On an internet forum I frequently visit is a young man who recently started a thread entitled, “Barack Hussein Obama is the Final Antichrist”. I’m familiar with this young man and, for several reasons, I have come over a length of time to strongly suspect he is emotionally and mentally disturbed.
Moreover, he refuses to get professional help for his illness, in part I think because he is still young enough to be rebelling against his father, who is a psychiatrist.
It is actually quite tragic. He is not a malicious young man, and I don’t believe he would willingly hurt anyone, but he is the sort of person who believes Santa Claus is a tool of Satan; enough carrots will cure any cancer; and the earth is only 10,000 years old. It isn’t so much what he believes that makes him a spiritual fool, though, as it is the way he simply ignores all evidence that doesn’t suit him — all evidence that doesn’t confirm his preconceptions.
Each of his beliefs — including his belief about carrots — is somehow linked in his mind to his religion. I have learned that asking him to give up his belief that Santa Claus is a tool of Satan is to him the same as asking him to give up his religion. So I suppose this new development — this belief that Obama is the Antichrist — is much like his other beliefs. That is, it is something he thinks he must believe in order to be saved.
I don’t think this young man is going to give up his notion that Obama is the Antichrist. Not unless something first persuades him that he can do so safely, without thereby consigning himself to hell. Unless that first happens, all other appeals to his reason will be futile.