Monday, 27 October 2008

Yet another post about Obama's alleged Revelation 13 Antichrist status

The whole saga of it all made it into the UK Guardian today. Given that the Guardian is a vaguely leftie paper still adhering to a tradition of considering itself too grown-up for God stuff, this is quite an acheivement.

Really, though, who is the Antichrist? Nobody you’ll find in the Bible, certainly. Revelation chapter 13 simply puts it as follows;
And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority ... The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world...

So, leaving Obama aside for now, how do we get from that to the fundamentalist concept of the Antichrist as a person? The reasoning goes that, since God is all big and powerful, and since (according both to Newton in physical science terms and to Huntington in geopolitical terms) no force can exist without being opposed by an equal and opposite force. And since no force can exist without being opposed by an equal and opposite force, and since God is all big and powerful, the one who opposes God must be all macho and testosterone-laden too. And since the beastie of Revelation chapter 13 is the machoest, scariest non-God figure in the entire Bible, then he must be drafted into the Antichrist post.

There's a problem with this already, though: fundamentalists aren't supposed to do reasoning. With fundamentalism, the myth and metaphor of texts such as Revelation, as Karen Armstrong explains far better than me, are mean to be read like science textbooks. So, as a fundamentalist wanting to assert a doctrine of the Antichrist, one can only fall back on revelation: the Antichrist is how he is because God told me. And in our cosy postmodern world which has become very comfortable with the idea of people hearing all sorts of mutually contradictory things from various higher powers, it's a hard thing to refute.

So far be it for me to deny the existence for you of the Antichrist.

But how does Obama come into it? Well, in very much the same sort of way that Charles I of England came into it when people didn't want him in charge either. In both cases, God appears to have very specifically to have likened the Antichrist to the unwanted leader. And many, many times in between.

Maybe, though, God or those to whom he prophesied made some mistakes. After all, I have no grounds upon which to pronounce Obama not to be this mythically-constructed figure which some might attach the name of "Antichrist". After all, it's all convincing stuff;
According to The Book of Revelations: The Anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40s, 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, he will destroy everything. And Now: For the award winning Act of Stupidity Of all times the People of America want to elect, to the most Powerful position on the face of the Planet -- The Presidency of the United states of America .. A Male of Muslim descent who is the most extremely liberal Senator in Congress (in other words an extremist) and in his 40s.
Whatever. But what I still don't get and can't get my head around is how one can reconcile all the obsessing about evil and all the hate-mongering, scapegoating and bile that seems to accompany all such Antichrist searching. Where does the love which Jesus kept going on and on and on about, where does that come into it? Where's it all gone...?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do people not realize that the Muslim religion did not exist when the Bible was written. So, how could the Bible say the antichrist was a Muslim man? Ridiculous.

Fox said...

I am not the Antichrist.

t75@freemail.hu

Anonymous said...

Excuse me but im pretty sure that Obama is not Muslim, nor did this religion exist when the bible was written, and if one has any faith at all in the bible and god there would be no second guessing a man in which more than half of our nation elected president. What is wrong with people these days!!!???

Anonymous said...

Obama is from Muslim decent. His father was Muslim. Obama is in his 40s and he is speaking about New World Order. The Bible is the truth and you cannot change the events that are taking place. I say read where it says not to take the mark of the beast.