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A movement to paint Obama as the Antichrist?
President Obama reacts as he's heckled at a Los Angeles fundraiser Monday night.
September 27th, 2011
04:54 PM ET

A movement to paint Obama as the Antichrist?

By Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors

(CNN) - On our sister blog The 1600 Report, CNN's Alex Mooney notes a discrepancy in the official White House transcript of a California fundraiser Monday night, during which a person who heckled President Barack Obama was escorted out by security.

Here's the White House transcript's account of the heckler:

AUDIENCE MEMBER: The Christian God is the only true living God, the Creator of the heavens and the universe.

But Mooney observes that the White House pool report records the heckler as being much more blunt, yelling "'Barack Obama is the Antichrist!"

The president interrupted his remarks at the fundraiser, held at Los Angeles' House of Blues, to respond to the heckler.

"First of all, I agree Jesus Christ is the Lord," Obama said. "I believe in that. I do have a question, though. I think the young man may have left his jacket... "

Ironically, the remark about Obama as the Antichrist came the same day that The New York Times ran an op-ed arguing that the Antichrist is assuming a bigger place in the public discourse, as evangelical Christian ideas about the end times gain traction.

In a piece titled "Why the Antichrist Matters in Politics," Washington State University history professor Matthew Avery Sutton argues that, for some Christians, Obama fits into ideas about the Antichrist, whose arrival is believed to be a portent of the end times and Jesus' second coming:

For some evangelicals, President Obama is troubling. The specious theories about his place of birth, his internationalist tendencies, his measured support for Israel and his Nobel Peace Prize fit their long-held expectations about the Antichrist. So does his commitment to expanding the reach of government in areas like health care.

The op-ed was the most e-mailed piece on nytimes.com for much of Tuesday.

In the 2008 campaign, Republican presidential nominee John McCain released an anti-Obama ad called "The One" that ridiculed Obama for what it said was his messiah complex. Some critics claimed the spot was a veiled attempt to paint Obama as the Antichrist, though the McCain camp denied it.

What do you think? Is there a gathering movement to paint the president as the Antichrist? Are such charges overblown attempt to discredit Obama's critics?

Read Mooney's full report here.
- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Christianity • Politics

soundoff (2,491 Responses)
  1. SaintM

    Greg S: what makes you think the antichrist will be a man?

    September 28, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Phil in Oregon

      The antichrist will recover from a grievous head wound so someone needs to shoot him, or he needs to have a stroke, or something.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:33 am |
  2. Adam Brewster

    The movement to paint him as such has been there since day 1.
    The movement will also paint the next big democratic/liberal president to follow Obama as the same, and so on and so on – until the end of time. They said the same about Clinton, and they said the same about a million others.
    Here's a newsflash – no one's been right yet – what makes anyone think they've got it right now?
    It falls in the same vein of shoddy exegesis that duped too many people to think the world was ending earlier this year.
    still just happens to be that no one's been right just yet

    September 28, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

      The answer is simple – the GOP field right now is a farce, so the "enlightened ones" out here in internet land have to start ramping up the rhetoric for those who can't make up their own minds and to reinforce the trailer parks as to how to think. Believe me, it's going to get worse and when all else fails, the "N-word" will be put in play – it's already happening here in Texas where Boobhead-Part Deux is declared and running...............

      September 28, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • luvUamerica

      Good thing Al Gore didn't get elected, he would have been the anti-christ. I wonder if Hillary would have beat him to it.

      Do you see a trend here folks. It did not matter who it is, as long as you are slightly tilted to the left. And that is 80% of Americans. I think every Evangelical should pack up and move to Israel. The Isreali flag seems to be more important to them than the red-white and blue. They are just plain too nutty!

