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


Priebus' RNC Israel Trip Organizer: "Wage War To Restore a Christian America"
image, right: Pastor David Lane, screenshot from Right Wing Watch video "Where are the champions of Christ to save the nation from the pagan......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
The Theocrats' New Clothes: A Naked Call for Political Dominion
Like the monarch in Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale, The Emperor's New Clothes, the theocratic ambitions of the organizers of the big Christian Right......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
The Republican Diversity Program... Is Working
The Washington Post recently underscored the larger point in this post, which goes far beyond the issues of the GOP diversity program. So I......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Unholy Alliance for Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety
When I obtained a post from a private email listserv of gun control advocates, I wasn't sure what to do with it. Then I......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Bobby Jindal's Big Rally for Christian Right Dominion
There is a big Christian Right rally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Saturday, January 24th. The event, called The Response, is intended to, among......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
Dominionism, Gov. Rick Perry and The Response Rally of 2011
The David Pakman Show recently rebroadcast this "Classic Interview"  with Rachel Tabachnick in which they discuss her groundbreaking work on the New Apostolic Reformation,......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Religious Freedom as Revolution
In which I discuss Religious Freedom Day on the David Pakman Show. I said, among other things, "The idea of religious freedom was one......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
President Obama's Religious Freedom Day Proclamation
As is the annual custom, Mr. Obama issued the the Presidential Proclamation for Religious Freedom Day, 2015. I have republished the whole thing after......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Seize the Day (Religious Freedom Day) on Social Media
Today is Religious Freedom Day! And there are ways to participate on social media on this, the most important national Day that most of......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Silencing Dissent: How Biased Civil Rights Policies Stifle Dialogue on Israel
"Silencing Dissent: How Biased Civil Rights Policies Stifle Dialogue on Israel" is a new article in Tikkun Magazine, (January 2015) by Chip Berlet and......
By Chip Berlet (0 comments)
Antisemitism and Islamophobia on U.S. College Campuses
Here are the Recommendations from the Report "Constructing Campus Conflict: Antisemitism and Islamophobia on U.S. College Campuses, 2007-2011: published by Political Research Associates, 2014......
By Chip Berlet (1 comment)
What Did Jefferson & 18th Century Evangelicals Have in Common?
What did Jefferson and 18th century evangelicals have in common?  If you guessed separation of church and state, you can go to the head......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Waking the Sleeping Beast of Religious Liberty
This piece originally appeared as an op-ed at LGBTQ Nation. Something remarkable happened in the run up to the decision of the U.S. Supreme......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Rousing Remarks: Remembering Mario Cuomo's Powerful Speech On Religion And Politics
Two memorable speeches were delivered in the early 1980s on separation of church and state. The first was by U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Huckabee Dumps Fox News -- Might Jump in to the Race for 2016
According to a statement on his web site, tonight will be Mike Huckabee's last show on Fox where he has held forth on Saturday......
By Frederick Clarkson (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 (0 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 (0 comments)
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 (2 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 (2 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)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 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.