Death to Americans United for Separation of Church and State!
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Aug 15, 2007 at 11:52:29 PM EST
So says Rev.Wiley Drake, the former Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC); current pastor of First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, California; and current darkhorse candidate for president of the SBC -- who has called for "imprecatory prayer" against AU, especially communications staffers Joe Conn and Jeremy Leaming; and executive director Barry Lynn.  In a press release, Drake invoked the 109th Psalm and called them "enemies of God."  
The occasion for Drake's calling the wrath of God down on AU and its staff was an AU complaint filed against Wiley's church for endorsing Mike Huckabee (also an SBC minister) for president -- on church letterhead in flagrant violation of the federal tax laws. Drake followed-up with his endorsement on his church connected radio show with a Huckabee representative on hand.  Drake singled out Conn and Leaming because their names appear on the press release announcing AU's action. The bizarre and sensational actions by Rev. Drake are already making national news.
In light of the recent attack from the enemies of God I ask the children of God to go into action with Imprecatory Prayer. Especially against Americans United for Separation of Church and State. I made an attempt to go to them via Matt 18:15 but they refused to talk to me. Specifically target Joe Conn or Jeremy Learing. They are those who lead the attack. (You can see their press release attack at www.au.org.)

Here is part of the press release that caught Drake's ire:

In a complaint to the IRS, Americans United's Lynn said Dr. Wiley S. Drake, pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, issued a press release Aug. 11 endorsing Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

Drake's press release was issued on church letterhead. He also endorsed Huckabee on a church-affiliated radio show and featured a Huckabee campaign official.

Americans United's Lynn says the church's intervention in partisan politics merits an IRS investigation.

"Although Drake may express his personal views on political candidates," Lynn wrote to the IRS, "federal tax law prohibits such endorsements by religious leaders acting in their capacities as officials of non-profit religious organizations. The IRS has repeatedly warned non-profits not to use organizational resources to intervene in elections.

"Use of church letterhead to endorse a candidate for public office appears to violate the provisions of federal tax law that prohibit non-profit intervention in political campaigns," Lynn continued. "Drake's endorsement of a candidate on a church-based radio show raises the same concerns."

Drake's press release clearly endorsed Huckabee and urged other Southern Baptists to support the candidate as well.

AU issued a further press release denouncing Drake's call for the death of its staff rather than deal with the substance of the issue. AU notes that Drake also left a mesage in Barry Lynn's voice mail box stating that he had been urging his supporters to pray for God to punish Lynn as well, and would continue to do so.

In a section of his press release called "How To Pray," Drake includes a long list of biblical citations that call on God to smite enemies. For example, the alleged enemies of God "shall be judged," "condemned," and "his days be few...." Additionally, supporters should pray that the enemy's "children be fatherless, and his wife a widow," and "his children be continually vagabonds, and beg; let them seek bread also out of their desolate places."

"Let there be none to extend mercy unto him," Drake quoted, "Neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children."

It is worth noting that Rev. Drake has been associated with the violently antiabortion Army of God -- an association he now denies. However, his name appeared for years on the Army of God web site endorsing James Kopp's assasination of abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian. (It has since been scrubbed.) Drake also maintained a close relationship with the late Robert Ferguson, who the Army of God considers to be a "Hero of the Faith," along side James Kopp and other convicted criminals.

While these involvements are not incidental, what Drake means by calling down the wrath of god against his "enemies" is the main question here. There is helpful discussion of what Drake might mean by his call for "imprecatory prayer;" written by a Christian reconstructionist and past president of the National Reform Association, the openly theocratic Jeff Ziegler, in a back issue of The Forerunner. In it, he discusses what is meant by the Biblical verses Drake invokes in his press release. Here is a brief excerpt explaining the verse highlighted by Drake -- who points to the imprecatory prayers uttered by King David in the 109th Psalm. Ziegler discusses:

...the lawbreaker as one who under the crushing weight of Divine wrath, becomes chaff driven by the wind, who cannot endure the judgement and will by virtue of his wickedness, perish from the earth.

This covenantal understanding is paramount if we are to comprehend, embrace, and emulate David's imprecatory war Psalms and recapture our lawless society.

Let us examine the controversial 109th Psalm. David is at prayer warring against the enemies of God. In verses 4 and 5, David gives himself to prayer and describes his enemies as those who act with disdain for God and righteousness. From this forensic, legal ground he proceeds to proclaim and enforce the covenantal negative sanctions against these very same enemies in verses 6 through 29.

OK. So, Americans United files a complaint with the IRS alleging possible violations of the federal tax exemption by Wiley and his church. The IRS, of course, may or may not find against Wiley's church, and if they did, the sanction, if history is any guide, would no doubt be mild. Probabably a promise not to do it again.

But those government employees who do their job and investigate the hubris driven actions of Wiley Drake will probably want to keep in mind that anyone who crosses Rev. Drake is, in his book -- an "enemy of God."

Update [2007-8-16 14:25:50 by Frederick Clarkson]: Ethics Daily has more.