      September 28, 2011 at 9:43 am |
  3. gary

    This has been going on for quite sometime now. There have been a lot of spam e-mail circulating around pointing in that direction. If you are a true christian you should refrain from accusations like this. But politics is dirty. Even Christians can be sucked into this kind of politics. Many of them are just bigots and hipocrites – that's why I am not a Republican.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • noXcuses

      Amen.....these are the same so-called christians that supported jim crow laws, were against civil rights, love the death penalty, cheat on their taxes, cheat on their wives, follow pastors that are political hacks and cheat on their wives, love war, love big govt when someone they voted for is in office, try to suppress votes, try to suppress voter turnout, lie, cheat, steal, slander others, are totally misinformed about israel, and love govt handouts as long as no one gets them but them...bunch of greedy self serving bigoted hypocrites....just like the pharasies in the bible

      September 28, 2011 at 11:01 am |
  4. m dones

    obama, is not GOD, but obama is the best of all the yerks. (M. Dones)

    September 28, 2011 at 9:27 am |
  5. Same as Always

    Anti Christ, why not he is the first Black President of the USA. Or GOD the whole world must going to Hell here in my Kentucky and Indiana.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:27 am |
  6. johnny popper

    How about we just go for someone who is has gone back on his campaign promise and is clearly not afraid to put the public further and further in debt?

    September 28, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • You idiot

      Or someone who can write one sentence without a mistake in it?

      September 28, 2011 at 9:36 am |
  7. chrisg

    Again, the GOP/TPers show how really, really stupid their base is and this indicates exactly what type of leadership the GOP will produce. This event of calling the President the anti-christ will only alienate the independent and middle of the road voters.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:26 am |
  8. Oiler41

    Small minds, small thoughts. The Religious Reich needs to go get a life.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:25 am |
  9. clarke

    I do not think the President is anti-christ or anti american. I feel he is a good man trying to do good things. The media really doesn't need to report half the stuff they do. The comments on this forum are anti christ and anti american and I feel are very child like

    September 28, 2011 at 9:25 am |
  10. meep

    religious people that claim such ignorance as this christian heckler is a very good reason religion is separated from government. the fanatical religious are the greatest tyrants

    September 28, 2011 at 9:24 am |
    • NONATHEIST

      "the fanatical religious are the greatest tyrants" No, that is historically, provably inaccurate. I do not support tyrants of any kind, religious of otherwise, but if we misunderstand the historical situation, we make ourselves vulnerable to the manipulation of the next tyrant who comes along – especially if he (or she) doesn't match our expectations.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • meep

      throughout history there have been far more tyrants using God's name to justify their actions than not.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Sean

      Then educate me NONATHEIST. But please do your research before you post. The last guy who tried this just embarrassed himself.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • NONATHEIST

      Sean, I have done Six Years of research before making that post, and I stand by my statement. Unfortunately, I don't feel up to condensing six years of higher education to a single post for your benefit today. Just go to the library and check out a book on world history. And by the way, don't assume everyone on line isn't as smart as you.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • TheWiz

      Ummm...Stalin and Mao, two of the greatest tyrants of human history, who have caused more death and human misery than any other (including Hitler) were, guess what? ATHEISTS. Sorry, but those two alone caused more death and misery than any religious war in history (Mao alone was personally responsible for 80 million of his own citizens dying in peace-time). on the other hand, you like the fact that there's no formal, systematized slavery (there is illegal slavery, but that's another topic) in the Americas? Thank Christians who spearheaded the abolitionist movement. Like the impact of the Civil Rights movement? Thank THE REV. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his fellow Christians from a variety of denominations who, once again, led it. Like the fact that there's no apartheid in South Africa, thank ARCHBISHOP Desmond Tutu, who helped to keep the struggle going. Like having hospitals, universities, libraries, and schools, you can thank the Christian Church who laid the foundations for these pillars of society. Oh, and you can thank a Roman Catholic priest for the discovery of genetics, which goes hand in hand with evolution. So, open your mind. Yes, religion has at times been an evil, but so ha atheism (and, I would argue, to a greater degree).

      September 28, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • meep

      you choose three tyrants of the thousands in history. since much of history is lost we will probably never know the actual number of deaths attributed to religious fanaticism.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • meep

      but I am willing to bet that the so called religious tyrants out number the non religious.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Sean

      @NONATHEIST
      That’s what I figured.

