Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Reflections on the Antichrist.

Here we are entering the final stretch of an unparalleled and energizing Presidential race,...the most information laden, issue-focused, discursive, well-debated and well-discussed, blog-busting we've had (since television?)...with evangelical pastors hosting fireside values chats with the candidates, both of whom promise to make this campaign about issues not character assassinations (wut...this is America?)...and suddenly someone lobs "the One" (above). A doozy of a character assassination if there ever was one (which - pray to Hashem it doesn't happen - may actually very well lead to actual assassination). In the popular eschatology of evangelicals, to posit yourself as a Christ figure is to be the Antichrist (or "beast" described in Revelation).

To be clear about the attack ad above: this is demonizing.

Sheez. For the Leave Behind brothers out there, let's just get a few salient facts straight:

A. Obama is a black man.

B. A Christian is a person who confesses that Christ is Lord and Messiah.

C. "Antichrist" in Greek means "being against Christ", which the good book defines quite unadornedly: "Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son." I John 2:22

D. Many white people typically have a hard time taking a black man at his word.

Clearly "C" cannot apply to a person who clearly defines himself in the category of "B", so in the case with this whole "Obama is the One (And Only Antichrist!)" panic it is safe to assume that Republican (and premillenial evangelical) ad-makers well understood that they could put "D" into play here and scare the knickers out of every waffling Leave Behinder it touched. A minor, but useful, exercise in logic here. No need for inductive Bible study to dispel the vulgar use of scripture in this case, but if you require it, Snopes actually does a good job at it. (Actually, more infuriating than the use of "D" to me is how these republican ad-makers are bastardizing Obama's use of black spiritual langauge as the handiwork of the Devil...but that's a whole other level of discussion that I have enough fuse to handle.)

Needless to say,...All expectations of a civil campaign are hereby put asunder. And finally, if there ever was any doubt or ray of clarity on this, the evangelical right and its leadership (by not speaking out immediately against this nonsense...unless *sigh* they actually do hold D so deep down that they can accept "the One" ad without a moment of some self-reflection) are clearly showing their sheer lack of decency and true respect for the life of someone made in the image of God. Let the record of their witness show.