R. Justin Shepherd | PART-TIME PUNDIT


The extremity of the Religious Right
14.August.2008, 9.24 am
Filed under: politics | Tags: , , ,

I posted yesterday about the fading Religious Right, and how polling shows Barack Obama leads John McCain in polling among Christians (not self-identified). But this is worth a serious look: Some on the far right are implying (if not outright claiming) that Obama is the Antichrist.

Beliefnet president Steven Waldman takes a look at a McCain ad, how it may have been designed to evoke “Left Behind” imagery and tie it to Obama, and the more heavy accusations of some on the right. Some choice parts are included below; click here to read it all for yourself.

McCain supporters argue that it’s a playful ad that pokes fun at Sen. Obama’s sense of grandiosity. But liberal religious leaders see something ominous. The ads “seem to target Evangelical Christians in profoundly disturbing ways, using language and imagery that would have a special effect on Evangelicals… inspiring anxiety of the most primal spiritual form: fear of the Anti-christ,” wrote Brian McLaren, a leading progressive evangelical. …

For those wanting to review the signs of Sen. Obama’s demonic tendencies, the Web site barackobmaantichrist.blogspot.com details the evidence. On Yahoo Answers!, a reader posts the question, “Is Barack Obama the anti-Christ?” Another responded, in moderate tones, “I am not 100% convinced it is him, but I think it is very likely.”

Most important, emails have been making the rounds in Christian circles for months. A typical one: “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.” …

Suggesting that a candidate thinks he’s God is a rather strong charge but some religious leaders argue that the McCain ad went even farther. The Eleison Group, a Democratic consultant operation specializing in reaching religious voters, published a detailed memo attempting [to] show how the McCain ad uses language and imagery that seems suspiciously similar to that from the Left Behind series, which has sold 70 million copies. [bold mine—RJ]

Their evidence:
• The Ad refers to Obama as The One. Left Behind refers to the false religion set up by antichrist Nicholas Carpathia as The One World Religion.
• The ad quotes Obama as saying, “A nation healed, a world repaired…we are the ones that we’ve been waiting for.” In the Left Behind Series, the slogan of the One World Religion is, “We are God.”
• The ad features a stairway to heaven, and an image of a sun-drenched cloudscape that looks a bit like the covers of two recent Left Behind books.

Liberal Christian scholar Randall Ballmer concludes: “There’s there is no doubt that the ad plays effectively on evangelical fears of the Antichrist and a ‘one-world government.’”

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