Archive for August, 2008

Obama as Anti-Christ: Religious Extremism Not Dead as Political Influence

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Now that a GOP campaign ad casts Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in the role of anti-Christ, maybe it’s time to acknowledge that the impact of religious extremists isn’t quite as dead as mainstream media keep reporting.

The John McCain ad, ‘The One,’ playing on YouTube not so subtly paints Obama as the anti-Christ for adherents to an extreme interpretation of Revelations. This YouTube spot stokes these believers’ worst fears of global conflagration in an ultimate war between God and the devil.

McCain’s spin doctors want to scare these people into voting against Obama by casting a ballot for the Arizona senator, even if they don’t like McCain all that much.

Although mainstream media articles keep declaring the death of religious conservatism, religious conservatives obviously could impact this year’s election outcome. Otherwise the McCain camp would not bother to try to scare up their votes.

It’s so eery–and alarming. My fantasy saga chronicles what happens when politics and piety collide, just as they have in U.S. elections since 2000, all of which have been marred by extreme divisiveness and bitterly contested vote counts.

The fictional theocrats try to wrest power from the secular government of an island nation called Azgard, just as Christian Dominionists seriously seek to impose religious totalitarianism on the United States, and Islamic extremists want to impose a Caliphate on the Middle East. The fictional power struggle leads to civil war, eventually resulting in the destruction of the country and most of the world.

What might happen in real life if extreme religious viewpoints continue to influence the elections as well as public discourse and policies? Consider McCain’s statements about U.S. troops in Iraq for 100 years and supposedly joking comments about bombing Iran.

There is little humor and much to be alarmed about in any type of militant religiosity–Muslim, Christian, Hindu or whatever.