The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008

Archives

The Debate Rages On...

"Left Behind" Authors: Obama Not Antichrist

By Michelle Boorstein
This may be a first for a presidential campaign: A debate about whether one of the candidates is the Antichrist.

The latest round began with the McCain campaign Web ad released earlier this month called "The One." The spot includes clips of Obama seeming to imply he is God's choice, shots of Charlton Heston, stairs in the clouds (to heaven?) and images that some say are meant to mimic those in the wildly popular "Left Behind" book series about the end of the world that feature the Antichrist.

Some Obama supporters pounced on the ad, which was released in early August, saying it deliberately was meant to stoke a debate that's been going on among some Christians for months: Whether Obama is the Antichrist.

"This was not some YouTube video put together in someone's basement. It was a professionally and carefully produced ad that had a much more sinister subtext that millions of Americans will pick up on," said the Eleison Group, which advises Democratic candidates on faith issues, in a statement. "This is the use of religion at its very worst in politics because it is an attempt to subtly and perhaps even subconsciously play on some of the deepest fears of millions of evangelical Americans."

Despite months of Antichrist chatter on the right, from the questions posed on the talk show of popular conservative host Glenn Beck to the horned-O coffee mugs, stickers and T-shirts for sale from conservative Web site RedState.com, the McCain campaign says its ad is being taken too seriously.

"This is absurd. It's obviously a lighthearted ad having some fun with Senator Obama's tendency to get carried away with audacious statements," campaign spokesman Brian Rogers said today in an e-mail.

The debate over the debate has gotten so intense that Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, the authors of the "Left Behind" series, issued a statement clarifying that Obama is likely not the Antichrist in the Book of Revelation. "I've gotten a lot of questions the last few weeks asking if Obama is the Antichrist," Jenkins told Christian Newswire. "I tell everyone that I don't think the Antichrist will come out of politics, especially American politics."

LaHaye has said he recognized echoes of his books in the McCain ad.

Meanwhile, even political junkies seem to be getting Antichrist fatigue.

"The 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," wrote Ross Douthat of the Atlantic.

Posted at 4:28 PM ET on Aug 14, 2008  | Category:  The Debate Rages On...
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This
Previous: The New ABB is Anybody but Bayh | Next: FEC Staff Says McCain Bank Loans Legal


Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



What this has shown is the absolute hatred that exists in all too many folks hearts for "the others" that don't agree with them. The left hates the right, the right hates the left, and neither will yield an inch to find cooperative solutions.

Read your history. The attitudes in the United States in the years preceding the Civil War are quite similar. Questions: Are we in the middle of a Cold Civil War? If so, how long before it turns hot? Would we be better off attempting to seek peace with each other rather than to denigrate and destroy each other?

Posted by: watcher | August 18, 2008 2:04 PM

Educate yourself before you elect a radical muslim who will bleed your wallets dry by increasing taxes.

John McCain: 2008
Learn more about John McCain. Get involved today.
www.JohnMcCain.com

Posted by: ODH | August 18, 2008 9:11 AM

The fact that millions of Americans apparently believe in the literal truth of haphazardly preserved, often mistranslated, frequently self-contradictory fairy tales from thousands of years ago is deeply depressing. That the Washington Post and other supposedly serious newspapers would give so much as a column inch to the lunatic ravings of obvious cretins and con men is even more depressing. That presidential candidates feel that they must pander to people who believe this nonsense is perhaps the most depressing thing of all. We are looking at an uncertain future in which reason, rationality and science are pretty much our only hope, and state legislatures are still spending time putting up 10 commandments monuments and trying to undermine science education. I think we really might be doomed as a society.

Posted by: MTS | August 16, 2008 4:08 PM

obama scares me

Posted by: can't tell u | August 15, 2008 8:48 PM

The right wing neocon religious nuts never cease to amuse, frighten, and amazement with their profound ignorance.

Posted by: Continuum | August 15, 2008 8:29 PM

Bush isn't the anti christ either... the anti christ is charismatic and popular... He will have a much better approval rating than %34! Bush... the anti christ... HA!!! He wishes!

