David Perdue’s Little Joke Show’s He’s No Christian

David PerdueI 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:

If one could combine Arabic faith and Jewish intelligence, with an Iraqi education, Christian conduct, Greek knowledge, Indian mysticism, and a Sufi way of life, this would be the perfection of humanity.

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.

6 thoughts on “David Perdue’s Little Joke Show’s He’s No Christian

  1. And I doubt he even realised he was being so offensive. Because it is completely normal for this to happen. Yet the vapors that erupt when a Democrat fights back even a little.

    *sigh*

    I don’t know. I just don’t know.

  2. Well, it’s not as though Republicans are known for reading things in context (what do you mean “well-regulated militia?). This is bumper sticker Christianity- find some clobber verses that sound good out of context and focus on them to the exclusion of all else.

    I don’t mind the idea of a personal relationship with God as long as that’s not all you have. That’s part of why congregations and church attendance is important to religious life- you need other people to be able to tell you if you’re getting full of yourself.

    I am confused about “Sufi way of life” versus “Christian conduct.” Those seem like synonyms to me.

    • Jurgan, I agree on the “personal relationship with God” thing. It’s like when you hear someone thank God for their good fortune. Some people mean it in a genuinely humble way — essentially, admitting that they’ve been luckier than they deserve. Others are basically citing God as their character reference; “I always knew I was spectacular, and God proved it!”

      As far as congregations go, it’s like anything else, it can be good or bad. One thing that’s commonly stressed to recent converts is they need to separate from their old associates and only hang out with fellow True Believers. This is probably healthy if you ran with a tough crowd. It can also mean that as you fall deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole, it’s essential you don’t have anyone in your life saying “you’re giving money to that swindler of a preacher! Get a grip!”

      But often congregations — especially those that provide useful services to the poor — are a helpful antidote to self-obsession. You may join a congregation to have others admire how stunning you are in God’s eyes and find that they have more respect for volunteers who help fix the houses of neighborhood families from different faiths. Either you’ll stop being such an arrogant ass, or you’ll leave that congregation mighty quick!

    • Well, it’s a translation; I can’t help you there.

      I suppose it depends upon what you mean by a personal relationship with God. But there are a couple of things that bother me. First is that it seems to equate the believer with God — to put them on the same level. The second is that it is a very recent introduction to Christianity. And then there’s this whole thing of people having a kind of imaginary friend. It doesn’t need to mean that, but I think it does to most people. I’m just going on how I’ve seen people act when they talk about it. One could certainly have a personal relationship with God in being part of the universe and thus part of God. But for most people, having a personal relationship with God is Tim Tebow praying for a good game.

      • Well, the worst example is Doug Coe and The Family (read Jeff Sharlet if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Their equation is “Jesus plus nothing,” meaning their personal view of Jesus is all they worship. So they end up supporting tyrannical dictators and regressive economic policies because “Jesus” is on their side.

        • I wrote a review of Jeff Sharlet’s second book. That was where I learned that for these kind of Christians, Jesus isn’t the Prince of Peace but more like a Rambo character who is going to come back and kick ass. But even outside those kind of people, I know little old ladies who think of Jesus as their best friend. They love the story about footsteps in the sand. If it works for them, I guess it’s okay. But I only say that because I am certain God as they think of him doesn’t exist. Because if he did, they would go straight to hell.

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