The rapturists and apocalypticists unnerve me. The whole notion that we have people in the electorate, and even the government, who think that global cataclysm is a good thing is terrifying.

In this piece, Mr. Sutton addresses how this set of beliefs plays in American politics. It’s truly unsettling.

Why the Antichrist Matters in Politics

by Matthew Avery Sutton, Pullman, Wash.

THE end is near — or so it seems to a segment of Christians aligned with the religious right. The global economic meltdown, numerous natural disasters and the threat of radical Islam have fueled a conviction among some evangelicals that these are the last days. While such beliefs might be dismissed as the rantings of a small but vocal minority, apocalyptic fears helped drive the antigovernment movements of the 1930s and ’40s and could help define the 2012 presidential campaign as well.

Christian apocalypticism has a long and varied history. Its most prevalent modern incarnation took shape a century ago, among the vast network of preachers, evangelists, Bible-college professors and publishers who established the fundamentalist movement. Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals and independents, they shared a commitment to returning the Christian faith to its “fundamentals.”

Biblical criticism, the return of Jews to the Holy Land, evolutionary science and World War I convinced them that the second coming of Jesus was imminent. Basing their predictions on biblical prophecy, they identified signs, drawn especially from the books of Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation, that would foreshadow the arrival of the last days: the growth of strong central governments and the consolidation of independent nations into one superstate led by a seemingly benevolent leader promising world peace.

This leader would ultimately prove to be the Antichrist, who, after the so-called rapture of true saints to heaven, would lead humanity through a great tribulation culminating in the second coming and Armageddon. Conservative preachers, evangelists and media personalities of the 20th century, like Billy Sunday, Aimee Semple McPherson, Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell, shared these beliefs.

Fundamentalists’ anticipation of a coming superstate pushed them to the political right. As the government grew in response to industrialization, fundamentalists concluded that the rapture was approaching. Their anxieties worsened in the 1930s with the rise of fascism. Obsessed with matching biblical prophecy with current events, they studied Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin, each of whom seemed to foreshadow the Antichrist.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt troubled them as well. His consolidation of power across more than three terms in the White House, his efforts to undermine the autonomy of the Supreme Court, his dream of a global United Nations and especially his rapid expansion of the government confirmed what many fundamentalists had feared: the United States was lining up with Europe in preparation for a new world dictator.

As a result, prominent fundamentalists joined right-wing libertarians in their effort to undermine Roosevelt. That this mix of millennialism and activism seemed inconsistent — why work for reform if the world is destined for Armageddon? — never troubled them. They simply asserted that Jesus had called them to “occupy” until he returned (Luke 19:13). Like orthodox Marxists who challenge capitalism even though they say they believe it represents an inevitable step on the road to the socialist paradise, conservative Christians never let their conviction that the future is already written lead them to passivity.

The world in 2011 resembles the world of the 1930s in many respects. International turmoil and a prolonged economic downturn have fueled distrust of government, as has the rise of a new libertarianism represented in the explosive growth of the Tea Party.

For some evangelicals, President Obama is troubling. The specious theories about his place of birth, his internationalist tendencies, his measured support for Israel and his Nobel Peace Prize fit their long-held expectations about the Antichrist. So does his commitment to expanding the reach of government in areas like health care.

In 2008, the campaign of Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee, presciently tapped into evangelicals’ apocalyptic fears by producing an ad, “The One,” that sarcastically heralded Mr. Obama as a messiah. Mr. McCain was onto something. Not since Roosevelt have we had a president of charisma and global popularity, who so perfectly fits the evangelicals’ Antichrist mold.

While Depression-era fundamentalists represented only a small voice among the anti-Roosevelt forces of the 1930s, evangelicals have grown ever savvier and now constitute one of the largest interest groups in the Republican Party. In the past, relatively responsible leaders like Mr. Graham, who worked with Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon, and even Mr. Falwell, who reined in evangelical excess in exchange for access to the Reagan White House, channeled their evangelical energy.

Not now. A leadership vacuum exists on the evangelical right that some Republicans — Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and even Ron Paul — are exploiting. How tightly their strident anti-statism will connect with evangelical apocalypticism remains to be seen.

The left is in disarray while libertarianism is on the ascent. A new generation of evangelicals — well-versed in organizing but lacking moderating influences — is lining up behind hard-right anti-statists. While few of the faithful truly think that the president is the Antichrist, millions of voters, like their Depression-era predecessors, fear that the time is short. The sentiment that Mr. Obama is preparing the United States, as Roosevelt did, for the Antichrist’s global coalition is likely to grow.

