Nathan (vovat) wrote,


So, this Tuesday is when President Obama is going to address schoolchildren with his radical socialist message that they should stay in school and work hard. This is apparently considered "indoctrination" by some visible conservatives. Obviously every president is going to be scrutinized and criticized, but Obama can't even do anything as innocuous as killing a bug, proposing a new health care plan, giving a speech, or tying his shoe (well, probably; I don't think that one has happened quite yet) without someone trying to paint him as a foaming-mouthed madman. My childhood was full of Reagan and Bush Sr. coming on TV to tell kids that they should say no to drugs. Was that also indoctrination? Hey, maybe it WAS! Well, I'll show those presidents for thinking they can tell things to children! I'm taking my non-existent kids out of school on Tuesday, AND I'm going to get them to start shooting smack!

Not only is our duly elected leader a notorious socialist, anti-insectite, and bad influence on kids, however, but he's also the Antichrist. Seriously, this guy must be busy, which is more than I can say for the last president.

Yes, if you play crazy word games that involve translating two words of some quotation of Jesus that was probably a paraphrase anyway into a different language, you can come up with something that, if you take a few liberties with the pronunciation, maybe sounds sort of like "Barack Obama"! Now THAT'S what I call proof!

Never mind that the idea of the Antichrist isn't really Biblical anyway. Yes, the TERM "antichrist" is used to refer to people who are against Christ, but the idea of this one guy who's essentially Bizarro Jesus is a later development. But people who like the Antichrist idea associate him with the conquering horseman and seven-headed beast of Revelation. This beast is given authority over and worshipped by the entire world, aside from those whose names are written in the Book of Life (which typically seems to consist of the members of whatever denomination is interpreting the story). So people who believe in the Antichrist concept fear any attempts at a government for the whole world, despite the fact that such a thing is slightly less likely than chickens learning to talk. Seriously, some people believe that EVERYONE who isn't the right sort of Christian will worship this beast? Even atheists? Come on, even if he DOES find some miraculous way to bring peace to the world and wins billions of converts worldwide, there will eventually be schisms of some sort. Maybe there will be disputes over which of the beast's heads is the most powerful, or whether the seven heads are all actually aspects of ONE head, or whether it's proper to have the Number of the Beast marked on the forehead or the right arm. This is, after all, essentially what history has shown happening plenty of times.

Now, if we examine the Book of Revelation in its historical context, it makes more sense. Many scholars think that the document is the product of a time when the conquered peoples of the Roman Empire were required to at least pay lip service to the cult of the Emperor. As was the case during the Greek occupation of Judea, the Jews (and at the time of Revelation, Christianity was still a sect of Judaism) took their monotheism seriously, and refused to even claim to worship someone else. In fairness, the Bible records the Jews themselves as having done a fair amount of religious persecution back in the days of the two kingdoms. And when Christianity became the prevailing religion in Europe, not only were people forced to at least pretend to believe what the Church taught, but the persecution of the people whose holy book they'd appropriated was an official policy. But I think if you look beyond the stuff about how followers of Yahweh and Jesus are cooler than everyone else, I see the message here and in other books concerning persecution (like Daniel and Esther) being that the state attempting to curtail religious freedom and set itself up as worthy of worship is a Bad Thing. I guess the "America is a Christian nation" crowd wouldn't agree with me, but I have to wonder how many of them have read either the Bible or an American history textbook.

But getting back to Obama, what has he done to suggest that he's the Antichrist? Tried to conquer the world? Forced people to get forehead tattoos? Set up a fascist cult to worship him? Not as far as I can tell. Yeah, I guess all that is supposed to happen later, but if he didn't have SOME trait associated with the Antichrist, how would anyone even know ahead of time? And from what I've heard, the reason people think he's the Antichrist is that...he's charismatic. Like Hitler, according to some Godwin's Law invokers. Well, yeah, Hitler WAS charismatic, but so are and were many other leaders, regardless of whether they caused more harm or good. That's how a lot of them got to BE leaders. So, yeah, even if I were someone who believed in the Antichrist, I think I would have to have a little more evidence than a few word games and a trait that millions of other people throughout history have had before I'd start to consider any particular person for that role.

Wow, that entry turned out pretty long, when I'm sure I could have gotten my point across by writing, "Gee, some people say really stupid things about the President." But I guess I just can't resist an excuse to wax philosophical on religious mythology.
Tags: bible, history, politics, religion
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