Display:
has to say about Wiley Drake's imprecatory prayer. Does Huckabee think that AU is an "enemy of God?"

by Frederick Clarkson on Thu Aug 16, 2007 at 01:54:02 AM EST

Check out this website:

http://www.wewillstand.org/together.html

Drake's apparently been "standing together" with Rev. Moon as well.

by Mrs Robinson on Thu Aug 16, 2007 at 03:42:43 AM EST


This is touched on near the end of the Ethics Daily article Fred links in his update, but worth separate mention: this incident is not Drake's first exposure to criticism for improper candidate endorsement on official letterhead. Here's my BJC blog post from October. Wiley's a bit of a, well, character. Notice I gave him the benefit of the doubt as he claimed good-ole-boy ignorance. That won't work this time.

by DonByrd on Thu Aug 16, 2007 at 05:01:28 PM EST

The fundamentalist "christians" have succeeded in taking over the federal government, by taking over the Republican party and getting Bush into the White House.

The mainstream news media is still ignorant of the fact that we are now living in a fundamentalist theocracy.

This call for imprecatory prayer has been getting no news coverage at all. It should be getting plenty.

by drettmann on Thu Aug 16, 2007 at 07:19:06 PM EST


the level of denominational importance of the preacher calling for it.

Praying for the death of liberal Supreme Court Justices is one of the commonest schticks of radical anti-abortion lay activists and the occasional low-level clergy or delisted clergy. Railing against the judiciary and against abortion in the same breath, and then saying "we pray for intervention by God, but we aren't praying for the sickness or death of Justices X, Y, Z" is a radio-preacher tactic. I am pretty sure that I have heard Dobson do this "don't think of an elephant" tactic.

by NancyP on Thu Aug 16, 2007 at 11:09:53 PM EST

Isn't the expression "imprecatory prayer" some kind of alliterative oxymoron? Didn't Jesus tell these particular morons to pray FOR their enemies? What kind of God encourages believer A to ask Him to kill believer B while requiring believer  B to seek His forgiveness for believer A?  Is it any wonder that Christianity is so often mocked by unbelievers?

by sulphurdunn on Sat Aug 18, 2007 at 05:16:05 PM EST
Parent



WWW Talk To Action


Short Takes -- Taking Action Edition
Banned Books Week is being celebrated this year from Sept. 21-27.  Yes its time for the annual celebration of the Freedom to Read, sponsored......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Archbishop Schnurr Throws Cold Water on the Ice Bucket Challenge
The Ice Bucket Challenge has been an outstanding success in raising both awareness and research money needed to find a cure for Amyotrophic lateral......
By Frank Cocozzelli (1 comment)
The Secret Antigay U.S. Money Behind The WCF and the Global Evangelical War on LGBT Rights
[note to readers: this is an excerpt from my first installment in a Twocare.org/Center Against Religious Extremism series that will examine extensive ties -......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Race as Religion
Reading Edith Beer's book, The Nazi Officer's Wife, I ran across an interesting account of her fake marriage license.  She married a Nazi officer......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Dark Discussions on the Christian Right
The Neo-Confederate movement has been trying to jump start itself of late.  It has been an especially heady few months for the League of......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Oath Oaf: Religious Right Columnist Calls For Religious Tests In Military
Bryan Fischer, the director of issues analysis for the American Family Association (AFA) is like a demented, right-wing geyser: You can count on him......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Deeper Background on Dominionism -- Revisisted
In the Fall of 2011, there was an extraordinary -- and extraordinarily scurrilous -- wave of criticism aimed at those of us who had......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Fall From Grace: What The Religious Right Should Learn From The McDonnell Scandal
Leaders of Religious Right groups are fond of telling us that if we elect more fundamentalist Christians to office, we'll have less corruption. Biblical......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
A Visit To The Reality Community: Americans Have Sex. Americans Use Birth Control. Let's Move On.
Over the weekend, Americans United Senior Litigation Counsel Greg Lipper took part in a panel discussion about the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision at......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Thomas DiLorenzo's Rebel Yelling
I have written a great deal in the past few years about the odd phenomenon of Catholic Neo-Confederatism.  Let's add one more name to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Censorship Challenge: Texas Pastor Seeks Restrictions On `Dangerous' Library Books
Back in the 1990s, some Religious Right activists in Virginia got the bright idea to begin attacking America's public libraries. The idea was to......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Suspended St. Louis County Officer Dan Page Made Rounds on Rightwing Radio Shows
St. Louis Police Officer Dan Page drew national attention when he shoved CNN's Don Lemon during a broadcast of the protests in Ferguson, and......
By Rachel Tabachnick (1 comment)
Cop Who Shoved CNN Host Don Lemon Lassoed in Another Conspiracy Rodeo
Rachel Tabachnick broke an important story this evening showing that the rant by Officer Dan Page that got him suspended from the St.Louis County......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Exile Excitement: Some Fundamentalists Seek Escape From Decadent Society
OK, now we've done it. Those of us who advocate things like separation of church and state, secular government, LGBT rights and self-determination when......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Controversy Over White Nationalist GOP Candidate Still White Hot
The 2004 Constitution Party candidate for president Michael Peroutka's current race for County Council in Maryland -- as a Republican -- it is still......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)

Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (3 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.