The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Pastor Asks God to Smite President Obama

By Larry Keller on June 25, 2009 - 3:00 pm, Posted in Christian Right

Wiley DrakeAs if President Obama doesn’t have enough to deal with – what with civil unrest in Iran, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and economic malaise at home – now he’s also got a Southern Baptist minister praying for his death.

The Rev. Wiley Drake, pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., told Fox News Radio earlier this month that he was practicing “imprecatory prayer” – a divine curse – that would bring about Obama’s death.

“So you’re praying for his death?” asked the show’s host, Alan Colmes.


“So you’re praying for the death of the president of the United States?”


The pugnacious pastor later elaborated: “If he does not turn to God and does not turn his life around, I am asking God to enforce imprecatory prayers that are throughout the Scripture that would cause him death, that’s correct.”

A spokesman for the Southern Baptist Association, where Drake was second vice president in 2006-2007, responded to Drake’s comments by saying that he believes most Southern Baptists are praying for the president’s well-being.

Obama isn’t the first person for whom Drake has prayed for an untimely demise. In 2007, when Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a formal complaint with the Internal Revenue Service maintaining that Drake’s endorsement of Mike Huckabee for president violated tax laws, Drake called on his followers to pray for the deaths of the nonprofit’s staff.

And after Kansas physician George Tiller, a prominent provider of abortions, was murdered in church on May 31, Drake said his death was the answer to his imprecatory prayers. He called Tiller “a brutal, murdering monster” on his radio program. “This man, George Tiller, was far greater in his atrocities than Adolf Hitler.”

Drake is none too fond of homosexuals, either. He wrote the resolution at the Southern Baptist Convention in 1996 calling for a boycott of the Walt Disney Corporation after it afforded health benefits to gay and lesbian partners of employees. He urged followers to join him last year in praying for rain to fall on the Democratic National Convention in Denver. “I too am still against killing babies and allowing sodomites to marry,” he explained. [The weather was beautiful when Obama made his acceptance speech before 84,000 people in a football stadium].

Drake also is chaplain to the Minuteman Project, a group that President George W. Bush called “vigilantes.” He was Alan Keyes’ vice-presidential running mate on the America’s Independent Party ticket in 2008. They were plaintiffs in one of several unsuccessful lawsuits filed last year claiming that Obama could not be sworn in as president because he supposedly wasn’t born in the United States.

  • BG

    Read Proverbs 6: 16-19, the LORD hates, no they are an abomination…” a false person who pours out lies, a person who sows discord among people.

  • Trish

    I am so broken hearted right now. The thought that anyone calling themselves a Christian would wish evil on another is going against the very teachings of Christ. I am a born again Christian and it kills me that there are those who claim to be in Christ casting out hate.
    Our God is a God of forgiveness, redemption, faithfulness, peace, joy, love, and the giver of all things good.
    I am I guess what one would call a liberal Republican or a conservative Democrat. I am again abortion, why, the same reason I am against the death penalty. The thought of even one innocent human being suffering or killed because of the choice of others is devastating. However, I can personally speak about abortion. I had on 20 years ago, while I was in addiction, and it is the one thing from my past that haunts me. I would not wish this kind of broken heartedness on any person.
    God does not order us to do things because He can. If anyone human being truly looked into why He warns us off certain behaviors, ideas, patterns of thought it is for one reason.
    The consequences emotionally, physically, mentally ans spiritually can be devastating. We tend to look at religious, faith, obedience etc as God not understanding or Him being a controlling bully. Let me assure you, anyone who has mad a bad choice and continually pays the price emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually knows that those prices to be pain are why He guides us away from those choices. Just as parents we have enough wisdom to know what could hurt our children and cause them lasting harm, our Lord knows what will harm us and wants better for us that that.
    I always tell my children that the Lord doesn’t tell us to not have sex before marriage because marriage is bad, but because sharing yourself on that level with another human being leaves a scar on you, it could be a tiny tiny scare of a horrific on. He does not want that for any of us.
    Lastly, Jesus sermon on the mount specifically says that Murder Begins in the Heart and in the book of Matthew the Lord is very clear that murder is committed in our hearts long before any person acts upon it. Hatred is the beginning of murder and just as bad in the Lords eyes.

    I can promise you one thing, the large, large majority of Christians do not behave or live like this man. Most Christians understand that what we have been given above all else in Forgiveness and that we are no better ever than any other person out there.

