Former Leader of the Southern Baptist Convention

calls the faithful to pray for the death of the people who filed an IRS complaint against him.

Here's the press release, from Wiley Drake:

In light of the recent attack from the enemies of God I ask the children of God to go into action with Imprecatory Prayer. Especially against Americans United for Separation of Church and State. I made an attempt to go to them via Matt 18:15 but they refused to talk to me. Specifically target Joe Conn or Jeremy Learing. They are those who lead the attack. (You can see their press release attack at www.au.org ) ...

Now that all efforts have been exhausted, we must begin our Imprecatory Prayer, at the key points of the parliamentary role in the earth where we live.

John Calvin gave the church its marching orders from Scripture. The righteous have dominion, but only through imprecatory prayer against the ungodly.

David as our Old Testament shepherd gives us many Imprecatory prayers, and can be found to be in best focus in Psalm 109. Also chapters 55, 58, 68, 69, and 83

Pray these back to God and He will answer.

Jesus in Matthew 23: 13, 15, 16, 23, 24, 27, and 29 gave us our New Testament marching orders as well.

Let us join Paul and declare anathema upon anyone" who loves not the Lord Jesus." I Cor 16:22

Church father Martin Luther, led us by saying…"If any of the enemies of God's people belong to God's election, the church's prayer against them giveth way to their conversion, and seeketh no more than that the judgment should follow them, only until they acknowledge their sin, turn, and seek God." ...

Psalm 109 says, among other things,
Let his days be few;
and let another take his office.
Let his children be fatherless,
and his wife a widow.
Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg:
let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.
Let the extortioner catch all that he hath;
and let the strangers spoil his labor.
Let there be none to extend mercy unto him:
neither let there be any to favor his fatherless children.
Let his posterity be cut off;
and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.
Drake echoes this in a quote in an L.A. Times story:
Drake said Wednesday he was "simply doing what God told me to do" by targeting Americans United officials Joe Conn and Jeremy Leaming, whom he calls the "enemies of God."

"God says to pray imprecatory prayer against people who attack God's church," he said. "The Bible says that if anybody attacks God's people, David said this is what will happen to them. . . . Children will become orphans and wives will become widows."

More in this EthicsDaily post by Brian Kaylor, a former pastor and "communications specialist with the Baptist General Convention of Missouri"; Kaylor reports on an interview he had with Drake, who is quoted as saying: "If they think it’s ‘outlandish,’ it doesn’t surprise me.... They’re ungodly, un-scriptural, not even Christians.... They have no reverence for the Word of God.... And if they think it’s ‘outlandish,’ don’t blame me, I didn’t write it, God did.... It really doesn’t matter what my words are ... What matters is what does God’s Word say? God’s Word says if they continue to attack God’s people, God will cause their children to become orphans and their wives to become widows. I didn’t say that, God did."

Incidentally, the Americans United complaint seems to be that Drake endorsed Republican Mike Huckabee for President using church resources, which were bought using funds derived from tax-exempt donations. As I wrote in an earlier post, organizations to which donations are tax-deductible (so-called 501(c)(3)s) -- including religious organizations, as well as many other nonprofits -- aren't allowed to expressly support or oppose the election of candidates, and are limited in their lobbying for the enactment of legislation. General public education, including advocacy, is fine, but not electioneering or (too much) lobbying; if they want to do that, they need to set up arms that collect non-tax-deductible donations (so-called 501(c)(4)s, as opposed to the 501(c)(3)s).

The Court has upheld this scheme against First Amendment challenge, reasoning that tax exemptions for contributions are a form of subsidy, and the government can impose restrictions on what this subsidy is used for, so long as they are viewpoint-neutral (i.e., no electioneering would be fine, no electioneering in favor of racist candidates would not be). Of course, there are often difficulties in deciding what's forbidden express support or opposition and what's permitted education and advocacy; the IRS has new guidance on the electioneering side of the question.

There are sensible arguments against imposing these limits on the use of tax-exempt funds, given that the tax exemption for charitable deductions is allowed to subsidize a wide range of other private speech, including highly ideological speech, and given the difficulties of drawing lines between permissible education and impermissible lobbying and electioneering. Nonetheless, it's important to recall that speakers -- including pastors -- remain free to express their views about candidates and legislation so long as they use their own money, or 501(c)(4) money.

And, more importantly, whatever one thinks of the rights and wrongs of the tax code as applied in this situation, calling for divine retribution -- apparently including death, and condemnation of children to being "continually vagabonds, and beg[gars]" -- strikes me as a little excessive.

Many thanks to Paul Caron (TaxProf Blog) for the pointer; he has more links.