Obama is a Werewolf check it out...

http://obamathewerewolf.blogspot.com

Posted by: D Bo | August 15, 2008 8:20 PM

Of course Obama isn't the anti-christ! Duh! George Bush was and IS the anti-christ!!!

Posted by: blair fell | August 15, 2008 7:41 PM

This country was founded on religion? That's odd, I thought it was founded on freedom, something sorely lacking in religion.

Posted by: Hayzues | August 15, 2008 6:20 PM

I, Barack Obama, promise that no one American company will be sold to foreign investors while I am president.

To do that, I will increase taxes on all these same companies, their owners, and stok holders and bleed them dry until they are so completely useless and innefective that no one in their right state of mind will EVER want to buy them.

I am Barack Obama and I approve this message.

Posted by: Barack Obama | August 15, 2008 5:09 PM

*facepalm*

This is what American political debate is getting to these days? I vaguely recall a time when there was actual, y'know, SUBSTANCE to political campaigns.
America: grow back up. Wow.

Posted by: t-fox | August 15, 2008 4:27 PM

Oh, wow, I'm just SO GLAD to hear from Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins that somebody or another is "likely not" the Antichrist. 'Cause personally, I'm just Too Stupid For Words, and without people like these two very financially successful occultist propagandists to tell me what to think, why, I just wouldn't have a CLUE.

Posted by: 2Stupid4Words | August 15, 2008 4:15 PM

He Derek man,

This country was, in fact, founded on religion. But believe what you will, youngster.

Posted by: Mr. Know it All | August 15, 2008 3:59 PM

I don't get it. Wouldn't the right-wingers want to vote for the Antichrist to bring about the end of the world so they can go to heaven? Those crazy kids just don't know what they want!

Posted by: Al Giovanelli | August 15, 2008 3:54 PM

I'm glad that even in our advanced society, we can still have a meaningful discourse between people and their views of their imaginary friends in the sky.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 3:02 PM

Wow, thanks for the clarification. Now, please stay tuned to the Authors of Left Behind for further news on who exactly is and who exactly is not the anti-Christ.

Until then, here is Two Minutes Hate for your rational viewing pleasure.

Posted by: Mark | August 15, 2008 2:45 PM

and we still let people with such low IQs that they would think someone is the antichrist vote.

Religious freaks: go found a country of your own and leave the rest of us alone!

Posted by: Derek | August 15, 2008 2:43 PM

I have proof that OBAMA is not the anti christ!!! Rather he is in fact....a werewolf!

We have the facts about OBAMA the WEREWOLF!!!

Check it out!

http://obamathewerewolf.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Van Helsing | August 15, 2008 2:35 PM

I agree with Luke! If I were a Christian that actually believe Obama were the anti-christ, I would vote for Obama to usher in the Armageddon and be with Sexy Jesus ASAP!

... and then afterwords, when I found out Obama wasn't actually the Devil, I would still not fret since 2012 is right around the corner and I can surely find a new mayan/arabian/vaguely ethnic Antichrist to simultaneously fear and eagerly anticipate.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 2:21 PM

And the descent of America into savagery continues unhindered...

Posted by: Biff Muscleworth | August 15, 2008 2:11 PM

It doesn't really matter who these modern-day Pharisees think is or is not the Antichrist any more than it mattered whether the Pharisees of old thought Jesus was or wasn't the Son of God. Their opinions are irrelevant because they do not represent Christianity. End of discussion.

Posted by: Ben | August 15, 2008 1:54 PM

I'll stop believing the McCain camp gossip that Sen. Obama is the Anti-Christ when the Obama camp stops trying to tell me I'm a racist just because I won't vote for him.

Posted by: ntrpriii | August 15, 2008 1:44 PM

Lighthearted? McCain needs to realize that his excuses of "joking" have gotten old. Is he at all able to explain why HE would be a good president, instead of always attacking his opponents? Sad, really, it's like a bullying child: no good yourself so you put everyone else down to raise yourself up.

