Earlier that same week, the Lawrence Journal-World was sent another email that O’Neal had forwarded to House Republicans that referred to President Obama and a Bible verse that says “Let his days be few” and calls for his children to be without a father and his wife to be widowed.
Nick Sementelli at Faith in Public Life notes that Psalm 109, which is a prayer for the death of a leader, became a popular conservative meme after Obama’s election. The “tongue-in-cheek” prayer for the president was seen on bumper stickers. The relevant part of the psalm reads:
Let his days be few; and let another take his office
May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.
May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.
May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.
May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.
O’Neal forwarded the prayer with his own message: “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!!!!!!”
O’Neal’s office refuses to apologize for the email, insisting that the message was only referring to Obama’s days in office. Sementelli notes the response of a Rockford Register Star columnist who explains why this excuse won’t do.
Speaking to a reader he writes, “You say that verse 8 of Psalm 109, as applied to President Obama, does not suggest a wish for his death. But the first five words of verse 8 are: ‘Let his days be few.’ And verse 9 says: ‘Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.’…You suggest yourself that scripture should not be ‘taken out of context.’ Well, the context of Psalm 109 is a wish for someone’s death.”