When Issuing Imprecatory Death Prayers, Does Spelling Count?


It seems that I cannot say this often enough – I am not anti-religion nor anti-Christian, but I am completely and totally anti-extremism. One of the latest hatemails that we received at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation illustrates the type of person I am referring to when I talk about political Christians aka members of the bible-based cult of Christian Dominionism.

These homegrown extremists have been indoctrinated by this cult to believe a plethora of falsehoods ranging from claiming America was founded as an exclusively Christian Nation to the notion that the “right kind of Christian” is one that is Born Again and follows a specific set of rules laid out not by God, but by their leaders. These people seek to dominate American culture by extinguishing secular humanism and replacing it with a theocracy. Evidence of this abounds, especially in this 2012 election year as we are hearing the ever-increasing bravado of political Christians through their candidates for elected office and the horrific collection of bills being introduced and passed that target women and minorities – from health care to voter ID laws.

Prayer Warfare Dove

The result of these type of pure vitriolic religiously-based lies is that it produces very disturbed followers of a scripture-twisted religion whose mental states justify writing garbage like the following while claiming they are good Christian “Belles” GCBs…(ahem). This gaggle of self-proclaimed patriotic Christian women are the antithesis of the teachings of Jesus Christ, but they sadly represent a growing majority of Americans who now make up the ReBiblican Party voting bloc.


Of the many, many wrong teachings fed to these self-proclaimed devoted followers of the man named Jesus Christ – The Prince of Peace –  is the right to conjure curses through what are called imprecatory prayers”. They cite their authority to pray for harm to befall a person or persons by saying incantations using Psalm 109:8 from the bible. They actively practice this and what is known as Spiritual Prayer Warfare with great regularity.

And when I say “they”, do not be lulled into a false sense of comfort that these are just a small band of wayward Christian doves that flew off their route and are unknown and undetected. Oh no, we have some very well-known public figures who have proudly called upon the black magic of Prayer Warfare in our midst in past years such as Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee and more.

“Prayer warriors may pray for individuals, or for entire states or regions. One recent development has been prayer undertaken by groups of people flying over the areas for which they wish to undertake intercession.

During the Iraq War, one aspect of the debate over U.S. involvement was a “prayer battle,” with one side praying in support of the policies of the Bush Administration and the other taking an anti-war stance. Alabama Governor Bob Riley urged his constituents to act as prayer warriors, and Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue designated a three-day prayer weekend that he cast as a spiritual battle. Although most “prayer warriors for peace” were identified as Christians, Muslims in the U.S. and Indonesia were also said to have taken part.

Sarah Palin, the Vice-Presidential candidate for the Republican Party in the 2008 U.S. presidential elections, regularly acknowledges the support of prayer warriors in her speeches and interviews, and has spoken of them as offering a “prayer shield.” As a candidate, she thanked prayer warriors for their support and spoke of divine intervention in the election as a result.”  ~ Wikipedia

So here is the death prayer aimed at bringing an “incurable breast cancer” diagnosis to all of us women associated with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.  (Please note: All spelling and punctuation left exactly as they wrote it).

Crowd shot from The Response

“Mickey Wienstien, we called you on the weekend to advice you that our womens prayer circle at our church will be ending your wickedness against Christ Jesus and his anointed of the USA in our military. In America which is Jesus’ country we can pray all we want for anything we want. you hung up on us and were rude to our leader. but will that stop us or Christ Jesus? No it will not and never could have, wicked Mickey.

Our prayer circle has never failed to acheive our hosts granting of the scripture we pray. for direct intervention against you as you are a true demon to America. Luke 9:1 We will not stop our prayers until you stop the evil you do with Lucifer on a daly basis. Luke 9:1 But not against you Mickey. We know by your internet site and your book who it is to be.

Now for our prayer, we pray that the women who work in your MFRR and the women in your family will befall fast moving breast cancer which can not everbe cured. We pray this for Leah Bruton, and Becki Miller, Patricia Corigan, Chris Rodda, Edie Disler, Vicky Garrison, Kristin Leslie, Melinda Moeton and Joan Slish. And you evil clan too, we pray this for Bonnie Wiensten and Amanda and Amber Wienstein and the woman lawyers Cariline Mitchel and Katherin Ritchy and all women of all who work at with for Military Freedom Against Religon Foundation. know that we pray and pray hard all the days until you stop your destruction of our American army and accept Christ Jesus as Lord and join His army.

