There's a hilarious new meme in the wingnut sectors of the internet: someone's coined a bumper sticker slogan encouraging people to pray for Barack Obama. But here's the funny part: it's really a secret Christian code for "Kill the President!'
Posters to various message boards tell stories of seeing bumper stickers with the message "Pray for Obama—Psalm 109:8" on the highway, only to look up the verse and find, "Let his days be few; and let another take his office." People — like the commenter "Panama" on INGunOwners.com, to pick one guy completely at random — think this is "too funny." The next verse in Psalms is, "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow."
Anyway, now it's a real thing: CafePress is selling T-shirts and bumper stickers, the Christian Science Monitor is wondering whether it's "funny or sinister" to pray for Obama's death, and Rachel Maddow referenced it last night on her show.
Psalm 109 is known as "A Cry for Vengeance," which is one of the foundational values of Christianity, along with small-business tax cuts. It's actually quite a little psalm, as psalms go, and the opening lines sound really familiar:
Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;
for the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me:they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.
They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.
Then it gets into the part where you pray for God to smite Barack Obama and condemn Malia and Sasha to poverty for the rest of their lives, a fate they deserve because they sprang from the loins of the sinful:
Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.
The Psalm 109:8 gag is one in what's becoming a long line of cheekily coded Obama death threats: There was the classified ad someone placed in a Pennsylvania paper hoping that he follows in "the footsteps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy," all of whom were assassinated. And there was the gun-toting New Hampshire teabagger with a sign saying it is time to "water the tree of liberty"—a reference to Thomas Jefferson's reminder that the tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the "blood of tyrants and patriots."
Why not a T-shirt that says, "Will Somebody Please Kill That Guy Already?" The word games are getting tedious. If you want Barack Obama to die and for curses to "come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones," and for his name to be blotted out in one generation, just say so!
Here's our favorite part of Psalm 109:
Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame; and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.
That sounds about right.