Southern Baptist Minister Prays for Obama's Death
Washington Afro, News Report, James Wright Posted: Jul 07, 2009
(June 21, 2009) - A well-known minister of a denomination that once supported slavery and is firmly against a woman’s right to an abortion said recently that he is praying for President Obama to die.
The Rev. Wiley Drake, a former second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, told Fox News Radio earlier this month that he was practicing “imprecatory prayer” or seeking a divine curse that would cause the president to die.
“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,” Drake said in an interview with Fox’s Alan Colmes, according to the Associated Press.
The Southern Baptist Convention was formed in 1845 so slaveholders could continue to serve as missionaries. The church supported the South during the Civil War, supported segregation of the races before and during the Civil Rights Movement and has been known for its hostility toward affirmative action and busing to achieve racial balance in schools. The church has been a favorite of conservative Republican Party candidates.
In 1995, Southern Baptists formally sought forgiveness from African-Americans. By 2007, the convention's minority membership, including African-Americans, Asians and Latinos, had grown to about 18 percent, said the Rev. Richard Land, head of the denomination's public policy arm. But like many other U.S. denominations, the 16.2 million-member Southern Baptist Convention remains overwhelmingly White.
Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were raised Southern Baptists. Carter left the church in 2000 over its increasingly right-wing agenda and while Clinton acknowledges his roots in the denomination, he attends services with his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is a United Methodist.
Roger Oldham, vice president for convention relations with the Southern Baptist's executive committee, said that Drake's comments were out of line with church teachings. Oldham told the Associated Baptist Press that Drake's comments do not reflect the actions, resolutions or positions of the denomination.
”I think it is a fair statement to say that the vast majority of Southern Baptists are committed to praying for the well-being of the president in accordance with the specific instruction given in 1 Timothy 2:1-3,” Oldham said, quoting, “’First of all, then I urge petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior.’”
Drake recently said that he prayed for the death of famed abortion doctor George Tiller. Tiller was shot to death in his church on May 31 in Wichita, Kan. by an anti-abortion activist.
In regards to Obama, Drake, who pastors a church in Buena Park, Calif., had not retracted his statement as of AFRO press time.
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