for, then they should pay. That’s why you should believe in science. When you go to get cured for cancer or one of the STDs you hypocritical religious nuts contract from one of your mistresses, it’s science that cures you. But at the end of the day, it’s what ever helps you sleep at night I guess. Just be truthful, it a big universe out there and if you cant even agree on what the “RIGHT RELIGION” is here on earth then I don’t know what to say.



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One American

posted October 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm


What is the political system under which 1) the standard of living for the poor is higher than the poor of any other standard of living, 2) the most medical advances have been made to treat the sick, 3) women are treated with the most respect, 4) homosexuals have the most protections, 5) the disabled and handicapped have the most resources available to them, and 6) the religious miniorities have the most access to the public square?
Free Market Capitalism (partnered with the Judeo-Christian ethic).
You liberals can’t fantisize all you want what you think Jesus meant but the proof is in the history.



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knoxvilledaniel

posted October 7, 2009 at 4:09 am


There’s nothing in the Bible about praying for someone to die, even someone you disagree with.
WE ARE TO LOVE OUR ENEMIES / ANTAGONISTS ( Or people we disagree with or just have issues with ), not pray for their deaths, much less advocate violence against them. the Right Wingers & Religious Reich are looking crazier every day…..



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knoxvilledaniel

posted October 7, 2009 at 4:16 am


Oh, that’s right – I keep forgetting –
The Neo – Cons / Religiou Right are big on bashing Liberals & on hate speech.
Love & tolerance is ALIEN to them. I don’t agree with everything President Obama says, but wishing fatal illness or death on him, or PRAYING for it, is just not right,& not what the Bible preaches, certainly not what Jesus – Hey, remember Him ? – taught.



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