The Rev. Wiley Drake is on the warpath again -- and this time, he has really gone too far.
As you may recall, Drake is the pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif. He urged supporters to offer "imprecatory prayers" (curses) against Americans United and specific staff members in August 2007.
It seems Drake, a well-known media hound, has recently been lurking on Fox News Radio, adding more than just AU Executive Director Barry W. Lynn & Co. to his death wish list.
Before appearing on Alan Colmes' radio show June 2, Drake had issued a statement that his imprecatory prayers for the death of slain Kansas Dr. George Tiller had been answered. He said that he "absolutely" believed that God wanted Dr. Tiller dead.
But Drake announced on Fox News Radio something that even Colmes could not wrap his head around. Apparently, in addition to AU's Lynn and Dr. Tiller, Drake has been praying for the death of – wait for it –President Barack Obama!
"So you're praying for the death of the president of the United States?" host Colmes asked in disbelief.
"Yes," Drake responded.
Drake said he didn't fear that these statements would maybe place him on a Secret Service or FBI watch list.
"I think it's appropriate to pray the Word of God," Drake said. "I'm not saying anything. 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."
Later, still stunned, Colmes restated the question, "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."
It was one thing (though still wrong) for Drake to lash out Americans United back in 2007. After all, he was angry that AU reported his church to the IRS for partisan electioneering. We alleged that Drake violated the law by using church resources to endorse Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
But it's a completely different story to wish for the death of the president of the United States. It's just plain evil, and it serves as another example of the fanatical thinking of some members of the Religious Right.
"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 said.
"It is in the Bible," Drake continued, "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."
But it's important to note that while Drake's statements are scary and outrageous, not all Southern Baptists agree with him.
The Rev. Dwight McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, personally denounced Drake's comments and said he would ask Southern Baptist Convention President Johnny Hunt to do the same.
"They need to be repudiated by Southern Baptist leaders," said McKissic, former president of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention pastors' conference and speaker at the group's evangelism conference.
McKissic said Drake's views "are in the same ballpark" as Rush Limbaugh saying he hopes that President Obama's administration will fail.
"Southern Baptists," he said, "don't need to line up with the Rush Limbaughs and Wiley Drakes in attacking Barack Obama."