Third Nationally-Recognized Pastor Declares Anti-Obama Death-Prayer
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:39:02 PM EST
As Steven Anderson told his congregation on August 16, 2009, "you have probably never heard a sermon like this before. Actually, you probably have if you have been coming to church here for a while. But you know what? Here is my sermon, why I hate Barack Obama. That's my sermon tonight, because Barack Obama is coming to town tomorrow morning."

Pastor Anderson has gained national and international media attention for that sermon, in which he declared he is praying "imprecatory prayer" for Obama's death. Media attention has missed the fact that Anderson preached an almost identical but even more virulently hateful version of the same sermon two days before Barack Obama was inaugurated, during which Anderson appeared to veer over the line into direct incitement, declaring "somebody should abort Barack Obama."

But, Anderson is only one of three nationally recognized Christian pastors who have declared they are praying for the death of the current president of the United States.

Pastor Wiley Drake is a Former Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention who also served as Alan Keyes’ American Independent Party running mate in the 2008 election. Wiley Drake has long been linked with the violent wing of the antiabortion movement and prior to the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller, Drake announced he was praying for Tiller’s death. After Tiller’s murder, during a June 2, 2009 appearance on Alan Colmes’ nationally syndicated radio show, Wiley Drake declared that his prayers had been answered and then went on to inform Colmes that he was praying for president Barack Obama’s death (also see here).

A third, and perhaps even more menacing anti-Obama “death prayer pastor” is Peter Peters of the LaPorte, Colorado Church of Christ. During the 1980’s, members of the white supremacist militia group The Order attended Peters’ church and four months after Pastor Pete Peters and his parishioner Colonel Jack Mohr appeared on Jewish talk show host Alan Berg's Denver radio show, during which the radio show host confronted Peters and Mohr about their views, Berg was machine-gunned to death. Members of The Order were later convicted of the murder.

Peters went on to host an October 1992 planning meeting, with white supremacist and NeoNazi leaders, during which an organizing strategy for a national paramilitary network was hammered out. Former Aryan Nations member Floyd Cochran said of Peters, “He doesn’t espouse Hitler. He doesn’t use the swastika or Klan robes. Instead he uses the Bible and the American flag. Peters talks in a language we’re used to hearing. His hatred is masked in God.”

Along with Steven Anderson, Peter Peters also gave an anti-Obama imprecatory prayer church service prior to Barack Obama’s inauguration. In Peters' January 19, 2009 sermon, broadcast over the Internet, Pete Peters concluded with a “party crashing” imprecatory prayer to call down divine destruction on Barack Obama’s inaugural celebration:

“On those false oath swearers and false oath takers bring destruction...

Melt and try with your fiery wrath those who with deceit speak lies and refuse to know you. Bring your vengeance upon them and upon them who have given oaths to Satan and false gods in their practice of divination. “


Why should mainstream American society take such incitement seriously ?

As part of the answer to that question, one of the key claims of pastors Anderson, Drake, and Peters is that Barack Obama’s presidency is not legitmate. According to Drake, Obama is a “usurper.” All three pastors cite variants of “birther” conspiracy theories which assert Barack Obama was not born in the United States and, therefore, isn’t a US citizen.

The percentage of Americans who believe that class of conspiracy theory, according to a poll conducted in July 2009 for the Daily Kos website by Research 2000, is truly astounding. The poll revealed that only 42% of Republicans were sure Barack Obama was born in the United States. 30% weren’t sure, while 28% believed Obama was not born in the US.

Adding up all the categories [voting blocks and non-voters] from the poll suggests that a little less than 1 out of 6 American adults believe Barack Obama wasn’t born in the US. A little more than one out of six aren’t sure. So, nearly one out of three American adults think Barack Obama might not legitimately by president of the United States.

Simply as a question of electoral politics, these numbers should deeply trouble Democratic Party analysts because the gravitational attractor for Americans who believe in “birther” conspiracy theories appears to be the GOP. There's nothing on the left that even even remotely compares to the teeming, dense tangle of conspiracy narratives such as birtherism, New World Order and Illuminati conspiracy theories that can be found on the American right. And, since the election of Barack Obama, New World Order conspiracy narratives claiming Obama is part of the alleged grand New World Order plot have exploded across the Internet ( see Can 100,000 Anti-Obama New World Order Conspiracy Videos Be Wrong ? ] :

"New World Order conspiracy theories are nothing new, but the sheer scale and range of the current outbreak of NWO conspiricism may be unprecedented. The rise of the Internet and its ability to facilitate homespun rich-media productions has given right wing conspiracy theorists a powerful new tool for spreading anti-government sentiment."
Although the Republican Party, party of Eisenhower appears to have become the grand American Conspiracy Theory Party, that hasn't marginalized the party in the way one might expect. Leading GOP politicians such as Senator James Inhofe espouse New World Order conspiracy theory, and the 1994 Republican takeover of both branches of Congress was powered, in part, by populist energy (or rage as it were) whipped up by the sort of rancid anti-government conspiracy theories which also helped inspire the 1990’s militia movement and are now once again ascendant.

