is Obama the Anti-Christ?

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I recently tried to dissuade a friend from worrying that Obama might be the Anti-Christ:

First: Obama is a Christian, which should disqualify him from being the Anti-Christ (1 John 2:22) Second: Weren't the "End Times" supposed to happen during the lifetime of the disciples? (Wasn't it all a metaphor for the Roman Empire?)

Since then, Newsweek has published an article by Lisa Miller (h/t: Steve Benen at Washington Monthly) examining--in their trademarked shallow manner--the end-times lunacy of Todd (RaptureReady) Strandberg (check out MediaMatters' article on his "repeated anti-GLBT, anti-Muslim, and anti-progressive statements"). Strandberg's inanity is easily comparable to those who believe in astrology or Nostradamus' scribblings, but is much more respectable--due in part to the fawning coverage it receives in the "liberal" media.

In examining the Newsweek piece, I take issue with one of Miller's statement that Strandberg's site is "the best source online for predictions and calculations concerning the end of the world." How could his site be distinguished from any other source of wild-ass guesses about something that hasn't happened? What separates the best source from the worst? Miller lays the historical background like this:

Ever since Jesus Christ was crucified and, according to the Gospels, rose again in glory, his followers have been anticipating the end of history--the time when their Lord will return to earth and reign for a thousand years. The question has always been when. Most Christians don't worry about the end too much; it's an abstract concept, a theological puzzle for late-night pondering. A few, however, have always believed that it is coming--and soon.

Christians of one stripe or another have perennially used biblical texts to predict the imminent "end of history;" one would expect that--sooner of later--they would realize the futility of their attempts and just give up, especially considering the source material from which they're working. I'm not quite ready to write a scorched-earth ridicule like this one over at Jesus' General--although it is quite amusing:

Those who suggest that Obama is the Antichrist have very valid reasons for their belief, based on upon the very specific criteria laid out in scripture.

For example:

Barack Obama rose out of the sea and has seven heads and ten horns.Aside from that, he's like a leopard except with bear's feet and a lion's mouth. and one of his heads was mortally wounded, but then healed.

Dale McGowan tackles Revelation in his "Bookin' through the Bible" series, and is somewhat less caustic:

Imagine if you will my shock and surprise upon learning that John's home island of Patmos has been the Mediterranean's premiere source of hallucinogenic mushrooms for thousands of years.

That makes infinitely more sense than treating Revelation as a serious "theological puzzle." I find it puzzling that such an amalgam of phantasm and delirium is purported to provide insight into the future, and I have great difficulty attempting a serious comment about something so ludicrous.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on November 20, 2008 2:34 PM.

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