I cannot believe I’m writing this headline, but no, Obama is not the Antichrist. Better luck next election.

Even I hadn’t heard of this one.

In conservative Christian circles and on Christian radio stations, there are even widespread theories that Mr. Obama just may be the Antichrist. Seriously.

John Green, of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, says that about 10 percent of Americans believe we may be in the Book of Revelation’s “end times” and are on the lookout for the Antichrist. A constant barrage of e-mail and broadcasts suggest that Mr. Obama just may be it.

The online Red State Shop sells T-shirts, mugs and stickers exploiting the idea. Some shirts and stickers portray a large “O” with horns, above a caption: “The Anti-Christ.”

To his credit, Mr. McCain himself has never raised doubts about Mr. Obama’s religion. But a McCain commercial last month mimicked the words and imagery of the best-selling Christian “Left Behind” book series in ways that would have set off alarm bells among evangelicals nervous about the Antichrist.

I hadn’t seen the McCain ad, and a google video search turned up this:

…but I honestly had a hard time believing that ad came from a presidential campaign. It looks like something a 14-year-old boy would make as a YouTube one-off. I went to McCain’s website, fully expecting to confirm my suspicions that the ad was a joke.

Well, I was wrong.

So yes, our country is in fact going to Hell — but not because Obama is the Antichrist. Because people are dumb enough to believe this crap (it’s even on Snopes, for pete’s sake). Because “Obama is the Antichrist” is what passes for rational political debate in a country where politicians are seriously trying to court the chunk of the electorate who believe Adam and Eve played with the dinosaurs. Because, instead of calling out (or, hello CNN, firing) people like Glenn Beck, our news media actually entertains their unparalleled idiocy by framing “news” stories with the question, “Is Obama the Antichrist?” Journalism 101: If you pose a question as the lead to your story, the implication is that the answer to the question might be yes.

But we’re mostly going to Hell because presidential candidates can suggest that their opponent is the frigging Antichrist and still be taken seriously.


Similar Posts (automatically generated):

38 comments for “I cannot believe I’m writing this headline, but no, Obama is not the Antichrist. Better luck next election.

  1. piny
    September 22, 2008 at 9:09 am

    …Well, but who better to take on the terrorists? Surely we can trust the antichrist not to be a bleeding heart.

  2. Nicholas
    September 22, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Can you prove he’s not the Antichrist? I thought not. This just proves the point that he must be the Antichrist since you cannot prove he isn’t. Just like those guys in Guantanamo Bay. They can’t prove they’re not terrorists, therefore they must be.

    “And they gave worship to the dragon, because he gave authority to the beast; and worshiping the beast, they said, Who is like the beast? and who is able to go to war with him?”
    – Revelations 13:4

  3. September 22, 2008 at 9:42 am

    People always hatin’ on the anti-Christ. Well, without them, the made-up divine plan revealed to John after a 12-day adrenalchrome-and-peyote bender at the very first Burning Man Festival just outside of Damascus, we can’t have the new heaven on earth without him.

    It’s just like Christians recoiling at Judas’ name. If he hadn’t sold out the allegedly omniscient Messiah, we wouldn’t have 2000 years of resurrection-myth-based Christianity. Which means that _I_ should be the one to have an intense dislike for him, assuming he existed.

  4. MaryC
    September 22, 2008 at 9:44 am

    If I don’t have a massive aneurysm by November 4, I might start believing in Jesus again. Because THAT is going to take a fucking miracle.

  5. September 22, 2008 at 9:50 am

    This Christian woman is ashamed of her fellow Christians sometimes. We’re not all nutjobs. I would just hope that the people who are swayed by this type of …errr… “logic” are so far right anyway that this doesn’t really gain any new votes for McCain.

  6. September 22, 2008 at 10:10 am

    But a McCain commercial last month mimicked the words and imagery of the best-selling Christian “Left Behind” book series in ways that would have set off alarm bells among evangelicals nervous about the Antichrist.

