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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. ghostmule

    For all of you Idiots that speak against God, you are the antichrist aswell. The Antichrist is not a person, but a movement. Notice how in recent years, more and more people are cursing God. When I was growing up, noone ever did that!! Even the people that had problems with God showed respect. Now, the antichrist movement has begun. If you are cursing and dissing God, then you are part of the Antichrist. The fact is, you don't know if it's a fairy tale or not. You're just so shallow minded, that nothign exists outside of your selfish, self centered little world.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Bill

      And you call yourself a Christian?

      September 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • gager

      You have it wrong, there is no god to curse.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Clay

      I kind of agree with those last two sentences, but the rest is a bit off. The Antichrist is a real person. What you were referring to is the spirit of the Antichrist, this movement centered around removing god from everything. Or trying to anyway.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • ghostmule

      Well, I can tell you this through experience. We are not the know all end all of everything. There is something supernatural and extremely intelligent that created the universe. God created the aliens and us. He created trillions of planets and a vast expanse that is teaming with life. We are all connected to this source like an old telephone operator board. Im not a holy roller, or a bible thumper. I cuss, I smoke and make dirty jokes sometimes. However, I believe in God. It takes a real man to believe in God, and a self centered person not to.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • gager

      ghostmule, put down your mouse and turn off your lights. Almost all the good things in life to increase human comforts were brought to you by atheists. Do a Wiki search of famous atheists. I love George Clooney, he is an atheist.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • saopaco

      Sorry, I do not subscribe to your ridiculous notions. I do not believe in your invisible man in the sky, nor am I part of a movement to tear down the pillars of your belief. I just do not care enough about what I view as your fairy tales to bother. I do not think that this is shallow-mindeness on my part (reason, perhaps), I think it is shallow-minded of you to insist that I do belong to your religion either as an angel or a devil)when I clearly don't.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • John Richardson

      ANother Christian who thinks that if there is anything "beyond" humanity, it can't possibly be another of the other ten thousand gods humans have worshipped, let alone something we don't and may never truly understand. Nope, it's jolly old Jehovah and his sidekick Jesus or nothing. If that were really the only options, I'd be all in on nothing.

      Anyway, some atheists are amongst the least self-centered people you'll ever get to know, if you in fact do bother to get to know them.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • dragon8me

      I'll be God-damned, I didn't know that!

      September 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • ghostmule

      Something happened to me in my life, that proved there was something supernatural above us. I was suffering form alcoholism and was drinking myself to death. This went on for over 20 years, I was completely hopeless. Also, I had no belief in God whatsoever. I thought it was ridiculous to think that there was a spiritual power higher than almighty me. In treatment, this old man talked to me. He told me to pray, even if I didn't believe. At first, I was offended. I didn't believe in God and I didn't want to be bothered with it. However, I was craving alcohol and was also suicidal. Oneday, I hit my knees beside my bed and prayed, even though I didn't believe. From that moment till now, I had lost the desire to self destruct. A peace came over me and I was free. It proved to me that I was connected to a source.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • ghostmule

      Also, Ive never once mention any specific God. Everyone just automatically thinks Im Christian.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • The Antichrist

      You know for a fact that God created aliens and everything in the universe.... Please share your findings with the rest of the world so that we can relish in your enlightenment. Sorry, but God will go the way of Zeus and all the other fairy tales once our society becomes more educated in truth, not stories. Soon ghostmul, you will be remembered as one of those silly christians that believed an old man lived in the sky....

      September 28, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @ghostmule I drank even longer than you did and stopped almost 7 years ago. Nothing supernatural about it. If believing in a higher power helped you, great. But don't be so arrogant that you assume everyone has the same needs or wants you do.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Oh, and yes, people will assume you are a Christian if you insist on using terms like Antichrist.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • saopaco

      Happy to hear that you stopped drinking. Good on you!

      Whatever works, man.

      FYI – People assume that you are christian because you use the term anti-christ.

      So what are you then? Muslim?

