Last year, California far-right pastor Wiley Drake prayed for President Obama to die. Almost 11 months later, the president not only is alive but healthy enough to play tennis over the weekend. But that hasn’t discouraged a spelling-challenged creator of a Facebook page who also is praying for Obama’s death.
“Dear Lord, this year you took my favorite actor, Patrick Swazie [sic],” the site’s creator wrote. “You took my favorite actress, Farah [sic] Fawcett. You took my favorite singer, Michael Jackson. I just wanted to let you know, my favorite president is Barack Obama. Amen.”
The site has generated a lot of attention, with 1.1 million people expressing approval. But it also has spawned other sites urging people to contact Facebook and demand that the page be deleted. The social networking site gives members wide latitude on what they may post. Its statement of rights and responsibilities, however, prohibits posting content that is, among other things, hateful or threatening.
Some Facebook members who support the anti-Obama page claim that those who object to it had no qualms about ugly comments directed at George W. Bush while he was president. “Some people need to learn how to take a joke,” one woman wrote. “It’s only a joke when it pokes fun at Bush or Palin, didn’t you read the liberal handbook?” another woman replied.
Almost as prevalent on the page as anti-Obama rhetoric — “obama HATES AMERICA!!!” — are vulgar doctored photos of the president. One depicts a hand removing excrement from a toilet bowl, Obama’s head poking out from the feces. Another shows the president supposedly urinating on an American flag. There also is a photo is of a toilet with a hand-lettered sign, “Free Obama Dolls” and an arrow pointing downward in the direction of the toilet bowl. A bogus campaign poster features a rendering of Obama with devil’s horns and flames licking around him. “Anti-Christ ’08,” it reads.
It’s all high-brow stuff, causing one person on Facebook to comment: “1,140,216 childish Americans like this site? What does that say for America as a whole? Do you only exist and feel good name calling and using hateful language?”
As for Wiley Drake, who pastors First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., he’s keeping the faith in what is known as “imprecatory prayer” — praying for death, maiming or evil to befall somebody, despite his failure in the case of President Obama. Just last month, he E-mailed his followers to inform them that all 219 Democrats who voted for the health care reform bill had been placed on an imprecatory prayer list, and he cited Psalms 109. It reads in part, “May his days be few; and let another take his office. May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.” So far, all of the targeted Democrats seem to be doing just fine.