McCain Ad Suggests Obama is the Antichrist?

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Some “progressive” Christians are upset that John McCain’s campaign ad called “The One” is trying to paint Barack Obama as the Antichrist.

It’s not easy to make the infamous Willie Horton ad from the 1988 presidential campaign seem benign. But suggesting that Barack Obama is the Antichrist might just do it.

That’s just what some outraged Christian supporters of the Democratic nominee are claiming John McCain’s campaign did in an ad called “The One” that was recently released online. The Republican nominee’s advisers brush off the charges, arguing that the spot was meant to be a “creative” and “humorous” way of poking fun at Obama’s popularity by painting him as a self-appointed messiah. But even this innocuous interpretation of the ad — which includes images of Charlton Heston as Moses and culled clips that make Obama sound truly egomaniacal — taps into a conversation that has been gaining urgency on Christian radio, political blogs, and in widely-circulated email messages that accuse Obama of being the Antichrist.

The ad was the creation of Fred Davis, one of McCain’s top media gurus, as well as a close friend of former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed and the nephew of conservative Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe. It first caught the attention of Democrats familiar with the Left Behind series, a fictionalized account of the end time that debuted in the 1990s and has sold nearly 70 million books worldwide. “The language in there is so similar to the language in the Left Behind books,” says Tony Campolo, a leading progressive evangelical speaker and author.

I’d probably laugh this one off, except that I’ve received quite a few emails from evangelist mailing lists (lists I didn’t ask to join) that make the Antichrist accusation very explicitly—so I know that they really are trying to spread this ridiculous canard. Is this an attempt by the McCain campaign to leverage far-right religious support on the sly?

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Last updated: 2021-06-05 2:51 pm PDT
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