Nice…soooo Christian. This isn’t the first time that I have been prayed over by Prayer Warriors. When I was writing about Sarah Palin with regularity after she became the 2008 GOP VP nominee I was very popular with groups like “Prayer Warriors for Sarah Palin.org.” I think it is beyond safe to assume that this represents why Gandhi was inspired to state, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” 

My only saving grace – given that my last name is Burton and not “Bruton” – might be due in large part to the illiteracy of the proud author(s).  So it begs the question: When issuing death “fatwas”, does spelling count? If so – several of us are safe. The way I see it these people are more pathetic than dangerous and as long as they stay distracted from doing real harm by praying for our deaths, they don’t have time to be anything more than just pathetically sad.  We get enough threats that are of legitimate concern.

There is a debate over who is or is not a “real” Christian and I just wrote about this today on God’s Own Party? I submit that these GCBs fall short of what Christ had in mind when he wrote the definition. About the Author ~ Leah L. Burton


47 Replies to “When Issuing Imprecatory Death Prayers, Does Spelling Count?”

  1. This is absolutely the most reprehensible sort of behavior, and it is sadly all too common. Praying for women to get incurable breast cancer because somebody hung up on your hateful phone call?

    If anybody wants to know what is in store for Americans should these fundamentalist monsters get into a position of power, you have only to look at this example.

  2. Spelling or no spelling…Jesus Christ does not and will not answer a “Death Prayer”, I do believe that he does throw the Prayers back into their faces, and Judges them the same as they judged you.

  3. It is reprehensible. Shame on these self-proclaimed Christians! Your article today, Hraf, is spot on.


    These are the Sheeples that give the march of the theocrats boots on the ground.

    Not only was Mikey justified in abruptly ending the phone call from this group out of disgust, it was the second time they had called to tell him that they were praying for the deaths of the women in his life that are closest to him, his wife, family and MRFF family.

    Their prayers were not because he hung up on them – they are praying that we die of incurable breast cancer because of our work to preserve separation of church and state in our military. They are not anomalies…this is the new Christian…the Dominionists…the social conservative bringing moral values to America.

  4. Two points…

    First of all, I actually have friends who practice black magic, so I would caution against mixing terms. Also, the “fatwas” comparison might need some elaborating, since a good number of people don’t fully understand what an actual “Fatwas” is.

    So… on to the second point.

    I like to consider myself a conservative Christian, and I do practice what was explained to be as spiritual warfare. When I practiced it, I petitioned God for the defeat of that which I opposed, but never did I wish, or even hope for illness or injury to befall anyway, even people whom I truly, honestly hated.

    I supposed like modern warfare, there are a variety of ways to conduct yourself. I am truly saddened that the demographic you have highlighted here had gained such prominence as to tarnish the idea of prayer or spiritual warfare.

    There is a right way to pray, even in an adversarial situation. Defeat does not mean domination, or ruin, or even death. Though it certainly can.

    While I am sure that you and a good number of your listeners would probably disagree whole heatedly on a great number of issues, to wish death on you is beyond reason.

    I don’t speak for them, nor they for me. But please believe me when I say that when I pray in opposition to something you might be doing, I’m still hoping that you make it home safely each night, never know the pain of loss or the sting of injury, and that you’re blessed with a long life.

  5. It just occurred to me. A Dominionistic military would have no problem firing on its own people who DO NOT BELIEVE.

    Nothing scares me more than an army of religious nuts. Whether they work for Saddam, Assad or the President of the US. In fact I bet ours is worse simply because the other ones give up easily to our power.

    This is indeed a problem. And our normal xtians are not aware and if they were would probably accept this as necessary. Whats worse? A military that will kill its own people or the GOP who wants to starve the poor old and young?

    Divine intervention didn’t work for Sarah, instead it exposed her as a buffoon and a dominionist.

  6. To your point, Shiva…I am not alone in believing that if we can successfully get the attention of mainstream Christians and enlighten them about these extremists who claim to be the “right kind of Christian” – they will quit embracing them.

  7. Very interestingly, the use of imprecatory prayers could in and of itself be considered a form of what the Bible considers witchcraft–or more appropriately, the working of negative magick (the term in Hebrew in the infamous verse “Thou shalt not allow a witch to live” more accurately is translated “Thou shalt not allow a poisoner to live”–being not only someone working in literal poisons but most appropriately defined as someone using magick to harm another).

