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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. u r a nutjob

    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. And we call ourselves adults?

    quote from earlier

    September 28, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Obamajoe

      hopeless? America is still the greatest in the world.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • u r a nutjob

      and isn't that scary......

      September 28, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • turnerBroadcast

      America rocks. You , on the other hand. ... Not sure about the ones that wander around like chicken little..

      September 28, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Obamajoe

      Not at all if you have faith in God:)

      September 28, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • ProudMuslim

      'Greatest'???? Really? I think you need to wakeup and smell the coffee. When the so-called "greatest" country blames a poor third world country for all its problems, it does not say much about it's greatness.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • u r a nutjob

      AMEN

      September 28, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  2. Obamajoe

    RichieP

    Who says ghosts have clothes? That's residual self-image πŸ™‚

    September 28, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • J.W

      Are you sure you are on the right story?

      September 28, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Obamajoe

      99.8764%

      September 28, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • J.W

      Well there was a story about ghosts a few stories ago. Just making sure you werent trying to post to that one.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  3. ProudMuslim

    On the Day of Judgement, Christians will come to Jesus and say ..."Lord we cast out demons in your name".... and Jesus will say to them "Be gone, I do not know you". Which Christians are being told to go away? Jesus does not explain that. All Christians have gone away from the real teachigs of Jesus and they follow what Paul preached. They should not call themselves Christian but should call themselves Paulsters.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Heidi

      "Paulsters" huh? Maybe Ron Paul is the Antichrist.

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

      By 'Paul', I mean St. Paul. But that's a good one Heidi.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • j

      Totally agree with you!

      September 28, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  4. Re

    The world is composed of many countries. How short sighted people are to imagine the
    anti-Christ rise from one place time and again: JFK, Dick C., Obama. This is below stupidity...

    September 28, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  5. Cap

    Religion – ain't it great...

    September 28, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Obamajoe

      If it's real. yes.But pseudo-religion is politics.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  6. Agnostic Jew

    The problem with this country is people don't have any perspective. One guy tries to raise taxes by a few percentage points for millionaires and he's compared to Joseph Stalin, or another guy keeps a few dozen people in a prison in Cuba and he's compared to someone who slaughtered six million jews. Maybe the United States needs a good, solid war on its own soil so that people gain some sort of perspective as to what "having it bad" means.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Luis

      I would say that this country has no collective purpose other then seeing how much money you can stash in you life time.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:33 am |
  7. Raj

    Does all of this controversy mean that you cannot become a president of US if you are not Christian? What a backward 3rd world thinking is that? Why can't we take person for his professional abilities. Doesn't the no descrimination clause apply for president's job? This just shows that US is not a equal opportunity employer when it comes to US presidency. I can understand the birth requirement but everything else is garbage.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  8. Peace2All

    FROM THE ARTICLE:

    " 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 ti-tled "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 "
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    So... I can truly understand if you don't care for our President's policies/politics, etc... But, are you fcking kidding me... that there are actually people that not only believe in the anti-christ non-sense, but... that Obama 'is' the anti-christ...?

    Really... ? Holy sh!t !!! We have a bunch of crazy wing-nuts that believe this malarkey, and can also vote.
    People often ask us agnostics/atheists... why we care about what you evangelical Christians 'believe'...?

    Well, now you know. It's not whether or not you believe in a Creator or God, at least for me, it's more about the 'irrational attributes' of what you describe your God as and the insane 'content' of your 'beliefs' (Obama 'is' anti-christ) This is yet 'another sign' about the ending of rational thought and doesn't bode well for the future collective sanity of our society.

    Peace...

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

      Please know that NOT ALL of us Christians believe that sh!t. Peace to you too.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • J.W

      The idea of their being one anti-christ that brings about the Apocalypse isnt actually in the Bible. It was something that was just pieced together from various Bible verses. John even said when he wrote 1 John that there has been many antichrists already. There have probably been thousands of antichrists.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • Peace2All

      @J.W.

