Obama, Assassination, and the Antichrist Conspiracy
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Nov 19, 2011 at 03:37:58 PM EST

The alleged shooter charged with attempting to assassinate President Obama, Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, apparently thinks our Commander in Chief is an agent of Satan in an End Times war. Sarah Posner has explained the basics in an article"'Obama the Antichrist' and end-times doctrine."

I warned about the possibility of the demonization of Obama leading to more violence in a book chapter published in 2010 "The Roots of Anti-Obama Rhetoric." Many individuals who act out in violence in the early stages of a demonization campaign are struggling with emotional or psychological issues. Their choice of target, however, indicates a larger group of individuals are weighing the need for action "before time runs out--the classic apocalyptic timetable. Below is a slightly revised version of what I wrote:

Read on:

A September 2009 poll in New Jersey found that 14% of Republicans believed that President Obama was the Antichrist--Satan's agent in the End Times according to one reading of the Bible's Book of Revelation. Another 15% thought it might be possible.

The results across political allegiances, however, were also troubling; with 8% of respondents statewide saying they thought Obama was the Antichrist and 13% stating they "aren't sure". The poll also found that "21% of respondents, including 33% of Republicans, express the belief that Obama was not born in the United States".

According to the pollster, these are "eye popping numbers" ("Extremism in New Jersey", 2009). The mobilization of apocalyptic expectation among Christian Evangelicals in the United States has been shown to be an effective mobilization strategy by the Christian Right and allies in the Republican Party (Boyer, 1992; Fuller 1995). This is especially true among fundamentalists (Barron, 1992; Mason, 2002; Berlet, 2008). This millenarian mood is spread from religious into secular communities, often through conspiracy theories (Brasher, 2000).

Public assertions claiming harm to individuals and threats to the nation are not without consequences.

As Milbank observed in a newspaper column, Glenn Beck routinely "accuses Tides of seeking to seize power and destroy capitalism, and he suggests that a full range of his enemies on the left all have `ties to the Tides Center.'"

In 2010, a heavily armed unemployed man was arrested as he drove toward the Tides Center in California. His plan was to "kill progressives" (Milbank, 2010). After a shootout with police, the accused, Byron Williams, told investigators that he:
... wanted to start a revolution by "killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU", according to a police affidavit. His mother, Janice, told the San Francisco Chronicle that her son had been watching television news and was upset by "the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items" (Milbank, 2010).
During the election campaign in 2008 it was clear some people were becoming agitated about the potential for a Black man backed by liberals to become the next President of the United States. The following is compiled from published news reports. Shortly before the election, police broke up an alleged plot by racist skinheads in Tennessee to kill Black people and then assassinate candidate Obama. Democracy is built upon a foundation of informed consent. Attacks on President Obama built around myths, fabrications, and bigotry undermines not just the man or the Presidency, but also democracy itself.
More on this soon. For Background:

Dances with Devils: How Apocalyptic and Millennialist Themes Influence Right Wing Scapegoating and Conspiracism Chip Berlet

`Christian Warriors': Who Are The Hutaree Militia And Where Did They Come From? Chip Berlet

Stephen D. O'Leary's Theory of Apocalyptic Rhetoric

Culture, Religion, Apocalypse, and Middle East Foreign Policy Chip Berlet & Nikhil Aziz

Cite: Chip Berlet. 2010. "The Roots of Anti-Obama Rhetoric," in Donald Cunnigen, Marino A. Bruce (eds.) Race in the Age of Obama (Research in Race and Ethnic Relations, Volume 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.301-319.



Display:
Let me go on record as saying that President Obama is NOT the antichrist.
Thanks for the interesting article. These people are nothing if not persistent.

My understanding is that this type of vicious propaganda, conspiracy laden and racist, is known as 'trolling for assassins'. The vitriol is broadcast far and wide, and the rightwing's silent hope is that out in the lunatic fringes some individual on the margins of society will snap and make his move.
If Byron Williams had succeeded in his assassination attempt at the Tides center, Glenn Beck would probably have condemned the terrible tragedy... but perhaps with just a little twinkle in his eye.

by COinMS on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 09:03:01 PM EST

between the extreme conservatives and the extreme liberals is that some of the conservatives would be delighted if certain liberals were to die of unnatural causes, whereas most of the liberals just want to see certain of the conservatives with their pants down. (Nix that - I'd rather someone else have to view said pantless pol.)Wide stance? Flight to Brazil? I would enjoy watching some of these blowhards hoist themselves by their own *** . (Fill in the blank)

by NancyP on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 02:21:17 PM EST
Parent



WWW Talk To Action


Christian Right Turns to Nullification to Counter Marriage Equality
Last year in The Public Eye magazine, Rachel Tabachnick and Frank L. Cocozzelli warned of the trend on the religious and political Right toward......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Historian Gerald Horne on Charleston, Church, & Slave Resistance
Professor Gerald Horne of the University of Houston notes the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was at the center of Black resistance to slavery......
By Chip Berlet (1 comment)
The Zealots Strike Back: Latest Religious Right Sputtering Over Marriage Equality Is More Weak Tea
I've been monitoring the Religious Right's response to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality, and I'm not impressed.So far, the reaction of......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Is Koch Brothers Money Fueling Criticism of Pope Francis on Climate Change?
In my last post I examined conservative criticism of Laudato Sii, ("Praised Be"), Pope Francis's encyclical on the environment and poverty. Indeed, some of......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
Politics in Theocratic Times
The matter of religious exemptions from civil rights and labor laws is at the cutting edge of the contemporary political strategy of the Christian......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Why Is the Christian Right Remaining Silent About the Dennis Hastert Affair?
In early June, the Associated Press' Mary Clare Jalonick reported that a Montana woman interviewed by the FBI claimed that "her brother was sexually......
By Bill Berkowitz (1 comment)
Remembering James Dunn: Baptist Champion Of Religious Freedom
When I began working for Americans United in 1987, one thing confused me: Why were there so many Southern Baptists hanging around?Southern Baptists were......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Resistance Is Futile: Some County Clerks Say `I Won't' To Marriage Equality
One week ago, the U.S. Supreme Court extended marriage equality nationwide. So where are we now?To no one's surprise, leaders of the Religious Right......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Celebrating July 4th
A decade or so ago I was vacationing in Hot Springs,  Arkansas.  It was July 4th and I attended the First Baptist Church in......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
Nine Mainline Protestant Christian Martyrs
This is a tricky time for the Christian Right. Immediately following the mass murder at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
Terms, Definitions & Glossaries for Writing about the Religious Right
One of the challenges in writing about the Religious Right and what to do about it is the matter of terms and definitions. That's......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Top Southern Baptist Official Admits Churches Won't Be Forced To Marry Same-Sex Couples
For years now, Religious Right leaders have been whipping up hysteria by claiming that, should marriage equality become the law of the land, conservative......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
The Pope, Climate Change and the Catholic Right.
The conservative criticism of Laudato Sii, ("Praised Be"), Pope Francis's encyclical on the environment and poverty that began even before its release, has now......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
Simply Put -- LGBTQ rights are not a threat to religious freedom
I'd like to underscore the conclusion of this piece, which is crossposted from LGBTQ Nation.  The advance of civil rights for LGBTQ people is......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Pluck Of The Irish: Same-Sex Marriage Vote Shows Yearning For An End To Clerical Domination
A provocative headline from Reuters news service last week caught my eye. "Irish plunge stake through Catholic Church's heart," it read.The headline is perhaps......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)

Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (0 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (0 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (11 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (3 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (1 comment)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (5 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (3 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.