      @TheWiz
      Lol all you’ve got is two people? (and poor examples at that)Have you forgotten the entire Roman and Persian empires?

      Stalin created a cult of personality in the Soviet Union around both himself and Lenin. He made himself god.
      The same for Mao, most of the people that died under him were due to starvation.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • TheWiz

      @meep – any death that is the result or ihuman action (be it forcible starvation or actual execution) is an evil, whether it is perpetrated by "religious fanaticism" or atheism. Period. Yes, there have been more religiously influenced tyrants throughout human history than there have been atheist ones. However, when you start talking about the ancients (such as the Romans), the Medeivals (such as Charlemagne and the later Muslim and Christian Crusades against one another), or the early modern (especially the late 16th through the 18th Centuries) we cannot impose our own modern worldview on people who existed in an entirely different cultural, religious, political, and intellectual world from our own. That is not to say that there's no such thing as an objective right and wrong, but we can only judge people on the cultural mindset of their time. For those who fought in the original Crusades, they saw themselves as militarily responding to Muslim military aggression and expansionism, for example. But, as for Stalin and Mao, not only did they together willfully kill more people than all the Crusades combines, and (perhaps) even adding on to that the loss of life resulting from the 30 Years' War of 17th Century Europe, but they also existed in our own time. They and their atrocities are still living memory. In our own time we have seen people of religious faith carry the burden of most of the social advances of our society, while those atheist dictators, who should have known better (considering they had theist democracies all around them) imposed more suffering on their own than any others in human history. So yes, it's just two, but they're a heck of a two.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  11. chicka

    Right after Obama's election, Sean Hannity had some kind of one hour program on Fox that specifically asked if Obama was the antichrist. It's another Fox Narrative.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:24 am |
  12. NONATHEIST

    As you might guess from the name, I am a Christian. Also a moderate conservative. Now that all that is clear, I will say this. The ones who use misunderstood and misrepresented ancient apocalyptic literature to manipulate political opinions destroy their own credibility. And they may be a little crazy, besides.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • Nonimus

      I think their are more non-atheists than just Christians. Based on your name you could have been a Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Pagan, Druid(?), Satanist, etc.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • NONATHEIST

      That's why I told you. You must agree that it would've been a logical GUESS.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Nonimus

      Christian conceit knows no bounds.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • TheWiz

      Hear, hear!

      September 28, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • NONATHEIST

      Nonimus, that makes no sense. Unfortunately, I have to go.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • Nonimus

      "Definition of CONCEIT
      1
      a (1) : a result of mental activity : thought (2) : individual opinion
      b : favorable opinion; especially : excessive appreciation of one's own worth or virtue
      ..."

      Christians often have an inflated opinion of their own importance, such as assuming that a non-atheist would automatically be a Christian. I think it comes from the Jewish roots of the religion proclaiming to be the Chosen people, but that's just a guess.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • Greta K, VT

      Filled with hubris, vanity, and conceit, many Christians find that narcissism and totalitarianism are natural ways of expressing these things.

      They are delusional. We see nothing but madness and insanity from them if the indoctrination is heavy enough.
      Down with insanity! Let's fight mental illness! Religion will disappear and a new age of rational peace can begin!

      September 28, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  13. Tony

    Until religion, all religion is abolished, there will be no sense in the world.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • You idiot

      Well, then I guess what you just said makes no sense. You fail at logic.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:31 am |
  14. sevres Blue

    I am beginning to think we should round up all Evangelicals and put them in a wonderful, tropical place – like one of the smaller islands in Hawaii – with no phone, boat, plane or any way off the island. Who THINKS this stuff up? Crazy people, that's who. I'm sick and tired of being held hostage to their insanity.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • NONATHEIST

      I am READY for my new home in Hawaii! Where do I sign up?