Posted by: What? | August 15, 2008 1:30 PM

I would have to agree that Barack Hussein Obama is "likely not" the Anti-Christ.

Posted by: JakeD | August 15, 2008 11:45 AM

My mother is also right wing, religious, and extremely judgmental. She believes and gossips about anything like this she hears....especially if the person is black, since she somewhat of a closet racist. I get upset myself about the use of gullible folks .... as well as "Christians" who know they are lying. As a Christian myself, I am angry that the bad example is damaging the faith of my children. For those of you who really care, please stop.

Posted by: samehere | August 14, 2008 10:07 PM

wouldnt the Anti-christ look a little more unreal, say, PASTY WHITE and Full of WRINKLES like he wasnt even in his own skin???
Why cant McCain Tan?? Why does his wife NEVER speak, but will reach out to touch??is she spreading something??HMMMM

Posted by: besides | August 14, 2008 10:05 PM

Is'nt it usually the Guilty who point the finger first??All those who voted for Bush, and Feel a desire to vote for McCain even though the GOP screwed the Moral Majority over so bad through the past 8 years, you cant HIDE the Anti-christ BUS is by pointing the finger at Barack.
Matter of fact, you should really be considering if OBAMA isnt the return of the Messiah,who has been reported by men some 2000 years ago to be returning as a Black skinned man with short hair!!!!

Posted by: mullett | August 14, 2008 10:02 PM

Well if he is the Antichrist, he's going to win, so why campaign against him? God these people are so stupid.

Obama/Antichrist '08

Posted by: Luke | August 14, 2008 7:01 PM

Oh what do they know. Bunch of Obama loving lefties. Obama is Satan. All Dems, except for pro-Hillary Dems, are also satanic.

Go McCain

Posted by: iwanttomakelovetomccainandlickhimalloverlikealollipop | August 14, 2008 6:11 PM

Bush is the anti-christ. He is still in power. Don't rule out an attack on Iran, skirmishing with Russia, something to prolong his presidency.

Posted by: Fishingriver | August 14, 2008 5:50 PM

My mother is a right wing republican neo-con. And they said Bill Clinton was the anti-christ before he was elected. The whole time he was President I had to deal with her telling me the "black helicopters" were coming any day.

I know this is just the politics of fear that the republicans rely on since their message is so out of whack with reality. However I actually get quite angry that they so USE gullible people in this way.

Posted by: Illfated | August 14, 2008 5:50 PM

Obama's not the Anti Christ..he's a Mack Daddy

http://www.youtube.com:80/watch?v=khuu-RhOBDU

Posted by: rtfanning | August 14, 2008 5:41 PM

McCain is spectacularly out of touch and in more than just a "he's a Bush clone" sort of way, but more in a "how could anyone (McCain) who's been paying attention think Bush is better now than ever" sort of way.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBfngOsvmA0

Posted by: McCain = Bush's third term | August 14, 2008 5:37 PM

Posted by: matt | August 14, 2008 4:59 PM

Who cares what this "Swift Boat" guy thinks about anything?!?!

Those guys are bunch of neocon partisan hack liars who helped give us a second term of the disasterous and criminal Bush administration!

Posted by: Roveboater | August 14, 2008 4:51 PM

They found Big Foot, And you will never guess which candidate he is supporting. Wow I figured he would be a libertarian. http://www.myhauntsite.com

Posted by: John | August 14, 2008 4:46 PM

Has Republican base really reached the point where they need some proclaimed "movement leader" to come forth and declare that the opposing candidate is not actually the Antichrist?

And these people can vote....

Posted by: BB | August 14, 2008 4:44 PM

The Post has gone completely downhill in their attempt to "smear" Senator Obama. Why would this headline even appear. This is beyond stupid and ridiculous.

This is not even worthy of the National Inquirer - even though the Post has started taking their lead from them.

Posted by: Downhill | August 14, 2008 4:36 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2009 The Washington Post Company