A controversial Southern Baptist minister in California known for his habit of praying for the deaths of his enemies has announced that he has expanded his list of targets for divine wrath to include President Barack Obama.
The Rev. Wiley Drake of the First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park often urges supporters to offer “imprecatory prayers” – a type of curse to cause death and misfortune – against his perceived enemies. Drake unleashed such prayers against Americans United and specific staff members in August 2007 after AU reported him to the Internal Revenue Service for partisan politicking.
Drake made the announcement about Obama while appearing on Alan Colmes’ nationally syndicated radio show June 2. Drake had issued a statement claiming that his imprecatory prayers for the death of slain Kansas abortion provider George Tiller had been answered, and Colmes invited him on to discuss the matter.
During the interview, Drake told Colmes he was also praying for Obama’s death.
“So you’re praying for the death of the president of the United States?” an incredulous Colmes asked.
“Yes,” Drake responded. “I think it’s appropriate to pray the Word of God.”
Threatening the president might draw the attention of the Secret Service and the FBI, but Drake said he has no fears.
“I’m not saying anything,” Drake remarked. “What I am doing is repeating what God is saying, and if that puts me on somebody’s list, then I’ll just have to be on their list.”
Colmes, still seemingly stunned, asked the question again: “You would like the president of the United States to die?”
Answered Drake, “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.
“This whole concept that we’re always to pray little, nice, soft, fluffy prayers – that we’re not to pray imprecatory prayer – has been something that just, in all honesty, that Southern Baptists have lost, and we need to regain imprecatory prayer,” Drake continued. “It is in the Bible, and we are proud to say as Southern Baptists that we believe the book. You’ve got to believe the whole book, brother, or you don’t believe any of it.”
Southern Baptist leaders were quick to try to distance themselves from Drake, who served as the denomination’s second vice president in 2006-07.
Richard Land, the SBC’s top lobbyist in Washington, told USA Today, “Wiley Drake is far out of the mainstream. In fact, he’s in a drainage ditch somewhere.”