Claiming the Antichrist Will be Gay can Make You Look Like an Idiot

Timothy Kincaid

May 30th, 2009

Tim LaHaye’s popular Left Behind novels are a series of fictional tales about the lives of those in the battle of good v. evil after The Rapture takes place and Jesus calls all the saved Christians to Heaven. His archvillian, Nicolae Carpathia, is the Antichrist, the world leader who declares himself God and fights against the forces of Jesus Christ.

As an anti-gay activist and author of the homophobic screed What Everyone Should Know About Homosexuality, it’s little surprise that LaHaye makes his Antichrist the son of pernicious Satan-worshiping homosexuals.

But now a Baptist pastor in Alaska has gone LaHaye one better. Believing that “there is no greater sin against God”, he naturally jumped to the conclusion that the Anti-Christ himself will be gay.

But will the Antichrist be a homosexual? Having seen what the Bible says of sodomy, we have no further to look than the book of Daniel, chapter 11 to find our answer. It says, “Neither shall he [Antichrist] regard… the desire of women….” As I said at the onset, I am not the first to draw attention to this, but the verbiage is clear.

Ron Hamman, pastor of the Independent Baptist Church of Wasilla, has written a Religion View in his local paper, the Frontiersman. Poor Hamman, if he weren’t from Sarah Palin’s home town, no one would pay him much attention. But having set himself up for mockery, it’s only fair that I point out that Pastor Hamman is nearly biblically illiterate as well at intellectually challenged.

Many readers will just laugh or wonder why we are wasting time on this story. But I’ll give Pastor Hamman the courtesy of responding to his great announcement on his own terms. And it is on those terms that Hamman’s argument fails. Miserably.

Perhaps unknown to Hamman, “the verbiage” he’s quoting wasn’t written in English. And though it truly is clear, it doesn’t support his rather irrational assumptions.

Hamman, like many a conservative preacher, only trusts the King James Version of the Bible. So his source for the quote above is Daniel 11:37.

Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.

We’ll assume for a minute that Hamman is correct in believing that this prophesy of Daniel refers to the apocryphal character known as the Antichrist. We’ll even set aside the irony that Daniel was a eunuch and suppose that “not regarding the desire of women” could mean homosexuality.

But Hamman forgot about context. And original meaning. And the fact that this verse was written in Hebrew. Had he just taken a second to go online and check another translation, he would have realized that this had nothing to do with sexuality at all. Rather, all of what “the king” was magnifying himself above were gods. Here’s the same verse, in the context of the surrounding verses, from the New International Version.

36 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all. 38 Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his fathers he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. 39 He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.

Alas, poor Hamman. Had he gone to Divinity School, or picked up any study reference, or discussed it with any literate Christian, he would have known that he was basing his entire claim on a misreading of a single verse taken out of context.

Now he just looks like an idiot.

Burr

May 30th, 2009

I thought one of comments on that article link nailed it:

“Jesus had no desire for women, either. I guess your assumption, then, would be that Jesus was also gay.”

:D

David Roberts

May 30th, 2009

If I had only one minute of wireless data usage for each of these guys I have run into in my life! Good catch, Timothy.

Richard W. Fitch

May 30th, 2009

Be sure to follow the link to the Frontiersmen article. Either this paper has a wide circulation or the folks in Alaska are not all as naive as Palin. By a very random count, I am guessing that the split was 5 to 1 that this minister hasn’t the foggiest idea what he is talking about. Most of the reader comments show a better understanding than the “Rev’s”. Anyway, it might provide some entertainment for late Sat. or laidback Sun AM reading.

The Lauderdale

May 30th, 2009

Hadn’t gone two paragraphs in before I was smacking up against a brick wall.

A) Hamman could have found the first usage of the word “homosexuality” pretty easily, had he bothered.

2) “Historical revisionism?” Of what? “Sodomy” and “homosexuality are different words meaning different things. (And sodomy, of course, has multiple different meanings.) And the only times the word “homosexual ” or its derivatives appear biblically are in editions by anti-gay Christian translation teams. Is that what he’s talking about when he uses the phrase “historical revisionism”? If so then I tend to agree with him, but I don’t think that’s what he was shooting for there.

