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. leea lynch

    I think the historic election of the first black president, had brought out the ugliest, craziest, and wierdest people within our borders. Some people went out right after his election and bought weapons and swore it was time for a revolution because he was elected. These Tea Party people claim to be "patriot" because they want their country back, the one where black people could not be president. They do not represent all people, "government" is not broken, these tea party nuts are. This is just another one of the crazy tactics. Media needs to stop giving every nut out here attention.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  2. wwa

    Are people just crazy or WHAT?

    September 28, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  3. Jason Canty

    This is to fustrating. Its clearly a set up. They are trying EVERYTHING to not get him re-elected except you know do what was used to be done, be a better side then the current party in power.

    Since they can't build up all they do is tear down. Our nation has the potental to be the BEST in history and yet we are letting
    it fall appart. Its true, America can not be taken out by outside forces... only from with in.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  4. bachmanntwit

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

    September 28, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  5. Marge

    Why do so called sane people believe all this crap that these false christians organizations are throwing out there. These organizations are nothing but money making greedy people. The do not care about those that, if there was a Jesus, took care of , who fed the multiptude. Who helped the poor and the needy.

    These people preaching all this stuff and yelling about the anti-christ had a darn good candidate in Dick Cheney and let the opportunity go by. They are sick sick sick, just like the religious groups that takes their money from them. The corporations and the religious right are just Hades bent of money money money and the only way to pick people's pockets is to scream and whine about these ignorant ideas.

    Who in their right mind would even think that their God would kill billions of men, women and children who are innocent and have done absolutely nothing to any body because he wants "the end of times". These creatures who are running with this are trying to scare people into giving them their money and property. They tell the dopes who believe them that getting rid of all the own is the only way to get in to a Heaven. Which by their actions, again if there is one, they surely would not even come near.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  6. Skegeeace

    I don't think Christ would be involved in politics at all. He seemed to eschew "the system" all together and encourage the PEOPLE to help one another. He told PEOPLE to help the poor- not to vote to appeal to the government to do so. We wouldn't need welfare if we all did as He commanded.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • Jim

      I like your thoughts and agree.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  7. Memyself

    When your target audience is the christian right, then you label your enemy whatever the christian right sees as an enemy as well. The GOP is just doing some good propaganda (as usual).

    September 28, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  8. Edward

    If Obama was the Antichrist, he would not have this much trouble with the Republicans.. The bible itself says that Antichrist would unite.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  9. Jim

    I am intrigued by the level of conviction of Christians, Atheists and Agnostics. Due to the personal conviction which takes place for Christians, I find the later two parties the most intriguing due to the 'conviction' of denouncing the concept of God and Jesus. With focusing in on Atheists and Agnostics, webster defines 'conviction' as a strong persuasion or belief. These two things, persuasion and belief, are broadly and relentlessly discounted by these types of individuals. Persuasion and belief by nature require a certain level of unmanageable risk and uncertainty. This does not sit well. It especially does not sit well for millennial considerations like God or Hell or Heaven. This level of discomfort grows with the amount of persuasion or belief specific to the issue or challenge at hand.

    Note it does not sit well with Christians either. They were once Agnostic and even Atheist. And it doesn't mean they have lost their sense of reality. Countless atheists and agnostics have embraced faith and never looked back. Why?
    Because faith exists in the lives of agnostics and atheists. Faith in the brakes in the car they drive. Faith in the aeronautical engineering of airplanes they choose to fly in. Faith in assumed elevator technology which sweeps you up countless stories at speeds which if a malfunction occurred would kill. The entrusting of ones future to anything requires faith in that venture.

    Faith then is a commonality. The difference lies in what you put your faith in. And in order to make that choice you need conviction to do so and yes, even conviction not to do so.