  • mw

    One might argue that this is nothing more than political speech; therefore, all of the pastors spouting imprecatory prayer are violating IRS rules, and should lose their not-for-profit status.

  • mountaingirl08

    Sorry for the typs in my post. I should have read it over before sending it.

  • mountaingirl08

    I used to occasionally attend a Southern Baptist church near my house, though I was reared in the Methodist church. I am a fair-minded person but the Baptist church which I am referring to was anything but. The preacher would attack and deride “mainline Christian” churches, Now that really would tick me off. I would entertain the notion of walking out of the service, but I never did. Needless to say, the church was creationist in its beliefs and had no problem w. teaching that in their “white flight” school. And you can bet that a numver of the church isn’t keen on immigration of those who aren’t the Southern white bread types in origin.
    I have never been able to figure out why those people were so ignorant and so interested in demainding their prejudices become law and public policy. Scary.
    I will never set foot in another fundamentalist type church. They don’t seem all that Christian to me. Not unless you think homophobia, virulent racism and fostering the notion that women should be submissive to men is Christian.

  • mountaingirl08

    This “pastor” is no more a representative of God than I am the Virgin Mary. How these slimebags claim to speak for God is beyond any rational explanation.

  • Potter

    To all the good Christians who state that your faith is nothing like Drake’s, well great. I am happy to hear it. If you claim to be a conservative Christian who is appalled at Drake and his ilk, that too is great.
    BUT, let me tell you that to try to convince some of us that YOUR religious beliefs aren’t like theirs will take more than anonymous words written via the Internet. I have stated to many here on the SPLC site and elsewhere that I don’t believe you much. If you claim Christianity and don’t agree with the Fundamentalists haters (This goes for you too, moderate and liberal Muslims!) you have to actually DO something about the hate they are doing in your religions name. As I see it now, you all spend all of your public policy resources trying to convince the rest of us that “THEY” aren’t “real” Christians (or Muslims), you are.

    Also, Please don’t keep telling me that my experiences of Fundamentalist Christians are not typical. They are for me and every non-Christian I know. I have lived here in the deep south for 42 years and have spent more time in local churches than some Christians I know.

    POLICE YOUR OWN!!!!! (If you really mean what you say)
    I will know you by your actions (fruits), not your words.

  • Pam

    Hate speech TV, or radio, such as the Fox HATE Network & Limbarf, needs to be taken off the air.

    Incendiary right-wing God Sqwaukers—hypocritical fringe, hiding behind the Bible, like the maniac in this report, the GOP and especially palin and mccain after their race baiting 08 campaign, are the true/real threat to America.

    They reach the weak effectively, the non-thinking followers who will do anything to be accepted into “heaven”.


    on June 30th, 2009 at 7:07 am

    If the guy wants to ’speak’ to something that is going to have absolutely no effect, let the guy live in his ignorant bliss.”

    This is the exact wrong thing to do. Looking the other way, and allowing hate to grow unchecked, is NOT good.

    The fight for equality continues. Hate speech CANnot be acceptable, ever.

  • beholder

    Perhaps off topic, religious arguments are commonly being forwarded against undocumented immigration. Forgive me for leading the comments to immigration (an issue I feel strongly about) but it is worth note that in the antebellum South it was common to defend slavery with biblical scripture. For that matter in the biblical context, the much cited condemnation against homosexuality was likely against rape of boys or slaves. It is all too easy to superimpose modern polity on the past.


    If the guy wants to ‘speak’ to something that is going to have absolutely no effect, let the guy live in his ignorant bliss.

  • zbob

    This lunatic should be arrested.

  • TheBigotBasher

    Threatening the President with prayer is like threatening the President with an army of soldiers riding unicorns. It is an example of hate but the level of how unlawful it is depends upon how much you believe prayer works.

    The Secret Service have however got involved with such things before.

  • Dave Farley

    It is important to express your feelings towards these hateful people. I would protest outside their churches, and speak out against the venom they are using as their faithful flocks listen. It is ignorance that has made our country such a dangerous place. Any religious views that portray this kind of hate in my book isn’t evangelical Christianity, it is hypocricy.

  • Dave Farley

    My Question to freaks like this man is how is your expression of ignorance and violence wished upon a President who is trying to make the quality of life better for so Americans including myself. Jesus Christ said “Blessed are the poor” for they shall inherit the earth. Some of these preachers from the far right turn a blind eye to society as a whole and have been very powerful in this mindset. Shame on people like this. They are poor examples in promoting their faith and they truly need prayer.

