Obama the Antichrist?

Here’s one of John McCain’s recent ads:

You would think that the rational response to this ad would be to chuckle to yourself, as it does do a nice job of making fun of some of the messianic fervor that some of Obama’s fans have. (Yeah, I’m voting for him, but I’ve no illusions that Obama is anything more than an above-average politician.) Amy Sullivan, however, feels differently.

But even this innocuous interpretation of the ad — which includes images of Charlton Heston as Moses and culled clips that make Obama sound truly egomaniacal — taps into a conversation that has been gaining urgency on Christian radio and political blogs and in widely circulated e-mail messages that accuse Obama of being the Antichrist.

The ad was the creation of Fred Davis, one of McCain’s top media gurus as well as a close friend of former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed and the nephew of conservative Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe. It first caught the attention of Democrats familiar with the Left Behind series, a fictionalized account of the end-time that debuted in the 1990s and has sold nearly 70 million books worldwide. “The language in there is so similar to the language in the Left Behind books,” says Tony Campolo, a leading progressive Evangelical speaker and author.

As the ad begins, the words “It should be known that in 2008 the world shall be blessed. They will call him The One” flash across the screen. The Antichrist of the Left Behind books is a charismatic young political leader named Nicolae Carpathia who founds the One World religion (slogan: “We Are God”) and promises to heal the world after a time of deep division. One of several Obama clips in the ad features the Senator saying, “A nation healed, a world repaired. We are the ones that we’ve been waiting for.”

The article manages to get more ridiculous from there, if you can believe that. For someone who had done a lot of reporting on Evangelicals, I have to admit that I’m surprised that Amy Sullivan is peddling this particular line of garbage. The ad is clearly just making fun of Obama, nothing more, nothing less. As Ross Douthat notes:

[T]he people who think Obama might be the Antichrist and the people who think the McCain campaign is cannily designing its campaign ads to exploit fears that Obama might be the Antichrist deserve each other. (The difference, of course, is that the former group consists of minor-league kooks, obscure bloggers and chain-email peddlers, whereas the latter consists of Democratic strategists and writers for Time Magazine – the same Time, one might note, that has not once but twice put Barack Obama on its cover with a halo around his head.)

Read Ross’s whole post, which provides some nice takedowns of Amy Sullivan’s specific points.

Frankly, I don’t think you could paint a better picture of elite Democrats as being out of touch with evangelical religious life than by pointing out the fact that this article exists.

(cross-posted to Heretical Ideas)

FILED UNDER: 2008 Election, Religion, , , , , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. B. Minich says:

    As a card carrying evangelical myself, I have to agree with you. I’ll make a point here – the antichrist is supposed to claim messianic powers (depending on what you figure the antichrist to be, which varies wildly across evangelicalism – for our purposes, lets go with a person like in the Left Behind series). Thus, a McCain ad making fun of Obama for some of the more “messianic” things he’s said is going to have some overlap by definition. That doesn’t mean they are saying that Obama is the antichrist. You’d have to make a much more persuasive case than this to make me think they are trying to make me think “Obama is the antichrist”. This ad smacks more of “Obama is claiming to be like a messiah, who will save us from our bad political state and usher in a new age” critique.

  2. Brian K says:

    Yeah, if anything, it’s an effective pull from the “less Evangelical” who are more likely to vote Obama.

  3. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Alex, you are voting for Obama based upon what? His record? The fact he was raised a Marxist? His accomplishments in a Senate, either Illinois or U.S.? His ability to lie through his teeth at a moments notice? His plan to solve the energy crisis? (inflate your tires, that will save as much as drilling off shore would produce) I trust you will be practicing the new Obama salute. No thinking American could vote for a man who said in answer to the question of a 7 year old. America is no longer what it could be, what it once was. That doesn’t even make sense. Alex, a vote for Obama is a vote against freedom.

  4. mannning says:

    It will be snake-eyes for Alex this election. The common citizen and the nation cannot win with Obama, but the Left will.

  5. Alex Knapp says:

    I’m sure I’ll write something more substantive on this as we get closer to election time, however, my reason for voting for Obama has everything to do with Heinlein’s maxim that “the choice between bad and worse is often more important than the choice between good and bad.” An Obama presidency wouldn’t be that great. A McCain presidency would be a disaster.