Barring the rapture, Mrs. Bachmann or Mr. Perry could well ride the apocalyptic anti-statism of conservative Christians into the Oval Office. Indeed, the tribulation may be upon us.

Matthew Avery Sutton, an associate professor of history at Washington State University, is the author of “Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America.”

Original post on the New York Times

44 Responses to “The Antichrist”

  1. The Last Exorcism (2010) BRRiP 720p x264 SayFull Language: English 87 min | 1280 x 720 | 23.98 fps | Mkv | AAC – 128kbs – 48KHz – Stereo | 548 MB Genre:Drama | Horror | Thriller Stars:Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Iris Bahr In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the evangelical Reverend Cotton Marcus was raised by his father to be a preacher. He agrees that the filmmaker Iris Reisen and the cameraman Daniel Moskowitz make a documentary about his life. Cotton tells that when his wife Shanna Marcus had troubles in the delivery of their son Justin, he prioritized the doctor help to God and since then he questions his faith. he tells that exorcisms are frauds but the results are good for the believers because they believe it is true. When Cotton is summoned by the farmer Louis Sweetzer to perform an exorcism in his daughter Nell, Cotton sees the chance to prove to the documentary crew what he has just told. They head to Ivanwood and…

  2. That is funny…. go look at my channel… maybe that will convince you…. But truthfully… I really care about your opinion……

  3. chiyu puett says:

    -This line of reasoning is a church age mentality. Of course “rapture” is true, only the interpretation of many are wrong. You will never understood a bible prophesy unless it is already fulfilled or it was divinely revealed unto you. Because knowledge and understanding of spiritual things comes from God, and given only to whom He will. One does not have knowledge & true understanding of “rapture” because he has 140+ IQ.

  4. Where’s everyone going? So many ppl dying. Is there a we don’t know about?… Or is it the rapture in revelation. Hmmm…

  5. Via “What if they meet in the finals? Which jersey you putting on then” In that instance? I’ll put on my Rapture garments…

  6. Please tell me where they accept gold to buy food. I really want to know. Probaly visit it and have a quick laugh. If you know gold is taxed at 30% + percent then please let me know the tax rate. As far as me being bad in math.. think again. I am actually pretty good. I will wait for the answers.

  7. Respond to this video… Yeah they do aye! I’d rather have Kings and Queens running my country, it’ll be awesome being dictated by them and losing our rights to vote, and instead inherit kings and queens that can only come from the same bloodline.

  8. debelch virzila says:

    Feline’s basement is the type of place you get stranded in when the rapture comes and nobody around you speaks English

  9. I only made it half way through Von Trier’s “Antichrist.” My recent sunny mood can’t coexist with the film’s extreme darkness.

  10. luda hogregel says:

    Harpazo is the Greek word which the New Testament translators have rendered as “caught up” see 2Corinthians 12:2.
    “Rapture” is taken from an obsolete French word, which means “abduction” or “to carry off”. Though Greek scholars may refrain from using “rapture” to translate “harpazo”, it is not a wresting of Scripture for the honest Christian to see the connection between the two.

    There WILL be a Rapture or Harpazo. God ALWAYS saves the Righteous from Judgement.. Read the Bible.

  11. I think after October 21st, there would be more stupid predictions from Harold Camping like 11/11/11, December 21st, 2011, May 21st, 2012, October 21st 2012 and especially the pole shift that is happening right now….

  12. huterbosta vareti says:

    Just checking, Did Obama ever serve in the military ? Why does the media never ask about Obama’s past? –

  13. besides Americans are nice people a bit dumb but still nice…”
    priceless :-); To be fair, there are also many great minds in America, in all spheres of life, from science to When you think about it, most of the best things on youtube come from the USA. On the other hand, wherever USA goes, to which ever of the world, it leaves behind a trail of total and utter and ever-lasting destruction: material, financial and one that is not often thought of – social.

  14. mermanvich rohash says:

    I thought that Newt Gingrich held his own against Mitt Romney in tonight’s debate. I’m sure President Obama is not too nervous though…

  15. less work to just tell us to keep breeding & pray for Rapture, when we starve or kill each other off, a new feudal dark age.

