News-Flash: Neither Bush Nor Obama is the Anti-Christ

Sep 7, 2009   //   by efremsmith   //   justice, politics, reconciliation, theology  //  1 Comment

When George W. Bush was the President of the United States there were some liberals who labeled him as the anti-christ and some others even went as far as comparing him to Hitler. Now some conservatives and even some evangelicals are launching the same attacks at President Obama. It wouldn’t be so bad if these were just a few fringe voices relegated to media outlets that most people don’t take time to read or listen to. The problem is that mainstream and popular media outlets are giving these extreme, “get paid for speaking anger and hate” voices a tremendous platform.

Don’t believe the hype or the hate. Neither Bush nor Obama are the anti-christ. The cases to make them such are based on a limited understanding and blatant misinterpretation of the Bible. These cases are also based on a limited view of the judgement and justice of God.

Let’s begin with this biblical truth. Idolatry and injustice are both sins, which led to judgement from God in the Old Testament and thru Christ plays a role in the entrance into the Kingdom of God described in the New Testament. The Old Testament foundations I’m speaking of can be found in the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah. The New Testament foundation I’m talking about can be found specifically in Matthew chapter 25.

There are some conservatives and evangelicals that want to call Obama the anti-christ, simply because he’s pro-choice. For those with this perspective you need to do your research. President Bill Clinton was pro-choice too, but guess what? There were more abortions that took place during the eight years of George W. Bush than the eight years of Bill Clinton because there is a direct connection between poverty and abortion. If conservatives and evangelicals want to reduce abortions (which didn’t happen under President George W. Bush), deal head-on with poverty. So, the abortion issue alone doesn’t make Obama any more anti-christ than Bush, which is why I say neither are. Now I get the argument that being pro-choice is a biblical problem in and of itself. I agree. I’m pro-life myself; I’m a, “womb to tomb pro-lifer.” This means I not only have issue with abortion, but the death penalty as well. But you’re not going to see pro-life evangelicals outside prisons protesting the death penalty. You also don’t see evangelicals marching down inner-city streets with the same passion to protect babies outside the womb from gang violence the same way they do for the babies in the womb. Remember, I myself am a evangelical, Womb to Tomb Pro-lifer.

Now, let’s look at poverty beyond it’s connection to abortion. Some liberals and mainline Christians want to make the case that George W. Bush is the anti-christ because of his ignoring of the poor and marginalized in our nation during his tenure. Well, this group needs to do its research as well. The No Child Left Behind Act, though not perfect, is the strongest plan to date in holding public education accountable. Education is still one of the best empowerment tools for dealing with poverty. If not for 9/11, which led to the Vice-President and Secretary of Defense taking the leading of the nation from President George W. Bush, we might have seen the plan for “compassionate conservatism.” Urban public education systems are mostly run by liberals who put teachers’ unions ahead of African-American and Latino children and youth. Too many of these children and youth are on the wrong side of the achievement gap. President Obama cannot afford to treat the urban public school systems with kid gloves, George W. Bush didn’t.

You may not like the ideology of the immediate past or present President of the United States, but to make them deputy to Satan is going a little too far. The bottom line is, there is sin in both major political parties and a lot of anger and hate in the extreme conservative and liberal celebrities. Christians must rise above this and become ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20).

1 Comment

  • Pastor E, I’ve heard and read it said that the original translation of the word Satan from (Hebrew?) means “accuser.” If so, I would love to hear you teach on this some time.

    If so, what might that suggest about who is the one potentially acting in an “anti-Christ” way by “accusing” Presidents or others of being the Anti-Christ?

    Since you bring up the subject of abortion and pro-life versus pro-choice political stances…
    I admire and respect your broadening of the definition of what being pro-life SHOULD mean. Several years ago, you were actually the first Evangelical I heard who teaches a womb-TO-tomb platform of being prolife, not just a womb-AND-tomb platform.

    I humbly suggest that Believers (Evangelical or not) need to take this whole issue out of the political arena and restore it back to the Spiritual arena. My question to people who I’ve seen as more anti-abortion than pro-life is this:
    Is some day reversing Roe v Wade really, REALLY, what is gonna stop abortions from taking place?
    Is “annointing” or labeling as “anti-Christ” every political candidate or office holder based upon hemming them into only one of two extreme positions on abortion REALLY gonna stop abortions from taking place? (and…how much practical effect do election results actually have on real abortions, legal or not, taking place?)

    Isn’t the goal reducing or eliminating abortions from taking place, period, regardless of what the law says? If so, wouldn’t it be wise and prudent — as you suggest above — to take an honest look at what circumstances and issues might help or hinder that goal, regardless of who wins the next election?

    Compassionate conservatism. I’m not so sure I’m with you on the idea that compassionate conservatism would have been the driving force of Bush administration practices and policies if it weren’t for 9/11. While I agree that many of the things the human being George W Bush was called were heinous and uncalled for (and I called out friends for doing it), I still take issue with many of the practices and policies of the Bush administration. Whether intentional or not, the majority of the practices and policies of the Bush administration were notably UNcompassionate, often degrading and damaging to millions, and almost exclusively enacted without any of the outreach for “bipartisanship” that Obama has displayed so far.

    You hold up NCLB, and I agree with the spirit of that act — accountability, and that one thing it might hold more accountable is the racism that goes on in urban public schools under mostly liberal leadership. I’m still scratching my head about a couple things with NCLB, though:
    1. Do you agree with the argument made that this act was passed (some say cynically) without concern for the money and resources to make it succesful, and that the net result has been CLOSING public schools rather than making them more accountable?
    2. In actual practice, how far has NCLB gone in addressing the racism in urban school districts?

    You said a lot in one post, Pastor E. These are huge subjects, worthy of a lot of wrestling with. THAT, I believe, is part of your point, right?…let’s discuss the issues rather than make personal attacks? Let’s be careful about our words — ie, calling someone the anti-Christ is no casual thing to do.

    Grace and Peace,
    Mark

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