Earlier this week, a crazed heckler with a reputation for yelling nutty things at L.A.-area events called President Obama the “Antichrist” at a political fundraiser, before being dragged screaming out of the room by the Secret Service. Normally this heckler would be dismissed as a lunatic. Instead, some media outlets are wondering whether he’s part of a growing right-wing movement that believes Obama is the Antichrist:
Ironically, the remark about Obama as the Antichrist came the same day that The New York Times ran an op-ed arguing that the Antichrist is assuming a bigger place in the public discourse, as evangelical Christian ideas about the end times gain traction.
In a piece titled “Why the Antichrist Matters in Politics,” Washington State University history professor Matthew Avery Sutton argues that, for some Christians, Obama fits into ideas about the Antichrist, whose arrival is believed to be a portent of the end times and Jesus’ second coming:
Lawrence O’Donnell even devoted a whole segment of his MSNBC show to discussing whether conservative Christians share the heckler’s beliefs:
“The resistance to fact is not evenly distributed in this country, or among political persuasions. The more southern and the more Republican you are, the more likely you are to be wrong about the president’s birthplace and his religious beliefs…We don’t know what percent of South Carolina Republicans believe the president is the Antichrist, but you can be sure it is not zero.”
Remember, it was MSNBC that obsessed over “birthers,” long after they were rejected and denounced by the conservative movement. Apparently, the demise of the birther-fringe has some liberals panicking that issues of actual substance are going to be addressed during this election. So expect to hear a lot more about the dawn of the “Obama-Antichrist” movement from the same media figures, especially if Obama’s poll numbers continue to drop.