Christian Legitimization of the Assassination of President Obama

ohiochristiansLast week, as the sniper shot rang out mortally wounding President Obama, the country woke up to the historical fact that idle words are indeed the devil’s playground. History will long note  and judge those, who while the ambulance was attempting to carry the dying man to the nearest hospital, surrounded the vehicle, only to have the Secret Service fire into the crowd, wounding several, killing one. Some of the protesters stood idly by, crouched in prayer, not for the life of the man on the stretcher, but for the death. With angry shouts of ‘Death to the Muslim’ and ‘I want my country back’ ringing in his ear, the 44th President of the United States passed from this life.


Now, as members of both parties call for ‘Canadian-like’ rules on hate speech, and Congress is poised to take up the new measures – many say the first laws could come within the next 24 hours – Christians lament what many on the Right are calling a government take over of the pulpit but the Left calls a preventative measure. For those who have been following the interaction between the former President and the Religious Right, the time line will seem hauntingly familiar.

During the 2008 election, then Senator Obama was hounded by rumors of his secret Muslim beliefs….


His election was met with announcements of prophecies, including some that President Bush would be the last President of the United States. Joseph Farrah, editor and founder of World Net Daily, demanded that Christians refuse to pray for the President, announcing that contrary to the traditional interpretation of Romans 13, in a democracy everyone was a ruler.

It was also met with, among other things, people declaring that Socialism would over take the country, “I predict the Obama Administration will not only give illegal aliens high paying jobs through this federal infrastructure program, but also citizenship. With citizenship comes the right to vote and thereby securing election after election for the Cultural Marxists,” spewed Brannon Howse, president of Worldview Weekend. Howse later said, “The more I read, hear, and research, the more I am willing to believe this financial crisis, that was birthed in the Clinton Administration, was possibly orchestrated in order to destroy the middle class and implement radical, extreme socialism.” He asserted, “The goals of Cultural Marxism are primarily the destruction of Christianity and the creation of chaos. The ultimate goal is to move from Cultural Marxism to traditional Marxism and that is what is happening to America today.”

Obama “is definitely a Marxist ‘true believer’ who will not deviate from his socialist goals,” wrote Janice Shaw Crouse, director and senior fellow of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, earlier this year.

“Did you sign up for socialism?” asked Janet Porter Folger, founder of Faith2Action, in a column title. She labeled the president’s economic stimulus bill as “The Socialist Stimulus partisan package” which “will take money from you, your children and grandchildren to give” to programs such as global warming research and HIV prevention.

One of the the Religious Right’s grandfather’s, Pat Robertson, told his staff at a prayer retreat that God shared with him that Americans will welcome socialism.

“The steps taken will lead to a dramatic increase in the power of government. The people will welcome socialism in order to relieve their pain. Nothing will stand in the way of a plan by Obama to restructure the economy in the same fashion as the New Deal in the ’30s,” said Robertson.

“How many have been duped by Obama’s personality and good looks? Don’t they understand that a socialist economy means the end of prosperity, individual initiative, personal dreams and a complete transformation of America, as we have known it? After the ‘stimulus bill’ will come health care ‘reform.’ Watch Obama declare an emergency in his pursuit of socialized medicine,” charged columnist Cal Thomas, a Moral Majority vice president in the 1980s.

As the year progressed, as protesters started to use the catch phrase ‘I want my country back ‘ and as the hype started up, a protester at the 9/12 rally plainly announced that the Muslims where taking over, referring to her fact that the President was a Muslim….

In March, Tim LeHaye, author of the best-selling Left Behind series, noted that President Obama could be the ‘warm-up act’ for the Antichrist.

In June, a former Vice-President of the Southern Baptist Convention, called for God to kill the President:

“Are you praying for his death?” Colmes asked.

“Yes,” Drake replied.

“So you’re praying for the death of the president of the United States?”


“You would like for the president of the United States to die?” Colmes asked once more.

“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 that would cause him death, that’s correct.”

When Dr. Tiller was murdered on that Sunday morning in his church, many came out in near support of his murderer. This followed a very warm May in which several religious conservative leaders came out in support of torture as something that Jesus would have supported, including Fox News host, Sean Hannity.

During the worse of the Tea Parties, protesters would show up with various signs, some urging death not only to the President, but to his family as well.

Followed in September  by a pastor in Arizona, saying, “I hope that God strikes Barack Obama with brain cancer so he can die like Ted Kennedy and I hope it happens today.” Little noticed was the fact that the young African-American man who carried an AR-15 assault weapon to a rally attended by the President was a member of Steven Anderson’s congregation.

