The Seal of the President of the United States covered with a red band or stripe
Anybody But This President

Hatred for the president by the opposing party is at an all-time high. Carney-barkers and mountebanks tout their “anybody-but-him” buttons from every high hill and every busy street corner. “We must get rid of this guy” or “I’d gladly vote for Mickey Mouse”, they admit. This evil occupant of the White House will destroy our freedoms, the economy and perhaps life as we know it, if we don’t stop his re-election now. The year: 2004. The President: George W Bush.

When the Democrats nominated another North-Eastern liberal named John Kerry that year (they were soundly defeated the last time they had done that with Dukakis in 1988), the Dems took comfort that their opponent was an easy takedown. It was the thoroughly discredited and hated, “Dub-ya”.  The anybody-but-Bush (ABB) crowd prevailed to make GW Bush the issue, thinking that the serious flaws of their own candidate would not be noticed. The approach failed miserably and Kerry lost handily.

This time, the hated and feared incumbent is Barack Obama (those who hate him most would insist that I use his middle name, like a renowned criminal.) He will destroy the country, the economy, and the Western World if he is allowed to have another four years at the helm, they tell us. Radio talk-show host Steve Deace, wonderfully rehearses the conservative efforts to demonize President Clinton in 1996 by using conspiracy theories of murders in Arkansas, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and warnings that the Clintons wanted to take over the country. They didn’t work then, and they won’t work now.

Boosted by a good debate performance this week by Mitt Romney (the 2012 GOP presidential nominee), some have regained hope that Barack Obama might be a one-term president, like Jimmy Carter. But nobody had to demonize Carter; everyone could see his ineptitude without it being jammed down their throats.

Most current conservative supporters of Romney have taken one of two tacks on his candidacy. Either they ignore his past record of moderate governing (and pandering to them) or they express confidence that at least he will be better than “Obummer” (one of a hundred insulting terms for the man the Bible says we are to honor for his position over us).

Maybe President Obama will be another Jimmy Carter, and will lose his reelection bid, because his actual record is just as bad or likely worse than Carter’s.  Yet, I remember Ronald Reagan. He was a president of mine. And Mitt Romney is no Ronald Reagan, in spite of the fact that he has been trying to claim that mantle since 2007 (after earlier disavowing the Reagan-Bush years).

This may be another 1980 or another 2004. God Himself only knows.

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  1. Yes, it will definitely be interesting to see which taste of déjà vu we may get–if any at all. 🙂 I’m glad that at least the race is shaping up to be a potentially close one.

    I agree that, for the most part, we should avoid calling the President names such as “Obummer” (which is actually one of the more tame ones ;). But as Christians, how exactly are we supposed to honor an evil ruler who has almost zero respect for the unborn and who millions believe obtained his office by complete fraud?

    The Bible does tell us to pray for all men, including our leaders, but it doesn’t say exactly what to pray concerning evil leaders–or does it? I would just like to know what “honoring” an evil leader is supposed to look like, because I’m honestly not sure.

    1. II Peter 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
      11. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
      12. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

      Here are a few things, just for starters.

      1) It seems to me that the line has been crossed when we exaggerate the evil that even a vicious dictator has committed.
      2) If we mock a king’s nose or ears, we have mocked a physical attribute that God himself gave that king.
      3). If we say things behind the king’s back that we would be unwilling to say to his face (regardless of the consequences), perhaps we have gone too far. I would not flatter Obama, but I would rise in honor when he came into a room. (And so would 95% of those who mock him and cringe at the thought.)

      The apostle rebuked himself when he spoke ill of a persecuting king:

      Acts {23:1} And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said,Men [and] brethren, I have lived in all good consciencebefore God until this day. {23:2} And the high priestAnanias commanded them that stood by him to smite himon the mouth. {23:3} Then said Paul unto him, God shallsmite thee, [thou] whited wall: for sittest thou to judge meafter the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary tothe law? {23:4} And they that stood by said, Revilest thouGod’s high priest? {23:5} Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest, for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
      Jesus spoke in a respectful to manner both Herod and Pilate.

      1. Thanks, David. What you wrote are definitely good points to think about.

        It seems that many of God’s commands are seldom obeyed by Christians, such as “turn the other cheek” and “bless and pray for those who curse you.” I suspect that His commands to respect leaders whom we don’t like are by and large ignored as well. 🙂

        I don’t know if Obama’s evil is exaggerated or not (besides his callous attitude toward abortion, he’s also been connected to the murders of three black homosexual men), but surely Hitler’s and Stalin’s evil wasn’t.

        I still suspect that there’s more to pray concerning evil rulers that the Bible isn’t explicit about. Surely we should pray that their evil be exposed (for those who are too blind to see it), that justice be done, etc. I guess balance is the key.

        Perhaps Ezek 34:10 is relevant as well: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.”

        Psalm 125:3 is another possibility: “The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil.”

      2. I did not mean to imply that our prayers cannot be imprecatory, even humbly calling, for the sake of the Lord’s name that unrepentant leaders be brought down. I say humbly, because we must first pray as Dietrich Bonhoeffer taught: to imprecate against our own selves, first.

      3. I see. Yes, the Psalms are full of lots of fun imprecatory prayers, aren’t they? 🙂

        Did Bonhoeffer use that actual phrase–“imprecate against one’s own self”? If so, I imagine he basically meant to get rid of any beam from one’s own eye first? Yes, we do need to be careful that we don’t project our own sin onto others, including leaders, which is easy to do.

        Incidentally, here’s an interesting perspective that I found on another Christian forum:

        Exodus 22:28 says not to “curse a ruler of your people”. In context, “your people” are the Israelites and a leader would be a judge or king of Israel. Although there are many fine examples of poor leadership among Israel, I’m not so sure this verse is the most compatible with the 21st-century Western political system. Israel had a type of monarchy government, and the only way you could hope to have change was for the king to die. So, to desire a new king would be literally wishing death on the current king.

        In terms of today, if you don’t like your leader, you are free and even encouraged to voice your thoughts. And even if you don’t, in no time the leader will be replaced with another. I’m not so sure “cursing” is appropriate…however, to use this verse to give full support to our leaders is really unnecessary. We live in a system that allows us to stand up for what we believe in and if that means we disagree with our leaders then so be it. We can still maintain our Christianity while we disagree and not be rude about it or resort to name-calling when we do it. Disagreeing and your own opinions are kind of the point of a democracy and the leader of a democratic society is well aware of this and has utilized it as well to get to where he is.

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