      September 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  2. Bill

    Oh, it's a movement alright....a large, smelly, corn-packed BOWEL movement.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  3. Jim8

    The KKK is a Christian organization.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • u r a nutjob

      .........and they are special. They ride the short bus.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Clay

      The KKK is a cult. It twisted Christian beliefs. The same way Nazi's twisted Atheism to support the Holocaust, and the same way every religion has some kind of cult. Except maybe agnostics... I dunno, it would be kind of hard to make an agnostic cult.
      Anyway, that's not Christianity. It's a group of people twisting a system of beliefs to justify their hatred. Get your facts straight.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  4. u r a nutjob

    i am so tired of you fools getting it wrong........I AM TH ANTICHRIST

    September 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  5. Clay

    Please note before reading, this is not directed at all Atheists, just the really 'In your face' ones. Like the ones who put up those 'Christmas is a myth' signs, and the ones saying things like "Religious faith is a mental disorder. It's high time we started treating it as such." and "Religion should be made illegal." We live in a country that believes in freedom of religion, deal with it.
    Anyway... A lot of Atheists seem to be misguided and believe they have an absolute dead-set answer that cannot be challenged. Lets go back to elementary school level science and review what a theory is, shall we?
    Theory-n, a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation.
    They aren't proven. A theory is a possible explanation for how something happened that hasn't been proven, and only exists because it can't be easily disproven.
    For more information on how you're all just in denial, read some of this about evolution being scientifically disproved.
    http://ldolphin.org/wmwilliams.html
    Stop acting like you have a better answer then any other religion, you're doing the exact same thing you accuse them of doing.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • The Antichrist

      Well tell the religious right to use that same elementary science to look at evolution....

      September 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • John Richardson

      It's scientific illiterates like you that have created the militant atheists. You want people to read some obscure website that claims that evolution has been scientifically disproven when in fact all biological scientists, professors, museum curators accept it as fact. It's as well established as Newton's THEORY of gravity, indeed better established, as Newton's theory has been fundamentally superseded in a way that Darwin's has not. When science is taught in every public school science class and religion is kept in the homes and churches, only a "live and let live" peace between believers and non-believers be conceivable.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • saopaco

      Clay,
      "Theory-n, a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation.
      They aren't proven. A theory is a possible explanation for how something happened that hasn't been proven, and only exists because it can't be easily disproven."
      Here is a hypothetical:
      You believe in god and I do not. We wish to have an argument to determine god's existence. You say I must prove that god does not exist, I counter that you must prove that god does exist.
      Who should take the burden of proof?
      I would say that since you insist that God exists, that you have the burden of proving this to be. I would expect to have to prove that aliens, the Loch Ness Monster, or Santa Claus if I was insisting to you that they exist. I would not put it on you to prove that the Loch Ness Monster does NOT exist.

      So, on the day that you can prove to me that god exists, then I will update my philosophy. Until then, I would appreciate it if some of the community of religious people would stop pushing so hard to have their views foisted onto everyone else.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Tim

      Still working on that theory of supernatural deities and their kids based on one compilation book written by a bunch of people and re-translated over centuries by selected cults are you? The theory of evolution is based on experimentation, analysis of observable facts and fits the data. You can argue what caused the big bang and what was before it, but evolution (change) happens and is observable.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • J.W

      I am curious about this. Some of the species that we have found of primates, all that has been found are skull fragments or teeth or something like that. How do scientists know that it is a different species when the fossils are just part of the skeleton? How do we know that those parts have been perfectly preserved? Could it be a fossil of some other species that just became warped?

      September 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @JW Even an absolutely perfect fossil primate or hominid or what have you will give you perfectly detailed information only of the bones and teeth, plus some ligature marks that will tell you SOME facts about ligaments, tendons and muscles. Other things have to be inferred. A larger skull certainly suggests a larger brain. A robust chest cavity suggests powerful lungs and heart. How the bones fit together can tell you about posture, which in turn can tell you about gait. There's a lot more to paleontology than g=just collecting and identifying fossils, and a lot more to evolutionary theory than what fits neatly into paleontology, let alone simple fossil collection.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  6. dowdotica

    by the way in respects to health care for all? do the math. if say 150,000,000 working Americans pay a minimum of $500 a year in a health care tax or maybey even a thousand think of the sheer amount of money that would be available. Not to mention a government sponsered program would in fact have to be NOT FOR PROFIT. So then others would not be making gang wads of $$$ on shafting people out of their already over priced rip off insurance!!! You know the jump through hoops syndrom some of us have to do just to get a stupid MRI. The best one yet? I new a women with breast cancer. her insurance wouldn't cover further MRI so rather then stick her for the whole thing the hospital had its own MRI machine and offered to do it for her for a fraction of the cost. Something is seriously wrong with this type of consumer screwing! She still wound up having to pay out the nose for something that should have been part of coverage.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  7. RUSH

