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. Salty Bob

    In the beginning man created the gods
    The truth about organized religion. I hope you glean a small bit of useful information as I have. What games religion is playing in America and the world today? We live in a country where we can choose for ourselves how much or little Religion we want in our lives, but the followers of most religions just don’t understand the word no. Not in my life not in my schools not in my government, NO, is the choice I have made for me and my family, the following reasons are part of the problem as I see it.
    First: religion is in no way real. The word religion or god is nothing more than an expression or product of human fear and weaknesses or imagination. The Bible/Koran, a collection of ancient myths and stories borrowed from many different cultures over thousands of centuries. Followers of Christianity, Islam, and others want to make decisions for us based on their interpretation of myths and stories from ages past that have change from teller to teller until were left with what we see today.
    These groups' are working hard and spending millions trying to influence our politician to pass laws based on their interpretation of these myths. Trying to convert the USA into a religious state. The only way this will end if things continue as they are is one group will out spend another and gain control in instant we could be living in the United Sates of Islam, sounds kinda funny but there are at the moment 2 sects with the money it will take to make the leap and crush the Wall of Separation. The Wall of Separation is supposed to protect us from all religions infringement upon our schools teachings of science to find real truth and knowledge. Not try and recruit our kids with fairytales or with some aged dogma from an era long dead, our children deserve better.
    Second: Organized Religions have overstepped their boundaries on many occasions. It divides us as a people to choose ignorance over logic, to forsake the future for a ruthless past. Religion started with early mans rites and ceremonies to honor nature, it grew into Charlemagne outright murder of the innocent in the name of Christianity, to jets crashing into towers killing thousands in the name of Islam. The time of burning witches, belief in a flat earth, the murdering of doctors, and crimes against women and children or the followers of gods many other immoral and vile acts against humanity as a whole can no longer and should no longer be tolerated, no matter what religious book or god they believe demands it, religious leaders must be held to account for the acts of its followers.
    Third: Coerced observance is the main method these groups use. Worship me or you will be tortured in a pit of fire for all eternity or, murdered outright. Fear mongering, tyranny, Remember the Dark Ages religions rule in that dark, distant past did not serve our ancestors well. Many of these groups place supernatural abilities on some of their members, kinda like the early versions of super heroes, born of a virgin nice trick or walk on water, hmm or cure the blind and sick shamans come to mind, super strength Hercules so many more. Throughout history you will find many who have claimed special abilities or feats. From every religious group again more fairytales entertainment for people who had very little else to do and lots of free time for the mind to wonder. No interpretation no matter how subtle can change the fact that their holy books are nothing more than a collection stories meant to entertain or teach something to the children or control people of that era nothing more.
    Fourth: We put our trust in our elected officials to maintain the wall of separation, to prevent religions ever-reaching grasp from tainting the consideration of new laws! This country was not founded on the rule of anyone's religion, but more the lack of religious influence in the governing of this country. But time and again you hear religious overtones spouting out of our leaders, and wannabe leaders, the wall is crumbling.
    If anyone of good conscience should agree with what I have said band together, so we can bring this country the very world we live on into the 21st century free of these groups and revel in all the promise this century has to offer so our children's children's children can look back in pride and say they did this for us and our posterity. This is after all a very small world and a great leaping point into the vast unknown. I so hope more minds are opened and see beyond the centuries of engrained dogma. I just hope we have not destroyed it all by that time.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:07 am |
    • durundal

      well said

      September 28, 2011 at 9:19 am |
  2. donna in FL

    The evangelical dingbats are the biggest threat to an American citizen's personal freedom. They continue to foist their crackpot ideas into our legislation.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  3. Edward

    He may not be the Anti-Christ (which we will only know if his actions were to mirror the book of Revelation), but i think we can at least say that he is the Anti-Reagan.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  4. person

    ....has anybody ever actually picked up a bible and said "You know what...this is loony and I want no part of it"? ....maybe outside of Americaland (or as us Americans know it as, the entire world) they do...I dunno.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:07 am |
    • mikey

      Haha, sadly, many outside of americaland have their own books of tales as well.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:09 am |
  5. Jim

    Please. LIke this is news? The Right-Wing Christian Conservatives have labeled him this since before he took office. Why? Because they are afraid. They are afraid that if he succeeds, all their ranting about how the Right is the better economic Party, or how the Liberals are evil will all be proven wrong. Guess what? Those things have already BEEN proven. These are the same people who want Biblical Studies taught in Public Schools. Get over yourselves. Obama isn't the Anti-Christ, and neither was Bush, and neither is any elected official. It's time we stop thinking like a bunch of 3rd Century BC zealots and start thinking like modern, civilized people. And let others do what they want.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  6. Hutch

    Separation of Church and State... Religion has no place in Government.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • durundal

      tell that to the tea party and the republicans, or have you not noticed the positions they take on anything that would overlap with religion?

      September 28, 2011 at 9:16 am |
  7. Blah Blah

    Blah Blah....more nothing on this site..