Never mind the ugliness of Hamman’s thesis: I’m honestly more offended by the poor formulation of the arguments supporting it. Poor guy’s all over the place. He should at least run his screeds past a good writing center tutor before he puts them online.

John

May 30th, 2009

“…basing his entire claim on a misreading of a single verse taken out of context.”

Seems to be par for the course for anti-gay right wing Christian preachers.

Göran Koch-Swahne

May 31st, 2009

The NIV says “or for the one desired by women”. The old 1917 Swedish State translation does the same, whereas both the Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation from Alexandria a couple of decades later than the Book of Daniel itself (165 BC), and the King James translation omit the “for” necessary in both contemporary English and Swedish: kaì epithumía gunaikwn and “the desire of women”, respectively. So it is not that the King (of Syria as it is) does not desire women, it’t that he has not regard for the lascivious God (Baal or Adonis) desired by women… Illiterate pastor for sure.

Ben in Oakland

May 31st, 2009

Believing in the anti-christ makes you look like an idiot, not just claiming that he is gay. The Christians of the early times clearly expected JC to come back any minute, hwich he has fialed to do for nearly 2000 years.

Also a small note– yet another reference to the existence of other gods, not just the jewish one. “Thou shalt have no other god before me.” A clear indicator that Yawveh himself was aware the he was not the only one. Not idols, not “false” god– don’t even go there– but “other” gods.

Clearly the ancient Hebrews believed there were other gods, also supported by vairous gnostic beliefs.

Hmmmm.

Ben in Oakland

May 31st, 2009

sorry for the typing errors. Dyslexics of the world– UNTIE!

Richard

May 31st, 2009

It seems like these Heterosexual, so called Christian men are obsessed with sodomy and man on man sex. I hear more about gay sex from them then any other source.

AdrianT

June 1st, 2009

Of course, 150 years ago, Charles Darwin answered all the questions that the biblical authors had about their origins, their true place in nature, more plausibly, coherently and parsimoniously. Thee should be no need to worry about what ‘Daniel’ reportedly said about such things.

The most entertaining way to make an idiot of this ludicrous Alaskan preacher, as with any fundamentalist, is to ask him how old he believes the earth to be. Does he think Dinosaurs and man existed at the same time, like Sarah Palin does? (the religious right pumps huge amounts of money into cheap PR campaigns aimed at pretending we did not evolve).

What fundamentalists believe will happen, though concerns me even more. Why is it that these people gleefully look forward to destruction? They just cannot wait for this life to end. The problem is, in Iran, on the verge of going nuclear, its president is also waiting for the second coming, not of Jesus Christ, but of the 12th Imam.

Apocalyptic weaponry + non compatible messianic prophecy = end of civilization.

My guess, is that religion can be a bit like alcohol consumption. The vast majority of moderate religious people get great comfort and joy from their faith, just like most drinkers can savour the occasional glass of wine. Some people cannot control their alcohol intake and cause much misery to others. Hamman’s faith is exactly like that, rabidly out of control – and I think it would be better for everyone if he were helped to lose it (through regular doses of critical thinking and evidence based reasoning).

The best advice for Hamman to take is the words of St Paul in his letter to the Corinthians (King James if needs must):

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

Put away the legends of Genesis and Revelation, and pick up any book by Carl Sagan.

Ben in Oakland

June 1st, 2009

“and I think it would be better for everyone if he were helped to lose it (through regular doses of critical thinking and evidence based reasoning).”

If you think that would work, I have a large orange bridge spanning the Golden Gate you might want to buy.

tom robbins tells a story in one of my favorite books, Another roadside attraction, his first and by far best. A guy invents a religion, gets disciples and converts, has a huge mass rally and tells his multitude of followers that he made the whole thing up. (Telephone call for Ron Hubbard!)

They kill him and go on believing it anyway. This kind of religion is not amenable to reason, because it involves, like all good fiction, the willng suspension of disbelief. If he were interested in reason, or consistency, or logic, he would have gone that way a long time ago.

Evan

June 3rd, 2009

Oh wow.

Nicolae Car-GAY-thia!

So exciting, he, the Disco Antichrist.

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