One in four Americans think Obama may be the Antichrist, survey says.
According to a poll released by opinion researchers Public Policy Polling, that’s exactly what they say (13% say he is and 13% aren’t sure).
In popular Christian mythology (and I say mythology because modern evangelical Christian beliefs about the “The Antichrist” really aren’t based on their sacred texts1, but more on modern urban legends and books like the Left Behind™ series), the Antichrist is a charismatic person with Satanic power who will fool lots of people, and will precipitate the final violent confrontation between good and evil, an apocalyptic battle in which a significant percentage of humanity will die. Historically, pretty much any leader worth his salt has been called the Antichrist by somebody, and significant percentages of humanity do die from time to time.
President Obama is charismatic, and North Korea is rattling the nuclear sabre, so I suppose some folks are getting jumpy about now. Paradoxically, the “popular” Antichrist can be anyone who promotes world peace or anyone who works against world peace. It can be a loved person or a hated person. It works like a conspiracy theory where evidence against the theory is proof of how well it’s working.
Barack Obama will only be President a little less than 4 more years. Most Presidents retreat into obscurity after leaving office. If that is the case with Obama, the Antichrist seekers will move on to a more visible figure. If he becomes Secretary General of the UN, look out.
What I wonder though is how society functions, how the food gets grown and packaged, firemen put out fires, and Amazon.com get the book I ordered delivered on time, when significant portions of the US population believe in alien abductions, global New World Order conspiracies, that vaccines cause autism, that Osama bin Laden is still alive, antichrists and of course that President Obama was born in Kenya. It seems to me that people must compartmentalize their crazy, acting in rational ways to make a living, but behaving irrationally in private or among other conspiracists. It is, to me, frankly unsettling, but we muddle through somehow.
1In Christian Scripture, the antichrist is anyone who does not believe that Jesus was a flesh-and-blood human being, and there were many of those running around in the 1st century AD.