What Fresh Hell Is This?

November 19, 2008

Crazie: Obama as Anti-Christ

But this "story" isn't from the wingnut right, it's from NEWSWEEK, for God's sake!

The author, Lisa Miller, is careful enough with her prose so that it doesn't exactly look like she's wondering whether President-elect Obama is the Anti-Christ - it's only those Millennialist Christians who do.

There's little doubt as to what she believes, however, when she writes:
Ever since Jesus Christ was crucified and, according to the Gospels, rose again in glory, his followers have been anticipating the end of history—the time when their Lord will return to earth and reign for a thousand years.
Before Christ comes again, those who are saved will ascend to heaven, according to this end-times theology, in a huge, upward whoosh called the Rapture.
I don't normally pounce on the religiously minded as most of the faithful I know are rational and caring people, but this is not just crazy, but Alan Keyes crazy.

Some other reactions.

Media Matters:
In a Newsweek article headlined "Is Obama the Antichrist?" senior editor Lisa Miller treated as newsworthy purported debate among some "conservative Christians" over whether President-elect Barack Obama is "the Antichrist." In doing so, she gave credibility to the views of RaptureReady.com editor and founder Todd Strandberg, who has, among other things, smeared gays and lesbians, Islam, progressives, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
American Prospect:
Newsweek is giving some real space to the cranks this time around, with Lisa Miller seriously considering the evidence that Barack Obama is the anti-Christ. Miller notes that Raptureready website founder Todd Strindberg has been getting a lot of emails lately, including one that notes that "one of the winning lottery numbers in the president-elect's home state was 666."
These people have been using the same kind of "evidence" to predict an imminent rapture for centuries, and always to great disappointment, something Miller forgets to mention. How exactly will gay people having the right to marry and women having the right to choose "threaten the freedom" of religious conservatives? And how exactly do these positions -- which are shared by millions, not to mention the other likely Democratic candidates, provide a compelling case that Obama is the anti-Christ?
I wouldn't normally apply such a gross generalization ever, but in this case for the crazies who believe Obama's the anti-Christ (and those irresponsible in the media who push the story) Abu'l-Ala al Maarri may in deed have been right:
The world is divided into two sects, Those with religion but no brains. And those with brains but no religion.
Crazie: Obama as anti-Christ


EdHeath said...

I have the issue, but I haven't read the article yet (tonight or t lunch if I can get it online). But I gotta say, based on those snippets, I ain't seeing what you're seeing.

But I believe the story is news-worthy, unfortunately. I lot of people, including people who post or comment in Pittsburgh, seem to take this idea at least semi-seriously. If there is some way to alleviate their concerns through the MSM, I think that's worth trying.

Clyde Wynant said...

This is such total and complete nonsense that it deserves no ink whatsoever.

It is nothing more or less than an attempt by a struggling media company to sell issues and flog a concept that is, at best, a fringy bit of fluff.

This is not to say that people don't believe it. But especially in hard times, with the future of the economy bleak, these sorts of "end game" constructs always come to the fore. For whatever reason, a certain percentage of the population WANTS to believe in such ideas. Perhaps it's nothing more than a desire to validate a world larger and more transcendent than their own.

And, if people do believe in this crap, then nothing anyone is going to say in an article is going to shift their thinking; they are true believers. And those people, my friends, are really scary.

John K. said...

John K: No retribution against Sen. Lieberman by the Senate Democrats. No war crimes charges against the Bush admin. Dayvoe, Jaywillie and Ed Heath crying their eyes out, Priceless. LOL LOL LMAO

EdHeath said...

Actually, John K, down in the post "Unacceptable" I was sayng I thought it was a good thing Lieberman was not unduly punished. But since Limbaugh says all liberals/Democrats are the same (I am assuming he is saying something stupid like that, I still don't listen or read his transcripts), you can't wrap your little pin head around the notion there might be diverse ideas among liberals.

Anyway, I did use the link to read the article, and I found it basically balanced. The "raptureready.com" guy even said he thought Obama is "probably not" the antichrist. Although the article did end with a silly note that his "rapture" index has reached a tipping point. I'm still reasonably glad the article was written in that it touches on some of the silly ideas of the religious right, so thatmore people will be alert for that sort of thing.

jaywillie said...

Um, yeah, John K.?

I've made no comments on this site concerning either of the situations you mention, so would you mind not inventing things that I've never said?

Just can't keep yourself from being a shameless, good-for-nothing liar, can you?

Considering that my party just picked up ANOTHER senate seat, I must say I'm pretty happy.

