And the Bible Said

I read a reference yesterday to a bumper sticker. It read as follows: “Pray for Trump—Psalm 109:8.” My biblical illiteracy being what it is, I had to look it up. It reads:

8 Let his days be few; and let another take his office.

Though I appreciated the humor, the reference meant nothing to me, so I looked up the context. I started a few chapters earlier, to no avail. I have to admit, I found reading Psalm neither interesting nor coherent. I suspect I’d have to do a lot more reading to make sense of it.

My continued exploration of this “imprecatory prayer” revealed that its use in this context is not a creative new spin of the Bible by brilliant liberal thinkers to condemn an occupant of the White House. Not even close. Pastor Wiley Drake, a  right-wing minister and radio host used it in reference to President Barack Obama. Kansas Speaker of the House Michael O’Neal sent an email to his Republican colleagues that said, “At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!

In THAT context, I find it less humorous. Especially in light of the fact that Obama was, in my opinion, one of the most dignified, intelligent, and graceful leaders the U.S. has ever had. Compared to the world-record-holder liar whose self-love is so over the top that it’s embarrassing to watch him repeatedly attempt to achieve auto-erotic orgasm through self-congratulatory strokes.

I realize, of course, finding humor in the verse is sinister. But, given the miserable bastard to whom the original quote I read applies, apropos. You know, there are people who are just beyond “redemption” in the human sense and, I suspect, in the biblical sense. Some people have practiced their egotism and disdain for others to so great an extent that they are incapable of recovering from their monstrous selves. A person who throws his own supporters under the bus in favor of his own self-interests, while assuring them he is looking out after their interests. is a special kind of demon.

According to Wikipedia, Psalm 109 is “a psalm noted for containing some of the most severe curses in the Bible.” Ya think? Well, it gets even more severe. As I read Psalm 109 and read past 109:8, I hit upon something I found even more darkly humorous. Here’s Psalm 109:9:

9 Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

The lesson in this idiocy is that anyone can mine the world’s literature (much of which owes its existence to biblical passages, I think), including the bible, for clever phrases that support a particular point of view. The fact that a phrase can be lifted and placed in a context that suggests it was written specifically to be placed in that context is evidence that we’re all thieves and plagiarists, not to mention hard-hearted bastards who don’t have a single compassionate bone in our bodies. Well, that may be a bit overstated and unnecessarily harsh. In fact, it’s simply evidence that we have not yet achieved a state in which we are “a finished version of our better selves,” as someone I know might say.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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