  16. if i survive another rapture, it’ll give me a complex! The End of the World will be May 27, 2012 says church leader

  17. gread batatensla says:

    if u laughed because blaine got ur going to HELL DON’T PASS GO DON’T COLLECT $200 STRAIGHT TO HELL YOU GO YOU ANTICHRIST

  18. Obama sang Stay Together”. But that matter. The last 30 seconds of this song are CLASSIC Al Green…that longing, that soulful vulnerability. The man is a God damn legend. I can say that because a Reverend now and can help me get forgiveness lol.

  19. Dan 12 seems to discuss “deliverance” which does not mean raptured out of ones shoes. Psalms 50 and 144 see it. Enoch is tough. But I think it does not tip the scales for me. BUT where is the direct prophesy that A) christianity will be invented and B) that it will be removed. Remember Amos 3:7. NOTHING happens that is not foretold by the prophets. Something as shaking as the rapture would have been clearly discussed.

  20. Now there is your mistake right there. Did you hear yourself? You actually said, “Let me explain something to all the fundamentalists out there,” It saddens me to point out that it is impossible to explain anything to a fundamentalist.

  21. ridin unk says:

    A bill to consolidate the state’s early-childhood operations into a single division has drawn criticism from an evangelical Colorado Springs church and others who claim it’s of a United

  22. Yasef Behar: ‘October Baby’ Film Makes a Dent at the Box Office: “October Baby,” which opened with the backing of evangelical… –

  23. No doubt Obama has tried to take on his enemies, like Fox News, but the has been ineffective at silencing them

  24. kamariko res says:

    “Secularism”, as practiced in India since 1947, may cause more damage to Hindus in the long run, than external Jihad or evangelical threats.

  25. cail ong says:

    okay, I already know. a lot of people tweeted me that. i’m not from england so didn’t know that they came 3rd.

  26. “Memorial Day is more than a 3 day wkend..we honor those who loved their country enough to sacrifice their own lives for it”~Prez Obama

  27. Had a great time church worshiping the lord tonight, I feel fantastic! And ready 2 take a few steps out of my zone 😀

  28. No I continued in that a few years under Tkach. Then that org decided to turn evangelical. That was the beg of the end

  29. The Anti-Defamation League described a plan by evangelical pastors in Kansas to build a replica of the Western Wall as of an shrine as “an outrageous affront to the Jewish people.”
    Click here for the rest of the article…

  30. That notion is a total fabrication and as non-sensical as the rapture itself. The Maya NEVER predicted the end (cont)

  31. sama rass says:

    The HATE IN THE US IS REAL!!!! They have a commercial to get ppl to DISQUALIFY Obama from being a Presidential candidate! SMH

  32. “If I were to begin life again, I would devote it to music. It is the only cheap and unpunished rapture upon Sydney Smith

  33. I urge you tweeps to be conscious about rapture!!, follow and do the principles!! In the bible, live a Christ like life!! –

  34. lorinia hantflis says:

    Photo: Join the at flagship Sydney store for your chance to … Kirsten Dunst: “I have done Antichrist because my boobs are too big …

  35. wellucciav sup says:

    Q4: One thing I miss the most from being in more evangelical churches is loving Scripture and reverencing it –

  36. If rapture happens on a sunday or Friday dependin on wateva belief; that is the only way the “12%” can make it, any oda day na wahala 🙁 –

  37. chivena lys says:

    Wut I feel sorry for everyone in Amarillo that worships a MAN. Hahaha. Someone told me Jesus is the Antichrist.

  38. No one in the United States has a social security number that begins with but my gmas ends with 666..the antichrist**

  39. Download here Andy Rewucki
    Nadine Pinette
    Mel Marginet
    Chris Hodgson
    Johnny Marlow
    Tyhr Trubiak
    Warren Louis Wiltshire
    Daryl Dorge

