Wiley Drake Calls Down The Wrath Of God
Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) is a watchdog group that monitors the activities of the religious right in the United States. As might be expected, some of the Christian Supremacists who are targeted by AU’s investigations are less than happy with the organization. Take Wiley Drake, pastor of a small Baptist church in California. Upon receiving complaints that Drake had endorsed Republican Mike Huckabee for president on the church’s official website, AU asked for an IRS investigation of the church. (Churches can lose their tax-exempt status if they become directly involved in elections.) Rather than directly address the charges AU had brought against him, Drake responded with a call for Christians to engage in an “Imprecatory Prayer” directed at AU’s leadership. An imprecatory prayer is a now little-used Christian prayer intended to bring God’s righteous wrath upon a deserving sinner. That wrath is usually assumed to take the form of the death of the person being targeted. Of course, this only played into AU’s hands, as they now have yet another example of religious right wackiness with which to tar the entire Christian Right. Even Mike Huckabee’s campaign felt obligated to issue a press release condemning Drake’s statement. Last I checked, AU’s staff had not suffered any instances of death or pestilence. Either they aren’t praying hard enough, or God doesn’t feel that this case really warrants a smiting.