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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.
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