If you were asked to name the most likely candidate for the position of “The Antichrist”, a Christian mythological concept that describes a single figure of concentrated evil, then who would naturally spring to mind?
I can think of several such as Nero, Genghis Khan, Vlad the Impaler (his name gives you a clue), Stalin, and Hitler. These are all very viable psychopaths who fit the bill quite nicely. Ah, but what if you did a poll in the US, who do you think might pop up, any Guesses?
Obama as the Antichrist
Not too long ago back in 2013, according to a Public Policy Polling, 13% named Obama as the Antichrist. That one gets a bit more bizarre. While 13% were actually sure that Obama is indeed the antichrist, another 13% were not really sure and thought that he just might be. That left 73% who correctly identified this Antichrist assertion as bullshit. In other words, even back then we could seriously doubt the sanity of 1 in 4.
Even that was far crazier then you might appreciate
Of the 13% who were quite sure that Obama was indeed the Antichrist, 5% of them confessed that they still actually voted for him.
Let me play that back for you: There were people who willingly and happily voted for the person they sincerely believed was the Antichrist.
Well yes, it takes all sorts.
Roll forward to 2021
The Christ and Antichrist terms are even more popular.
Biden, a devout Catholic, perhaps one the more sincerely religiously devout individuals to ever live at 1600 pennsylvania avenue, is supposedly now the Antichrist. Meanwhile, the previous occupant was, and still is, deemed by many to be the anointed one of God, a messiah. For those unfamiliar with the word “Christ”, it literally means “anointed one”.
This might be the point at which you suggest, “Nobody actually asserts that”.
Many actually do. While sensible Christians would indeed dismiss such a claim as heresy, there exists a very vocal and quite popular strand of belief that does indeed promote this claim. You really do not need to dig very hard to find it …
But hey, the above is a “Biased” liberal media “fake news” link, so let’s see what Fox News says …
That’s all good and well, but nobody would dare to go as far as putting up a billboard declaring Trump to be the Son of God … right?
Wrong, this popped up last week in Georgia …
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Number of Evangelicals reading that sign who actually spotted that?
Probably very few because many of them tend to not actually read the Bible all that much.
So where do things now stand?
The previous Antichrist, Obama has now retired, and like all previous holders of the title “Antichrist” bestowed by Evangelicals, he completely failed to do any of the Antichrist type of things that they declared he would do. The current title holder, Biden, is now faithfully attending Catholic Mass every single week. I’m not exactly convinced that is what the Antichrist is supposed to do, so clearly once again like Obama he is rather rubbish at being the Antichrist.
Meanwhile, Christ, the anointed one, the idiot-in-chief, is busy off playing golf most days. Ever since he lost the election we have been promised a second coming is about to happen any day now, but like the original, so far nothing, he has been a no show. In a fashion similar to the original, the dates keep changing and promises that consistently fail to deliver his second coming keep being revised.
Such rhetoric is not new
Claims of divine appointment have been used for a very very long time, it has a long history.
What we are now seeing is simply a rehash of “The divine Right of Kings“. This was asserted by many Kings and Queens throughout history.
The idea was this …
- The monarch is not accountable to any earthly body such as a congress or a parliament.
- The right to rule with absolute power comes directly from God.
- Any opposition, any challenge, is to directly oppose God.
- This was not up for debate.
The origins in such thinking go right back to the Roman emperors who declared themselves to have been “divinely sanctioned” by the gods.
Within Christian theology the concept is grounded in the story of the prophet Samuel anointing Saul and then David. The claim there was that the king was officially anointed by God. As I mentioned previously, the word Christ, in greek χριστός (chrīstós), literally means “Anointed One”.
It’s basically a raw power grab. What we are seeing these days with Trump is a repackaged version of this supposed “divine right”
The Trump card (if you will forgive the pun) is the claim that 45 was divinely anointed to be in charge. Any criticism, any dissent, is supposedly a moral crime because such opposition is supposedly opposition against God himself. You can’t debate or argue against the rule of “Christ”, the anointed one.
This all naturally leads to their conclusion that Biden is the Antichrist because he has replaced the supposedly divinely appointed one.
I don’t need to tell you this, but for completeness I’ll say it. It’s all pure gold-grade class-1 bullshit. This modern claim has no legal basic, no theological basis, no factual basis, and is not in any way ethical or moral. It’s not about belief vs non-belief, nor is it about good vs evil. Rather it is instead a gullibility test: will you fall prey to this rather blatant attempt at emotional manipulation or not?
For those that are religious, you should be familiar with what the term “Antichrist” actually means. It describes an individual who sets themselves up as an alternative to Christ. Matthew 24:24 reads …
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
If indeed you sincerely believe Trump to be the anointed one, an alternative to Christ, then what makes you confident that you have not been deceived by a false Christ?
I have honestly no idea how it is actually supposed to work
The claim is that God supposedly anointed Trump to win the election. In the context of a democracy, how exactly does that work?
Is it a claim that God would rig the election?
The far more rational, reasonable, and blindly obvious answer is this – none of it is true at all. These religious terms are being deployed as a way to manipulate large numbers of people. For many who believe all this, that rather stark reality is unthinkable because they are too deeply invested emotionally or socially to be able to even begin to consider it.
Perhaps now is the time for those that embraced all of this as “truth” to start thinking outside the box.
One last thought. Let us also not forget that George III was an individual who advanced the concept of his divine right to rule. 1776 is a date when a rather robust “no” to that was solidified and finalised.
Do we really want to roll that back?
If you are “evangelical” then these days, that’s a “yes”.