Is Barack Obama the Antichrist?

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Viral message claims charismatic U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama is the Antichrist prophesied in the New Testament of the Bible.

Description: Online rumor
Circulating since: March 2008
Status: Silly (see details below)


Example #1:
Email contributed by C. Green, March 13, 2008:

According to The Book of Revelations the anti-Christ is:

The anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40s, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal.... the prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace, and when he is in power, will destroy everything. Is it OBAMA??

I STRONGLY URGE each one of you to repost this as many times as you can! Each opportunity that you have to send it to a friend or media outlet... do it!

If you think I am crazy... I'm sorry but I refuse to take a chance on the "unknown" candidate.



Example #2:
Email contributed by Bob H., June 19, 2008:

Subject: Fw: The Book of Revelations!

A Trivia question in Sunday School: How long is the beast allowed to have authority in Revelations? Guess the Answer? Revelations Chapter 13 tells us it is 42 months, and you know what that is. Almost a four-year term to a Presidency. All I can say is Lord Have Mercy on us.!!!!!!

According to The Book of Revelations the anti-Christ is: The anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40's, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal....the prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace, and when he is in power, will destroy everything ..

Is it OBAMA?? I STRONGLY URGE each one of you to repost this as many times as you can!

Each opportunity that you have to send it to a friend or media outlet...do it! I refuse to take a chance on this unknown candidate who came out of nowhere.



Analysis: Barack Obama, the Antichrist? This would have to count as the ultimate political smear. I mean, accusing a politician of accepting bribes or cheating on taxes is one thing. Calling him the "Seven-Headed Beast of Revelation" (a.k.a. "the Wicked One," "False Prophet," and "Beast from the Abyss") is candidate bashing on an apocalyptic scale.

Though it is unclear what, besides being charismatic and popular, Barack Obama has done to earn this dishonor, outgoing Antichrist designee George W. Bush must be thrilled to see a newcomer wearing the ungodly mantle. Obama joins an extensive roster of modern luminaries branded with a "666," including Adolf Hitler, Vladimir Putin, Pope Benedict XVI, Bill Gates, and Barney the Dinosaur.

For the record, while Barack Obama is indeed in his forties and by most accounts a persuasive speaker, he is not a Muslim (nor, for that matter, does the Book of Revelation say the Antichrist is a Muslim), nor has he ever delivered a stump speech promising "world peace."

Definition

The American Heritage Dictionary defines "Antichrist" as "the great antagonist who was expected by the early Church to set himself up against Christ in the last days before the Second Coming."

While biblical in origin, the exact details as to the nature, identity, and chronological placement of the figure known as "Antichrist" have been the subject of endless speculation throughout history, partly due to the highly symbolic language of the scriptures in which it is mentioned, and partly due to sectarian differences in interpretation.

Generally speaking, those who expect the Antichrist to literally appear in human form believe he will come to power as a world leader through deception and trickery, and "by peace shall destroy many," only to succumb to the superior might of Jesus Christ and the forces of righteousness at the final battle of Armageddon.

Who is it?

Who is the Antichrist? Take your pick. In addition to the personages mentioned above, nominees over the past two thousand years have included the Roman emperor Nero, any or all Popes of the Catholic Church, Peter the Great, Napoleon, Friedrich Nietzsche (self-anointed), John F. Kennedy (who allegedly received 666 votes during the 1956 Democratic convention), Mikhail Gorbachev, and William Jefferson Clinton. And on and on the list goes.

Some say the Antichrist will be a Jew. Others say he'll be a Muslim. Others say a Catholic. Some say he will emerge in Russia, others the Middle East, and still others say he will be a leader of the European Union.

The point to take away is that it's all speculation, and fanciful speculation at that. The Biblical passages mentioning the Antichrist are so obscure and fraught with mythic imagery that they require interpretation.

And much of the interpretation they've been subjected to, unfortunately, is based on extra-Biblical assumptions, not to mention pseudo-scientific borrowings from astrology and numerology.

Let's not mince words: it's bunk.

In two millennia of playing "Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Antichrist" (as author Jonathan Kirsch characterizes it in A History of the End of the World), no one has ever won the prize. Either the game is rigged, or those playing it don't have a clue.

Politics as unusual

If it wasn't intended as a political smear — and we have no way of knowing, admittedly, what the true motivation of its author was — we are entitled at the very least to conclude that this whisper campaign identifying Obama with the Antichrist is based in ignorance and fear. Ignorance, because the author knows next to nothing about the Biblical underpinnings of his or her claims (including the proper title of the Book of Revelation).

Fear, because the author willingly foregoes reason for superstitious terror.

Obama, the man, is neither Christlike nor Satanic. He is an ordinary politician who happens to have a sonorous voice and the gift of gab. He also has a platform. What say we judge him based on his merits?

Note on Ken Blackwell: The quoted passage has also been tacked onto the end of an anti-Obama op-ed piece written by conservative newspaper columnist Ken Blackwell, making it appear as if he wrote it.

He did not. There was no mention of the Antichrist in the original column.


Poll: Has your opinion of Obama been affected at all by Internet rumors?
1) Yes, a lot. 2) Yes, a little. 3) No, not at all.



Sources and further reading:

Barack Obama the Antichrist?
Blog: "Barack Obama may be the Antichrist, he has risen up out of nowhere, he mesmerizes crowds, people are gathering in huge numbers..."

Barack Obama: Meet the Antichrist
Wonkette, 23 October 2006

Obama and the Bigots
New York Times, 9 March 2008

Antichrist
Wikipedia

A History of the End of the World
By Jonathan Kirsch (HarperCollins, 2007)


Last updated 10/09/13

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Your Citation
Emery, David. "Is Barack Obama the Antichrist?" ThoughtCo, Aug. 23, 2016, thoughtco.com/is-barack-obama-the-antichrist-3298948. Emery, David. (2016, August 23). Is Barack Obama the Antichrist? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/is-barack-obama-the-antichrist-3298948 Emery, David. "Is Barack Obama the Antichrist?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/is-barack-obama-the-antichrist-3298948 (accessed December 12, 2017).