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Time Magazine Calls Out McCain Ad- Worse than Willie Horton

Three days ago I posted a diary breaking down McCain’s "The One" ad (I posted the ad at the bottom of this diary) – pointing out the multitude of similarities to the end-times Left Behind novels.  To many, not coming from an evangelical background or context, this probably came across as a conspiracy theory.  However, today Amy Sullivan of Time Magazine confirmed our worst fears.

The John McCain Campaign has reached a new low in presidential politics.  The McCain campaign is working to feed on people's fears and internet rumors that Sen. Obama just might be the Anti-Christ.  We have seen the Republicans swift-boat, conjure up affairs, and enact false investigations.  But, we have never seen anything this low.

Amy writes in Time:

"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."

It could have been coincidence.  To be honest few of us thought the McCain Campaign was in-touch enough with Christian voters to pull something this despicable.  But Amy got to the source, which sets aside any suggestion that this may be a coincidence:

"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."

Amy further writes, echoing our fears, that :

"The visual images in the ad, which Davis says has been viewed even more than the McCain's "Celeb" ad linking Obama to the likes of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, also seem to evoke the cover art of several Left Behind books. But they're not the cartoonish images of clouds parting and shining light upon Obama that might be expected in an ad spoofing him as a messiah. Instead, the screen displays a sinister orange light surrounded by darkness and later the faint image of a staircase leading up to heaven...

A Google search for "Obama" and "Antichrist" turns up more than 700,000 hits, including at least one blog dedicated solely to the topic. A more obscure search for "Obama" and "Nicolae Carpathia" yields a surprising 200,000 references....

The speculation reached a fever pitch after Obama's European trip and the Berlin speech in which he called for global unity. Conservative Christian author Hal Lindsey declared in an essay on World Net Daily, "Obama is correct in saying that the world is ready for someone like him-a messiah-like figure, charismatic and glib...The Bible calls that leader the Antichrist. And it seems apparent that the world is now ready to make his acquaintance." The conservative website RedState.com now sells mugs and t-shirts that sport a large "O" with horns and the words "The Anti-Christ" underneath."

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Too many, most, "The One" ad is a laughing matter.  I have heard several comments such as "don’t evangelicals want the Anti-Christ to return."  That just isn’t how it works.  That statement could be true for a small sector of this population.  However, many, of the most fundamental of the premillinialists, also feel it is their theological duty to thwart the ‘Anti-Christ.’  As evangelical leader Tony Campolo told Amy Sullivan "Those books have created a subliminal language and I think judgments will be made unconsciously about Barack Obama," he says. "It scares the daylights out of me."

The McCain Campaign seemingly has no positive approach and outreach to Christian Voters.  So they have chosen the most despicable tactic they could cook up.  To use people’s faith to scare them.

We are doing everything we can here at the Matthew 25 Network to call out the McCain Campaign.  Our petition renouncing this ad has several thousand signatures.  But we need yours.  And, we need your help in making the petition go viral.  Sign here and please tell your friends:  www.matthew25.org/TheOnePetition.htm

Next weekend is the Saddleback Church Faith Forum - and John McCain should have to answer for using people’s faith to demonize his opponent before the forum.  Please sign the petition to call upon McCain to pull down this ad and renounce the tactic.  Tell John McCain that we won’t stand for these fear-mongering tactics.

And please consider support the Matthew 25 Network with a donation on Act Blue so that we can continue our work.  We are only able to continue because of grassroots donations from folks like you.

Thanks for the recs, tips, signers, and donations!

Grant,
Matthew 25 Network

(I'll stick around to shoot the breeze for a while on this ad, the evangelical voting block, and anything else)

Update: Just Got This Sent Over From the Authors of Left Behind - "I’ve gotten a lot of questions the last few weeks asking if Obama is the antichrist. I tell everyone that I don’t think the antichrist will come out of politics, especially American politics....I can see by the language he uses why people think he could be the antichrist...from my reading of scripture, he doesn’t meet the criteria. There is no indication in the Bible that the antichrist will be an American." (Well at least we don't have to worry about that)

Originally posted to cardboard on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:01 AM PDT.

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