Rep. Lauren Boebert leaned into the Bible to produce a quote that called for the end of the Joe Biden era in politics. The question that troubles critics is: did Boebert mean to suggest that the Biden era come to an end by any means possible?
“You know, [the Bible] says, ‘Let his days be few and another take his office,” Boebert said, quoting from Psalms 109:8. While Boebert referenced the articles of impeachment she “filed for Joe Biden” as a potential pathway to his removal, those familiar with the verse also hear what remains unsaid in Boebert’s statement.
That verse continues: “May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes. May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor. May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children…”
Articles of Impeachment do not make orphans and widows — only death makes orphans and widows. What was Boebert calling for? Whatever it is, the crowd at the church cheers it on.
A church congregation cheered as Lauren Boebert said she prays for Joe Biden’s demise: “May his days be few and another take his office.”— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) February 6, 2023
Boebert then called Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s “great insurance policy.” pic.twitter.com/KzqT2RFdYb
Critics of Boebert’s statements point out that with a recent rise in targeted political violence in America, a suggestion that Jill Biden be made a widow is dangerous and irresponsible. Such “prayers” and calls-to-action are often interpreted as calls-to-arms by suggestible listeners.
The case of the assault of Paul Pelosi in his home by an intruder who interpreted political language as mandate for violence is just one recent case where the language of public politics resulted in a dangerous personal assault. (Mr. Pelosi will reportedly be a special guest at Biden’s State of the Union address tonight.)
The Reverend Joseph Rose, an Episcopalian priest, responded with an explanation of the verse and some perspective: “Sadly, [Boebert] takes Psalm 109 horribly out of context. This ‘song of David’ speaks of the rigorous prerequisites for imprecation. In short, none of us is worthy to pray for divine wrath. Only the innocent can pray as David does. Others risk dishonoring God’s character.”
Boebert’s remarks, the likes of which in another political era might bring censure by her colleagues for their dog-whistled suggestion of violence against the President of the United States, were made before a cheering congregation in a church.