  6. Stuhlmann says:

    If the “Obama = anti-christ” ads are supposed to scare evangelicals away from Obama, then this could backfire. After all, it seems that some evangelicals want the 2nd Coming to occur sooner rather than later. What better way to speed the 2nd Coming than to help get the anti-christ into office.

  7. sam says:

    Well, there’s a high-falutin’ defense of this meme in the online WSJ for July 30 titled, “Barack Obama, Shaman” by Michael Knox Beran. Here’s a taste:

    Mr. Obama has revived a cruel mirage, but the good news is that the country has defenses against his brand of redemptive politics. Some of these defenses are constitutional, others cultural….

    And then there is Old Nick, the West’s traditional symbol of evil, who has retained a good deal more apotropaic power on these shores than in Europe. A 1991 survey by the International Social Survey Programme found that 45.4% of Americans believed in the devil (61%, according to a 2005 Harris poll), compared with 20.4% of Italians, 12.5% of Russians, 9.5% of West Germans, and 3.6% of East Germans. We often read about differences between America and Europe with respect to belief in God, but differences with respect to belief in diabolic evil may be even more revealing. It is significant that belief in the devil is lowest in those countries (Russia and Germany) that suffered, during the 20th century, most acutely from forms of evil that might without exaggeration be called diabolic. Europeans, it may be, have proved more susceptible to the element of diabolic temptation in charismatic leadership precisely because they are less likely to believe in the reality of diabolic evil.

    I.e., unlike those benighted Europeans, we still believe in the Devil and this might just save us from Obama the Shaman.

  8. Nikolay says:

    Do you agree with Ross that RedState merchandise, unambiguously calling Obama Antichrist is just an innocent joke?

  9. Floyd says:

    To vote for Obama is one thing, to admit it publicly, quite another![lol]

    A vote for Obama is a vote the record of David Axelrod, Howard Dean, and Richard Daley.[the puppet-masters]
    It is a vote for Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick,former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer,Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick, and others of equal stature[including Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, ersatz puppets who wouldn’t cooperate.]

    As it turns out, Deval Patrick and Barack Obama have used the same Axelrod speeches VERBATIM!
    Is this plagiarism or just the same puppet-master with different puppets?

    I’d rather vote for the candidate of the “It’s Not Easy Being Green Party”…Kermit “The Frog”!
    He too ,after-all, sings songs about rainbows!

  10. I would encourage everyone to check out the url that I added above in case it doesnt show up it is http://hopevideo.com/david_asscherick.htm . when you get to that there is a Great man of God and a real servant of him pouring out the truth of the Word. Go to the seminar title category entitled “The Actual, Definite, Certain, Unavoidable Identity of the Antichrist” It is compelling evidence that Obama is not the so called Antichrist. Satan Would like you to think that to be decieved. The thing about deception is you dont know you are decieved. Keep that in mind. The real truth is explained right out of the Bible from him so that it is evidence and can be trusted. The antichrist is not a certain “person” Becuase God is not against People but against systems. Therefore, with his evidence the antichrist is The Roman Church State. Please be aware of this and Turn to Our Lord Jesus Christ to be your savior!May this information help you and God Bless!


  11. Bithead says:

    Frankly, I don’t think you could paint a better picture of elite Democrats as being out of touch with evangelical religious life than by pointing out the fact that this article exists.

    Given the numbers of people calling themselves ‘evangelical’ it seems to me Obama may have already annoyed enough people to preclude being elected.

  12. Gina says:

    Well, now that Steven Strang has left a vacancy for a religious endorsement, on the stage at Barack’s coronation ceremony, maybe Barack should come out of the closet and recruit the religious leaders who have always supported him … and, who Barack has always supported. Pastor Jeremiah Wright … Father Phleiger … and the rest of the radicals. But, we know Barack won’t do that, because even though that represents who Barack truly is … it wouldn’t help Barack deceive us … and get him elected. In November, vote for Senator John McCain, a man who truly loves America, with over 40 years of service and sacrafice … not Obama, an inexperienced, incompetent, empty suit, who is being agressively packaged, promoted, and sold to the American people.