I don’t really want to write about politics right now, but I feel I have no choice. Roll Call reported, Come to Obama Picnic, Leave Bible Verse Behind. It’s a perfect intersection of politics and religion: Republican Methodist David Perdue.
Senator Perdue from Georgia spoke at the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference on Friday. And he was yucking it up. He said that everyone should pray for the president. In particular, they should pray Psalm 109. He apparently quoted, “Let his days be few, and let another have his office.” Now, the reports claim that he said they should pray Psalm 109:8. That’s the exact passage that he read.
There are just a few problems with it. One, that isn’t a prayer; that’s just part of one. The other is that I doubt anyone would be so specific, “Psalm 109:8.” No, I think it was just Psalm 109, and the whole thing is pretty vile. Pastor Bob Deffinbaugh calls it A Prayer for the Punishment of the Wicked. He notes that while other psalms have nasty phrases, Psalm 109 is nothing but. He (and he is not at all alone in this) thinks that the psalm should not be used by Christians because it so conflicts with the message of Jesus.
The Bible Has Great Political Rhetoric
Of course, it works great as political rhetoric. The psalm does not just call for the trial and execution of our president, it goes onto say, “Let his children be fatherless; And his wife a widow; Let his children wander about and beg.” Just charming stuff. And I suppose the conservative movement has gone so far off the rails as to require that I mention that traditionally we have not believed in holding the children accountable for the acts of their parents.
But what David Perdue’s little joke at the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference really shows is that religion means very little to the conservative Christian. It is all just tribalism. And I’ll admit, this does goes right along with the Old Testament, which is about nothing so much as getting God on your your side so that he would kill and torture your enemies. But if this is the case, then why don’t these Christians just end the pretense. Because they clearly don’t accept Jesus Christ’s message.
In modern America, Christianity is little more than a tribal excuse for hating the people you already don’t like. And with this ridiculous notion of having a personal relationship with God, what can’t be justified?! Think about the hubris of that: a personal relationship with God! It doesn’t need to be this way, because it didn’t used to be this way.
David Perdue Is a Modern Christian
In Legacy: A Search for the Origins of Civilization, Michael Wood quots a Muslim scholar:
In those long ago days, Christians were known for their excellent conduct, which I assume means morality. But here we have David Perdue calling for the death of the president. And it isn’t for anything the president has done except to disagree on policy and be a member of a different political party.
The nicest thing you can say about David Perdue is that he doesn’t mean anything he says. He’s just following along with his tribe. It is just that his tribe stands for nothing good — just that whatever the tribe does is good. This isn’t religion; it is tribalism; and it is sacrilege.