Imprecatory prayer — that terribly un-Christian practice of praying for horrible punishments to be visited upon one’s enemies — has inspired a lawsuit in Texas, Leah Burton of the blog God’s Own Party? reports:
Last week my friend Mikey Weinstein filed a law suit in Dallas, Texas naming both he and his wife as plaintiffs in a land mark case against religious extremism. I am honored to have been asked by Mikey to do what I can to help in his efforts to shed light on the practice of imprecatory prayer and the dangers that lie within them. I have tremendous respect for what he is doing…and total disdain for the ‘c’hristians who are praying for harm to come to him and his family, in all manner of violence. …
The Dallas Morning News reports that the lawsuit filed by Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, seeks to force:
“… Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former U.S. Navy chaplain, to ‘stop asking Jesus to plunder my fields … seize my assets, kill me and my family then wipe away our descendants for 10 generations.’
The suit also asks the court to stop the defendants – Klingenschmitt and Jim Ammerman, the founder of the Dallas-based Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches – from “encouraging, soliciting, directing, abetting or attempting to induce others to engage in similar conduct.”
Weinstein, 54, said his family has received death threats, had a swastika emblazoned on their home in New Mexico, animal carcasses left on their doorstep and feces thrown at the house.
Weinstein, who is Jewish, said the harassment started several years ago when he began protesting Christian proselytizing at his alma mater, the Air Force Academy.
Oh the Constitutional issues this cases raises. Here’s Burton’s opinion:
This isn’t simply free speech. These are delusional people inciting violence in the name of God…
Why is it that any wingnut can put a scarf around their neck, call themselves “Dr.”, hold an open bible in their hands and we all suddenly freak out and act like they are a divine incarnation of God standing before us. I call bull****! We let them hide behind that protection.
That’s not all. Remember, every taxpayer subsidizes their activities — whether we’re believers in their religion, in another religion, or in no religion — through income and property tax breaks given to any outfit that calls itself a church.
No matter where you stand on Weinstein’s lawsuit, it’s time to revisit those tax breaks. And this case is additional evidence of why religion must not be exempt from rational criticism.