  • TheBigotBasher

    I am sorry but Amy Siskind has of late associated herself with much worse. She has called NoQuarter a friend of The New Agenda and it has published and failed to ban posters who called for the assassination of the President, called his wife sasquatch (just search on google) and allowed posts calling his children “fair game”.

    An group she associates with, known as PUMAs have been running an Islam sucks campaign they were even booted from a PBS story about muslim kids getting into hip hop because of their hate.

    Putting an acceptable face on hate is more dangerous than when it appears in a white sheet or with a bible.

  • Norcalben

    Since this church hasn’t been denounced by the baptists or any other church, it says to me they agree. All the church goers exhibit the primary attribute of bigots. They are cowatds, they let these fanatics represent them while they say they disagree while continuing to attend church and support them.

  • G

    This is terrible at this date and time. There are some Television Evangelists in Georgia-TN, that are preaching similar messages and in Virginia. They laugh and say yea, there are people praying about President, but i can’t say it on TV. Then they say I know how I pray for him, how are you praying for him. Then these TV evangelist would say I would tell you off air how they are praying for him. Every show they have a guest on to support their views against President Obama. This is not the gospel, this is a hate message, and they are using the Bible to justify their action. Some of these TV host evangelists shows needs to be shut down. People listen to them and they will organize and try to do something to the President. I thought these christians preachers had gotten a deliverance from racism, but when President Obama got elected, these preachers started letting this racism out again. They are preaching messages against President Obama and tell you to buy their DVD . They would say I can’t say it on TV, but buy the DVD. They have a pick at the president on their shows, just as some of these TV news hosts that are designed to attacke the president. Most of these TV evangelists would tell you that they watch Fox News.

  • Carter

    In regards to Geno’s comment, I too, do not believe that organized religion is inherently evil. but it’s built upon people.
    People are flawed and make mistakes. That’s life.
    I certainly do NOT buy any agenda that call for Christians to be singled out as evil. That’s frankly just as stupid and bigoted as screaming at Jewish people or Islamic peoples as authors of evil as a group.
    I had thought that there were more open minded, less bigoted people who support the SPLC, but I suppose I was wrong. There is Bigotry on ALL sides of any spectrum.

  • Larry W.

    L and M clearly states the dangers of the Christian Right’s actually achieving their true agenda. Still, I would like to go one step further and bring us squarely back to the Constitution and the framers fears of the political power of the “church” and thus clearly separating church and state.

  • beholder


    Historical fact suggests otherwise, so I must respectfully disagree. It is a fallacy to assume to conclude that since some on the fringes of the religious right want to set up a white nationalist dictatorship (agreed there!) that we need to rewrite history or that the historical basis of our system of law was somehow impugned. For example, Hitler consulted astrologers, but should we conclude that anybody who reads a horoscope is a Nazi? Obviously not. So rather than attack religious values as a blanket judgement, which is my mind is simply bigotry, I would prefer to focus the lens on identifying how remote these christian nationalist groups are from the real basis and history of the religion. Nationalism as we know it did not exist in 1 BCE. The concept of a nation, as we know it, did not occur until the Treaty of Westphalia and was unknown in antiquity. All I am saying is let’s not get carried away and allow legitimate condemnation of a particular hate group’s freakish ideology become our own form of hate on the basis of religion.

  • Walt

    Our common law system goes back to pre-christian Saxon common law, things we take for granted like a trial by jury, needing to be charged with a crime before being detained and etc. Where in the bible does it say we have freedom of religion, or freedom of speech and etc? Where does the bible say we can elect our own leaders? Please point out the relevant cahpter and verse in the bible that outlines the rights to habeas corpus, the right to worship whatever you want (or not worship at all) and the right to elect our own leaders then I might believe it.

  • L and M

    Beholder said “our own common law system and the Bill of Rights trace themselves to judeo-christian origins …”

    The “Judeo-Christian origins” idea is being promoted by Christian nationalists using falsified historical claims as a means of establishing fundamentalist Christianity as the state religion. Just imagine what it would be like if they succeed and install a Guardian Council of American ayatollahs like Drake.

  • The Exaggerator

    Is there not always the possibility that these calls for Imprecatory Prayers could wind up backfiring on the one issuing the calls therefor?