    And as a Shakesville commentator said when the ad first aired, it’s pretty telling when you have to evoke *antichrist* imagery in order to paint your opponent as worse than you.

  7. September 22, 2008 at 10:25 am

    These religious fundies are truly scary people. I don’t know if anyone has heard about Blacks against Obama and their leader Michael Warn that recently protested against him. They are selling fear and deceit.

  8. Ariel
    September 22, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Well, at least we know the anti-christ wins the election. Perhaps this is a sign that the religious right has thrown in the towel?

    (on the other hand, if this defeats Obama, it’s proof that he’s NOT the anti-christ…. which leaves the door open for someone else. Does the anti-christ have to be male?)

  9. MaryC
    September 22, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Oh, and I thought Jerry Falwell said the antichrist was Jewish? At this point so many traits have been stuck on the antichrist that I’m envisioning a Mr. Potato-Head.

  10. September 22, 2008 at 10:36 am

    While I don’t believe in the rapture, I have often thought that something horrible is bound to rain down on us for all the terrible the Bushies have done. I guess Sarah Palin and the investment banks’ collapse are the modern equivalent to locusts and drought, huh? But actually Karl Rove would be a better candidate for the Antichrist, don’t you think?

  11. Lisa
    September 22, 2008 at 10:42 am

    If you do a little googling, you can turn up some truly hilarious conspiracy theories about why Obama isn’t really an American citizen. Apparently he was born in Kenya, or sometimes Canada (or maybe Indonesia; my absolute favorite one is the one where he’s actually the son of Lolo Soetoro, because clearly no one at all could possibly hazard a guess as to whether he’s half-Kenyan or half-Indonesian) and there’s this huge conspiracy that includes the Hawaii Dept. of Vital Statistics and possibly surgery when he was an infant or something, all to cover up the fact that he’s not qualified to be President by dint of not being a “natural-born” American citizen. Never mind that he would be, anyway, since his mother was American.

    None of these theories addresses the question of why all these people began this giant web of lies when he was born (unless you believe he was secretly bred by the Communists to be the Manchurian candidate or something), or why, if this were true, it would not similarly disqualify John McCain, since he wasn’t born in the US either.

  12. Siobhan
    September 22, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Now if you could just convince the religious nutters that voting for Obama would bring about the rapture, you might be able to turn it to your advantage.

  13. September 22, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Wait wait wait. I can’t keep up with the goyim: I thought for sure the antichrist was supposed to be a Jew?

    Goyim, keep your mythology straight! How’m I supposed to stay current if you keep going off-message?

  14. September 22, 2008 at 11:20 am

    I saw a guy in the grocery store yesterday with an anti-christ shirt. i was kind of shocked. I’m in Massachusetts, so it’d take a LOT more folks like him to tip the electoral votes anywhere near mccain, but I just stared for a minute, and then shot him dirty looks.

  15. Jennifer
    September 22, 2008 at 11:21 am

    piny– The general “Left Behind”-style consensus on the Antichrist is that he will come proclaiming peace. “Beware of those who want world peace” is a major cornerstone of this brand of fundamentalist belief. I heard it all the time from church leaders when I was growing up. We basically become trained to look with suspicion at those who want to avoid war. Forget “blessed are the peace-makers.”

    I live in an extremely conservative, fundamentalist stronghold in Texas and I cannot tell you all how many times recently I have had people tell me, in person, that they honestly believe or fear that Obama is the Antichrist. One of my dear friends called me up in a panic because her father-in-law was on about it and because she knows very little about the Bible his wacky quoting got to her. I was just grateful that she trusted me and knew that I know what I’m talking about.

    But, I swear, sometimes I fear I’m not going to make it to November without breaking.

  16. September 22, 2008 at 11:28 am

    i’m surprised that there aren’t any polls showing how many americans believe obama is the anti-christ. i know 10% are on the “lookout” for him, and maybe that’s the same 10% who believe he’s a muslim, but it’d be nice to see just how widespread this fear is.

  17. William
    September 22, 2008 at 11:32 am

    But actually Karl Rove would be a better candidate for the Antichrist, don’t you think?