    September 28, 2011 at 9:06 am |
  8. Stephen

    Anti-Christ? Let's face it, it's just plain old racism with a convenient handle.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:06 am |
  9. Kenjones

    I just feel sorry for us of a. This country is finished. A country whos foundation is solidly built on race is heading to its doom. USA your days are coming to and end. This is a country i loved and cherished as a child, , it is sad how the end of times is coming down on it so fast. You will never have a president like Obama again. America you are cursed. The world has your all about this county , and would be better off without this bunch of evil people. China is your death staring down on you.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  10. durundal

    Go figure, in times of crisis the idiots come out of the woodwork and the foolish become susceptible. Just think, they have a vote just like the rest of us...

    September 28, 2011 at 9:04 am |
  11. Art

    I used to think he was the antichrist, but now I think he is the set up guy for the antichrist. His intent is to screw up everything so bad, that the antichrist can come in and make everything all better.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • durundal

      Oh, you mean all the filibustering and economic hostage taking was a means of paving the way for people like Perry or Romney? Im shocked!

      September 28, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  12. Eye625

    This is a stupid article, I am sorry I wasted my time reading it.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:04 am |
  13. STR

    Do you realy think Jesus is the true God?
    Here is scripture from Jesus that none of the trinitarians can answer.
    [Jesus prayed]
    "This is eternal life that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ who you have sent."
    John 17:3

    There are many many other scripture verses that totally contradict the trinity.
    The trinity was formalized by the church leaders and Constantine in 325 AD but was never ever taught by Jesus, the apostles, or Bible writers.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • Edward

      Jesus also said things like, "I and the Father am one.", "Before Abraham was, I Am", If you have seen me, you have seen the Father". Apostle John wrote "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God... {thru verse 18}" Throughout the New Testament, in various ways, it is proclaimed that Jesus is equal to God the Father. While we may not know 100% of that relationship and how it goes back into eternity past, suffice it to say that He is part of the Godhead.... and this has nothing to do with what Constantine (the follower of the sun-god) did.... though this guy did accomplish the corruption of the Christian church in the aftermath of making it "legal". If Jesus did not claim equality with God, then why did the Pharisees and their ilk want to stone him once or twice?

      September 28, 2011 at 9:24 am |
  14. Pete

    I thought our society had reached a level of education where we no longer needed to believe in made up explainations for why things are the way they are. I think this is why we are falling so far behind the rest of the world, as we are still relying on religion to guide our decisions, where the rest of the world relys on scientific facts and common sense.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • durundal

      If anything the level of education in this country is sinking, and along with it goes american innovation and invention...But as long as they get to thump bibles and preach old folksy values, whats the harm of reverting to a third world country so we can get all those wonderful subminimum wage jobs they want back so desperately

      September 28, 2011 at 9:09 am |
  15. Lex

    Well, he certainly isn't the messiah. My guess is he is an athiest down in his heart..

    September 28, 2011 at 9:04 am |
  16. pld123

    “ Is there a gathering movement”, Yes, if they, the opposing party thinks it will work, and given the mentality of the population lately it might work. Is he the Antichrist, I doubt it. I’m a Christian and believe that there will be an end time and there will be an Antichrist. Why not Obama, because the Antichrist will have all these ideas to fix things that the majority of the world, notice I said world, will think are great. That is far from the case today. I doubt America plays a big part in that, we have been sold out by large corporations on the global quest for riches. I suspect the aniti Christ will pop up somewhere else. Conditions are better than ever, just watch what happens in Israel, that’s the key, along with all the economic mess and disparities between the have and have not’s.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:03 am |
  17. grist

    It is so hard to imagine that in 2011 when we know through Science how we evolved and that the creation myths are clearly myths, that we still talk about supernatural gods. Amazing that it is so important for politicians to pay lip service to silly religious ideas. And people really believe in an anti-Christ? There is a distinct lack of evidence that Jesus was actually an historical figure. So it is hard to think there is an anti-Christ when there is no evidence that there was even a Christ!

    September 28, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • Jen

      SInce when did theories become facts?

      September 28, 2011 at 9:09 am |
    • mikey

      I dunno, that sounds like something the anti-christ would say.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:09 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "Jen – SInce when did theories become facts?"

      At the same time people tried to equate a scientific theory with meaning a everyday guesswork theory.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • grist

      Evolution is a fact. For a scientific idea to reach the level of a theory, means that there is overwhelming evidence for it.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:53 am |
  18. Dustin

    Should we be surprised? Bush was the devil, Clinton was the serpent, and now Obama is the Antichrist. No matter who is in office, we live in a world where a message, as delusional or nonsensical as it may be, can carry miles, and cross borders once impossible.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • durundal

      very sad, but very true. Maybe some day the board of education shall drive forth the stupidity of the masses

      September 28, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  19. LawdJeebuz

    When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. Think GOP.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • AmericanSam

      Exactly. Fascism plays on the people who really don't understand anything at all.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  20. C from Iowa

    This is news? A quick google search turns up web pages accusing Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Jimmy Carter, JFK, and other U.S. presidents of all being the Antichrist.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:02 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.