      September 28, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • Seth

      Evangelicals are just as insane as Muslim extremists. Both are brainwashed and fear anyone or anything but themselves.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "NONATHEIST – I am READY for my new home in Hawaii! Where do I sign up?"
      you write to
      Necker Island, Hawaii

      September 28, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • NONATHEIST

      Can we please use proper terms? Evangelicals are simply people who would like to spread what they believe is a message of hope and good news. The correct term for the people who want to call Obama the Antichrist and damn everyone to Hell is "FUNDAMENTALIST." Please keep the two separate.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • NONATHEIST

      P.S. Thanks, C.R. I'll get right on it.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Sean

      Theist = delusional.
      Evangelicals = fanatically delusional.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • NONATHEIST

      Wow, you really don't like me, do you, Sean? What did I do to upset you? Question your dogmatic assertion? Well, I hereby grant your wish. I will depart the blog. You have two minutes to throw your last rant at me. It you make the cutoff, I will read your vent and not respond. In any case, Good Bye.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • Sean

      @NONATHEIST
      I nether like you or dislike you. Nor have I asked you to leave the blog. I know this is hard for you to understand… but it’s not all about you. And apparently you have no understanding of the word dogmatic.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:24 am |
  15. davie

    i'm an evangelical conservative. I DON'T think President Obama is the AntiChrist. In fact, I pray God's divine Wisdom for him everyday. As well as every other public official in office. The Bible says ALL authority is given from God (romans) This includes the President in whom I have differing views. One thing confuses me about many Christians, if someone DID rise as the AntiChrist, WHY would you try to stop him. After all, it just prophecy being fulfilled. Let it happen and stop crying about it.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Ruling by divine right has been used as a handwave to excuse immoral leaders since civilization began.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • bradley

      I totally agree with you. It will all be fulfilled in the end no matter what. God is in control and Praise be to our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST for HE is Holy and Divine and Just. I am with you brother and am also praying that God's wisdom be given to our leaders in Washington, including President Obama

      September 28, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • davie

      I'm not saying you have to believe I what I do, I'm just stating what I do believe about this matter of this article.(and appreciate you doing the same) But to offer a couter-argument: the excuse of "declaring divine authority has been used and abused for generations" is only an excuse to not follow that authority. In saying so, you attempt to set up your own. I don't disagree with the inherency of your comment, but there is an error in it's application.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "But to offer a couter-argument: the excuse of "declaring divine authority has been used and abused for generations" is only an excuse to not follow that authority"

      I think the suggestion that god put people like hitler, pol pot, stalin etc in charge and thus we should follow them because god put them in charge is a good enough excuse to question that authority.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • davie

      And it was those leaders who had your mindset of re-establishing authority that brought such torment to mankind. (however it's also the same mindset that established this great nation as well.... God sets up authorship, but His hand of blessing is limited by the condition of that persons' heart and the allowing of man's free will. America is great because of it's constant glorification of God and the pursuit of His plan. Hitler/Stalin,Pal's legacy were so evil due to their absence of it. Every man must be given an opportunity to express the condition of His heart... as both you and I have here.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  16. Greg s

    Obama Is not the Antichrist, Far from it, The Antichrist will be loved by all, He will make no Mistakes, Folks will fall all over themselves to please him, He will be Handsome to women and Courageous to men, A mans man so to speak. No one is going to shout at him that he is the Antichrist, No one would even began to believe it! He will be amazing! The closest thing to superman we will have ever seen. Im afraid Obama falls far short of that, Hes just a man, Folks who cant see that will be the first in line to call the true Antichrist a hero!

    September 28, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • Patricia

      I hope everyone reads your comment. No one could say it any better!

      September 28, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • Sean

      I agree, Obama is no more the AntiChrist than I am Darth Vader. Fictions is fun and all.. but its time to grow up people.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Themostinterestingmanintheworld

      Dang, you found me out.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • jbsac

      Where's the like button?

      September 28, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  17. JV

    This article opens the gates to nuttiness!

    September 28, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • sevres Blue

      Amen.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • Emperor Palpitation

      RELEASE THE KRAKEN~!

      September 28, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Sean

      The article is ABOUT the nuttiness.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Dorothy

      I think monkeys are flying out of everyone's butt!

      September 28, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • Toto

      arf

      September 28, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  18. Dr.K.

