So have you seen this nifty little Christian item:

Sounds like it’s based on the call to pray for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2), right? Not exactly: here’s Psalm 109:8 with some context:

May his days be few;
may another take his office!
May his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow!
May his children wander about and beg,
seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!
May the creditor seize all that he has;
may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!
Let there be none to extend kindness to him,
nor any to pity his fatherless children!

(Psalm 109:8-12)

It seems former Southern Baptist Convention vice president Wiley Drake has started a trend with his practice of “imprecatory prayer” directed at those he considers his enemies. Drake has prayed for bad stuff to happen not only to the president, but to abortionist George Tiller, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and others, in the latter instance at least based on what look solely like political differences. Drake isn’t alone in his vengefulness towards those whom he thinks are God’s enemies, though this is hardly a widespread thing among conservative Christians. The real point is this: if Paul could tell his readers to pray for those in authority in the Roman Empire–a pagan state that persecuted Christians with some frequency, and obviously didn’t operate according to Christian principles–without suggesting they pray for bad stuff to happen to their rulers, nether should we. We can disagree as fiercely as we can with anyone in authority, without wishing personal ill to come to them because of our disagreements. Millions of Christians throughout the world, living in far worse conditions than Rev. Drake has ever had to endure, refrain from doing so, instead praying as Paul directed, “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” Rev. Drake and his allies should try that instead, and keep their death fantasies to themselves.

(Hat tip: Alan.)