MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is concerned that President Obama's trip abroad has served to bring out "the unhinged among the president's critics."


Not only have the Wall Street Journal and the hosts of Fox News been issuing their usual dark mutterings, but a new slogan has began appearing on bumper stickers, tshirts, and even teddy bears: "Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8."

Verses 8 and 9 of that psalm read, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow."

Maddow seemed mainly amused by the teddy bears, but when she turned for comment to former right-wing evangelical leader Frank Schaeffer, he emphasized that in a religious context "it means something more threatening."

"The situation that I find genuinely frightening right now," Schaeffer explained, "is that you have a ramping up of biblical language ... and what it's coalescing into is branding Obama ... as 'not us.' ... Now he joins the ranks of the unjust kings of ancient Israel ... who should be slaughtered, if not by God then by just men."

"Really, this is trawling for assassins," continued Schaeffer, "and this is serious business. It's un-American, it's unpatriotic, and it goes to show that the religious right, the Republican far right, have coalesced into a group that truly want American revolution. ... They cannot be dismissed as just crazies on the fringe. ... This bumper sticker simply says to them, 'It's open season.'"

Appearing increasingly agitated, Schaeffer went on to say, "This is the American version of the Taliban. The Taliban quotes the Koran, and Al Qaeda quotes certain verses in the Koran, in or out of context, calling for jihad and bloody war and the curse of Allah on infidels. This is the Old Testament biblical equivalent of calling for holy war. ... And what surprises me is that responsible -- if you can put it that way -- Republican leadership, and the editors at some of these Christian magazines .... do not stand up in holy horror and denounce this."

"I would just say to them, 'Where the hell are you?'" Schaeffer concluded. "'This is not funny any more, and be it on your head if something happens to our president.' ... There are not many steps left on this insane path."

This video is from MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Nov. 17, 2009.


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