Americans have been in a bit of a twitter upon hearing Baptist preacher Wiley Drake’s admission that he has been praying for the death of Barack Obama:
Alan Colmes: When you say you are praying for the death of someone using imprecatory prayer, you then said — I asked, then, “for whom else are you praying in that fashion?” And you said “President Obama.” Are you praying for his death?
Wiley Drake: Yes.
Colmes: So you’re praying for the death of the president of the United States.
Colmes: Do you, are you concerned that by saying that you might find yourself on some kind of a Secret Service call or FBI wanted list or, uh, do you think it’s appropriate to say something like that, or even pray for something like that?
Drake: I think it’s appropriate to pray the Word of God. I’m not saying anything. What I am doing is repeating what God is saying, and if that puts me on somebody’s list, then I’ll just have to be on their list.
Colmes: Uh, you would like for the president of the United States to die?
Drake: 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, uh, that would cause him, uh, death, that’s correct…. I think we’ll see, in the days ahead, other imprecatory prayers answered. God says clearly in his word that we are to continue to pray, and he will answer our prayers.
I don’t see why anybody should really by upset by this; to be upset by Wiley Drake’s words they have to have some power. It’s not that Wiley Drake is an unconnected pastor… he’s a former vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention and he ran on a presidential ticket last year with Alan Keyes. So Wiley Drake has some earthly connections, yes.
But really, any “imprecatory prayer” Wiley Drake makes for a person’s death should be giggled at rather than condemned. Drake has a track record of imprecatory death prayers that have gone utterly unfulfilled. Back in August of 2007, Wiley Drake reported that he’d begun casting his magical imprecatory prayers for the deaths of Barry Lynn, Joe Conn and Jeremy Leaming, three individuals who work for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
Two years later, are these targets of Wiley Drake’s death prayers dead? No, they’re alive and well. That makes Wiley Drake’s God either a fiction or a feeble wimp. Every time he makes a big ol’ death prayer for someone prominent, it’s like Drake is putting up a billboard that reads, “The God of the Southern Bapitsts is a Joke!” And while there are a lot of Southern Baptists out there, and while Wiley Drake is connected to them, it’s not like one of them has gone out and followed Drake’s theatrics by firebombing Barry Lynn’s home. As feeble or fictional as the Southern Baptist God is, Wiley’s Southern Baptist supporters are inactive and inert.
Silly, silly Wiley Drake says the Just Wrath of his Mighty God character will strike any day now: “I think we’ll see, in the days ahead, other imprecatory prayers answered.” OK, fella, we’ll keep an eye out. Every day that Barry Lynn and Joe Conn and Jeremy Leaming and Barack Obama keep walking around doing what they’re doing, we’ll laugh at you more heartily and stick in an extra few snorts. That’s what Wiley Drake deserves: not a condemnation that pretends his power is real, but a laugh.