In the same month, at the 9/12 Rally, a woman was featured saying “We are losing our country, we think the Muslims are moving in and taking over,’ and relating her belief that the President had lied about being a Christian. During this rally, Leigh Anne Caldwell remembers several protesters shouting such things as “waterboard Nancy Pelosi,” and who said that Barack Obama is “too black to be President” and that an armed “revolution” might be necessary.”

It was CNN host Anderson Cooper who questioned Mark Williams, a Tea Party organizer, on his statement that the President was “an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug and a racist in chief.” But, just 3 days before that, Glenn Beck of the Fox News Channel interviewed Pastor Stephen Broden who claimed that the President and the “the liberal left” was trying to destroy our “Judeo-Christian Nation” heritage.  He claimed that the left is trying to replace our heritage with “a socialist doctrine and atheistic doctrine that is founded in Darwinism.” Further, in the same conversation, he stated that many of his fellow Texans. This was in a response to Beck’s insistence that God must be restored to His proper place.

Then, there was the questions about his place of birth and even attempts to announce that the reason that his birth certificate was not release was that it might show an Islamic connection. Most of these rumors were believed bases on rumor and internet email. Author Avi Lipkin, in June, started calling for ‘revival’ to save Israel from a Muslim president:

I think Israel must be very concerned and so should the entire Christian world that the U.S. president is either a Muslim, or firmly in the Muslim camp. Indeed beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If the Muslims see him as a Muslim, then for all intents and purposes, he is a Muslim.

Whatever, if Mubarack Hussein Obama is a Muslim or self-proclaimed Christian, God’s eyes are on every move America and the world make regarding Israel. Many Christians have said to me on my most recent lecture circuit that if Obama moves against Israel God’s judgment on America will be a punishment on all Americans, Christians and Jews included.

It is indeed a time for Christian Revival for Israel’s Survival!

During the recent health care debate, while the specter of socialism was raised to build fears in American heartland, articles started to appear insisting that the Bible mandated capitalism, not to mention that during the School Speech Controversy, many assumed that during the 18 minutes in which we was to speak to the students, he would some how brainwash the students.

It wasn’t just in the health care debate in which the President was greeted with messages of armed resistance. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., warned that people needed to stand up to the energy legislation. “I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back,” she said. “Thomas Jefferson told us, ‘Having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people, we the people, are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country.”


Then in September, at the Eagle Forum founded by Phyllis Schlafly, a speaker called for Americans to buy guns and be ready. It was also around that time that a columnist for Newsmax, John L. Perry, wrote calling for a military coup. Then, as the leafs started to change, Jan Markell launched at attack against ‘red-letter’ Christians who supported the President.

So, as we lay to rest the country’s first African American President, many are shouting that those who proclaimed the love of Christ were the ones who pulled the trigger. Perhaps given the 900 years between the murder of this president, and the murder of a Catholic Bishop, the world could have learned to control the tongue.

In November, Psalm 109 was merchandised in relation to the President, calling up his ‘removal from office.’

Starting the year off with the Tea Party, Sarah Palin said, “America is ready for another revolution, and you are a part of this”.


We return to Farrah’s comments in which he refused to accept the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s presidency. With the assaults on not only the legitimacy of his presidency, but also the legitimacy of his American Citizenship, and the daily reinforcement that he was a Muslim intent on destroying the Christian heritage of this country, is it any wonder that the assassin’s bullet found it’s target, legitimized by the hate speech from the Right?

On February 18th, Joe Stack, in what can only be described as a suicide bombing burned down his house and using a small plane loaded with explosives, crashed into an IRS building in Austin, Texas leaving a suicide note behind, on line, calling for more blood to be spilled. Immediately, fan groups sprung up in support of Stack which led some to speculate that others might be encouraged to follow in Stack’s proverbial flight plan.

In the first week of March, a American attacked the Pentagon. John Bedell shot at security officers and was himself killed. Analysis later revealed that Bedell and Stack were somewhat mentally linked. It was also at this time that an RNC document was revealed which reported that fear was the primary factor in soliciting donations, creating the picture that the RNC had willingly participated in elevating fear to collect money.

Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:5-8)

While surely, this would never happen here in this great country of ours (it has before, here and other places) the main point – the only point of this exercise is to show case the rising hate in this country by those who reportedly claim Christ. Hate is being legitimized – and it is not a long walk from hate to hateful actions.

