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He shouldn't have a prayer

August 20, 2007

Re "Pastor asks followers to pray for the death of his critics," Aug. 16

I'm OK with Pastor Wiley S. Drake's call for "imprecatory" prayers against two leaders of the group urging an Internal Revenue Service investigation of Drake's church, if he'll add a couple of things to the prayer. First, the death sentence can be carried out only by God, with no help from humans. I'm sure no God-fearing former Southern Baptist Convention leader means to inspire a lynch mob. Second, those praying for the men's deaths must add this phrase to their prayer: "And may God strike me dead instead if he deems my actions an offense to his son's teachings." Seems only fair.

John Rabe

Cypress Park

It would be easy to write off Drake as a religious loony for calling on his followers to pray for the deaths of two leaders of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, but this is how hate crimes are spawned.

Bert Bigelow

Orange

Like the good pastor in Buena Park, I too believe in doing what God tells me to do, including the exhortation of his son "to render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's." As I see it, Drake's path is a straight and narrow one: simply forgo the tax exemptions for churches provided by Caesar, including the pastoral exemptions he personally enjoys on his own income. Then Caesar will in no way care when or where the pastor expresses his political opinions. What the prince of peace thinks of the pastor's prayers is, however, another matter.

Thomas Wortham

Altadena

Drake's outrageous comments are ridiculous. Members of Americans United for Separation of Church and State are not "enemies of God" attacking Drake's church. They are requesting that Drake follow federal law regarding his use of the pulpit for political purposes.

Drake might look into the history and the concept of separation of church and state, which is responsible for the peaceful existence and proliferation of so many faiths in America. He wants to unify church and state, but wants the IRS to stay out of church affairs. Without that separation, church business and government business become one. Just look around the world to see how well that works -- unless, of course, you do have access to tools of torture and armies of crusaders.

Peter L. Haaker

Westminster

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