'Obama the Antichrist?' CNN actually asks
David Edwards and Nick Juliano
Published: Friday August 15, 2008

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Just so we're clear: Barack Obama is in fact not the Anti-Christ, sent here to feed on the souls of the innocent, resume Satan's reign over earth and bring about the apocalypse as foretold in Revelation.

Not. The. Anti-Christ.

That such a subject is even speculated about in any but the most backwards, unreconstructed segments of American society -- let alone on a 24-hour cable network -- is a testament (no pun intended) to the depths to which political debate has fallen. But there was the caption on CNN Friday in big bold letters: "OBAMA THE ANTICHRIST?"

Apparently a not-insignificant number of Americans, after viewing John McCain's Web ad The One, with its Messianic overtones -- come away thinking that Barack Obama has been sent from Hell to Earth to turn its citizens against God. For inspiration, some of these people seem to be drawing from the fictional Left Behind series, which posits a dystopian future where the Anti-Christ comes to Earth as a charismatic politician.

The book's author's, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, have insisted they don't believe Obama is the Anti-Christ, although they can't resist taking a dig at the candidate in the process.

"I can see by the language he uses why people think he could be the antichrist," adds LaHaye, "but from my reading of scripture, he doesn't meet the criteria. There is no indication in the Bible that the antichrist will be an American."

McCain's campaign of course insists that convincing Evangelicals that Obama was the Anti-Christ was never their intention. CNN notes that regardless of its intent, though, the ad seems to have spurred increased interest in the baseless speculation. At least one entire blog is devoted to the question and a Google search for "Obama Antichrist" returns nearly 1 million results.

This video is from CNN's Newsroom, broadcast August 15, 2008.

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