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screaming

I thought I could just comment on what has been happening to this country, specifically the latest, hottest, “meme” that is going on and making the news circuit and the blogoshpere and the twitterverse, by reminding all of us, once again, the Golden Rule. Yes, indeed, I am referring to the clever, seemingly harmless and indeed “How Christian of you”, appearances of bumper stickers that say:

“Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8”

By now I assume most of you know what the hack I am talking about. If you are one of the fortunate ones that have been shielded from such ugliness, here is the article, “Biblical anti-Obama slogan: Use of Psalm 109:8 funny or sinister?” on none other than The Christian Science Monitor. I am also repeating the by-now-old-news-because-our-generation-suffers-from-ADD details here for my children, so they will know, when they look back one day, how FAR indeed we/they have come. Please, let it be overcome by then…

Why the debate on whether quoting Psalm is sinister? Because this is from the Old Testament, whose god is a vengeful god. Because the exact verse in Psalm 109:8 is

“Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”

Not so bad? One clearly has the right to wish Obama out of the White House as soon as possible, as argued by many, citing Freedom of Speech. Read on because Psalm 109:9, which comes after Psalm 109:8, says

“Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”

Because, Psalm 109 is Vengeance Invoked upon Adversaries. Remember, Vengeful god.

Naturally some of the folks that gladly applied the bumper stickers, tweeted this verse, emailed it to friends and families, or even wore the t-shirts (Are you surprised that there were t-shirts made and sold already?) now claim ignorance. They did not know what comes after Psalm 109:8

And you have got to believe them. Old Testament aka the Hebrew Bible. Is it a surprise that not many Christians have read it?

More importantly, selfishly, I want to believe the claim for ignorance. I need to. Otherwise it would be extremely difficult to continue to believe in the general goodness of mankind. I don’t want to be convinced by Frank Shaeffer’s argument on TRMS that this is “trolling for assassins”, “calling for holy war”. That many are just eagerly awaiting Obama to fall into the same fate as that of Kennedy, McKinley, Garfield, and Lincoln. That it really “just takes one”.

I never liked Bush yet I had never prayed for his untimely death. Nor have I Cheney. Nor Glenn Beck. The list goes on…

I don’t even want to go down the road of pondering why Obama, in himself, incites so much fear and anger. I understand, with sorrow, that not all Americans were heart-broken when John Kennedy was assassinated. One could safely made the assumptions that the malignance (invidiousness? which negative emotion best described the frenzy?) bestowed on Obama has reached an unforeseen level of intensity.

This whole incident illustrated the dangers of quoting anything out of context and not checking the sources/references before propagating it. Another example, the ironic “Teabaggers wearing the Obamao t-shirt from China“, immediately comes to mind. Though the danger of you being mocked for not getting something is significantly reduced if you have taken care to be surrounded only by like-minded people…

It also goes to prove that Richard Dawkins (yes, THE IT atheist) is correct in advocating the mandatory studying of the bible, albeit as LITERATURE,

“The Bible as literature should be a compulsory part of the national curriculum… you can’t understand English literature and culture without it.”*

I would also like to suggest a new rule for consideration in conjunction with the suggestion above:

One shall not quote the Bible, or Shakespeare for that matter while we are on this subject, without actually reading the entire passage first.

* This is the reason why the first book of literature we were made to read in the department of Western literature was The Old Testament. Read it and weep. For so many reasons…

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Rockwell Golden Rule

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