Christian Puts Up Billboard with Bible Verse Not Realizing He Just Threatened the President’s Life

A billboard featuring President Obama and a Biblical reference is getting investigated by the Secret Service:

Milton Neitsch, Jr. of Victoria, Texas put up a billboard (in accusatory “Arabic”-y font) saying “Pray for Obama” and “Psalms 109:8″ because the verse in question says this:

Let his days be few; and let another take his office.

Neitsch must have been thinking: Let’s make Obama a one-term president! (Also, he’s a secret Muslim!)

What Neitsch didn’t pick up on was how the verse looks in context. In fact, the chapter in question refers to “wicked men” and says this (Psalms 109:7-13):

7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.

8 Let his days be few; and let another take his office.

9 Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

10 Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.

11 Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.

12 Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.

13 Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.

That’s… pleasant. Believe it or not, the Bible wasn’t referring to a one-term American presidency. (Shocking, I know.) It was talking about killing people.

Neitsch doesn’t seem to get the gravity of all this. He must be so used to taking Bible verses out of context to make whatever point he wants that he’s completely unaware how their meanings can change depending on the surrounding verses. Thankfully, most other people have a skill that allows them to read more than one sentence at a time.

Even though Neitsch has agreed to change the sign, he’s not helping his own cause:

When asked what the sign means, Neitsch responded, “Exactly what it says. Hope he’s gone soon and somebody different takes his place.”

(Dude. Just stop talking. You’re only making things worse.)

What would his replacement sign be?

[Neitsch] said he might replace the sign with something like, “Vote for the American”

Sunday School taught him well.

(via Joe. My. God.)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • unclemike

    Actually, I’m pretty sure he realized exactly what he was doing when he put that sign up.

  • vexorian

    “Let his days be few”  Already hints wishing death.

  • Live from Hee Haw Hell

    That’s exactly what I was thinking, unclemike.  He was just smart enough to put only that one verse reference for the sake of plausible deniability.  I’ve been hearing people quote this scripture since the day he was elected around where I live.  It’s pretty disturbing.

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    It’s funny how believers always try to criticize nonbelievers with hollow claims of “you’re taking the Bible *out of context*”.
    Yet that is *exactly* what they themselves do. All. The. Time.

     For example, in this case the believer needs only the explicit *context* of the very next sentence (“Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”) to know that this is wish/prayer for the DEATH of the leader, and the suffering of his fatherless children. It is *not* about being elected out of office.

  • C Peterson

    Neitsch doesn’t seem to get the gravity of all this. He must be so used to taking Bible verses out of context to make whatever point he wants that he’s completely unaware how their meanings can change depending on the surrounding verses. Thankfully, most other people have a skill that allows them to read more than one sentence at a time.

    You’re the optimist, aren’t you!

  • Artor

    Bullshit he didn’t know what he was saying. That prayer was going around alot earlier in Obama’s term, and it was quite clear what the sentiment behind it was. If I recall, Cafe Press got caught in a shitstorm over selling t-shirts with 
    psalms 109:8 references. I don’t buy it that a fungelical isn’t already familiar with the common use of the psalm.

  • James

    “Also, he’s a secret Muslim!” I heard he’s also a Nazi. And a Jew. And probably gay.

  • jdm8

    I think he’s pretty good at playing dumb. A lot of people with strong political beliefs seem to do that.

  • Randomfactor

    He surely doesn’t get it.

    Psalm 109 is the lament of a good and virtuous leader, QUOTING the lies spread about him by the Fox News of Biblical times.

    But let’s assume the guy’s stupid enough not to know that.  Take him at his words…what remedy does he suggest?

    “Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy”

    So Mitt Romney is “someone evil” god has sent to oppose Obama.  Got it.

