Senator Insists He Wasn't Praying for Obama's Death
Despite quoting a well-known Biblical 'death wish'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2016 4:31 PM CDT
Sen. David Perdue of Georgia insists he wasn't praying for President Obama's death during a speech Friday.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – A spokesperson for Sen. David Perdue insists the Georgia lawmaker wasn't praying for President Obama's death during a Faith and Freedom Coalition event on Friday, ABC News reports. While speaking at the event, Perdue said we need to pray for all leaders, even Obama. He continued: “But I think we need to be very specific about how we pray. We should pray like Psalms 109:8 says. It says, 'Let his days be few, let another have his office.’” The Huffington Post notes the line got a laugh from the audience at the conference. It didn't go over so well elsewhere. The next part of Psalm 109 reads: “May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.”

In its Biblical context, the psalm is a "death wish," according to the Huffington Post. And a Harvard Divinity School professor tells ABC it's “one of the best examples of…calling upon God to punish or curse one’s enemy.” It's even used later in the Bible in reference to "the ruin of Judas," the Atlantic reports. It's also been used by conservatives against Obama since 2009. A Florida sheriff was suspended in 2010 when he labeled the psalm "The Obama Prayer." Amidst accusations that he was wishing a sitting president dead, a spokesperson clarifies that Perdue "in no way wishes harm towards our president.” She says the media is twisting Perdue's words.
 

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