John Avlon, in The Daily Beast, takes a look at how President's Day is a great excuse for hate pastors like Orange County's Wiley Drake and Arizona's Steven L. Anderson to pray for the death of Obama.
Anderson’s gospel of hate is careful to hit the culture war trifecta: God, Gays, and Guns. Gays, he has said, should be executed—(“The same God who instituted the death penalty for murders is the same god who instituted the death penalty for rapists and for homosexuals, sodomites, and queers!”). And as for guns, well, they’ve been as common as Bibles in his church some Sundays. In fact, Chris Broughton, the man who brought an AR15 assault rifle as a protest outside an August ’09 Obama event in Arizona, attended the “Why I Hate Obama” sermon just the Sunday before. Broughton has called it “the best church in the world.”
When Anderson was interviewed by the local Phoenix Fox affiliate about his imprecatory prayers, he denied he was calling for violence. “If you want to know how I’d like to see Obama die, I’d like him to die of natural causes,” said Anderson. “I don’t want him to be a martyr, we don’t need another holiday. I’d like to see him die, like Ted Kennedy, of brain cancer.”
What’s the point of wading through all this hate? Because there is a cost to mixing politics with religion and confusing partisanship with patriotism. Presidents’ Day is a time when we are supposed to view politics with a sense of perspective. But lately, the idea of a loyal opposition to the president has been degraded, from Bush Derangement Syndrome to Obama Derangement Syndrome—demonization of our president for partisan gain leads some deranged people to pray for his death.
Of course, we've featured Anderson's sick brand of hate in these pages before:
Pastor Steve Anderson Wishes Death by Brain Cancer on Obama, Gays, and Michelangelo Signorile [tr]
Obama-Hating Pastor: Every Homosexual is a Deviant, Evil Predator [tr]
Baptist Preacher to Congregation: 'When I Go To Bed at Night [I] Pray for Barack Obama to Die and Go to Hell' [tr]