Right wingers who hate Obama have come up with a subtle way to advocate killing the president in public. The Christian Science Monitor reports:
There’s a new slogan making its way onto car bumpers and across the Internet. It reads simply: “Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8”
A nice sentiment?
The psalm reads, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”
Presidential criticism through witty slogans is nothing new. Bumper stickers, t-shirts, and hats with “1/20/09” commemorated President Bush’s last day in office.
But the verse immediately following the psalm referenced is a bit more ominous: “Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”
The slogan comes at a time of heightened concern about antigovernment anger. Earlier this year, the president’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, said that Tea Parties could lead to something unhealthy. In September, authorities shut down a poll on Facebook asking if President Obama should be killed.
Still, that doesn’t push the Psalms citation into the realm of hate speech, says Chris Hansen, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The use of Psalm 109:8 is ambiguous as to whether its users are calling for the President to serve “only one term, or less than one term,” he says.
Deborah Lauter, director of civil rights at the Anti-Defamation League agrees that the bumper sticker falls within acceptable political discourse.
For it to be considered hate speech, it “would advocate actual violence or cite scripture that was more clear in its message.”
But that doesn’t mean that it’s completely innocent.
Disgusting but clever. No civil liberties organization would tolerate suppressing someone’s right to quote their religious views (despite the occasional claim from Republicans that Democrats want to take away their Bibles). This just might be as close as is possible to publicly call for the assassination of the president and avoid a visit from the Secret Service.
Update: Cafe Press has decided to stop sales of this merchandise.