  • C Peterson

    I really appreciate that a law enforcement agency is willing to treat a
    biblical quotation directed towards an individual as a potential death

  • ReadAsWritten

    It would be nice If you could actually understand simple English and not screw up a simple sentence by reading things into it like having someone evil taking his place. It was GOD that they were praying would have his life shortened and not a man. Also they were asking for a better King. 

  • ReadAsWritten

    So also what you are stating is that no-one has the right any longer to speak their minds (Free Speach) and that if you do you are subjected to the wrath of the US Government and locked away forever without the need of a trial of your peers. If someone simply wished someone dead, it has never been proven that the act will ever be brought to fruition. I am also a firm believer that you have the right to disagree with the form of governance that is being pressed upon a people. It appears that the forefathers of our nation agree with that sentiment as well.

  • pete084

    The dangers of cherry picking quotes from books that are well past their use by date.

  • Blacksheep

    It infringes on Free Speech just a little bit. It’s especially scary when the government investigates people for what they say or write – feels like the USSR in the seventies.

  • GloomCookie613

    I’m unfamiliar with “Free Speach”. I only know about free speech. Please tell me more of this “free speach” you rant of.

  • jeffj900

    I agree with other commenters: this guy knew exactly what he was doing. The psalm 109 meme has been going around for some time as a code among Obama haters. Perhaps you aren’t aware of this widely published story:

  • onamission5

    There is a huge difference between disagreement and publicly wishing someone harm. Believe it or not, freedom of speech does not mean one can say whatever pops into your head in any given situation and be 100% relieved of any consequences. There are exceptions for libel, slander, harassment, menacing, threats of harm, incitement to violence, and so forth. It’s illegal to threaten the president. Threats– whether direct or implied– are harmful, disagreement, not so much.

    *You are not being persecuted for what you think, you are being held accountable for what you do*

  • Silo Mowbray

    Why are so many of you religious right wingnuts incapable of understanding what’s actually happening? NO ONE, not even us Evil Nasty Wicked Naughty Atheists, is taking away your freedom of expression here. What we’re doing is CRITICIZING YOUR OPINIONS, which is a natural part of Freedom of Expression.

    Are you actually trying to argue that you and your ilk have a right to say what you want with no rebuttal? Because if so, you’re being hypocritical, self-entitled, blinded by privilege, and an ass.

  • Silo Mowbray

    I hope Obama wins a second term if for no other reason than to make the Good Ol’ Boy demographic blow millions on ulcer medication.

    Watch the election. If an Obama win is imminent, buy a pile of stock in the makers of Pepto Bismol.

  • TheBlackCat

    Specifically, he is a gay, atheist, muslim, jewish Nazi.

  • Gabriel

    That is simply untrue. It doesn’t infringe on free speech in anyway. It isn’t scary and it isn’t anything like the USSR at all. Either you are profoundly ignorant of each of these points or you are a liar.

  • Stev84

     And a communist

  • RobMcCune

    Christians are always selective with their interpretations of the bible, though it amazes me how they often try to justify their positions with tiny snippets from the bible. It’s sad that they cite sources and expect nobody to look it up.

  • RobMcCune

    So also what you are stating is that no-one has the right any longer to speak their minds (Free Speach) and that if you do you are subjected to the wrath of the US Government and locked away forever without the need of a trial of your peers.

    ReadAsWritten should try reading what was written.

  • Michael

    I’m going to speculate on another possibility, that he found the meme, completely misunderstood its point and decided to put it on a billboard without checking it out properly.

    I’ve seen fundies campaigning with logic that only works if you believe HP Lovecraft fan sites are talking about real occult books.

  • C Peterson

    Free speech isn’t absolute. All of our rights exist in a balance with each other, and decisions need to be made when they come into conflict. That’s why it isn’t considered a free speech right to shout “Fire!” in a theater, and it’s why it isn’t considered a free speech right to threaten somebody with physical harm… in particular, the President.

    A society couldn’t function effectively if freedom of speech was absolute (or any other right, for that matter).

