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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. NYC REPUB

    This has been going on since 2008.....It is very up front in popular christian circles these days.....Check out John Hagee's teachings on Israel lately? He has teaching billboards w/ Obama's name mentioned, basically saying he's a catalyst for the end times.......Creepy scary stupid stuff.....The only thing that's creepier is that these preachers have an audience of millions who don't question anything being said, but take it as gospel.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:44 am |
    • Peter

      It is one thing to oppose Obama's politices. It is quite another thing to paint him as some kind of leader of an Anti-Christian movement. That is just whack-job nonsense.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • Tex71

      Hagee is about as creepy as they come. Claims to be a spiritual man but he is as wide as he is tall and took time out of a sermon I had to attend for social reasons to tell the congregation he would like to gorge on cookies until he burst. Even aside from his paranoid schizoid rants and obsession with 1st century politics, this man is a poster child for gluttony. The only people who would listen to him are driven by ignorance, religious fanaticism, and racism.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  2. cgt465

    The antichrist, really? Really? I'm not big on reading religious writings, I prefer my fiction to be entertaining, but for those who take it as non-fiction, wouldn't the anti-christ be powerful, nearly omnipotent in power and at the very least NEVER pander to ANYONE?
    My cat is as likely the antichrist as Obama is. Seriously, If you remotely believe this drivel get yourself checked out at your local mental health facility. You are a detriment to society.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:44 am |
    • KM

      There aren't enough psychiatrists to offset the crazy christian fundies... there are just so many fundies.. it is mind boggling that some members of humanity are still so ignorant.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:48 am |
  3. Chris

    Obama is not the AntiChrist...he just doesn't know what he is doing

    September 28, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • Chara

      You are correct, yet any Republican would be a hundred or a thousand times worse in terms of not knowing what the hell they were doing.
      We need a better Democrat or truly Independent to run. Obama is semi-fail, but Republicans are total-fail and always will be.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  4. Bo

    @11:11 I give credit to atheist for knowing the Bible very well, so I'm surprised that you said that 'anti-Christ' isn't even mentioned in the Bible when the word is found 4 times in 1 John

    September 28, 2011 at 8:42 am |
  5. Laura

    The bible describes the anti-Christ as "Assyrian." People need to read.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • Carmen

      Now now everyone knows that republicans are immune to facts

      September 28, 2011 at 8:54 am |
  6. Ryan

    CNN, you suck. Stop printing this garbage.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • El Flaco

      Why should CNN choose NOT to print the truth? Explain please.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:41 am |
  7. donna in FL

    James, you said it so well.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:40 am |
  8. OtherSilentBob

    So if heaven is going to be filled with people like Mary Hillsbrough, who th'hell would want to go there anyway?

    September 28, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Jess

      Not me.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  9. Jerry

    he that believes in nothing stands for nothing. It is the generation of the fig tree that the Jesus describes will live until his return. witch began in 1948 when isreal became a nation.So how much time do we have? Obama is not the antichrist he has proven he does not have the awesome power that will be displayed to man that will decieve even more peple that do not have the seal in their heads and the armore of God to protect them . good luck and God bless America.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:38 am |
  10. LawdJeebuz

    Religion in general is horrible and should have no part in the way you run a country. These so called "Christians" are pathetic and twist their religion to match their own demented thinking. Sick.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:38 am |
  11. Rudedog

    There was a Klan sponsored attempt to stop desegregation in Little Rock, Ak. in 1959. The signs of the racists read "Race mixing is communism" and "Stop the race mixing march of the anti-christ"
    It is clear that stirring up religious beliefs will get people to act(see 9/11 attack) Using religion for evil is not new and will always be weapon weilded by the weak minded.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:37 am |
  12. R

    From the day, this guy took office, republicans have started hate mongering campaign. I got letter from my son's school with a form to opt out from Obama's speech. That is wrong. Believe me, Bush was worst than Obama. Still, I wouldn't sign such form and never opt out from Bush's speech. However much I hate him, I would never forget that he is president and he has right to speak.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • LawdJeebuz

      My son got the same letter from his school asking parents to opt out of the President's speech today. Are you kidding me?