      Hey buddy...

      Well, you might want to let the rest of your more 'radicalized' evangelicals know.

      As I've seen so much "end of days" cr@p here on the blogs over the last year and a half, that ...'that' kind of belief makes me shake my head.

      Peace...

      September 28, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Yep

      It truly is insane. I don't understand it. But I'm sure it's also...you know, b/c he's African American.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • u r a nutjob

      WELL THE END WILL COME! SOMEDAY. SOMEONE WILL EVENTUALLY BE RIGHT πŸ˜‰

      September 28, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • J.W

      I do not know what the deal is with trying to predict the end of days. Jesus said that we would not know when that would be, so if it does happen in our lifetime we will not know when it is coming. The Bible never specifically even says that the whole world will end even. Could it be possible that when it says end of days that it just means each persons life, and when they die they will see Jesus again?

      September 28, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Peace2All

      @J.W.

      Well... sure, apparently 'anything' is possible. You've got a lot of...'what if's' going in your last post.

      You could be right, or wrong. But this issue of 'warrior jesus' coming through the clouds to send 'non-believers' to eternal torment, is just something that I can't wrap my mind around.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      September 28, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • J.W

      Well I think even people who do believe in the eternal torment part have some trouble with that. I personally do not believe that all the people who do not believe will go to hell just for that. Well sometimes I probably have some what ifs. I think I maybe think of the Bible more critically that some Christians do. And maybe I am wrong about some things, but there is nothing wrong with thinking more deeply.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  9. Ego Sum Lamia

    PS: Our country was founded of the freedom of all religions, not just Christianity. Politics and religion do not need to mix.

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

    Obama may not necessarily be *the* Anti-Christ, he definitely has some of the expected characteristics. While he claims to be a "Christian," therefore making him an ambassador of Christ while following God's law, he believes otherwise and supports legislation accordingly, contradictory as to what the Bible says. Obama is definitely no authentic Christian.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Preston

      You've got to be kidding me.

      Peace...

      September 28, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Dan, Tx

      You are incorrect on all counts. There is no religious leader of any faith (and I mean leader as opposed to con-artist) who agrees with you. Ask 100 Priests, Cardinals, Deacons, Bishops, whatever. They think you are wrong.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • J.W

      Give examples please.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Who's a Real Christian?

      Matthew 7:1-5 β€œJudge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, β€˜Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Paul

      You "Christians" are insufferable. You figure you have the authority to decide who is christian enough that they're OK in your books? How arrogant. The result is the jackals running for the GOP nomination trying to out-Jesus each other to please the zealots and out-crazy each other to appease the Teahadists. Never mind that they actually THINK, or what ideas they have to help Americans....

      September 28, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • turnerBroadcast

      No. Think. The Antichrist comes from a place of fire, and smoke. And he strikes down reason, the basis for statesmanship and instead asks men to elect him on faith. He blends church and state, as would any antichrist – because an antichrist isn't a public servant – he's a figure who wants you to believe he has some otherworldly power. Last GOP debate, he stood as a candidate coming from a place of fire – and the gop faithful cheered at the mention of someone being denied healthcare benefit at their time of death. If you're going to go that way, get it right. Perry is the antichrist.

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

      @Paul- I love the "teahadists" term! Perfect!

      September 28, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Alex

      At the end of the day it does not matter whether Obama is a 'Christian' or not. All that matters is that he leads our country in the right direction.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Alex

      @Paul

      AGREED!!!