This is just a sample of the tweets from the 2013 inauguration.

And after the inauguration.

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

76 thoughts on “Christian Legitimization of the Assassination of President Obama

  1. I am sorry to say that I felt this way ,some, but I learnt that we as Christians are not supposed to get involved with this kind of thing, we are to have faith and remember that God is in control at all time even until the end, He will never forsake us.. the Bible says that if you hate your brother , you have committed murder.. Now what do you think about the soldiers that are having to go to war? Does ,Thou shalt not kill , pertain to them too? It is a crazy world in which we live in,

  2. This is extremely worrying.

    Regardless of supporting personally any political leader this must be stamped on. No political leader should be targetted for assassination due to personal prejudices or due to disagrements over policies. That kind of behaviour does not belong in any civilised democracy.

    It is extremely dangerous to incite murder in this way, perhaps especially if it is coming from those who purport to be believers in God.

    We are fighting a similar battle in Britain where some think it is just the thing to incite the murder of public figures in order to show one’s strength of feeling. It’s worrying how traditional values have given way or threaten to give way to judgement by political opinion. That leads to mob rule and endless civil strife.

    The commenters at many British press publications have often shown their violent side over recent years, especially regarding Tony Blair & Iraq.

    But now we have a film director trying to write his next script, only it’s real life/death, or could be.

    Until the law stamps down on such inciters, it won’t get any better, sad to say.

  3. Yes, we SHOULD speak out against people who call for death of anyone – regardless of the venue. But it still seems to me you painted with a wider brush than needful.

  4. Philip, I only allowed you comment to show just to show how much help you need. Nothing you said, besides not making sense, is true.

      1. No, you are not being from posting. I have you moderated so that I can proof your comments, to see if remains up to your previous level of dialog

        1. It was VERIZON peventing be from posting – so I sat there & cut it out & sent the test page to see if it would go thru – I Then immediately paste and sent the above & it went thru!


  5. Deb, you are dead on in this case. I do not support some of the things which the President does, however, hate kills no matter if it is only internal or we carry out the action.

    The Church is supposed to be the light of the world – and look at what it is being used for.

  6. Wb, I am not attempting to insult you. I believe that you are missing the entire point of this hypothetical.

    By your stance, then, because I said ‘American’ and ‘Christian’ then they must all be under the same paint brush as well? Hardly. Instead, the Tea Parties are a rallying point for many of these people. That much is very true. I pointed out events and people at Tea Parties – not the actual acts. Further, I pointed out ‘during the worse of the Tea Parties…’ and a Tea Party organizer, hardly painting everyone who attends as ones who call for the death of the President.

    And yes, I do bring up those people. Considering that these people could be referred to as fuel to the fodder (Was Henry guilty of Beckett’s murder? No – just his idle words, agains, another phrase I use.

    No, I think the ‘paintbrush’ is just fine. I think that people who are in these positions should guard their words wisely, or find themselves like the King of England.

  7. Wb – I have yet to see in anything I wrote where I attacked the mere naysayers and ‘disagreers’. Nor have I painted everyone who disagrees with the President with the same brush – I have pointed out, I believe, that one thing leads to another.

    It is not a fantasy, Wb, but a nightmare. I believe that is clear exactly what actions I attribute to each person. I linked them, and do not go beyond that. Instead, I tried to show a pattern – which I believe I have done.

    If something terrible does happen, rarely is because one person wakes up one morning, forgets his morning cup of coffee and shoots at the President – it is because he or she has been influenced in different ways, at different times, by different people. Again, I site historic examples committed because of idle words. As a hypothetical, I attempted to point out that it is just the action of a few – and if something happened – the action of one which causes everything, but in the end, we will all be blamed, and could very well suffer, because some of those who claim Christ can be identified as hatemongers somehow influenced one lone depraved individual who believe it was his mission to take back this country from a Muslim. This alone is the point of the hypothetical, Wb.

  8. No, I have not, not by a long shot. I am sorry that you cannot see that – and I have no idea how to help you understand.

    Calling someone’s policies socialist – especially when they are not – is not hate or fear for everyone, for some it is, nor labeling the President a socialists putting a price on his head. Instead, it helps to fuel people who do call for such things.

  9. Philip, after reading you past few posts, I have made the decision not to allow you to post.

    1.) The content of your posts have no connection to the substance of what I have written
    2.) Your comments are, to say the least, worrisome and disturbing. I choose not to all you to promote this stuff on my blog.

Leave a Reply, Please!