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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. Georgia

    Christianity is a personal matter,and no one has the authority to interpret anyone's thoughts or beliefs. Since nobody has been to heaven and back I fail to see how the evangelicals can dictate who Christ is to President Obama and whether they themselves will be going to heaven. Shame on us as christians to try and dictate what God has in mind for His people. God must be shaking his head and saying "what a set of fools I have on earth".

    September 28, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  2. John

    I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of people who disagree with the president do not believe that he is the antichrist, but pointing that out in the article probably wouldn't create the same chumming effect.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  3. Brad

    In the 1970's, a Christian fundmentalist friend of my wife's found out I was a Catholic. Shocked, she said" Catholic ! I thought he was a Christian ". At that same time, students at the Baptist Student Union had done some calculating from the Old Testament and announced that Henry Kissinger was the anti-Christ.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • antichrist i am

      christians in america are mutants.real jesus christ would be ashamed of them.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  4. awatchingcanadian

    I wish these religious leaders would put their bs where it belongs .. in the toilet. I mean come on people.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  5. Ego Sum Lamia

    You people are idiots...... and if you believe he is the anti-Christ you better get your house in order, because from what I have seen of the Christian faith, all of you are going to be left behind with all of us. ~evil grin~

    September 28, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  6. asdf

    lets face it, if you're talking to someone who believes in zombies, witches (looking at you Christine O'Donnell), and bearded white dudes who created time and space to listen to someone complain about their football team losing, the belief that Obama is the antichrist really is no stretch.

    If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • rancholazer love

      Awesome...thanks for that.

      September 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  7. MAL

    Wouldn't be the first time, this was also done during the last presidential election.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  8. beammeup

    Reminds of Bill Maher's bit from the movie "Religulous", where he asks people "Who or what is the anti-Christ? Is it the same person as the devil? Does one work for the other, like Batman and Robin?" Nobody can answer him intelligibly. He correctly points out that the people who cling so tightly to this stuff don't even understand their own beliefs, much less that it makes sense.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  9. HP

    Only in so much as the media continues to give a squeaky fringe credence by reporting on it.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  10. Amanda

    Really CNN? You're perpetuating this fear mongering you complain about FOX doing. You're just helping the sickos and racists out there. Be better than that.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  11. william

    amazingfacts.org
    some interesting insights into the soon coming antichrist. Different than the crazed evangelical notion.

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

      nope...same old brainwashed drivel

      September 28, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  12. LMC

    This is why the Founding Fathers wanted a separation of church and state! The right wing would like to turn our government into a theistic one. We need to stand firm with the Founding Fathers!

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

      You've obviously heard that the "separation of church and state" phrase was motivated by wanting to prevent the state from mandating or endorsing a particular church/religion, not the other way around? The language is obviously important but we also need to understand the original motivations. Much is lost if we don't allow our morals (motivated by our faith) to influence or indeed, mandate the rules to the state. Where this becomes excellent, is voting. That is our influence, and if enough of us, a mandate.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  13. David G.

    Anti Christ posters, what a bunch of flaming imbecilic twaddle.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  14. PJ

    They should be much more worried about the theology of Mormonism which is very scary to society. Jesus came to the States. St. Louis Missouri is where He will return. Everyone who sticks to the Faith will become a Spirit God. God was human before he became a God. Give me a break.

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

      Does that sound any more loopy than standard Old and New Testament? There's this all powerful being who has magical powers. He's not human, but he had a human child, who died, but came back to life, but then disappeared, and now we're all supposed to be waiting for him to come back again. Not to mention Jonah and the whale, the ten plagues, etc.....

      It all sounds nutty if you don't start with the premise that it must be true.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  15. O.T.

    I think CNN and NYT are desperate to reelect Obama.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  16. RV1982

    I heard reference to Obama being referred to "jokingly" or sometimes seriously as the "Antichrist" because of the apparent "messiah complex" as early as the spring of 2008...consequently, this is REALLY OLD NEWS. Come on CNN, you can do better than this.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  17. Frank A NYC

    Interesting that a so called Christian would think Obama is the anti-christ. If they read the bible they would know the anti-christ is supposed to come out of the territory that once was part of the Holy Roman Empire. Last I checked the Romans did not rule Hawaii, nor Kenya, if you believe in conspiracy theorys. Just goes to show that people will always use religon to support their point of view.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • sbp

      Why would that stop anyone? Clearly, Obama was NOT born in Kenya, he planted that story as a fake-out to distract people, because he was really born in the heart of the Holy Roman Empire.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  18. ProudMuslim

    Contrary to popular belief. Obama is not a Muslim but I do feel that the anti-Christ will either rise from the US or Israel.

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

      reread the bible....cant come from the US.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  19. The Gunmother

    I don't know which saddens me more; the article or the comments!

    September 28, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  20. A1

    I beheld Satan as Lightning fall from Heaven"
    The name Barack / Barak means LIGHTNING in Hebrew:
    The word BAMA / BAMAH is used to mean the "heights" of Heaven:
    To join these two words, the Hebrew letter vau is used, which is transliterated into Latin as O or U.
    BARAK O BAMAH – LIGHTNING OF/FROM HEAVEN

    September 28, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • palintwit

      And the name "A1" means steak sauce in English. Who cares?

      September 28, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • blah9999

      wow...you just gave me undeniable proof that obama is the antichrist. good for you....

      September 28, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Observer

      And we all know that A1 is a sauce.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Frank A NYC

      Have you read the bible? Are you familiar with revelations? Obviously not. Go read it and you'll know why your theory of Obama being the anti-christ is nonsense, if you even believe in the bible.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Nilsjames

      yes, that is the proof, congratulations. Better get to work on the tin foil hats there isn't much time left!

      September 28, 2011 at 10:05 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.