The popular news publication Newsweek recently released an online cover story about Barack Obama that has generated controversy among readers because of its large-lettered headline “The Second Coming.”
“Conservatives have long joked that the national press corps see Barack Obama as the second coming of Jesus Christ,” writes Brent Baker of Newsbusters. “Today, Newsweek … made it official.”
While writer Evan Thomas insinuates later within the body of the article that the comparison was rather to Abraham Lincoln, others have found the cover to be a messianic statement that makes a play of Scripture.
“Obama may not be the second coming of Lincoln, and our times are hardly as desperate as the civil war,” Thomas wrote. “But it’s a good bet that Obama is more ambivalent than he lets on about the proper roads fostering prosperity while at the same time, cutting red ink, a challenge that divides the best of economists.”
Baker noted that Thomas has declared Obama as being a God-like figure before.
“In a way, Obama’s standing above the country — above the world,” Thomas said during a 2009 interview on MSNBC. “He’s sort of God. He’s going to bring all different sides together.”
Many have been describing Obama as a type of messiah even before his first four years in office. Writer Dave Jolly notes that during the last election, Maggie Mertens, associate editor for the Smith College newspaper, penned an article entitled “I Will Follow Him: Obama as My Personal Jesus.”
“Obama is my homeboy. And I’m not saying that because he’s black – I’m saying that in reference to those Urban Outfitters t-shirts from a couple years ago that said, ‘Jesus is my homeboy,’” she wrote. “Yes, I just said it. Obama is my Jesus.”
Jolly also pointed to an editorial in the Danish newspaper Politiken, which stated, “Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus.”
Additionally, to mark Obama’s 100th day of presidency, artist Michael D’Antuono unveiled a painting that he had crafted, which depicted Obama in the oval office wearing a crown of thorns and raising his arms as if on the cross.
During the Democratic National Convention last September, a number of vendors offered products that depicted Obama as a messiah. One poster that was sold at the DNC displayed the head of Obama, which faded into a graphic of an open Bible with the word “Barak” highlighted. Above Obama was the headline “Prophesy Fulfilled.” To the left of the image, the poster read, “Barak is of Hebrew origin and its meaning is ‘flash of lightning.’ Barak is a valiant fighting man who cooperated with the prophetess Deborah to win victory in a battle against overwhelming odds. Hussein [means] good and handsome. So, you see, Barak was destined to be a good and handsome man that would rise like a flash of lightning to win victory in a battle against overwhelming odds.”
T-shirts were also sold by vendors that cite Psalm 110:1, which says, “The Lord said unto my Lord, ‘Sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.’” The graphic on the tees depicted Barack Obama sitting in a chair, placing his feet upon the back of Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who is kneeling on his hands and feet.
Additionally, Obama calendars were up for sale, which used Scripture for each month of the year to point to Obama as a messiah. For example, in the month of August, Obama’s birth month, accompanying a photo of Obama were the words “Heaven Sent” with the Scripture John 3:16, which speaks of God sending His Son. The month of November featured a graphic of citizens laying hands on Obama while quoting Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
Prior to the election, Florida A&M professor Barbara A. Thompson also penned a book entitled The Gospel According to Apostle Barack in which she claimed that she was given a series of dreams by God where she was able to realize Obama’s purpose as the leader of the free world. She says that after God answered her prayers to heal her son Gibran, who was badly injured in an accident, God told her to “go on a journey with Apostle Barack.”
“His followers needed to re-elect him to a second term so that he could continue to accomplish the promises he made, thus, realizing his vision of America as a more perfect political union or ‘heaven here on earth,’” she writes in her book description on Amazon. “[A]s I began to contemplate ways to assist Barack in his 2012 re-election bid, something miraculous happened. I felt God’s Spirit beckoning me in my dreams at night.”
“Listening, cautiously, I learned that Jesus walked the earth to create a more civilized society; Martin (Luther King) walked the earth to create a more justified society, but, Apostle Barack, the name he was called in my dreams, would walk the earth to create a more equalized society for the middle class and working poor,” she continued. “Apostle Barack, the next young leader with a new cause, had been taken to the mountaintop and allowed to see over the other side. He had the answers to unlock the kingdom of ‘heaven here on earth’ for his followers.”
While many have made such claims about Obama, others are quite disturbed at these assertions.
“This is getting more creepy every day. He’s being worshiped like a god,” one commenter wrote. “I really don’t like where this is going. Reminds me far to much of North Korea and Kim Jong Il.”
Another commenter, who simply identified as “J,” pointed to 1 John 2:18, which reads, “Children, it is the last hour, and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”