In the 1990’s cadres of speakers with ex-government experience, who often claimed privileged knowledge for having worked in the federal government or in state government, who even had worked for the FBI and the US military, some of whom even had close links to the US military and Congress and claimed “top secret” security clearance, traveled right wing national speaking circuits telling their audiences that the federal government was the enemy of the American public and especially the enemy of fundamentalist Christians.

In public talks across America, in radio and TV broadcasts, via videocassettes passed person to person, over militia movement phone and fax trees, over early electronic bulletin boards, the word went out; the government was preparing to round up millions of Americans and place them in secretly prepared concentration camps, maybe even slaughter them en masse. The message was unambiguous; the federal government had been taken over by evil forces associated with the Democratic Party; Christians should buy guns, ammo, and provisions, organize militias to fight it out if necessary, and organize politically to push back the beast.

Months before Barack Obama was even elected, Republican operatives along with leaders on the Christian far-right were disinterring the components of that grand conspiracy, dire-sounding urban legends that had been created by propagandists during the 1990's ; the hundred thousand boxcars with leg shackles and guillotines, the secret FEMA detention facilities equipped to kill with poison gas, the UN and foreign troops hiding on military bases in the domestic US - waiting for their chance to rape, pillage, and impose satanic tyranny.

Like "Birtherism", which probably serves as a very good proxy indicator for belief in New World Order conspiracy theory because it's narratives are intertwined the New World Order narratives, belief in an imminent "New World Order" is extremely seductive to Americans who mistrust and fear their government.

Over the course of the summer, a string of murders - from NeoNazi Richard Poplowski's murder of three Pittsburgh cops to a murderous rampage at the National Holocaust Museum and the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller, New World Order conspiracy beliefs appear to have had played significant role in the world views of the men who have committed or been charged with these crimes.

In early August, a New York woman was arrested [update: charges were later dropped] while apparently scoping out an Air National Guard base. Authorities found an XM-15 assault rifle, a shotgun and 500 rounds of ammunition in her cart. Nancy Genovese claimed, as part of her inspiration, Glenn Beck's Fox show - especially his discussion of FEMA camps.

While much of the rising tide of right wing violence driven in part by New World Order conspiracy theory is associated with the racist right, militant right wing anti-government populism is far from a wholly racist phenomenon. Consider the parishioner of pastor Steven Anderson's church, Chris Broughton, who recently helped put Anderson in the national media spotlght:

He could have stepped right out of the pages of history, from one of Martin Luther King’s civil rights marches: a handsome young African American man, perhaps a march organizer, carrying a bullhorn. Articulate, impeccably attired in spotless white shirt and black formal slacks, hair close cut, clean shaven.

But, King championed Gandhian nonviolence as a method for advancing social and political change; Chris Broughton carried a loaded AR15 semiautomatic assault rifle. Received Democratic Party wisdom holds that the demographic decline of white America consigns the right wing to the dustbin of history but Chris Broughton stands in jarring contradiction to such predictions which have wholly missed the gradual but swelling rise of the rainbow right. As I write in "Proposition 8 : A Proving Ground For The New 'Rainbow' Right" (see link),

It was a both a proof-of-concept and a prophetic warning for the Democratic Party. In the minds of many on the American left, the GOP, dominated by the Christian right, is a dwindling revanchist bastion of retrograde white supremacy. Although that faction still is significant it is well on the way to political irrelevancy within the party because, in 2008, an emerging ethnically and racially inclusive form of the Christian right flexed newfound electoral muscles and won.

The left has not noticed...

[Below: Pastor Pete Peters' January 19, 2009 imprecatory prayer service against Barack Obama, segments one and two]

Pete Peters is a Christian Identity preacher. His ideology is apparently not followed by the other two preachers but he is just as virulent. According to the ADL- "He is a proponent of Christian Identity, which argues that Jews are spiritually degraded and pose a threat to civilization, that blacks and other people of color are inferior to whites, that homosexuals should be executed and that northern European whites and their American descendants are the "chosen people" of scriptural prophecy. Events sponsored by Peters and his church have assembled many of the nation's most active Identity champions." ( mp;LEARN_SubCat=Extremism_in_America&xpicked=2&item=8) [even more noteworthy- Christian Identity ideology in fact is A DESCENDANT of dominionist churches! See this excellent article by dogemperor here- and find on the page where it talks about "Serpent Seed" theology- nion-Kingdom-Now-Restoration-Theology ]

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