  • GENO Valkyrie

    I agree with Carter. My guess is that is that some of these Christian leaders do not catch-up on their Christian/local/national news or do not have twitter yet et cetera to stay informed. Either that or Carter’s assumptional expression is accurate.
    I don’t necessarily agree with the others who think religion is evil. This particular preacher and sub-groups like his are cultist and cult-related organization. in cult circles their preachers or messiah tend to use fear to keep a tight grasp on these faith-hungry loons. Usually these people are white as it was the case with many cults surfacing previously and today. What’s wrong with these white people???

  • Carter

    We have often heard the expression “why don’t ‘moderate’ Muslims speak out against “terrorism'”? Here we have a self proclaimed Christian spouting pathological garbage & I wonder how many other Christian “leaders” are calling for his censor?
    Realistically I suppose it’s quite hard to put oneself out on Front Street and tell this naive that such prayers are the very core of disharmony; but still I expected more of a public scorn….
    Perhaps it IS there, but I would like to hear about it.

  • Religion_Sucks

    When are we going to admit to ourselves that organized religion is a cancer on society and needs to be wiped off the face of the earth. To all religious people let me just say I don’t respect you or your phony beliefs.Me and my offspring and the world would be better off without you.

  • beholder

    I am as sick of religious hypocrisy as the next person, but let’s not get carried away and deduce that this nut represents Christians or Christian values. After all, our own common law system and the Bill of Rights trace themselves to judeo-christian origins and the basic teachings of Christ have great merit in terms of tolerance and plurality. It’s a pity that sectarians give religion a bad name — I think spirituality can be useful to political progress, but I see no need for this kind of wacko.

  • daemonesslisa

    I figured Pat Robertson would have done this already, since he’s done it before with Supreme Court judges (although he’ll get another chance to do that soon enough).

    Well, when you’ve seen one christian extremist, you’ve pretty much seen them all.

  • Andora

    First, thank you, Brian, for speaking up. As someone who identifies more readily with moderate-to-liberal Christian values, I assure you that I know that people like Wiley Drake do not represent the majority of folks who, like you, identify with more conservative Christian values. Wiley Drake is an embarrassment to the Christian religion. For those of you who claim a different religion or no religion, please know that extremists/terrorists (I call anyone who would pray for the death of another person a terrorist) like Wiley Drake are not valid examples of Christian faith.

  • Joel

    Oh my Orange County. What have you wrought?

    So tempting to show up with a few hundred people on a Sunday with signs calling Drake an anti-christ. Which is what he is.

    The question is will the Southern Baptist congregation take the steps required to excommunicate him? Do they have the nerve?

  • Brian

    Wow. I’m a right wing conservative Christian but that sounds stupid to me. King David did pray for God to avenge him but nowhere in the New Testament do we read of Christ, Peter or Paul praying for the death of Herod, Pilate or Cesar. Paul said

    1 Corinthians 11:1 (KJV)
    1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

    I’ll follow Paul.

  • SJR

    What a quack!

    Goddamn these people are sore losers.

  • George

    YAY!!! There is no god… But hopefully that won’t matter. Glory to The british commonwealth!

  • Gregory

    On the positive side, his entreaties went to a nonexistent invisible friend. On the negative side, people who ask invisible friends to do their dirty work usually end up doing it themselves or having it done by proxies.

    Besides, prayer only makes sense in the context of multiple gods. One would think that a single, omniscient god would already know what the problems were and would not need reminding. Unless, of course, she is running Heaven like some celestial version of American Idol and those with the most votes/prayers get their wishes.

    Jesus, please protect me from your followers. Amen.

  • Allison

    Is the Secret Service checking this guy out? It sounds treasonous to me. But hey, if it works, I’ve started my imprecatory prayers against Wiley Drake.

  • beholder

    If I didn’t live in the South I would have a hard time believing this was true. So much for “loving your neighbor”.

  • GENO the Valkyrie Warlord

    What I like to see is the American Indianz do another “Ghost Dance” ya know, that banned tribal ceremony by the federal government that calls for the death of white supremacists who are raping Mother Earth.

    Come on. That’s ridiculous right? Do these racist hypocrites actually believe their God is just gonna smack our highly respected U.S. President dead? Seriously, mental illnesses seems to be so rampant in the far Right–hence the term–“wing-nuts”. Its this wackjobbery infection in those hypocrites that afflicts hogwashes and paranioa is also known as NEO-CON’S DISEASE! A mechanism of the brain that devastates the mind into a lunatic fringe. I’m just glad that I’m neither Left or Right. Whatever that may be. But these Palinites types are really funny, though.