Posts Tagged ‘fundamentalism’

End Times and Presidents

The heated controversies around President Obama – the questioned birth certificate, the supposed Muslim connections, his seeming foreignness – have generated more than a whiff of fire and brimstone. Snopes.com, the website devoted to fact-checking common rumors, felt compelled in 2011 to fact-check whether the president was the antichrist. They decided he was not.

FDR (LC-USZ62-87317)

The concern on the religious right about a president’s satanic connections is not new. Historian Matthew Avery Sutton, in the Journal of American History (here; and podcast) describes the rise of similar suspicions about President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930s. Given the events of the day, the suspicion probably fit FDR better then than it does Obama today. Sutton also argues that the connection that developed in the 1930s between millennialism – anticipating the End Times – and politics lay the groundwork for today’s religious right militancy.


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