    Straight up: There are perceived crazy Aethiests, Christians and Agnostics. I am a Christian and am so because of the life changing conviction that took place for me. It was a game changer. I can't make you believe that. What I can share is that it is real, has shown me the piercing affect love has on people and a renewed vision of humankind.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • tsilby

      This is true, "faith" does play a part in our everyday lives, whether we are believers or not...religious, non-, agnostic, etc. However, the faith you are mentioning relies on empirical soundness. We have faith in our brakes because the short history of vehicles using brakes has taught us that (random stat, but I'm sure it's close), 99.9% of the time they are going to do what they, and every other cars' brakes around us are supposed to do: stop the vehicle.
      That is not true of collective religion. Personal faith in a God is fine. It's when the collective faith tries to persuade the greater populace of their beliefs and convince them to believe in the same. They then use hell as a scare-tactic to coerce the less contemplative. (See the most recent attempt of that whacko out of California to convince us that the world, yet again, was ending...and how (yet again) he's changing it to a later date). Should I, much like any religious clairvoyance, have any 'faith' in what this man has to say? And if so....WHY?
      It's based on what "they" are experiencing (which, as a former Christian, I can proudly and confidently say is almost always self-induced euphoria). My point is that you mention faith as a matter of blind dependence on anything in the world, and to some degree you're right. The one time that the brakes fail, a person could ask themself "Why didn't I check the brakes before I left the house?!" Or the fact that we have 'faith' that we will receive a paycheck after a few weeks of work. Those at Enron years back I'm sure asked themselves, "Why didn't I listen to all the rumors in the company!?"
      Your argument that we/everyone has faith as a parallel to our inherent 'need' for religion is flawed in this sense. Our faith in everyday things is based on experience. However, for religious beliefs, the faith is based on generally unproven gossip passed down (and no doubt heavily influenced and ever-changing) over the centuries. NOTHING has ever shown that God has compassion for anyone...and rather, even the Bible itself points to a very mean God at times, literally one that "hardens a Pharoah's heart" so that his people will suffer...? There is obviously plenty more in the Bible that can throw any sensible believer for a loop. And it should. Everyone of your, and every faith, should question. Constantly.
      Here's a common line in disaster articles.
      "In the latest hurricane that killed more than 50 people, police have found a baby still alive in the rubble." (and the family goes on to say that God was watching over and what a miracle!) "Hallelujah, thank God."
      The Absurdity.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • Jim

      Thanks for your comments. Faith in Christ for me is also based on experience, just like my brakes. What if I told you that God was experientially better than 99.9% on what is best for me? Not some euphoric trip or episode. Real. Confirmed by others and their observations. And I actually 'get' that you might find this to also be absurd. I get that.

      If not God saving the child in the rubble, then chance? What is chance? What causes chance? Agnostics can't believe in chance.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Nothing causes chance. Chance in the case you are using it is a word we use to describe the outcome of an event. It does not describe all the variables because we cannot qualify them, such as a falling block being deflected from hitting someone because it bounced off another object as it was falling etc.
      And if god is the one that saves the child in the rubble he must therefore also be the one that allows others to be crushed to death rather than saving those.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • tsilby

      Jim, this is my point. YOU have your personal experience with Jesus and think that is a wonderful thing. For you, of course.
      But your experience in Jesus is not mine, nor do I ask that it be. I feel as though it would be more of a "placebo" effect if I asked him into my heart as many Christians phrase the conversionary language...i.e., I would suddenly feel more presence of him because I wanted him to be there. Make sense?
      But that is my take, and yours is yours. And I value greatly people who can hold to their convictions without pressing it on others. Your comments, although I obviously disagree with then, show an intelligent and rationale approach to why you believe or have faith in what you do. My comparison still stands, and like the other comment, chance to me is just that, the leftover result of an event. We have what's happened and we analyze. Human nature, nothing more...

      September 28, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  10. David GA VET

    With the major problems facing the USA it's amazing the petty ridiculous things some people want to worry about. I totally agree with El Flaco and John. Please Please save us from these reactionaries who apparently think they can be Christians while ignoriring Jesus and his teachings. The American Taliban is alive and spreading through out society.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:59 am |
  11. Skegeeace

    Of course they think the only black man to run is the ant-Christ. ::rolls eyes:: Crazy religious retards...

    September 28, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • TheWiz71

      Going to report your comment for your blanket statement that religious people are all "retards" (a heinous term to begin with). But, before I do, I will point out that there are A LOT of religious people, including a lot of Christians, who voted for President Obama, and will do so again, and think this whole "anti-christ" label is a ridiculous slander. So, think before you speak (or type).