    Specifically, the use of imprecatory prayers is quite common in neopentecostal circles (particularly those in the NAR and in “Prosperity Gospel” movements) and–at least in neopente circles–does seem to at least heavily appropriate from the concept of “Crossing” in Southern hedge magick (also known as “hoodoo”–not to be confused with the Afro-Caribbean religion of Voudon–or as “conjure work”).

    Specifically, in Southern hedge magick or “conjure work” there is a distinct tradition of “crossing”–using the name and/or possessions of a person to wish them ill will and often specifically to cause them ill will in such a way to bend them to the desire of the person doing the “conjure”. Most folks are familiar with this in the context of old blues songs where someone is “working conjure” to gain a recalcitrant lover, or to “cross” someone who’s done the singer wrong.

    The concept of imprecatory prayer in neopente circles–which involves concepts of “name magick” in use of a person’s name to curse bad things upon them, and also “possessions magick” in either “naming and claiming” them via the use of oils (often Wesson oil or nonsacramental olive oil) placed on the person or their possessions–bears almost no relation to traditional Christian practice (even in the context of excommunication) but is one of those concepts borrowed from a pre-existing magickal system…and borrowed in a way that is almost universally seen as highly negative in magickal circles (even in Southern hedge magick traditions, there is a definite tradition of “uncrossing”–banishing of negative magick–and most paleopagan and neopagan traditions consider it dangerous to one’s spiritual health at best).

    (Yes, this is an upcoming “pet project” of mine–many, many friends of mine in more eclectic circles have pointed out how “imprecatory prayer” is considered negative magick and hexing and generally a Bad Thing, and finding (in my own personal research) that these may be “Christianised” versions of stuff from pre-existing magickal systems puts some stuff in perspective to those wondering “WTF did they get THAT from?” At least some are not entirely averse to the use of defensive magick against someone attempting harm, and your commentary IS appreciated.)

  8. I am afraid they will be defensive and think their religion is being attacked. One can only hope the importance of this can be epxpressed

  9. As a Christian myself, I can say that, yeah… these people know about as much about Christianity as they do about breast cancer…

    mojo sends

  10. Cisco – I added the link so that readers can read a definition of “fatwa”. I am not the first to allude to these types of scripture-twisted imprecatory prayers used by Dominionist Christians being no different in intent than a fatwa.

    As for the magick – my colleague wrote a lengthy response here on this post that explains why you are indeed correct in not defending these extremists or “speaking for them”.

  11. Wow… remind me to either not start a conversation with you about magic, or if I do to set aside a few hours ;-)

    Thanks, that’s actually very informative.

  12. I appreciate your link.

    My main concern is that in a vacuum, that sentence would leave the uninformed with the impression that a fatwa is effectively a death sentence or something of the like. As we both know it does not mean that any more than “Kamakazi” means “suicide”.

    But in any event, a small matter, and your link is again, greatly appreciated.

    And just to say it plainly, I am probably just as disgusted as you are by this. This, this is prayer say in hatred,spite and fury; and that, as far as I know, is “black magic” by (popular) definition.

  13. I agree, Joshua. As I said in the very beginning of this post, I am not taking issue with Christianity or religion as a whole, but these sectarian extremists.
    It is sad that they are so full of anger and rage.

  14. recall when pat robertson prayed for a supreme court vacancy and william rehnquist died? or how about ayatollah khomeini, who died 4 or 5 months after issuing his fatwa against salman rushdie? these folks don’t understand what happens to children who play with fire.

  15. I am so glad the “C” word is being used in it’s proper context to describe the basics of this group. Thank you, Leah (and he Dogemperor, nice to see/hear from you again).

    I think the folks at MFARF are in good company with Rick Ross; he’s been receiving “the hate” since, oh…maybe the late 80’s from these folks. In fact, he even has a little known page(s) on his website where has re-printed ever single piece of “the hate” he’s received over the years; “Halls of Flames”. It’s just the best!


    To navigate the reader a bit, the first few post are from supporters of his site, and after, you scroll down a bit, you’ll see the hate “flames” ratings…start there and read on for umpteen pages for a good view of how they really feel…

    You will find that the “Good Christians” can be quite graphic and very articulate when being exposed…

  16. Any group that prays for incurable breast cancer to befall any other group of God’s children are in no way acting the way Jesus Christ instructed his followers to act. This group of “prayer Warriors” are doing Satan’s work and have really lost any connection to God. I could go on and on about how wrong this people are, but it really just comes down to this, that these people really don’t know the beauty and grace of the Lord, Jesus Christ, that is truly sad.

