On Facebook this week there was a group that people were becoming fans of. It was ‘a prayer,’ that really mocked what a prayer actually is. It goes like this:
DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN
As of Saturday morning, April 24th, at 9:54AM the group has 1,093,107 fans.
I visited the group’s page and there are, as would be expected, numerous comments. Some call the ‘prayer’ appalling and want it removed. It is tasteless.
Some say, “Well where were you when people mocked George W. Bush???”
Some say, “It’s just a joke.”
I have several observations.
My first is this and this is one of those things that drives me crazy. They spelled Patrick Swayze’s and Farrah Fawcett’s names wrong. I mean, please, if you’re going to use people’s names, learn to spell them.
My second point is this. People did mock George W. Bush. People mock every President. There is fun mocking and there is tasteless mocking. Did people mock George W. Bush tastelessly? Of course. Were they right in doing so? Of course not! Does the fact that people were tasteless in mocking George W. Bush give people a right to mock Barack Obama tastelessly? Of course not. To defend this by saying that people were unfair and even mean to Bush is not really an argument based on any credibility. Wrong is wrong. Period.
Is it a joke?
I, for one, don’t like using a prayer as a joke. This one is pretty tasteless and cruel. It implies that the prayer wants Barack Obama dead. In the history of the United States, the death of a President, in office, has always been seen as a tragedy. It took many years for the nation to overcome the death of John F. Kennedy. His assassination touched off a turbulence in the 1960's that took decades from which to recover. The assassination of Abraham Lincoln had a devastating impact on rebuilding the nation after the Civil War.
Lest people forget, the last President to be shot while in office was Ronald Reagan. While he was in surgery, and recovering, the events that surrounded that day, and the consequences, were discussed a great deal and the consequences of his potential death from an assassin’s bullet would have impacted the nation greatly.
Whether we agree with a person’s politics or not, praying for the death of a President is destructive to the nation. Presidents can only serve two terms and if we do not like a President, they have this thing called an election that takes place every four years. Presidents can be re-elected or voted out. We do this routinely. If you don’t like someone, don’t vote for them.
Many people on the fan page of this ‘prayer’ are using it as a point of debate about the policies of Obama. Again, if you don’t like his policies, no problem. Just don’t pray for his death. Vote him out or vote for people from the other party to block his policies. Do not pray for his death.
Seeking the death of another is the highest form of rage. In listening to the Timothy McVeigh tapes, it is painfully obvious that he thought himself, and his violence, to be justified because of his hatred for the government. Killing was an expression of his rage.
Praying for someone’s death should never be in a prayer, and least of all, never be a joke.