      September 28, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  12. Bill


    I thought Ronny Reagan was the Anti-Christ, and then George Bush Sr, Bill Clintopn I thought was a womanizer, and then George W Bush had to be the anti-christ until I got a look of Bin Laden and the dictator from Iran. Obama is just another ego maniac, but at least he is trying with a congress that fights him on everything just because they don't like him or it is a black-white thing, or because he is being more fair equal with Israel and Palestine and their situation then any President since Jimmy Carter. Another words he does not appear to be one sided. His politics is not much different than Bill Clinton, except he is in there with a bunch of egotistical republicans set out to destroy the man as well as the country. If you ar middle class and don't vote for him, you are not truly middle class. The rich folks and corporations should be paying the same percentage of tax as the rest of the American Middle Class. We are the majority, how come it has never been so and we are even further apart then ever before. Our country is either ready for civil war or a revolutionary war.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:59 am |
  13. Colin

    I am an evangelical Christian who voted for Obama and will again. I received emails back during the Election claiming Obama was the anti-Christ from other Christians I knew and it made me sick. The logic doesn't even make sense. They were asking people not to vote for him because he could be the anti-Christ. Do they not stop to think how stupid this is? If he were the anti-Christ you would not be able to stop him by not voting for him and you should not want to stop him because you should want prophesy to come true and for the end times to come so that all can go to heaven. It's just all stupid. As an evangelical Christian I get so embarrassed by the actions and political stances of other Christians. Jesus would not have been pro-war or pro-extra tax cuts for the rich. He was about loving your enemy and taking care of the poor. He would have been in favor of trying to figure out a way for all to have affordable healthcare. The Republican party today has become nothing more than the ancestors of the Pharisees. The attempted marriage of some of the Republican party and Christianity is doing nothing but causing many who might be open to receiving the salvation of Christ to want to have nothing to do with it. It breaks my heart.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • Osama

      wow, great post!

      September 28, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  14. leecherius

    Not surprising as the GOP is in desperate straits so let's grasp at straws and forget real issues and resolutions and create a sensationalized image of the opposition.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:58 am |
  15. LawdJeebuz

    When will Americans WAKE UP and STOP using religion altogether. Religion serves no purpose but to exalt man and his agenda and control the masses. Man writes doctrine...not God.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  16. Bill

    That people actually believe this tripe - and that they vote - is what's troubling here. It has nothing to do with objective reality.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Shannon

      Precisely. The fact that such widespread mental illness doesn't disqualify people from casting votes in public elections will continue to create problems for the US.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  17. SOOO SAD

    President Obama is no more the anti-christ than Rick Perry is a conservative. Many evangelical ministers are allowing their strong republican party commitment and prejudice cloud their view of what his right. Note to the preachers; how will you explain your propetic utterance when Mr Obama leaves office and have proven that he is not the anti-christ as you want him to be. Be ready to give an answer and not use a lame excuse and admit it was your prejudice and not the bible that labled him falsely. And by they way, I am a born again minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Remember the words of Jesus, by love shall all men know that you are my disciple. So be it.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • LawdJeebuz

      Awesome post! Thanks!

      September 28, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  18. Michael

    I can't think of a US President that WASN'T accused of being the Anti-Christ.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Michael

      Even if the Bible is true, and the Anti-Christ exists, the Bible says the Anti-Christ is going to take over regardless. In other words, if he is real, you won't be able to stop him.

      "Uh oh! He's the Anti-Christ! We better make sure he isn't elected!"

      Yeah, doesn't work that way. If you can prevent the "Anti-Christ" from coming to power, he probably isn't the real Anti-Christ.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  19. YBP

    There is no such thing as an anti-Christ. What does that even mean? The opposite of the Chosen One? The unChosen One? Not chosen by whom? 100% Ridiculous. There are no gods, no messiahs, no magic spells, no images on toast, no bleeding statues, no virgin apparitions, no unicorns, no Santa Claus...I can go on and on. Wake up, America. Grow up. Sober up.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • JPX


      September 28, 2011 at 9:03 am |
  20. unhanon

    So wait, Obama is the Antichrist because he is trying to help the poor and needy in our country? I seem to remember Christ saying the two most important Commandments were 1. to love God above all else, and 2. to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Seems to me that putting into place policies to help the poor and needy fits the number 2 commandment pretty well.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • David GA VET

      Great post. I wish more people expressed similar beliefs. If anything the GOP seems to be the ones who are Anti Christ..

      September 28, 2011 at 9:14 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.