      September 28, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • donna in FL

      That is horrible! All they are doing is teaching their students to disrespect the Presidency. What a miserable lesson for a school to teach! Bush was the worst president in US History but I would have never permitted my children to 'opt out' of a presidential address.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:42 am |
  13. Ms Kira

    If he was the anti Christ i would think that he would have had more power to make GOP stop giving him a hard time... he obviously has not been successful at that.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  14. chip

    Well if CNN makes it a prominent story on their front page, then yeah, you'll probably see more of this. What absurd reporting. You know what you should do with stuff like this? Ignore it. Unless, of course, you have an agenda.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  15. bleedtruth

    Question:The anti-christ would likely say Jesus is Lord, right? After all he knows more painfully than anyone.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • Alyssa

      So that puts every Christian in the running?

      September 28, 2011 at 8:43 am |
  16. Joe Truth

    This is no different than Maxine Watters saying the Tea Party can go to hell. No matter what your view, it's incited by the vitrol that spews from uncivilized discourse. It's your fault.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • Duh

      Everyone knows he's too stupid to be the antichrist. Let's move on.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:40 am |
  17. El Flaco

    These evangelical dingbats are only marginally sane. They are growing from being a mere nuisance to being a national problem.

    FYI: Scholars have identified the Antichrist as Nero, who was Emperor of Rome when Revelation was being written. Apparently, '666' is a numerological or astrological code for Nero's name. Astrology and numerology was widely believed by early Christians and pretty much everyone else who was alive at the time.

    So relax, the "End Times" have come and gone.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:33 am |
  18. Pat in IL

    No genuine Christian would say such a thing. If this is all Obama's detractors can come up with, then they have no policies of their own to present. Just spewing hate and lies is not going to win them the election.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:31 am |
    • bleedtruth

      careful now. Your idea of "genuine Christian" may be different than another "genuine Christian." Then what?

      September 28, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • Joe Truth

      Good point. Let's return to the discussion of the President's Democratic Socialist agenda versus the Tea Party free market economy, freedom and personal responsibility.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • donna in FL

      You're absolutely correct, Pat. These fools are spewing hatred because they are incapable of saying anything relevant and intelligent.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Tex71

      bleedtruth, I think any sane and even halfway literate person would define "genuine Christian" as someone who believes and lives by the teachings of Christ (as opposed to explaining away everything He said about social responsibility and reverting to the Mosaic law). Here's what Christ said about people you disagree with: "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, pray for those who despitefully use you." So yes, it is very reasonable to say that folks who call themselves Christian while engaging in hate speech against their President have a big problem with hypocrisy.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • Carmen

      Pat if these people even touched a bible it would probably go up in flames

      September 28, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  19. Leo

    Atheist would say the world is coming to an end since all the natural resources are used up, A Christian would say the end is near since Christ would be returning....either way when it's all gone where are you going to be??

    September 28, 2011 at 8:31 am |
    • El Flaco

      Jesus isn't coming back, but we are running out of resources, so you are half right.

      The bones of Jesus are beneath some parking lot in Jerusalem.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • Your god is a fossil

      @El Flaco
      You are correct, and assuming our use of oil in the future it's quite possible one day someone may be powering a machine or driving their car on "Jesus Juice"

      September 28, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  20. James

    Christians should read their bible and be led by the teachings of Jesus!. Love your God, love your neighbor as yourself, feed the widows and the orphans, visit those who have been neglected by society.....aka corporate America. Grow up Christians and read the entire New Testament, not just bits and pieces served up by pastors who have no business leading congregations down dark paths of pure ignorance.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:29 am |
    • Yep

      Well said James! I saw a bumper sticker once that read "Jesus called, he wants his religion back". I believe religion went off the tracks when it became organized.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • Tex71

      The real problem Wall Street has with Jesus is that His teachings do not result in much of a profit margin.
      The real problem social conservatives have with Jesus is that if they followed His teachings, they would have nobody to hate.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:48 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.