      September 28, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Uh

      Oh, really? So legislation to ensure that everyone has equal access to healthcare is against the bible? Legislation to ensure that woman receive equal pay for equal work is against the bible?
      What are you smoking?
      And, really, you have NO RIGHT to judge who is "less Christian". I suppose you think the Tea Party and GOP are the best Christians out there. Wow. So backward and wrong.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Ronbo42

      You can say the same thing about Bush or any other politician.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:22 am |
  11. Tina

    This has been rather interesting reading–or at least it was until Ms. Mary insinuated that as a Catholic I am lukewarm. Not so! Your statement that we "worship" the Virgin Mary and saints is incorrect. Catholics worship the Lord. We ask the saints and the Virgin Mother to intercede for us with the Father. As for what is in the Bible, I don't think it says anywhere that one faith is going to heaven and everyone of other faiths are going to hell. We will all be judged on our own merits (or lack thereof) at the end of our earthly lives. I believe that God is a loving and forgiving God; however, I don't put words in His mouth and I certainly don't propose to KNOW His heart and mind. May God bless each of you!

    September 28, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Ego Sum Lamia

      Agreed

      September 28, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Dan, Tx

      I think a lot of atheists are reacting to the insults they receive and so come off as quite militant and anti-religion. They would not be anti-religion at all if they weren't attacked so much that they are induced to fight back, sometimes they fight back against people who do respect their right to be non-believers and who respect them as good people. That is unfortunate, but it is hard sometimes to not stereotype all people of faith as being anti-atheist. I know that atheists are are moral and ethical as believers, and do need to encourage a dialogue and acceptance and discourage animosity in both directions.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • J.W

      Hello Tina I generally agree with you post but as far as prayers to Mary and the saints, there is a verse in Deuteronomy I know and maybe other places in the Bible that say not to use mediums or pray to the dead. So even if you say that they are just interceding on your behalf isn't that wrong as well according to the Bible?

      September 28, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Uh

      J.W....that's a bit of a stretch. How would Mary be a "medium"? A medium is a live person who is a conduit for spirits.
      Frankly...well, it's none of your business if people want to pray to Mary or to other saints.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • J.W

      Fine Uh I will take the medium part out and just say praying to the dead. Does that make you happier? I just wanted an answer I did not saying it in an insulting way or anything. Many non-Catholics are confused about this so I was giving Tina a chance to explain it farther.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:01 am |
  12. Shoe

    To the poster who asked why non-believers "waste time" reading this blog – it's because Christians directly affect our lives and Christians rule this country. Christians are the majority of the population and by _far_ the majority of elected offices. Our bosses, our media figures, our law enforcement and court officials...most of them are Christians. Most of the time its okay, but occasionally some of them try to do something horrifying in the name of Christianity, such as trying to sway an election by painting a person as the Antichrist. At those times, its important for us to offer a dissenting opinion, because frankly, that's batpoop crazy, and we don't want that nonsense determining our elections, and by extension the laws we have to live under.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  13. Polysorbate 8O

    Eating moldy bread can make you hallucinate. Bad food is not something we often think about, but it explains quite a bit of how religions get started in the old days before preservatives.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • claybigsby

      ancients also used mind altering substances like mushrooms thus coming up with crazy religious ideology.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • MAd Doc

      You are a genius...Best comment I have ever read on CNN.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  14. dogs rule

    I moved to the South from New York after 9/11. Unfortunately, I discovered a lot of that thinking here (no surprise). One of these closed-minded natives down here actually called President Obama "the Antichrist" Twisted, backward, ignorant people!

    September 28, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • Agnostic Jew

      Why in the world would you move down there?

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

      learn,,,,,,,,,,,

      September 28, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  15. cllgstdnt

    I'm a tea party member, proud of limited government with liberties to choose right from wrong and how to better myself economically. Obama the anti-christ? I don't agree with his policies but this is just nuts. He is just another politician, will eventually lose an election, and then somebody else will take over. Please don't take these ridiculous claims to be representative of average conservatives.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • hmm

      You seem like a reasonable person, so I'm wondering why you would want to be part of the Tea Party. They are owned by the Koch Brothers, you know. The Koch Brothers don't care about limited gov't...they are using you guys. They want limited gov't in the sense that they don't want to pay their fair share of taxes and they don't want any regulations on their factories, etc. They wouldn't give you the time of day if they saw you in the street b/c they are only interested in what you can do for them.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  16. Joe

