Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
An observant reporter at the Democratic National Convention came across a shocking bit of “kitsch” for sale that seems to suggest God so loved the world, He sent us … Barack Obama.
“The Cult of Obama staggers on,” writes David Weigel of Slate.com. “The streets near the convention zone are dotted with vendors selling for-us-by-us Obama merch [sic].”
Among the available merchandise, Weigel came across a photo calendar attributed to James Hickman and offered by a man who reportedly claimed to be Hickman’s nephew.
Most of the calendar’s months are filled with complimentary photos of Obama and factoids about the history of black Americans, but for the August entry (the month of Obama’s birth), the photo features the short-form birth certificate originally purported to be Obama’s and the words, “Heaven Sent: For God so loved the world, that he have his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life – John 3:16.”
While the biblical verse refers to Jesus Christ as the sent Son of God, the calendar page, with Obama’s purported birth certificate and a separate photo of sunlight streaming down on the sitting president’s profile, seems to suggest the “heaven sent” is not Jesus, but Obama.
Nothing visible on the calendar suggests it is connected in any way to the Obama re-election campaign, but a video posted by Hickman shows him distributing promotional materials for the calendar earlier this year in Atlanta and explaining his adoration for Obama.
“We’ve got to get out and vote for the president,” Hickman states. “We just can’t forget about the last four years and what he did for us. Hey! That’s a hard-working man. I give up love and everything to Obama.”
Hickman’s speech is immediately followed by Obama supporting signs reading “I love you President Obama! God bless you!” and “God has spoken … another 4 yrs!”
Video of the calendar itself can be seen below:
As WND has reported, the adoration of Obama has often strayed into near deification.
“Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus,” the Dutch newspaper Politiken opined in 2009.
The editorial, written on the occasion of a legislative vote in favor of Obama’s plan for a health care takeover by the government, cited “the right of every American not to be financially shipwrecked when their health fails” as well as the “biggest ever financial support package in America’s history, a major disarmament agreement and the quickest-ever re-establishment of American reputation.”
“On the other hand, we have Jesus’ miracles that everyone still remembers, but which only benefited a few. At the same time, we have the wonderful parables about his life and deeds that we know from the New Testament, but which have been interpreted so differently over the past 2000 years that it is impossible to give an unequivocal result of his work,” the newspaper said.
Maggie Mertens, the associate editor at the campus paper at Massachusetts’ Smith College, said, “Obama is my homeboy. And I’m not saying that because he’s black – I’m saying that in reference to those Urban Outfitters T-shirts from a couple years ago that said, ‘Jesus is my homeboy.’ Yes, I just said it. Obama is my Jesus.”
“While you may be overtly religious and find this to be idol-worshiping, or may be overtly politically correct and just know that everything in that sentence could be found offensive, I’m afraid it’s true anyway,” she wrote.
The site was topped by an Obama quote strategically ripped from a Jan. 7, 2008, speech at Dartmouth College just before the New Hampshire Primary in which he told students, “A light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany, and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote” for Obama.