Monday, July 13, 2009

Propaganda: Apocalypse and Obama

I cannot believe that this topic is becoming one of my favourites, but it just won't go away. So here is an update to my AntiChrist spotters guide.

Last night I was watching the perky prophets of apocalypse, Jack and Rexella Van Impe on TV explaining how Barack Obama had rejected the very basis of Christianity, and that's all it took to bring me back to the subject.

First I found a blog about the AntiChrist, "Know Your Antichrist Candidates", which lists various of the contenders, with background info and an analysis of their chances of being the AntiChrist. I think the blog is tongue in cheek, however the humour is dry so it's hard to tell sometimes. There are many comments also, from people who are passionate about the subject, I would say.

Unfortunately the blog is a bit old (2006), and so it does not include Barack Obama. So I decided to do a bit of research myself to see how he fits in. First I looked up AntiChrist candidate Al Gore, who in 2006 received 269,000 hits for “al gore antichrist”. Today, he gets only 75,900, so apparently his chances of winning the have dropped, while now there are 459,000 for barack obama antichrist. There are many other criteria besides Google to be considered, such as Biblical quotations and prophecies.

Coincidentally, on this particular blog, Jack Van Impe himself is one of the candidates for AntiChrist. Jack Van Impe's wife Rexella, was described as "his slightly creepy amanuensis Rexella sitting by his side."

And check this entry on amanuensis out for the origin of the word "Secretary of State"

David Futrelle in Salon described Rexella thusly: “Prim and cheerful, with permed blonde hair and a Home-Shopping-Network fashion sense, Rexella speaks of the end of the world as calmly as if she were announcing a potluck.”

And for Jack Futrelle's original piece in Salon

Now to get back to why Van Impe thinks Obama has rejected the very foundations of Christianity. Before he was presidential candidate, Obama answered a question about heaven, saying that he thought there were different ways to get to heaven, and people would be rewarded for doing good. I'm sure Barack thought his words were inoffensive, but he stepped on an Evangelical land mine with that one.

Exactly how you get "saved" is one of the hottest topic of controversy in the Christian Church. One side says you can go to heaven in various ways, including by doing good works. The other side says you get to heaven only through accepting the lord Jesus as your saviour. The extremists, fundamentalists, evangelicals etc. are in the "Salvation only thru accepting Jesus as your personal saviour" camp, and are hostile to the other group for even suggesting there may be more than one way to get to heaven.

As I have explained before, this theological debate became important among Fundamentalists in the southern US during the time of slavery and racism. It is obviously still important. The simple doctrine of salvation thru Jesus allowed the slave masters to get to heaven while committing evil works, such as whipping their slaves to death and raping the women. According to the salvation doctrine, the way to heaven was entirely through your personal relationship with God, and good/bad works on Earth were of absolutely no consequence. The slave owners were sure that God was rich, white, and all powerful, so they knew their personal relationship to God was in the bag.

The same "salvation thru Jesus" doctrine also appealed somewhat to the slaves, who were allowed to imagine that they also might have a personal relationship with God, although the slave owners would have been somewhat perturbed to be greeted at the doorway to heaven by ex-slaves that they previously whipped to death. Luckily that never happened.

Nothing much has changed in the Christian fundamentalist theology, so today we have torturing, warmongering, presidents who support tax cuts for the rich being "Saved in Jesus", while another president who speaks of peace, abolishes torture, wants to spread the wealth around, (and did I forget to mention he is black?), is the AntiChrist, and has rejected the very core of Christianity.

According to the fundamentalist propaganda, anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Well, it's in the Bible, so it must be true!

    'Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."
    John 3:1-7

    Seems clear to me.