Alibris Secondhand Books Standard

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

out of bounds

Henry Neufeld comments on Shane Raynor's response to Jim Wallis's cursing of Sarah Palin.

Wallis is rightly upset at Palin for her grotesque distortion of the language of the health care bill. In Palin's mind, the bill's section defining advance care planning equates to "death panels" where bureaucrats determine who lives and who dies. In the real world, advance care planning is a way of making decisions ahead of time about what kind of care you want to get in case you reach a point where you're no longer able to make those decisions for yourself. With more people living longer, it's more important than ever to have a plan in place. According to, this provision of the health care bill allows Medicare to pay for a consultation between patient and physician about end-of-life care. Palin's scaremongering is just the latest in a string of attacks by the opponents of reform.

But Wallis is not content to criticize Palin for her falsehoods. He goes a step further and invokes a curse against her:

Please don’t invoke your “Christian faith” anymore and embarrass the people of God even further. May your efforts to scare Americans during this important debate fail. May your political future also fail, and may your star fall as fast as it rose just a few months ago — because we now know who you really are.

Since I've previously written about mixing politics and religion and about cursing — and not in favor of either — I want to add my voice to those who say Wallis is out of bounds.

It's fine to disagree strongly with someone's political agenda, and to point out the dishonesty of their claims. But is cursing ever justified? Not when it's done in the name of political debate.

Labels: ,

Saturday, June 06, 2009

cursing from the pulpit

From the Associated Baptist Press:

A former Southern Baptist Convention officer who on June 2 called the death of abortion provider George Tiller an answer to prayer said later in the day he is also praying "imprecatory prayer" against President Obama.

The pastor, Wiley Drake, made the remarks in an interview with Alan Colmes of Fox News Radio. Later in the interview, Colmes tried to clarify:

Colmes: Are you praying for his death?

Drake: Yes.

Colmes: So you're praying for the death of the president of the United States?

Drake: Yes.

Drake says his cursing is justified because:

I don't just preach part of it. I don't just preach the soft, fuzzy, warm stuff where we're supposed to be nice to everybody. I preach the whole Bible.

Apparently he is using a Bible translation that does not contain Romans 12:14, "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them."

Now to be honest, I'd like to call down a few curses against Wiley Drake. In my heart, I'm no better than he is. That's not the direction I really wanted to go with this post, but there it is.

Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Labels: , , ,