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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. Matthew

    This is an ugly byproduct of a couple of things: The right's effort to sensationalize the apocalyptic portions of Christianity, and a calculated Republican strategy against teachers and education. And why not? When devaluing education and describing your opponent as the Antichrist delivers you more votes from those least equipped to cast them, you've a great incentive. So sad.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  2. Jollymon

    This is exactly why the world would be a better place without religion. The anger, hatred and intolerance it creates should be embarassing to the human race. Maybe someday we will rise about the beliefs in invisible sky-beings and absurd myths and fables and the dogmas they create. However, I don't see such clear-minded thinking happening soon based on how things are going.

    "It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand."
    -Mark Twain

    September 28, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  3. Obamajoe

    may you have a good day start from having fun at CNN 🙂

    September 28, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  4. Randy Mantooth Squad 51

    First of all– how sad anyone is so dumb that they miss the metaphor that the bible mostly is......and a good one! The hatred thrown at this president has been pure racism from the day one-- it's sad and dull and speaks to the hopelessness of our society.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Al

      You are correct and when racism comes into play, religion is usually the source.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  5. Anakaraya

    Wow... people really need to get over the "end of days" thing. How many times throughout the centuries have we heard that the world was ending? Oh, and Obama the antichrist? Give me a break, that is probably the silliest thing I have ever heard.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  6. Roland

    Remarks like this should surprise no one. Spar m the religious sentiment. If I need to get the lawn mowed and the car washed, I mow and wash. I do not pray. Right now we need to mow and wash in our wonderful country. Pray if you want to. I really don't care what your religion. It simply is irrelevant. The rest of us will be starting the mower and filling the buckets.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Jollymon

      I believe the saying is, "Pray in one hand and crap in the other and see which one fills up first."

      September 28, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  7. Scared for my children

    @ET Ok, then I will but just so you know that Priest was charged and the church was shut down. Thanks for playing!!

    September 28, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  8. FK73

    I'm with Gunmother. I simply cannot relate to anyone who thinks that some evil cartoon figure will emerge from the skies and hack the baddies up, paving the way for their eternal bliss. And the fact that the educated political class (who obviously know better) are willing to cynically propagate such infantile beliefs is indeed, sad. A1, if there's a God, he's not playing word games with you.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  9. RichieP

    It would be a really stupid strategy for republicans to intentionally paint Obama as the antichrist. Nobody is going to switch their vote to republican because of it. The whackos who would believe it are already voting republican, and the people who would be offended by the brainlessness of it would outnumber them anyway. End of the day, they would risk turning away voters who would preceive the republican party as a bunch of crazies, while gaining zero new voters.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  10. palintwit

    New movie..." Human Centipede 2" starring the entire Palin family with special guest star Michele Bachmann 'bringing up the rear'.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • u r a nutjob

      doing what in the rear?

      September 28, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  11. Bo

    @grist 9:53 post:"For a scientific idea to reach the level of a theory, it means that there is over whelming evidence for it." grist, what crackpot ever gave you such a foolish idea! That sort of statement sounds like it came form someone desperate to prove a point. Theories are just that, therories, not facts! Please! Don't make yourself look stupid.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • RichieP

      Actually, Bo, you're making yourself look stupid. I've taken college science courses; grist is pretty much correct.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Matt

      Bo, I really hope you're trolling. If you aren't I suggest a google search on the scientific method.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • claybigsby

      Matt, Google isnt in the bible....he wont know how to use it.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • GetBacktoWhere

      No no Bo. Sorry you're 100% wrong. Learn about the scientific method and then get back to us.
      "Theory" in science means this is the *one* thing that is considered as fact. If there are several ideas to explain something, then they are called "Hypotheses".

      September 28, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      Bo
      You are mixing the definitions of hypothesis and theory. A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. Scientific theory is fact.
      When ever I hear that "evolution is [only] a theory" from someone ... they are transposing theory and hypothesis.
      Think of it this way. Would you say that
      a.a + b.b = c.c (Pythagorus' theory ) is ONLY a theory?

      September 28, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  12. pensimmon

    LUDICROUS!!!!

    September 28, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  13. Lex Luthor

    Dumbest headline and news flash everyone: Netanyahu is the Anti-Christ.
    Known fact.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  14. Barry G.

    claybigsby,

    Jesus would agree with you. He was mainly interested in teaching people to love one another.

    Jesus had no interest in gaining praise for himself. This is why he referred to himself as the son of man.

    Incidentally Jesus is the English rendering of the Hebrew word, Joshua, which means God is our savior.

    One of the ways God saves us is by saving us from ourselves, from our hatred, violence and inhumanity towards each other. That, after all, is the greatest danger we face.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > One of the ways God saves us is by saving us from ourselves, from our hatred, violence and inhumanity towards each other. That, after all, is the greatest danger we face.

      God saves us from ourselves? Who made us the way we were I wonder. Wouldn't that person be responsible? Much like how if I build a faulty car and it crashes, it's not the car's fault?

      September 28, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • mercenary76

      " The English spelling of Yeshua is “Joshua.” However, when translated from Hebrew into the Greek language, the name Yeshua becomes Iēsous. The English spelling for Iēsous is “Jesus.”

      September 28, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • claybigsby

      barry....my point was you dont need Jesus to act like a decent human being.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  15. News fer Jews

    Why do ghosts have clothes and if you give someone a wedgie at the moment of death are they stuck with that wedgie for all eternity?

    September 28, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • RichieP

      Who says ghosts have clothes?

      September 28, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  16. RUDY

    Hey Obama is also black. Weird.

    These Christian nuts don't even know their own religion. 666 is not the mark of the beast. It was and is a code for ceasar in roman times deciphered out of the greek alphabet. The antichrist has come mutliple times according to various Christian prophets. Yo religious nut cases give it a rest already. Do something productive.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • yannaes

      Only nut cases would read such an article and spend time in writing a reference to it.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  17. Rock

    Im ready for some light fictional reading...wheres that black book? Oh not that one...the bible is too unbelievable to take seriously. But I do like the part about the talking serpent and the benefits of eating fruit.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  18. Tom

    Whaaaaaa, Obama can say what ever he likes about whom ever he likes. Anyone says anything negative about him is now a movement or un American. Get over it. He had no problem dishing it out when he was running. If you cant take the heat get out of the frying pan.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • The Bobinator

      It's not so much that he has a thick skin, it's just that the heckler's viewpoint is so stupid it's worthy of ridicule.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  19. Ed

    Why is it that the more ardent the Christian, the more anti Christ they appear?

    September 28, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Jollymon

      "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
      -Gandhi

      September 28, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  20. luis

    I want to be apart of something bigger then gods and old books, They' are no divisions worth mentioning for we all belong to the human race. I believe in human exceptionalism. Humanism should be our religion, science and logic our law. If we dont unite and come togethor as a human family our collective future is doomed. Togethor we can conquer all.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Terry

      I think I love you, luis!

      September 28, 2011 at 10:11 am |
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About this blog

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.