Election 2008

Barack Obama, president-elect, 44th president, first African-American president

Is Obama the Antichrist … Or the Messiah?

December 01, 2008 07:56 AM
by Isabel Cowles
Absent of any hyperbole, some Christians are quite seriously offering evidence tying President-elect Barack Obama to the antichrist, while others see him as messianic.

Christians Criticize Obama’s Beliefs

The reference to President-elect Barack Obama as the antichrist is not just an ironic jest from right-wing pundits: a number of priests and other religious figures have made the comparison in earnest.

Denver’s former archbishop J. Francis Stafford called Obama “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic” during a lecture at Catholic University of America. Stafford said that this political era is comparable to the moment when Christ suffered in the garden of Gethsemene before his crucifixion. “For the next few years Gethsemene will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” he said, attributing the predicted suffering to what he calls Obama’s “extremist anti-life platform,” which includes support for Roe v. Wade. 

Todd Strandberg, known as “the eBay of prophecy,” maintains a Web site called RaptureReady.com, which tracks news and information related to the coming apocalypse. Although Strandberg told Newsweek reporter Lisa Miller that he does not believe Obama is the antichrist, he does believe that the end-times are nearly upon us.

According to Miller, Strandberg’s Web site is just one of many examples of Millennialist movements, which maintain that the end of the world is fast approaching. Such movements insist that global cataclysms like crumbling financial markets, wars and natural disasters signal the end times. They also predict the appearance of an Antichrist who will appear before the Messiah.

Mat Staver, dean of Liberty University’s law school, told Miller that people who believe Obama is the Antichrist are “expressing a concern and fear that is widely shared,” mostly because they believe Obama’s religious rhetoric runs contrary to his liberal beliefs on abortion and marriage. According to Staver, religious conservatives believe a leader with those values “will threaten their freedom.”

Some point to literal examples. For example, on the day after he was elected, the winning lottery number in Obama’s home state of Illinois was 666, the mark of the beast. However, The Chicago Tribune disputed the allegations against Obama, noting that 666 has been the winning lotto number four times this year and has appeared more than any other consecutive-digit sequence (like 111 or 999). 

Snopes.com also attempts to dispel some of the legends tying Obama to the antichrist described in the book of Revelation. According to the site, “Contrary to popular belief, the New Testament book of Revalation … does not provide a laundry list of signs for identifying the appearance of an anti-Christ. In fact, it neither uses the term ‘anti-Christ’ nor describes such a figure.”
For the same reason that some have tied him to the Antichrist, others have compared Obama to the Redeemer—the figure that will save humanity as the world ends. The blog “Is Obama the Messiah?” ties the President-elect to the Christ figure through art, poetry, excerpts from Obama’s speeches and more.

The Washington Post’s On Faith series tackled the question in February, explaining that the emotions of many Americans have been running high during this political season: “frightened by our Babylonian war, unhappy with our President and depressed by the cleansing crush of the credit crunch … it’s not surprising that the coming presidential election would take on a certain biblical coloring.”

Meanwhile, the online magazine Slate satirizes the apparent comparison on The Obama Messiah Watch, an ongoing column that points to the absurdity of drawing parallels between the politician and Biblical figures.

Reference: The antichrist


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