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Is Barack Obama a Muslim, a Socialist, or the Antichrist?

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Why is it that American Presidential elections seem to bring out the worst in Christians?  Many people I know find the person of Jesus intriguing and appealing yet would never consider becoming a Christian because of the politically tainted image presented by some.  The repugnant behavior of many of His so-called followers during this campaign has been rabidly and shamefully hateful.    I have never seen such vitriolic, baseless, fear mongering as I have observed among Christians in this election season.

Many seem to think that GOP stands for God's Own Party.  They believe that God Himself placed George W. Bush in the White House in 2000 and condemned the rest of us to hell for questioning that.  No one will ever convince me that the Almighty has to resort to voting fraud, dangling chads and the like to get His will done in an election.  If Bush was God's choice for America, it must have been for punishment purposes because he certainly did not bring any Divine blessings or favor.

I have never heard one peep from them about Bush's own conflicting history when it comes to his religious affiliations.  Is Bush a Muslim or a Christian?   He has annually hosted Muslim clerics in the White House for Ramadan prayer meetings, while rarely attending a Christian church since becoming President.  He says that all religious paths lead to the same place.  Maybe he needs to be born again, again.  Go figure.

John McCain, the war hero, claims to be the candidate in this election with the most experience.  Christians hypocritically overlook his history of philandering and subsequent divorce of his faithful wife for a much younger rich woman.  Never mind that her family made their millions by selling booze.  He is certainly more experienced in the ways of the world than Obama.  I think his first wife, who waited five years for his release as a POW, is the real hero.  Are these Christians actually for McCain or just against Obama?  If so, why?  I'm sure race doesn't have anything to do with it.

Why are Christians so terrified by Barack Obama?  With wild-eyes and frothing mouths, Christians have told me repeatedly that Obama is a Muslim, a socialist and even the Antichrist.  They are sounding the alarm that America is doomed if he is elected.  No one knows yet what an Obama presidency will look like, but I am confident it will be an improvement over the arrogant, air headed, belligerent and bellicose incompetence we have barely endured for the last eight years.  If America goes down the tubes, it will be because of the brutal wounding of our economy, the loss of international stature stemming from a foolish war and the shredding of the Constitution by a Republican President blindly endorsed by Christians. 

We currently teeter on the brink of sliding down into the ranks of former super power nations like the Soviet Union, while China rises to prominence.  It will take nothing short of a miracle to pull America back from this dangerous precipice that Bush has led us to.  A friend told me he thinks that changing Presidents now is like changing the captain of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg.  I hope he is wrong.

Have Christians completely lost faith in Jesus to save them and take care of their families regardless of who is living in the White House?  They are going to have to change their tune before many will ever consider taking their families into one of their churches.   Who in their right mind would want to subject themselves to the faithless, fearful and prejudiced blather I have been reading in emails circulated by Christians and the similar commentary I have heard on Christian radio.   Although, I hope they repent soon, turn from their wicked ways and start seeking the Kingdom of God...I'm not holding my breath.   Meanwhile, they are giving Jesus a bad Name.
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Gary Vance is an evangelical pastor/writer living in rural Tennessee. He is the author of "Wasn't Jesus a Liberal?" and other published essays.
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