‘Strike him down, Lord…’

Can it ever be right to pray for harm to come to someone?

Sure, says Wiley Drake, a Southern Baptist pastor from Buena Park, Calif., who has been praying for the death of President Obama.

He explained to Religion News Service: “That doesn’t mean I spend every waking hour praying for the death of the president. Of our prayers, 98 percent should be good prayers and 2 percent should be imprecatory.”

RNS explains a bit about imprecatory prayer — prayer for bad things to happen to bad people.

Drake, by the way, is not partisan when it comes to his prayers. As RNS tells it: “For his part, Drake is an equal-opportunity prayer warrior. His intercessory hit list has included Lynn, California megachurch pastor and best-selling authorRick Warren, and former Presidents Bill Clinton and even George W. Bush, whom Drake once maligned for not pardoning two border guards.”

So there you go.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.