  17. Perhaps the prayer warriors should coordinate some efforts with the Komen Foundation? Neither has any apparent effect on breast cancer, and they could simply agree to cancel each others’ efforts out and keep ALL the money for “administrative expenses?”

  18. Hate mail – hatemail…it is all reprehensible. You can find it used both ways across the internet. For those of us who are targets of it with regularity we use the latter. I hope the rest of the message was not lost.

  19. Barry…I couldn’t agree with you more. They believe in a bible-based cult that has veered completely off the path of the teachings of Christ.

    At this point I may be a Christian Agnostic, but the Jesus I read and studied from the bible didn’t pack an AK-47 over his shoulder as he walked among the people and preached kindness, compassion and love for your neighbor.

  20. Well,Leah, thanks for the article..and spelling and punctuation does indeed matter…never thought I would be quoting Ghandi..about following Christ, but not his followers…obtw, commas and periods go inside quotes; outside for question marks and semi-colons…Do you know what the track record is for these gooneybirds with guns? Anyone fallen from their fatwas?

  21. Indeed, spelling and punctuation does matter…obtw, a space is always inserted after a comma. Can we please move on to the reality of the conversation, people? I will apologize in advance for any and all future oversights and human errors that I may make when I write these articles overwhelmed by the emotion of the content.

    If we would all be so attentive to the march of the theocrats, we wouldn’t be facing such an uphill battle in stopping them.

    As far as the fallen, that is open to interpretation. If you were to ask Pat Robertson, he would say “yes”, that their prayers do work and use New Orleans, Japan, and killer tornadoes as a few examples. Some would claim that the death of Dr. Tiller as proof that these imprecatory prayers actually work. There are many examples such as those.

  22. That’s pretty messed up. But why shield them? They do not deserve anonymity.
    Publish the groups name and any members with the gonads to sign the email and an email address that we can talk nicely to (what else would we do?)

  23. Leah: Great post, and a surprisingly civil discussion about a very divisive issue.

    I was thinking as I read your last comment: the killer tornado outbreaks of the past few years have occurred mostly in that part of the U.S. known as the bible belt, as well as Tornado Alley. Just sayin’. …btw, if I can discern what someone is trying to say, punctuation be damned. Communication happens anyway. I had to stop caring as the literacy level in the general plummeted over the last couple decades; witness the ubiquitous apostrophe, everywhere it shouldn’t be.

  24. Don’t take it lightly.

    Too many of us have experienced their wrath… they follow up their evil sorcery with attempts to make it happen.

    I’m terrified of those types, but I still speak out against them. I have to. Otherwise they win.

  25. @ Dice…true and unfortunate that our literacy level is in dire straights and headed on a downward trajectory.

    You raise the irony of Robertson’s sense of righteous judgment. It is also very curious that the highest rates of out-of-wedlock births; teen pregnancy; child abuse & neglect; children in poverty;…and the list goes on…occur in the states that are considered those in the Bible Belt of America.

  26. At a Klan rally in Houston the klanman solemnly requested everyone to bow their heads to pray, black, white, spanish, all bowed then the klanman said:

    “Thank you Lord for creating AIDS for gay people”.

  27. Enjoyed the article! But I do want to clarify one thing for your future articles:

    Many people mistakenly refer to “Jesus Christ” as if “Jesus” is a first name and “Christ” is a last name. This is common mistake; some go so far as to just use the word “Christ” by itself as if that were someone’s (Jesus’) name. The word “christ” simply means “annointed” and was used to refer to kings in the biblical days. Christians added the word “Christ” to ”
    Jesus” to imply that Jesus was the “annointed one”, or the Messiah. So when we mistakenly say “Jesus Christ” or “Christ” were are ourselves implying that Jesus was the Messiah, which of course is not true.

    If you are talking about Jesus (who may not have even existed) just say “Jesus”.

  28. Well at lest we know prayer is a worthless act but it is a disturbing thing to wish death for those you don’t agree with
    Though one imagines the physic batte in dinner for shmucks which is quite amusing

  29. Great image…but I’m gonna’ take it back old school to when Johnny Carson used to dress up like a “swami” and read off curses on his enemies…the curses usually involved date pits, camels, storms of “biblical” proportions being inserted into parts of the body where they would not fit. At least there was some original thought and creativity to his psychic battles (good description) which is something these current day cultist zombies totally lack.