    The night is black
    Without a moon
    The air is thick and still
    The vigilantes gather on
    The lonely torch lit hill

    Features distorted in the flickering light
    The faces are twisted and grotesque
    Silent and stern in the sweltering night
    The mob moves like demons possessed
    Quiet in conscience, calm in their right
    Confident their ways are best

    The righteous rise
    With burning eyes
    Of hatred and ill-will
    Madmen fed on fear and lies
    To beat and burn and kill

    They say there are strangers who threaten us
    In our immigrants and infidels
    They say there is strangeness too dangerous
    In our theaters and bookstore shelves
    That those who know what's best for us
    Must rise and save us from ourselves

    Quick to judge
    Quick to anger
    Slow to understand
    Ignorance and prejudice
    And fear walk hand in hand...

    September 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • dragon8me

      One of my favorite songs by my favorite band. Back on the caravan to the passage to Bankok.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • aubrie

      Excellent.... thank you.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  8. firebird9999

    This country is filled with fanatic religious crazies who want to control not only our government but all the rest of us who don't believe as they do. We had better be careful or we'll wind up with a USA version of the Holocaust, and if you think it can't happen here you're wrong.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • hippypoet

      there is two ways of thought, there is a god, or the truth.... which are you? no belief system is based on who is the worst just who is the best.. think about it, thats how people converted others, they spoke crap about there gods saying they are less then theres... and then gave examples of bogus stories passed down from father to son and therefore taken as gospel.... retarted!

      September 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • hippypoet

      that above post wasn't meant as a reply but a post of its own, very sry.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  9. hippypoet

    so the article says there is a movement to "PAINT" obama... thats kinda hard to do, i mean, is he just gunna stand there and let people paint him? watch out mr. pres. they might try to paint your hand red then blame you for bush's screw ups! i can't imagine a better pres. then him to have entered office with such a mess to deal with. he has handled himself very well, mich better then most have in similar situations.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  10. gager

    If Oboma is the anti-christ and this is the end of times it should make all those idiot christians happy because they're going to that magical place in the sky. Idiots/

    September 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  11. dragon8me

    These people are insane. I'm the anti-christ. Lol. This guy can't even bring the country together let alone the world.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  12. Bond

    I am a Christian, and very much ashamed at the depth to which hatred and racism has eaten into the fabric of Christian dogma in the united states, as I see the so-called 'Christian evangelicals' no different from a hate group of bigoted white supremacists who will go to any length to destroy the image of a fine intelligent black president. I am equally disappointed with CNN for buying into this madness of Antichrist characterization of the president, you've got inexhaustible valuable news and information to disseminate, stop giving voice to indifference and hatred toward people in the name of freedom of speech....this is more dangerous than the Islamic extremism the US dreads so badly.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  13. Emmett O'Riley

    For all you front row christians out there. Put down the bible and read something else once in a while, like a history book or a science book. You people are the worst fan club a superstar could ask for. How do you that Jeebus hasn't already been here and left because he wasn't recognized? The prevailing myth was that he was from the middle east so he couldn't possibly resemble the blonde haired blue eyed white bread suburbanite you see in all those pictures.
    Or even better, how do you know he isn't the man on the corner with a cardboard sign asking for help? That's how I think we're being tested by him.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • The Antichrist

      Or He was just a man and can't really come back and it is up to use to uphold his teachings and not just wait around like a bunch of dumb sheep waiting for their dead Shepard to come back and tell them where to find new grass to eat

      September 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  14. ProgressiveMike

    Another perfect example of the absurdity of extreme religious belief. Barack Obama, the antichrist. End times are coming nearer. People being instantaneously whisked into the heavens, never to return. Okay then! With so many people that far removed from reality, how is America ever supposed to solve its REAL problems? Makes it much harder when a significant portion of the voting public subscribes to fairy tales like this.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Aces

      Correct, and then we have people like you that despite all the evidence in Europe and here to the contrary, still believe in the progressive socialist utopia idea.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • saopaco