    Nah, the Antichrist needs charisma to become the leader of all the world’s nations and Rove has about as much charisma as the people still in the bar during last call at a furry convention.

    On a serious note, though, I think its worth picking part what this Antichrist talk is getting towards. A lot of the people here find it funny because it seems patently ridiculous, a lot of us might find it scary because some people take it seriously, but images like this aren’t chosen at random of out a bag: there is a logic to calling Obama the Antichrist.

    Calling Obama the Antichrist is a subtle invocation of “the other.” Its saying “this man is different from you and wants to destroy your way of life and the world you live in.” Its the same argument the McCain camp has been making all along: Obama’s charisma and draw is just celebrity, Obama wants to destroy what American stands for through socialism, great catastrophe will be the result of an Obama presidency, Obama is different from you and should make you afraid. Letting the Obama-as-Antichrist meme circulate works incredibly well because its dismissed as ridiculous by most people, but confirms the worst suspicions of it’s target audience. It keys into Obama’s race, it keys into the suspicions about Obama being a Muslim (which are really about being anything other than a protestant), it keys into Obama’s “foreign” upbringing, it keys into his sometimes radical politics, it keys into the sometimes messianic fervor some of his supporters have, it even keys into the liberal/socialist/communist/elite perceptions that Obama’s opponents have been floating ever since he started to look like a threat.

    Obama has been gaining among evangelicals and church folk. This is a race that is going to come down to a handful of percentage points in a few key states. Of course the McCain camp is going to throw everything it can.

  18. September 22, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Calling Obama the Anti-Christ is almost insulting. Not to Obama or to those 10% of people who believe the Rapture is upon us. But to the real Anti-Christ, who is probably pissed that the attention they’re supposed to be getting is being misplaced on a junior senator from Illinois.

    And isn’t it weird that the McCain campaign is telling the people that Obama just might be taking his religion a little too seriously, yet a McCain/Palin administration would be the closest thing to a theocratic state we’ve ever had. I mean, it wasn’t Obama who preached about “God’s pipeline,” was it?

  19. luzzleanne
    September 22, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    My rather conservative, very Christian friend is even laughing at people about this (to the tune of “You know, it’s been a while since I read it, and I don’t have the best memory for text. I’m pretty sure, though, that all that stuff they’ve been saying Revelation says are just made up lies”). And she’s in the camp that firmly believes Obama was Muslim at some point and then converted, regardless of how much I talk about Kenyan dress and religious statistics in Kenya.

    I’m really hoping that if one of their own is laughing this hard, others will start too. Or at least start re-read like she’s been doing.

    Rachel: If you work off the assumption that Revelation actually had a point for its author and intended audience (insane I know!) then the antichrist was probably one of the Roman emporers. Unfortunately assholes just like to project that onto whoever they’ve decided to hate today. (You may already know this and have intended more sarcasm than I’m reading into your post.)

  20. piny
    September 22, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    “But to the real Anti-Christ, who is probably pissed that the attention they’re supposed to be getting is being misplaced on a junior senator from Illinois.”

    Snerk. Yeah. I mean, talk about a lack of experience….

  21. September 22, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Along with the anti-Christ thing there is also a rumor going around that he is part of the bilderberg conspiracy to rule the world. You know those famous 7 families that are secretly pulling all of the strings.

  22. September 22, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Yep, heard this one on a radio talk show while traveling. Apparently, part of the “concern” is in the way many have flocked to him with his “too good to be true message.” I could only listen for a few minutes because I thought I would have to pull over and hurl.

  23. Banisteriopsis
    September 22, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    It’s too bad, I like that t-shirt. But not enough to give republicans money for it. I found this, which is similar but not as low key.

  24. September 22, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I wrote about this several times, last time (I think?) was here.

    And BTW, I hear this “Obama = antichrist” thing every single day!

  25. hlynn
    September 22, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    *Really*????? Some tweenage boy didn’t make this in his basement? I laughed through the entire thing. It kind of made Obama look good, and it was SOOOO ridiculous. Way to go McCain. Keep it classy.