  • k’Sheyna

    When the bibble is constantly used as a weapon against others, don’t be surprised when it is considered a weapon.  Think about it…

  • Coyotenose

     Pfft, buy into Smith & Wesson and Remington. These psychotic thugs always load up on penis-substitutes when an unapproved black man is in the news.

  • Coyotenose

     Good job lying about what the poster above you said. Wait, no, my bad: Terrible, slimy, douchey job, you jingoistic faux-Patriot.

  • Marco

    I am sick and tired of these people. They make me vomit, they make me sick and I really wish Obama is going to win a second term, if nothing else to see them foaming at the mouth.

  • Sheryl

     You are the one who clearly can’t read if you are messing up Psalm 109 that badly. It’s certainly not God they were praying to have his life shortened, they were praying too God. Here’s a link to the whole Psalm:

    1 My God, whom I praise,    do not remain silent,2 for people who are wicked and deceitful    have opened their mouths against me;    they have spoken against me with lying tongues.3 With words of hatred they surround me;    they attack me without cause.4 In return for my friendship they accuse me,    but I am a man of prayer.5 They repay me evil for good,    and hatred for my friendship.
    6 Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy;
        let an accuser stand at his right hand.
    7 When he is tried, let him be found guilty,
        and may his prayers condemn him.
    8 May his days be few;
        may another take his place of leadership.
    9 May his children be fatherless
        and his wife a widow…. and so on for another 32 verses.Sorry for such a long post, but this isn’t one of the more vague Psalms, it’s pretty clear.

  • Mary

    Don’t forget he’s the Antichrist as well!

  • Mary

    Gee, whatever happened to praying FOR our enemies?

  • Bigfloridasteve

    Can you say anything in a court room? Does that infringe on your free speech? Can you speak sexually to a minor?
    Should anyone be able to threatened the life of an American citizen with speech?

  • Stephen Cameron

      Pretty sure they know about the context, and are fine with it.

  • k’Sheyna

    Everyone always asserting their rights of free speech but nobody wants to take up the responsibility of  what they say.  BillO’  used his rights of free speech on his show and talked for days and weeks on end about “Tiller the baby killer” and how terrible he was and how he needed to be stopped.  “Tiller the baby killer,” over and over again.  And some good christian shot George Tiller to death right in his church.  Then O’Reilly throws up his hands, saying ‘wasn’t me, I didn’t do it, I don’t even know the man.’  I can claim my rights of free speech and claim to the world that Mr. Neitsch is a murderer and baby rapist (something a lot of christians have been excusing lately) and someone should do something about it.   Can I still, in all good conscience claim no responsibility when someone take up a weapon and carries out my often repeated plea?  Then again, I’m not a christian.  I don’t think it’s my right to do evil things then hide behind the book of christian myth.

  • Artor

    You might actually be able to make such a case, since you lack your own Faux Noise program & national syndication. Bill-O has no such excuse.

  • Maria

    No, because they’re not doing a nation wide search for disparaging things people say, they’re targeting this one man because they feel he may have been threatening the PRESIDENT.  This is not the first time he’s been threatened since being in office.  If fact, it’s probably not even his 5th time.  When our president gets even the sniff of a threat, it has always been protocol of the secret service to take anything like that very seriously.

  • PJB863

    Better yet if they flee the country.

  • JoFro

    I hope he doesn’t just so that the liberal farts explode at how “stoopid the bibble folkes are” for voting in the other guy and claim they’re all a bunch of racists!

  • JoFro

    Even worse, he could be a………..practising Catholic who loves the Pope!

  • JoFro

    I hope he wins just so that I can see the libtards die of shock

  • JoFro

    He as in Mitt….and if O wins, man its goin to be awesme seeing the conservatives shoot themselves with their own guns

  • Buddy Overman

    I’ve tried to warn my Christian friends on this…but anyway here’s a breakdown of what is really happening here:

  • laibacute

     nice things here. thanks