The End of Days? So Many Antichrists, So Little Time
Amid the current scandal involving Pope Benedict XVI, speculation has increased that perhaps Christs very own vicar on earth is none other than the great deceiver. The Antichrist, the harbinger of the end-times, the deceiver who hides behind a facade of goodness. Joseph Ratzinger is a past member of the Hitler Youth and current pederast enabler, cloaked in his holy vestments, holding the faith of billions in the palm of his hands. Many seem to think that the only way to see him clearly is through the nebulous lens of biblical prophecy.
Many evangelicals believe that the Antichrist, or Beast, is a political leader that will carry a message of hope for the people of the world. Many of those same evangelicals believe that there are, in fact, more than one Antichrist working in concert to usher in the end times. The first would be the political leader, followed by a religious leader who gives credibility to the first. The second beast of the book of Revelations would then encourage the masses to first accept, then trust, and finally worship the first beast.
The meteoric rise of Barrack Obama onto the world stage and his almost immediate impact on International relations, and the global peace process, has whipped end times enthusiasts into a frenzy. Obama could be the first beast of the prophecy and Pope Benedict could be the second. Barrack is going to be the politician/beast of the apocalypse, and Pope Benedict XVI will make everyone worship him. It all fits so well. Except for the seven heads and ten horns, the feet of a bear, body of a leopard and mouth of a lion. Other than that, it’s perfect; almost.
The vague symbolism in scripture and prophecies belie concrete understanding and allow for the interpretations to be adjusted to fit the apparent facts. For a prophecy to have endurance it must be as close to one-size-fits-all as possible.
According to freelance journalist Wayne Madsden, “George W Bush’s blood lust, his repeated commitment to Christian beliefs and his constant references to ‘evil doers,’ in the eyes of many devout Catholic leaders, bear all the hallmarks of the one warned about in the Book of Revelations, the Antichrist.” Madsen, a Washington-based writer, reports that people who were close to the Pope John Paul II claimed that the pontiff wished he was younger and in better health in order to confront the possibility that George W. Bush may be the person prophesied in Revelations. John Paul II has always believed the world was on the precipice of the final confrontation between Good and Evil as foretold in the Bible.
The last two presidents of the United States, as well as the last two Popes, have made interesting cases for their potential of being the fabled beasts of the end times. Yet, there were also similarly compelling arguments regarding Sadam Hussein, Tony Blair, Muammar Quaddafi and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. All of these individuals seemed to rise out of circumstance, possess traits, or act as the catalyst of events that identified them as very real possibilities. Stories were written, sermons were preached and prayer warriors went to battle against each of these evil-doers.
Likewise, few believers would have argued against Hitler being the Antichrist and fewer yet would have refrained from calling him a beast. The imperialistic spread of power across Europe that left rotting corpses in fields, and furnaces filled with charred bones, epitomized evil. The specter of the Third Reich loomed across the entire globe, and to much of civilization, the end seemed a very real possibility. The victimization of the Jews and the cooperative relationship with the Vatican only served to strengthen this impression and color it with a diabolical religiosity. Certainly, Adolf Hitler must have been the Antichrist.
Harry S. Truman, who brought fire from the sky to consume his enemies, was also cast as the Beast of book of Revelations by many. The end of World War II, the atomic bombing of Japan, and the international treaties that followed all meshed with biblical prophecy. Truman, a devout Christian who joined Zionist organizations while he was a Senator, certainly appeared as though he may be the mythical son of perdition.
World history is riddled with such figures. Napoleon Bonaparte, Pope John XXIII, Maximilien Robespierre, Ruhollah Khomeini, Idi Amin Dada, King Leopold II of Belgium, Pol Pot, Ivan IV (the Terrible) of Russia and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union. All of them suspected of non-human origins because of their inhumane actions. All of them considered the Antichrist and each of those accusations based on scripture and interpretation of end time prophecy. All of them, and many more.
In each of these cases, confronted with an evil the average person considers unimaginable, the safest psychological harbor has been to strip the offenders of their humanity. Identify them as monsters and try to offer proof that they are not like us, that they are somehow different. Biblical prophecy appeals to this desire while providing a context for the actions and events they have caused based on the mythology of nomadic desert tribes, thousands of years old.
The veracity of end times prophecy has been claimed, asserted, challenged and disproved repeatedly, yet we still choose to wallow in those very same stone-age superstitions of beasts and demons when shocked by the harsh realities of what we, as humans, perpetrate. As long as we continue to entertain ignorant notions based on archaic mythology, we will fail to confront the very real problems that we face. Superstitious prophecies that relegate us to hapless victims in a celestial soap opera, rob us of the knowledge that we are the only possible solution to those challenges.
We have millions of starving people, living in squalor, victimized by by everything from petty tyrants to international corporate monopolies. We’re breathing air from polluted skies and drinking water from contaminated rivers and wells. The majority of our planet lives under oppression while our political and economic institutions thrive on graft. We don’t need seven headed monsters and satanic trinities with code numbers.
What we must come to realize is that the Antichrist is nothing more than a bogeyman for grown-ups. He’s the monster under the bed and the villain in the closet. He is the Kaiser Soze of the irrational and the biggest and scariest of the imaginary things that go bump in the night. He is the name we give to those who have lived and killed among us on the grandest of scales. He is the bogeyman’s bogeyman.
The Antichrist lives only in our ignorance and abides there from generation to generation and from age to age, from Attila the Hun to the next despot in waiting. The Antichrist is no more a reality than the perpetually unfulfilled prophecies of the Bible. It’s time for us to outgrow the ghost stories fabricated during societies infancy and embrace the future with enlightened maturity.