  26. September 22, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    “Beware of those who want world peace”

    Is that why the Republicans insist on starting new wars and destabilizing unstable regions?

  27. September 22, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    You know, I heard that another group of the RR is all like, ‘no, he can’t be the anti-christ, because the anti-christ isn’t going to be American’.

    Not to mention Tim LaHaye says he isn’t…and who better to know?

  28. iiii
    September 22, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Oh, for heaven’s sake. The antichrist isn’t running for president. The antichrist is a very tall dude who’s currently driving around Vancouver in his brother’s ’67 Impala.

    Doesn’t anyone watch _Supernatural_?

  29. Judith Jewcakes
    September 22, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    I thought the Anti-Christ was supposed to be the leader of the United Nations! God, can’t the Fundamentalists keep it straight?

  30. laurab
    September 22, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Dude, I would totally vote for the Antichrist. Just sayin’.

  31. September 22, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    … the divine plan revealed to John after a 12-day adrenalchrome-and-peyote bender at the very first Burning Man Festival just outside of Damascus, we can’t have the new heaven on earth without him.

    Dude, I was there. The divine plan is so wicked, so totally fuckin’ wicked, bro.

  32. J.
    September 22, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    UPenn professor John Jackson Jr. actually wrote about this for the Chronicle of Higher Ed’s “Brainstorm” blog last month, citing the same ad: http://chronicle.com/review/brainstorm/article/?id=702&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en .

    People are f’n off their rockers. If anyone’s the anti-Christ around here, it’s Bush.

  33. September 22, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    So The Omen was actually a documentary based on Obama’s gestation?

  34. September 22, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    In the book of Revelations, doesn’t it say that the Anti-Christ will claim to be Christ?
    Barrack hasn’t been claiming to be Jesus.

    I’ve heard this phrase around for a long time, and let me tell you, it’s so annoying.
    I also hear the question “How can John McCain be misogynist if he chose a woman as his vice president?” when I think the answer to that question is all around.

  35. September 23, 2008 at 12:08 am

    In the book of Revelations, doesn’t it say that the Anti-Christ will claim to be Christ?
    Barrack hasn’t been claiming to be Jesus.

    Don’t forget that for Republicans, anything that they make up about someone is what that person believes.

    I bet if you polled 1000 middle americans you’d find at least ten who believe that Obama had made some sort of claim on Jesusness.

  36. The Amazing Kim
    September 24, 2008 at 7:21 am

    Calling Obama the Antichrist is a subtle invocation of “the other.”

    You know, I wouldn’t say that calling someone the personification of evil incarnate, the representation of Satan on earth and the leader of a hoard of demons that oppose the divine word was exactly subtle…

    My housemates and I heard a great comedy skit on the radio a few days ago – an ABC reporter was going around Ohio asking why people wouldn’t vote for Obama (seems a pretty clear choice to us here in the rest of the world,) and one guy said “First, I wouldn’t vote for a Muslim. Second, I wouldn’t vote for a communist.” Hilarious! Makes me glad I live on an easily defended island.

  37. William
    September 24, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    You know, I wouldn’t say that calling someone the personification of evil incarnate, the representation of Satan on earth and the leader of a hoard of demons that oppose the divine word was exactly subtle…

    I think the racial component of it is subtle. Calling Obama the Antichrist sounds like hyperbole to most people, and even if it doesn’t its working from a pretty specific framework. I’m not sure many people would see that kind of rhetoric and immediately think “oh, so they’re going after implicit attitudes and reminding everyone that Obama is black.” Its just ridiculous enough that most people won’t bother thinking about it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also preying on unconscious bias on another level.

  38. quinlan hughes
    September 27, 2008 at 1:47 am

    You must be kidding me. People without the Spirit claiming that they know the anti-chrsit. Where in the bible does it say this? Real christians who are living in the Spirit, and obey the Word of God are looking for the return of Christ, not the Antichrist. Remeber the disciples ask about his second coming, not about the beast.

Comments are closed.