Those Who Hate the President See Him as an Enemy

By Colbert I. King
Saturday, September 12, 2009

On Aug. 16, pastor Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Ariz., told his congregation that he prays for the death of President Obama. In a sermon titled "Why I Hate Barack Obama," Anderson preached: "I'm not going to pray for his good, I'm going to pray he dies and goes to hell."

Anderson is not the only man of the cloth to wish widowhood upon Michelle Obama. In June, the Rev. Wiley Drake of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., said he was praying for the president's death.

Anderson, however, was explicit in his wish. "I'd like him to die of natural causes. I don't want him to be a martyr; we don't need another holiday. I'd like to see him die, like Ted Kennedy, of brain cancer."

I pray God will not answer their petitions. While I'm at it, I'm going to send up one for the men and women of the Secret Service who endeavor to protect the nation's 44th president and his family.

There's something loose in the land, an ugliness and hatred directed toward Barack Obama, the nation's first African American president, that takes the breath away. The thread of resentment is woven through conservative commentary, right-wing radio and cable TV shows, all the way to Capitol Hill.

Look back to Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night and South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson's crude "you lie" shout. Witness the boorish behavior in the GOP seats.

They are an inspiration to Obama-haters.

It's not just those calling on God to harm the president who cause worry; consider what comes with the territory.

The day after Anderson's "I Hate Barack Obama" sermon, Chris Broughton, a member of Anderson's congregation, appeared at Obama's speech in Arizona with an AR-15 and a pistol -- not to harm the president, Broughton said, but to exercise his constitutional right to have weapons.

Then there are the walking time bombs.

Richard Poplawski of Pittsburgh slept with a gun under his pillow, hated Jews, feared Obama was scheming to take away his guns, and thought Obama got good press because he was black. In April, Poplawski showed he meant business. He fatally shot three police officers and wounded a fourth when they showed up at his house in response to a 911 call. Then there's George Sodini, who went to a Bridgeville, Pa., health club in August, opened his gym bag, pulled out a weapon and shot and killed three women and wounded nine others. Sodini had planned the shooting for the summer, but delayed because, as he wrote on his Web site, he wanted to "stick around to see the [presidential] election outcome."

Sodini wrote of Obama: "The liberal media LOVES him. Amerika has chosen The Black Man."

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