    Laughably crazy, yes, but a significant portion of our population really literally believe this kind of stuff, and go through their days accordingly, and make their political and social decisions accordingly. I am not sure what can be done about that except education, education, education.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • Say What !!!!

      Completely agree... These are the descendants of folks who thought that women who knew math were witches... They need to trade their guns for books...

      September 28, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Sean

      Guns and religion are two different subjects. I’m a left leaning independent and a CCW gun owner. Thanks for bring a completely unrelated issue into the mix.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • Greg s

      You cant educate god out of your life, You either believe in God or You don't. Interestingly those who choose not to believe, Believe themselves enlightened, They begin to worship there disbelief. Obsessed with it. You Know I don't believe in a lot of things and I Ignore them Yet those who don't believe in God go out of there way to try and Prove there inst a God, But If there wasn't a God there would be no argument! You see its hard to convince a man who is standing in pool of water that his feet aren't wet! Especially when the person trying to convince you of your dry feet is standing in the same pool!

      September 28, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Sean

      @Greg S
      You absolutely can my friend. I was raised Christian, went to a Christian private school for most of my early education. I really truly believe in that nonsense. Then I grew up, got away from the cult and got a real education in collage. The rest of your rant isn’t worth commenting on.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Dr.K.

      I'm not suggesting people should be educated out of belief in a God, but surely there is not room in an educated mind for comic-book level belief in stories of supernatural super-villains and deluded end-of-the-world prophecies.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  19. Nacho1

    OBAMA is DEFINITELY a closet Muslim..............anyone who cannot see that is blind to the truth.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • Dr.K.

      ...and this kind of stuff.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • JV

      Which closet are you talking about? The bathroom closet? The broom closet? The bedroom closet? Or the closet you came from? The nutty closet?

      September 28, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • sevres Blue

      If you don't know what you're talking about DON'T TALK. You obviously are a child or an idiot. Go to the library and take out some books and read. Don't spend your life on these forums shouting, Tourette-like, insane things.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • Tony

      Thou art a true visionary Nacho, with the perspective of one with his head up his a$$.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • jimmyjohn

      Anyone who believes this is crazy ! Show us the proof of these ridiculous statements.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • Observer

      Nacho1,

      It's pretty obvious that you wouldn't know the truth if you could see it.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Will the gentlemen in the white jackets please escort Nacho1 to that nice room where he can't hurt himself or others? Thank you. The rest of us will be raising the necessary funds for his rectocraniotomy to cure him of his affliction.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

      Thanks for proving your very point. Now put your tin foil hat back on, being careful not to knock the white hood off, and go outside and play.....................

      September 28, 2011 at 9:33 am |
  20. Popperdan1

    What's really scary, these evangelical christians really believe in all this. They are like a cult. I was one of them until I broke free. They will kill in the name of their Lord Jesus Christ, which has nothing to do with Jesus's teachings. They are no better than the radical Islams!

    September 28, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • justrelax

      whoa there horsie! please calm down your rhetoric here. I'm not sure what experience you had that makes you believe evangelical christians think its ok to kill in the name of christ. That is certainly not the mainstream evangelical position – there are millions of evangelicals around the world that follow the teachings of Christ, which is summed up in two: Love God, and love man. And millions of evangelical Christians disagree with each other on the end times issue, and dont believe such nonsense about Obama- you'd be surprised to know how many millions of evangelicals actually voted for Obama.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Ralph

      Puzzled why you chose to say "like" a cult. They ARE a cult. The Merriam-Webster definition of cult is a formal religious veneration: WORSHIP, or a system of religious beliefs and ritual. Or, a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious. Anybody who allows a person, idea, object, movement, or body of work to dictate their life is part of a CULT. Plain and simple.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • WolfAK

      Actually,there just over 2million evangelicals in the US.... up from about 1million in 2001. Out of over 310million people in the US, less than 1%, according the the US census. Other numbers of note: ~10-12milliion lgbt people, ~51million uninsured americans, and over 230-280million private guns.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:14 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.