Friday, November 20, 2009

Wicked and Decitful Mouths: Psalm 109

I must admit, the religious right in the US knows how to make a buck while spreading their pseudo-gospel. Now there are "Pray for Obama: Psalm 109" t-shirts, bumper stickers, hats, oven mitts, you name it. Psalm 109:8 reads "Let his days be few; and let another take his office." KJV So, facetious or not this is a prayer that Obama's presidency be short. Does it infer a violent end? The next verse reads "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow." That sounds somewhat ominous to me. But I am sure you already know this. It has been blogged about and written about a lot lately.

However, I want to look at this situation from another angle. Read the Psalm 109 in its entirety. First, Psalm 109 is attributed to David and for argument sake let's make that assumption. David, a biblical hero and presumably a hero to the Christian right, is lamenting over the fact that his enemies are plotting against him. He is king over Israel and his enemies are hoping that his days in office are short. So, by using this particular Psalm in connection with Obama they are placing Obama in the position of King David, chosen and anointed by God. Obama is King David. OOPS! Not only this, the people who created this are those with "wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues" Psalm 109:2 actually that sounds pretty accurate to me. Also, "Let my assailants be put to shame" v.28, again this is David/Obama writing. Again, "May my accusers be clothed with dishonor; may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a mantle" v.29 Here again, those who created these t-shirts are now the accursed and dishonored and should be put to shame. I really don't think this is the theme they were going for.

What lessons can those persons learn from this? First, proof-texting does not work and often makes you look like an idiot. You might want to read the ENTIRE psalm and understand the context before printing t-shirts and aprons. Second, if this is the best you can come up with give it a rest, really you are only making yourselves look dumb. Finally, if you really believe that the Bible is the inerrant and infallible word of God, don't you think God gets a little peeved when people misuse it.

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