    Aegri Somnia has all the great things about a horror film,. Plot-Edgar is living in the shadow of his wife’s sudden death. The look is. ~… Haunted by vivid hallucinations and a faceless city. FilmBizarro.com – Your source for underground and independent film. Actors: Tyhr Trubiak: Edgar · Mel Marginet: Muriel · Warren Louis Wiltshire: Virgil · Nadine Pinette: Krista · Daryl Dorge: Lance. Aegri Somnia (2008) – IMDb Director: James Rewucki. Review: Embark on a hypnotic, phantasmagorical journey into the darkest recesses of a deranged mind in this dark, thriller from director James Rewucki. . Aegri Somnia (Absurd Machine Films/R Squared Films) | The Blood. Aegri Somnia – Rotten Tomatoes – Movies | Movie Trailers | Reviews. Antichrist Movie Review by James Rewucki, director of Aegri Somnia. Not to say that “Aegri Somnia” is similar to those movies but rather it is so visually engaging and unique it is impossible to not be drawn into the movie. Aegri Somnia (2008) Movie Review | Horrorphilia Aegri Somnia directed by:James Rewucki 2008 R-Squared Films 95 mins reviewer: James DePaolo. As the movie weaves between reality and fantasy (for lack of a better term),
    http://twitpic.com/bgscie

  40. renninger says:

    Download here Joel Molina
    Morny de Guzman
    Mercedes Cabral
    Noni Buencamino
    TJ Trinidad
    Jerry Respeto
    Irma Adlawan
    Meeyo Candelaria

    Published: 939 days ago. Actors: Irma Adlawan: Fe · TJ Trinidad: · Noni Buencamino: Dante · Joel Molina: Kapre · Meeyo Candelaria: Nestor · Mercedes Cabral. Yapan Line Producer: Mariel Dionisio Lessons From the School of Inattention: Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe (2009) Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe (Alvin Yapan, 2009) English Title: The Rapture of Fe. Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe | Tagalog Movies by KabayanCentral.com Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe is available at KabayanCentral.com. Yapan Executive Producers: Alemberg M. Ang and Alvin B. The film is gripping in its depiction of domestic violence,. Tags: ang panggagahasa kay fe, ang panggagahasa kay fe full movie, ang panggagahasa kay fe movie, Irma. The film evolves the character of Fe, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who is forced to come home due to the effects of the global financial crisis. Category: massacre, Pinoy Movies. Ang panggagahasa kay Fe (original title) – The Rapture of Fe (2009. Thought-Provoking Cinema (Movie Review for Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe. In an era where films are being dumbed down, ‘Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe’ is a film that pushes for contemplation inside the cinema. . Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe – YouTube Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe is one of the ten finalists in this years Cinemalaya Film Festival by the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe | Pinoy Movie Zone, Movie Area, Top. Caught between her violent husband and an impotent young lover, Fe’s life takes an unexpected turn when baskets of black fruits begin mysteriously appearing at her
    http://friendfeed.com/ilfnkrohttp://friendfeed.com/iuoqzln

  41. riveki tith says:

    Download here Ballu
    Full text of “Annual List of New and Books Added to the Public Library of the City of Boston” Loot.co.za: Sitemap 9780440406945 0440406943 D’Aulaire’s Book Of Greek Myths,. Les grandes dalles sont de magnifiques. Les Garamantes – Calaméo – Publish your documents Les nombreuses ruines de l oued El-Agial témoignent en. French Thesaurus Edition). Troisième édition enrichie d’ autographes et ornée des. Les Instruments de. Full text of “Printed books in the library of the Society of. I – Vintage Fiction,. nouvelles espèces d’oiseaux des côtes de. Full text of “Printed books in the library of the Society of Antiquaries of London, on March 10, 1887. Full text of “Annual List of New and Books Added to the. (Webster’s French Thesaurus Edition). Loot.co.za: Sitemap 9780153519543 0153519541 School Publishers Science California – Activity Book Student Edition. Garama antique « À dix jours de voyage d. Les Ruines De Timgad, Antique Thamugadi, Nouvelles (French Edition) Год: 2011 Издательство: Книга по. Guide illustré de Timgad (Antique Thamugadi. http://www.libreriasalimbeni.com composé sur les Dictionnaires de l
    http://donnellaom.skyrock.com/3132395http://friendfeed.com/uqmdhd

  42. pfelle gowdidi says:

    DOOMSDAY TALK RADIO… SPACESHIP CHRISTMAS! The Ancient Mayan Calendar/ Prophecy ends on DEC 21 2012 and they predict their god-king will RETURN in his Silver SPACESHIP to save the world, who is The Biblical Antichrist, War to explode vs ISRAEL very soon… First of Two raptures is near, 7000 to 700,000 will vanish.. ARE YOU READY? more

  43. moui barsiau says:

    . When you get your first crappy offer on the sequester from Obama, can your response please be “I get that …

  44. habolden davinaimi says:

    If you could live anyone’s life for a day, who would it be?… Barack Obama, Weed here we come !!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *