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. curious

    I had a quick question that seems to be along Mary's line of expertise: if an ugly person dies and goes to heaven, do they suddenly change into an attractive person? I always wondered this because if they suddenly became attractive, then that means that there was someone wrong with them on earth and, for some reason (even though he loved them), Jesus wanted them to spend their time on this planet ugly, but then fixed them up better later on. But if they stayed looking the same, then Jesus would have to change the concept of attractiveness for every single other person entering heaven, since it wouldn't be paradise if everyone thought you were ugly. That, however, implies changing free will. Which I know that the Bible says God did to the Pharoh in Egypt (back when the Pharoh was going to just let the Jews free), but I thought God only did that the one time because he wanted Egyptians to die to learn a lesson, and that the rest of the time people were left with their free will and that's what seperated them from Angels). Any help on this?

    September 28, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • u r a nutjob

      why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways

      September 28, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Antonio

      I guess I would look at it like this, the flesh dies and the soul returns to heaven. So does your soul actually have an appearance? Or is everyone just a glowing ball of spiritual-ness?

      September 28, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • curious

      thanks antonio. I was worried because even though I am very attractive, I know lots of ugly people who are good people (in fact, most of the born again christians I know are slightly less than plain-looking middle-aged women), and I wanted to be able to explain to them how even though no-one is attracted to them know, in heaven, that will be different. Just think, as soon as I shed this shell of random particles I will be a super-hot ball of glowing energy!

      September 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  2. p gibson

    only weak-minded people would actually care about this. kind of like the safety statistics in the automotive world. some people WILL die ( or believe) this year.

    so what. Religious freedom is a fact.

    and the freedom to not believe is also a fact.

    most people don't, and if they say they are religious, I find that most people are lazy about it.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  3. Howard

    BHO isn't smart enough to be the Anti-Christ.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  4. ron

    Funny that the evangwlicals didn't say a thing about George Bush. A boozing loser frat boy, who was known as the only Texan that could drill a hole and NOT strike oil, at one time. Born again? George was on TV cameras more than he was ever off. EVER see him in church? Two, almost three wars, thousands dead, many more maimed. Torture & rendition for even worse. The economic collapse of most of the worlds countries. The lack of help to those affected by Katrina, and still affected. Now there was a TRUE candidate for Antichrist. My proof is that the world sure went to hell on and after his special care..

    September 28, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Geez

      Yes, they did... I remember plenty of people say Bush and Cheney were the antichrist. It was as stupid then as it is now. Difference is they were written off as nuts and CNN didnt take them seriously when it was Bush. They were taken as jokes as they should be

      September 28, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  5. MythBusters

    If that's the case, these religious nutcases should WELCOME Obama! They should work their little religious hineys off to ensure his re-election! Without Obama, there will be no 'rapture'! OMG! This is WAAAAAY to funny... I'm laughing again!

    September 28, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Dee Bee

      And if these nuts believe this, then they should also be glad to know that they will be dead and in heaven soon...AND...this surely guarantees Obama's re-election, because he has to take over the world and wait for Jesus to return and defeat him. Where do these people come from? I hope Independents don't want to be associated with these nut cases.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • JF

      Good point.

      If Jesus was supposed to die, then why be angry with the Jews, assuming you believe the Jews killed him? Wasn't that God's plan?

      September 28, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  6. Margaret

    This is news? I heard the same charge right after President Obama took office. The accuser was my father's room mate at the nursing home when he was there for rehab following an injury. A nice man, but really? The antichrist?? President Obama? Have we always been such a backward country or is this a recent development?

    September 28, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Dee Bee

      Margaret,,,this country has always had a bunch of nutcases, but Sarah Palin and these other right wingers started getting press and they all came out of the wood-works like termites.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  7. R. U. Cirrius

    Yeah, Obama is too dumb to be the antichrist. The antichrist is supposed to be some awesome genius bent on evil, but Obama is more a guy who thinks he is an awesome genius bent on incompetency.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  8. chad

    I would hazard a guess that 99.99% of Christians do not feel Obama is the AC. I think the press is taking an EXTREMELY small number of people making this claim and making a news story out of it because it's sensational.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  9. Antonio

    What's amusing is that if you read the bible, the word antichrist is only mentioned 4 times, and all 4 of them are in the epistles of John. No where does it say that THE antichrist will come during the end times, in fact it is actually used in the context that anyone who denies Jesus as the savior is an antichrist. Food for thought:

    In 1 John 2:22, we learn that any liar who denies the central truth that Jesus was and is the Christ—the prophesied Messiah and Savior—is an antichrist, an enemy of both the Father and the Son.

    In 1 John 4:3, John again acknowledges that "you have heard [the Antichrist] was coming." But John goes on to say that antichrist is "already in the world." John's main point is that "every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist"—the spirit from Satan that is in the "false prophets" (verse 1). It is evil to deny either Jesus' full deity or His humanity during His earthly ministry and at the time of His death. (Also see 1 John 1:1-3.)

    In 2 John 1:7, John says, "For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming [being incarnated] in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."

    September 28, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  10. YouCrazy

    It sounds like the real issue is that so-called evangelical Christians are far, far crazier than we had previously given them credit.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Dee Bee


      September 28, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  11. Happy

    Oh, for Heaven's sake! the Antichrist - really??? He's having trouble just getting the financial side of things together. You want to blame that on the Devil, too? Get a Life!

    September 28, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  12. Marmot

    George Bush was the anti-christ. It's Obama's turn now.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • u r a nutjob

      It sounds like it is similar to the game of "Tag". Tag your it!

      September 28, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  13. Bob

    Sorry Barack, it's me, I'm the antichrist

    September 28, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • u r a nutjob

      nuh-uh...it's me!!

      September 28, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Sparticus

      I'm Sparticus!

      September 28, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Dee Bee

      I am Conan the Barbarian.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  14. Sad but amused

    The most interesting thing about a lot of these comments is people are upset a small group of Christians called the President the Antichrist. So what is your response? Bash ALL Christians? Isn’t that sort of hypocritical? Bash an entire faith based on the views of a small group. Most of the Christian points on this board say they don’t agree with what these people said, generally positive comments in spite of their faith being attacked. Then look at all the negative comments. Common people lets get past the discrimination and stereotypes and all just get along.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • heh

      "Bash an entire faith based on the views of a small group."

      sound familiar christians?

      September 28, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Sad but amused

      I never claimed they were perfect, from my experience most modern day Christians do not discriminate. However, that’s beside my point, it just seems there is a lot of hate and negativity on this board. What good does it do to insult one another? To me it just seems to divide people even more.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  15. Colin

    This kind of story would never appear in Europe or any other developed nation on Earth. Why did we get all the Christian religious nutjobs? We should start deporting them to Canada, Australia, Europe and Asia so they can share the burden of these simpletons.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • u r a nutjob

      because in other countries, they just shoot you......

      September 28, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Xfan

      Because like it or not, the majority of the original immigrants to this country were christian... Of course, back then almost everyone claimed to be christian...

      September 28, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • That guy

      Because that's who founded this country, the religious nut jobs from Europe who temporarily overthrew the king of England and established a theocracy, unlit they lost a few battles and got kicked out of England, then they got kicked out of Holland, so they came here and founded Plymouth Colony to have "religious freedom".

      We've been dealing with the mess ever since.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  16. merecat

    The Anti Christ can't be and isn't ONE person.. it was in existence back in the days the Apostles wrote about it.. it is a Composite MAN of Lawlessness.. It's the False Teachers back at that time.. Pharisees and Sadducees.. Now they exist in the ministers of false religion.. Not an Individual.. one man couldn't live over 2,000+ years..

    September 28, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Colin

      but I thought that the most fundamental tenet of christianity was that Jesus magically rose from the dead and is still alive 2,000 years later?

      September 28, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Ed Galbraith

      Please go look in the mirror and repeat those words...don't you fee even a bit stupid about it all?

      September 28, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  17. looking Glass

    The republican party are the Anti Christ, Bringing forth false doctrine concerning the word of God, bearing false witness, not putting others who are less fortunate ahead of self, Money hungry, war mongering . . . need I go on?

    September 28, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • u r a nutjob

      did you just figure that out?

      September 28, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Xfan

      Clearly neither party is anywhere near accurately reflecting the values of Christ's life and teachings. It pains me that, for the foreseeable future, we are stuck with chosing between the lesser of two evils, neither of which qualify as the anti-christ and both of which bring truth mixed with error. In the end, the salvation of the world has little or nothing to do with political parties or Gov. for that matter. The sooner we stop looking to human governments to solve our probables and do our job of caring for those around us, the better...

      September 28, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  18. berucem

    the same people called Ronald Regan the antichrist

    September 28, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Ed Galbraith

      Yes. But we all know Reagan WAS the antichrist.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Ed Galbraith

      Actually, a guy named Phil Johnson who lives in a suburb of Detroit is the anitchrist.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  19. Damian

    All religion was made up by man...........nice stories.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Ed Galbraith

      Damian is right...and a bunch of illiterate nomads at that.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  20. MythBusters

    Wahahahahahaha! What a bunch of fidiots! I'm sorry but this is SOOOOOOO ludicrous it's hilarious! Stop... please... my sides hurt!

    September 28, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • ajgorm

      The Anti Christ,,, the false prophet ,,,the leader of the next nuclear war ,,,the destroyer of NY city,,, is this the one they are talking about..Is it 3am YET !

      September 28, 2011 at 11:31 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.