      I just wish they would hurry up and get whisked away, already. Leave the rest of us in peace and maybe we could have a rational discourse.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  15. calinfidel

    Oh yeah, that will REALLY hurt him. I say bring it on, show the Hard Right for the delusional nutcases they are. I know there are moderates on the right, but they're not as interesting or entertaining as the ones who behave as if religion matters more than anything in leadership. Centrists on either side of the fence have little influence any more – even if they speak up and separate themselves from the extremists, they get buried by the likes of the Tea Party, who paint compromisers as evil. So yeah, let the wingnuts put on their little show for us.... and pray that some semblance of intelligent sanity prevails.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  16. Beast Exposed

    So here is something real to ponder if you want to try identify the beast among candidates 🙂 Some time ago a story circulated about a computer being programmed to identify the mark of the beast. The logical method that was used was to assign a multiple of 6 to each letter of the alphabet, since the mark is 666, i.e. A = 6, B =12 etc. You can do this pretty simply with a spreadsheet. You then type in the letters of the name, add them up and if they equal 666, voila! You may think this would have thousands of matches, but it is actually very hard to make matches. Ironically when it was originally put out there where two matches – COMPUTER and NEW YORK.
    Since then I have jokingly done this with every single possible candidate for president every 4 years, including all the elected presidents of the last 20 years (including President Obama). When I saw this article I pulled out my spreadsheet and typed in all the names. None matched, the closest was Michelle Bachmann.

    Until I realized that Michele only has one L in her name, and lo and behold – Michele Bachmann comes out as 666 using this method. Wonder if a movement will start up labelling her as the The Beast now?

    September 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • svann

      The bible used to say Six hundred three score and six, but I notice modern bibles shortened it to just the simple digits. Its not a string of digits though. Its a number.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • psonmyx

      I tried this and found that "Kissinger" also came out to = 666. Only one other name came up to the same number and that was my name.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • The Antichrist

      No she is just A Beast..

      September 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • aubrie

      Good Lord. (no pun intended) YOu have stirred up a hornets nest now... Imagine all the ding bats and haters having to readjust their thinking to consider that the "anti-Christ" could in fact be a female.... LOL LOL

      September 28, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • PaulMcCaffrey1978

      Nice!

      September 28, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  17. kbnj

    I find it difficult to believe this isn't just another liberal reporter trying to cast religious folks and/or Republicans as nutbags. Again. I'm not religious, but I find it very offensive.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  18. Justicepagol

    I believe, there is only One God – there is NO Muslim God, Buddhist God, Christian God, Hindu God, or Jews God. There is only one creator – supreme creator for the whole universe and mankind (this is my belief so far J). If I think my God is superior to other’s God, it is a belief – an arrogance and ignorance. To believe or having the faith of No God is more (if not equal) arrogance and ignorance.

    I think, GOD sent all the prophets since the beginning of time only to establish “equality and justice”. Equality is the law of nature. Inequality cannot exist in nature. If we look at nature, we will see high pressure wind goes towards low pressure wind until equality is established. High level fluid flows towards low level fluid until level is equalized. We have all the problems in the world because we have violated this universal law of nature – “equality”. Until we establish “equality”, we cannot have justice. And unless we have justice, we cannot have GOD – because God is LOVE, God is JUSTICE

    September 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • redragon

      but I'm betting... "god" has never spoken to you.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • The Antichrist

      And we will never have equality because religious ppl will always think that their god is the only god and everyone else is wrong and has to convert or die....

      September 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Social species typically have dominance hierarchies. Equality is by no means a low of nature.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • saopaco

      Buddhism is not about worshipping a god.
      I have no opinion on the rest of your theory, save that I do not believe that there is any god.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  19. Ray

    God only lives inside peoples brains and it divides people. The human race will never unify if people continue to believe in fairy tales. I am not saying that people shouldn't have the right to believe in whatever they want to believe, but we did have that thing call, "The Separation of Church and State", people in the public eye should do their job, and not speak about religion, that's personal.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  20. Ohs

    My question is, the day Barack Obama isn't president anymore, will they still consider him the Antichrist? NO. They'll move onto somebody else. It's happened again and again and these religious nutjobs are so blinded by their perverted faith, they can't even see how inconsistent their theories are. Its quite pathetic.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
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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.