But it seems I need to remind you that you're the one who belongs to the angry, paranoid, vengeful, party-purging crowd.

You can talk all the b.s. you want, John K. It doesn't change who you are as a person.

jaywillie said...

As for the subject at hand, what an absolute bunch of nonsense that it even needs to be discussed.

That people, post-Enlightenment, can still fail to separate the spirtual truths from the Bible(so far as there is any such thing) from the fiction of the Bible is beyond me.

At one time I was a student at Westminster Univeristy and in my first semester I took a course called "Understanding the Bible." Westminster is a private school, associated with the Presbyterian church, and the course was taught by an ordained Presbyterian minister, a Rev. Mackie.

He was a wonderful man, a great teacher, but I'll never forget what the told us about interpreting the Bible. (and mind that he was in no way some intellectual effete liberal snob!)

He asked, rhetorically, one day, "How do you know what to believe in the Bible? What about the talking snake? Should we read the story in Genesis literally? Do you see talking snakes in nature? Have you ever seen a talking snake? The answer is no. So when you come across things like talking snakes, it's not literal."

So, I think if we're going to broach this subject, we need to make it very clearly that there simply is no such thing as the Anti-Christ, no matter how many people believe in it. When they profess their belief in such a stupid notion, they should be informed of what a truly repulsive and spectacularly foolish idea it is.

There never was an anti-Christ, there isn't now and there never will be. Believing in the anti-Christ is as absurd as believing in the Easter Bunny.

It is also a fundamental misinterpertation and misunderstanding of the Christian faith, which, unfortunately, plagues most Christians these days as the religion has returned to a fearsome apocalyptic mindset.

Just as there is no anti-Christ, there is no Devil. Humankind has contrived all manner of excuses to deny that the potential to do good or evil exists within each one of us, none more absurd as the idea of some antropomorphic personification of evil.

My hope is that Christianity returns to the religion of inner peace and abandons its current preoccupation with world domination. The search for something "out there," as Rick Warren has framed it, must come to an end, because there is nothing "out there."

In a religion where God is nearer than we are to our own selves, it makes no sense to look for Him "out there."

In all religious debates about the current state of Christianism in America(let us not call it Christianity, for that is not what it is), I'm always reminded of a statement Joseph Campbell made in the well-known Power of Myth interview with Bill Moyers from the mid-80's.

Moyers asked Campbell, "Do you think Jesus would be a Christian?"

Campbell responded: "Not the kind of Christian we know. Perhaps some of the monks and nuns who are really in touch with high spiritual mysteries would be of the sort that Jesus was."

Moyers: "So Jesus might not have belonged to the Church militant?"

Campbell: "There's nothing militant about Jesus. I don't read anything like that in any of the gospels. Peter drew his sword and cut off the servant's ear, and Jesus said, 'Put back thy sword, Peter.' But Peter has had his sword out and at work ever since."

Bram Reichbaum said...

The Obama as antichrist thing isn't going away. I expected this since January. Truth is, he practically encourages it -- I'm uniquely qualified to be President because the multicultural experience of humanity is "seared into my DNA".

Clyde Wynant said...

Oh yea, blame Obama for his rhetorical overreach. I suppose, if we looked for it, we could find something that George Bush said that "proves" the same thing? You betcha!

Sherry said...

what i see is a lot of people taking the christian religion, no matter the sect, as a "given"

that is how wars and persicutions are started. taking anyone's chosen religion as THE real one.

it's arrogance. there are millions upon millions that believe differently with every once of their being too.

i can not say that anyone of them is wrong or right.

can you with any real knoweldge and not just faith?

and i do not want my fate in the hands of anyone that is thinking some sort of literal "end times" interpretation of their holy book.

Richmond K. Turner said...

As I recall, the exact same thing was said about Regan. I distinctly remember people pointing out -- repeatedly -- that the name "Ronald Wilson Reagan" had six letters in each of this three words, making "666" his "number".

Some bit of speculation about the anti-Christ probably comes around every time that a new president is about to take office. I wouldn't get all that worked up about it. They'll say the same thing about the next one, too, whoever it may turn out to be.

John K. said...

John K: So now the left has been offended by Al Queda. Zawahiri called Hussein Obama the House N---. Doesn't he know that that term is to be used exclusively by the left when referring to Dr. Rice or Justice Thomas. LOL LOL Now the left is offended. LMAO

jaywillie said...

It seems that the general sentiment is that this "anti-Christ" notion is pretty ridiculous business.

I think the fact that it is even being discussed just goes to show how f'ed up the culture is in this country.