A few weeks ago, I attended the Inauguration in Washington D.C. I have been every four years since Clinton’s second inauguration in 1997. At the inauguration, I was disappointed at the lack of respect that was shown towards President Bush as he left office. Whether you agree or disagree with his decisions as President, he was the Commander in Chief and that should have commanded much more respect than the chorus of boos that he got. It’s not like any of us could have done a better job. Also at the inauguration, I was very disappointed to see how many from the Gay and Lesbian community booed Rick Warren as he prayed. They did so because of the media’s highlight on the simple point that Warren is opposed to gay marriage. What has not been mentioned in regards to Rick Warren are his outreach efforts to the gay community. He has shown unconditional love to them in ways that few have and yet he gets a chorus of boos even while in the midst of prayer simply because of his Biblically based belief that marriage is a sacred vow between a man and a woman.
As disappointing as those chorus of boos were, I have been even more disappointed in the attitude that many Christians have towards Obama. Just a couple weeks ago, a Christian friend of mine saw me wearing some of the attire I got from Obama’s inauguration. I was wearing a sweater which was designed as a commemorative of the event itself. Nothing new for me since I try to buy commemorative attire and other souvenirs every four years. As we talked, they expressed how deeply concerned they were about Obama, saying that they would have never went to the inauguration- because they are 100% convinced that Obama has to be the antichrist. I am wondering that if we had talked more, they would have warned that there may be no hope after wearing that attire for I might have just taken on the mark of the beast. Sounds ridiculous, but it honestly wouldn’t surprise me.
I have lived long enough to realize that this talk is typical any time there’s a new resident occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Every President during my lifetime has been at some time or another thought by some Christians to be the antichrist. While I was still in diapers, people were saying that Jimmy Carter was the antichrist because of his involvement in the peace talks between Egypt and Israel. Then 1980 came, and Reagan was elected, and he was the antichrist because he was the first president to have six letters in all three (his first, middle and last) names. After Reagan it was George H.W. Bush because of the Persian Gulf, then Bill Clinton, then when George W. Bush’s popularity soared for a bit albeit after 911 people started to worry that he might be the antichrist because his approval rating was higher than any other president. And now Christians are creating groups on Myspace, Facebook, and who knows where else to warn that Obama is the antichrist.
These are the same Christians who complained at the way George W. Bush was disrespected as President simply for being “a man of God.” Whether he was or wasn’t, is or isn’t a man of God- I can not judge. To put it quite frankly this talk of Obama being the antichrist is simply a copout, a guise rather to make it seem okay and justifiable to disrespect President Obama in the same way that Christians complained Bush was being disrespected. While these Christians are saying that Obama is the antichrist, the spirit they represent in their attitudes and the words they speak reveal themselves as having attitudes that are far more antichrist than what they could ever imagine Obama to be.
While I did not vote for Obama, he is my president and I support and respect him as such. I certainly do not agree with him on every issue but neither did I agree with Bush on every issue. As for the issues that I disagree with them on, that’s why I have a voice to be heard and letters to the presidents to write. But most of all to each president I write my own words of encouragement and prayer- for they are the authority that God has allowed to come into place for the time being- and we as Americans should respect them as such. Anything less than that whether it is downright disgust that we openly portray or the guise of warning that they might be the antichrist to try and add a spiritual tag to our disgust and hatred, reveals nothing but the antichrist in each one of us.