Rick Wiles, host of the radio show “End Times,” believes that while President Obama may not be the Antichrist foretold in the Bible, he’s definitely the latest human incarnation of Satan in a man’s body. His evidence for such a claim comes in the form of two news items: Obama’s filing of a legal brief opposing California’s Proposition 8, and a scheduled visit to Israel this spring.
Specifically, Wiles believes that Obama’s desire and work to “change laws” is evidence of a Satanic presence. Wiles emphasizes Daniel 7:25 by saying:
“‘He shall persecute the saints of the most high and shall intend to change times and law.’ Now that’s what I want you to focus on. ‘He shall persecute the saints of the most high and shall intend to change times and law.’”
Then, after discussing Proposition 8 and Obama’s intent in filing the brief, he says,
“So brace yourself, Mr. Obama may declare this week that homosexual marriage is a constitutional right. Is he the Antichrist who changes times and law? Only time will tell.”
The religious right has a history of saying that gay marriage will be the undoing of civilization. The dean of Liberty University’s school of law insisted earlier this year that allowing gay marriage will open the floodgates to destroying freedom of speech and religion, families, and traditional marriage, and will ultimately lead to revolution. And former Pope Benedict XVI called out gay people for denying their God-given sexual identities, and warned that gay marriage (along with euthanasia and abortion) threatened world peace.
But Wiles takes it further, using Obama’s legal brief against Prop. 8 as a segue into discussing the possibility of Obama cementing his position as Antichrist by walking into the Temple Mount area and proclaiming himself God. It appears that, to Wiles, it’s a little too convenient that Obama would urge the Supreme Court to declare gay marriage a constitutional right and then visit Jerusalem, and says,
“I think it will be interesting to see if he enters Jerusalem on the same day Jesus entered the city prior to Passover. […]
“Now here’s a crazy thought, I’m not suggesting that it’s going to happen; I’m just saying it’s kind of a crazy thought. Suppose that Mr. Obama enters the Temple and declares himself as God. Now, I don’t even want to go there today, I think it is too early for that happen, but this is starting to get a little spooky, isn’t it?”
While he couches his comments in “supposedly” and “I’m not saying,” it’s pretty clear what he is saying. However, it’s extremely unlikely that Obama would do something so offensively crass.
Part of the issue with the religious right, particularly those on the extreme right, is a certain inflexibility and fear of change. Given that times have changed quite a bit, not only through the making and changing of laws, but also through scientific and technological advances, one has to wonder just how many of the innovators of these changes have been considered an Antichrist. Times and laws change whether we like it or not.
Obama is not the first U.S. president to be suspected of being Antichrist. Fundamentalist Christians tend to suspect any leader who is unusually influential and charismatic. Presumably, the first U.S. president thought to be Antichrist was FDR, both for his influential abilities and his desire to form the United Nations. One of the things that Antichrist is supposed to do is create a one-world government, with himself as the head. Many evangelical Christians at the time believed that, if FDR wasn’t Antichrist, he was definitely under Antichrist’s influence.
JFK was also thought to be Antichrist when he was running for president, and Gregory Stuart Gordon thought that Reagan was Antichrist.
It seems that the fundamentalists look hardest at a person’s charisma, as Antichrist is supposed to be extremely charismatic and uses that charisma to influence the world to follow him. They do, however, tend to ignore other characteristics and qualifications when declaring that this leader or that leader is a likely Antichrist. Unfortunately, the paranoia that comes with that only furthers the politics of fear.