    To understand America, you have to know that race and religion have always been and continue to be major factors. You also have to understand that the Civil War never really ended – it's still being fought to this day. Big Money loves this because it keeps everyone from noticing that more and more money is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, along with the control that goes with it. Big Money has brilliantly recruited the racists and religionists to do their work for them. The unmitigated hate directed toward Obama is the direct result. Without race and religion, you couldn't get mainstream America to vote against their own interests time and time again.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • dt

      Exactly – and well explained.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • no fool

      Thankyou Joe , that was the most intelligent and true summarization of what is really going on in US politics. Hopefully, people will wake up and start voting for the person who most resembles someone who cares about this country, and especially its people.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  17. purplelilac7

    Ge,e i was thinking the same thing the other day about Republican Herman Cain, who is running for President,lol He unvieled his 999 plan. Which depending on how you look at it,, is pretty close to the sign of the AntiChrist,,, 666 Just turn it upside down

    September 28, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • Richie Rich

      His name is Cain, as in Cain and Abel. Cain was the evil brother, he murdered Abel the good kid. God placed a "mark" on him, another portend of the end times as in "the mark of the beast."

      September 28, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  18. Chris

    Sometimes you come across an article that just makes you put your face down on your keyboard and give up on the human race. kjlbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

    September 28, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  19. Sully

    This is an article about children believing in a ghost king. Let's leave politics to the adults

    September 28, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • Lynne

      I believe that you, sir, are the child here. I am a non-believer (an atheist), but pretending religion isn't important to some people (or shouldn't be) is ridiculous. Anthropology and neurosciences (yes impirical) have long held that religion is hard wired into the brain. Quit your whining and let there be an adult discussion about religion.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • The 4 Penguins Of The Apocalypse

      You are kidding of course, right? An adult discussion about religion? Isn't that an oxymoron? I've only been around for 30 years, but I have NEVER read an adult discussion in religion that didn't end in "MY God is bigger than YOURS". Yep, that's adults for ya.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • claybigsby

      "Anthropology and neurosciences (yes impirical) have long held that religion is hard wired into the brain."

      Citation needed for this statement please, otherwise you are purely speculating.

      If religion is hardwired to the brain, why are there more and more non-religious people? Religion is hardwired into the brain, by parents maybe.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • hmm

      Yeah...you really need to cite things like that. Hard-wired into the brain? Maybe a sense of spirituality, but certainly not religion. I'm an anthropologist and I've never heard of that. Sorry. Religion is a means of controlling a population.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  20. Possum

    Oh, please. Lunatic doomers tried to paint President, Ronald Wilson Reagan (get it? Six letters each name=666) as the anti-christ. This idiocy goes on with every leader that is rising to power or comes to power. Prince Charles, The Pope, Bush, Ayatollah Khomeini and Saddam Hussein (or pretty much anyone with a blue turbine or cap, and throngs of followers with guns). The anti-christ is the sum total collective bunch of loonies that spew their psycho-bible-babble out every time some natural or man-made disaster occurs or some iconic personality rises to power. They create their own demon(s) because they need an enemy so they have something to blame for all the woes of the world (other than themselves) and feel some purpose in their frightened lives. It seems far easier for them to pen the blame on someone else and swat at invisible demons than to actually do something about in the real world.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • u r a nutjob

      People have way too much time on their hands.......

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

      Good point. That label has always been the weapon of choice for presidential opponents who feel powerless. I think Obama is a dilettante in way over his head – nothing more. He'd probably make a fun, if not great neighbor. Just invite him over, lubricate him with a few beers and let him start spouting his vision of utopia.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Dan, Tx

      That's funny, I never heard anyone ever say that Reagan was the anti-christ.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:32 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.