  30. There was, indeed, someone who was once a good friend who went over Niagara Falls with this shot. I did not hear from this “friend” for several years after I said I didn’t want to hear *that*. A couple of months ago, I found a brick in my driveway and Wesson oil on my wheelbarrow handles and the odd puddle nearby. I threw the brick across the road, turned on the hose, and a couple of days later I repainted the wheelbarrow.

    About three weeks later, the “friend” called me and inquired after my well-being. I stated I was as usual. Then, some three weeks back, I went out to walk my dog after dark, using starlight and the knowledge of my own drive, as always, to find my way to the lighted road. Whoop! A twenty-pound, dark green jardiniere had moved into my path, and I went headlong. The average 68-year-old would have had fractures from that. With a life of unscreened sun, limestone well water, milk, and exercise behind me, I didn’t crack, but I’m still gimpy.

    No, their circle dances and Wesson oil don’t work, and if they were Christians in truth, they’d realize that commanding a Lord of the Universe to avenge their peevish bruised egos like that is heresy and blasphemy. As it is, they clearly do know it doesn’t work, but they are willing to follow up their hoodoos with tortious and criminal acts, and then pass it off as “the Lord’s work”. That is why they are dangerous, and I’d advise anyone who gets one of these strange things to be on the lookout for attacks that have nothing metaphysical about them at all.

  31. Anyone who is actually versed in this stuff knows an unjust curse comes back on the sender magnified many times. Is there such a thing as a just curse? Not in Christianity. To traditions that allow it, “just” means only whatever will cause the target to desist from REAL HARM (not ego-bruising), and it must cease effect if the person reforms (An oft-cited example is work done by the covens of Great Britain to prevent Hitler from first overtaking the Allies at Dunkirk, and later invading the British Isles). These women who are specifically calling down breast cancer on other women had better have some damned good OB-GYN’S on call.

  32. If these people really knew the power of the Holy Spirit their “prayers” would be totally different. A word to the wise; if you pray for harm to fall on others, that harm will also fall on you.

  33. Hate mail is the generic term, but a hatemail is a unit thereof, as well as the adjective. E. G: “We receive plenty of hate mail, but the hatemail volume increases every election year, and one of our workers received a hatemail with a death threat”. The reason for this evolution is that these days, most hate mail arrives by email.

  34. Wow stay safe!

    I was raised a christian but don’t identify myself as such since these far right loons got the podium.

    I have a deep belief in God but do not attend church any longer. I am a spiritual minded person and I believe that whenever one intends malice or harm for another, it comes back around in their own life only magnified. In other words, like attracts like.

    Just in case though, since everything is energy, imagine a ball of white light around you and yours. White light is supposed to be the God light and will send those hateful prayers back at those who sent them your way. It couldn’t hurt…

    Another ancient way to deflect negativity directed your way is to imagine an outside facing mirror surrounding you. This way, the negative thoughts bounce off you and reflect back on the sender. Feng Shui does something similar with placing mirrors around your home that face outside. That is supposed to deflect negativity from entering your space.

    I used that method on my crazy downstairs neighbor who harassed me for years. Within three days of placing mirrors around my condo on the floor facing down, this woman became completely unhinged and now no one believes her.

    She sends nutty letters full of false allegations about me to HOA and they respond with a letter from their attorney to leave me alone. She calls the cops when I am simply sitting on my couch after work and now the cops tell her she will be arrested for filing false reports. The city is now in contact with her family demanding they get her help.

    For years, I was the butt of her craziness and no one believed me. I was always on the defensive. Since I placed the mirrors facing down, others now see that she’s the aggressor and no longer allow themselves to be used to harass me. It might be worth a try…?

  35. Thought I had commented – guess it’s lost in the internet.

    Wouldn’t imprecatory prayer be considered Satanism?
    If Gawd does all good, and Satan is the opposite, wouldn’t prayers for harm to others of gawd’s creation be shuffled off to the desk of the Prince of Darkness?

    Since Pagans and others usually don’t believe in Satan, it would follow that only Christians, who do believe, could be Satanists.

    WOW!! We may have finally found those elusive Satanists!

  36. I just watched part of a show called making Marines at Parris Island.

    The last 20 minutes was indoctrination. The drill Sargent telling the marines that they would be standing guard at the pearly gates. The rest was Marines in church singing Glory glory Halleluiah at a frenzied pace.

    Indocrination? You bet

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