US religious extremists sell anti-Obama merchandise with biblical curse

Karen Hatter

It seems to be catching on. It can be found on such items as mouse pads, aprons, tee shirts, teddy bears and bumper stickers. It’s being tweeted and has been worming its way through the internet.

Pray for Obama 109:8 merchandise is available at websites that offer self described anti-Obama items as well as items advertised for sale to so called Tea Party supporters and conservatives.

Pray for Obama gear has been compared to the bumper sticker that popped up after the election of President Obama, which displayed the date ‘01/20/09’, the final day President George W. Bush would be in office.

Pray for Obama 109:8, however, is notably different. 109:8 references a Bible verse, Psalm 109:8:

Let his days be few; and let another take his place of leadership.

Out of context, the Bible verse seems innocuous enough, addressing a wish that has been embraced by some American citizens since the election of Barack Hussein Obama Jr. to the office of President of the United States.

Many of those Americans would be included among the Religious Right. More extreme elements of the Religious Right, including those calling themselves Christian ministers, have been praying for the the death of President Obama, from their pulpits on Sunday mornings, since he was elected in November 2008.

Psalm 109 is among a special category of the psalms known as ’imprecatory’ prayers. Imprecatory has been defined to mean curse.

Imprecatory prayers are special prayers asking God to destroy one’s enemies. Most often, the prayer is prayed by someone who believes they have suffered injustice at the hands of another, often at the hands of a person more powerful than the supplicant themselves.

Context is paramount when attempting to understand all written material and it would seem to be an important and necessary prerequisite for understanding what most individuals of the Christian faith believe is the word of God or words inspired of God.

Some proponents of Pray for Obama merchandise hasten to assure any who question the meaning and intent of the Bible verse, after being queried of its use when shown the entire psalm, that they do not believe any Christian would wish harm come to President Obama.

Denial has been most strenuously uttered after Verse 9, immediately following Verse 8, is quoted:

May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

Only those individuals drawn to this Bible verse can articulate their understanding of what it means to them.


Psalm 109, King James’ version, Verses 1 - 15 listed here:

1 O God, whom I praise, do not remain silent,

2 For wicked and deceitful men have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues.

3 With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause.

4 In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer.

5 They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship.

6 Appoint an evil man to oppose him; let an accuser stand at his right hand.


When he is tried, let him be found guilty, and may his prayers condemn him.

8 May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.

9 May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

10 May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.

11 May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labour.

12 May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.

13 May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation.

14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.

15 May their sins always remain before the Lord that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.   

*Karen Hatter is the producer, host and social commentator of Inside the Eye of the Storm, aired daily on Internet radio on AKERU! Global Network, formerly AKERU! NU Afrakan Network, @ Karen is also guest editor at

Related articles on NowPublic by Karen Hatter: 

My Interview with Religious Right Founder's Son, Frank Schaeffer 

Religious Extremism and U.S. Politics: Often an Ominous Pairing