hasn't cornered the market on religious fanaticism. Plenty of other religious leaders enjoy spouting off on television or radio about how evil President is and how they want God to strike him down and kill him.
In June, 2009, Southern Baptist minister Wiley Drake prayed for Obama's death because he did not believe the president to be a man of God. He was invoking imprecatory prayer, which literally means to throw a curse at, hoping God would answer and cause Obama death. Two months later, Arizona preacher Steve Anderson demanded the death penalty for homosexuals and prayed for Obama's death. In 2012, Kansas lawmaker Republican State House Speaker Mike O'Neal emailed a Psalm 109 to several people, which is a prayer for an enemy to die, leaving his wife a widow and his children fatherless.
This week, the hate continues, as Rick Joyner of MorningStar TV said that the United States is "doomed" unless God helps our military leaders take over the White House. His tirade questioned the wisdom of voters, and denounced the democratic process because not all people are worthy voters. He said:
"The balance of powers in the legislative and judicial branches were supposed to balance and keep in check, hold in check, the potential tyranny from the executive branch overstepping their bounds. The people are not always right, it depends on what people they are. And another thing the founders warned about is this thing will only work for a moral and a religious people. You remove morality, you remove the religious influence, and it cannot work."
So, this is what he thinks: The people are not always right. The founders were devout followers of God and Christ. Removing the influence of religion on government will send the government into a tailspin of sodomy, despair, and evil…that is, according to this guy. Does this not sound suspiciously like the Taliban? Does it not resemble the ramblings of Islamic extremists intent on installing religious and martial law in their own countries?
We call these foreign extremists terrorists. Why do we not call our own extremists terrorists and treat them as such?
Tea party Republicans who think like this guy are are holding our nation hostage. They are withholding necessary funds from those who need it most: women, children, veterans, and Social Security applicants (SSA will not be taking new applications during the shutdown).
As the government shutdown continues, the effects on women and children will become ever more clear. Because a small extreme faction of the Republican Party -- the tea party -- is holding the entire Congress hostage, nothing concrete is getting done. must choose between betraying his party and betraying his country, and it appears he has clearly made his choice: save his job by betraying his country.
Obviously, fundamental Christians in the United States are not quite as extreme as their Taliban counterparts, but I've noticed some disturbing similarities. Catholic website Fix the Family in August posted an entry by Raylan Alleman giving several reasons why parents shouldn't send their daughters to college. One of those reasons was because "she will not learn to be a wife and mother" while taking classes. My own college degree begs to differ. My husband thinks I'm pretty swell and my child really digs me. I think I've got this mother and wife bit down, no thanks to my college degree.
In October 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck by a Taliban gunman for having the nerve to attend school. The Taliban has forced the closure of schools serving girls and women during its stranglehold in regions like Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Of course, American women don't have to fear an education, but our religious fundamentals often forbid women from obtaining the bare minimum of an education. Already some fundamental groups oppress their girls and women, discouraging them aspiring to be anything more than a wife and mother.
When examining the Christian extremist view, it's understandable that they fear Obama. He is different. He is exotic. He will not bow down to crazy fundamental Christian demands of patriarchy, but instead embraces equality for all, including the LGBTQ community. He believes women can and should be equal, thus the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which required employers to pay employees fairly, regardless of gender differences.
Most of the preachers, pundits, and taking heads who hope for the president's destruction in some form or another, are mostly aging white men who can't stand the thought of a mixed-race man in the White House. They can't stand the thought of strong women in power, such as Hilary Clinton. They fear marriage equality, not because it will destroy the sanctity of their own marriage, but because they fear their own manhood and secretly question their own sexuality. They don't want to be confronted with a reality where they are not in power.
That's a sad thing to see. But even so, it does not give Joyner the right to pray for treason.
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