Here's my thing. I know from a purely historical, traditional, pre-modern Judeo-Christian understanding of Creation and salvation, such an attitude could be, and was sometimes, advocated. My problem is, since I've been a Christian, at no time have mainstream Christians condoned such attitudes. Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, or Christianity Today.
In fact, when people cheered for the death of Osama bin Laden, more than a few Christian leaders and pundits and publications bemoaned such attitudes. We pray for people, we don't cheer when they die. We certainly don't pray they die. God loves everyone. All can be saved. We end the death penalty because this life and salvation are practically the same. We no more pray for someone's death than we say it's good to execute them because it forces their hand on reconciling with the Almighty.
And on and on. But the greatest thing about modernity, especially as incarnate in the political Left, is its 'here today, gone later today' approach to principles, ethics, standards and anything else you want. So you heard it said yesterday that it's entirely unchristian to pray that someone should die? Well by the sacred dogma of progress, today we say that it's perfectly acceptable to pray for someone to die since it's today, and it's convenient.
Again, I'm not saying the debate was settled. I'm not saying there were never arguments from parts of the church advocating for the old ninja warrior approach to our faith, including death penalties and praying that the Hitlers of the world meet with an untimely end.
I'm saying those Christian outlets that tried to stay relevant to our modern sensitivities - and that was the bulk of most mainstream traditions - tended dispense with those olden ways. Often they outright condemned such thinking. Even now, I'm trying to recall anyone of credible worth arguing that modern, 20th Century Christians should pray for the death of someone.
I know, I know. The article is very agreeable in its tone. It's careful. It's cautious. It's trying to not come out and say it directly and with gusto that we should gleefully petition Heaven for Putin's quick entry into the netherworld. But its attempt to open up this possibility when I'm at pains to think of anyone mainstream coming close since I've been a Christian, shows just how almost anything we took for granted is on the chopping block. Even if it's topics Christians were forced by the world to reconsider being reconsidered again because the world says so.
My private prayer? That after several generations of Christians trying to modify the Faith to keep up with the Joneses, we'll stop it. It hasn't worked well, and the world has shown itself to be a rather fickle and unreliable guide.