“Is this a messianic movement? A cult of personality? Or just good ol’ fashioned politics?” Those are the questions an Internet blog called “Is Barack Obama the Messiah?” began with one year ago.

By simply highlighting media reports since then – including WND’s account of an Obama rally in Seattle – the website has captured the wave of euphoria that has followed the Democratic senator’s remarkable rise to the brink of the party’s presidential nomination.

The site, laced with photos and magazine covers illustrating the theme, is topped by a Obama quote strategically ripped from a Jan. 7 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.

The blog prominently displays the July 11 cover of the German magazine Der Spiegel, which has a photo of Obama under the title, “The Messiah Factor, Barack Obama and the Yearning for a New America.”

Slate.com’s Timothy Noah introduced last year his tongue-in-cheek “Obama Messiah Watch,” a periodic feature “considering evidence that Obama is the Son of God.”

“Is Barack Obama – junior U.S. senator from Illinois, best-selling author, Harvard Law Review editor, Men’s Vogue cover model, and “exploratory” presidential candidate – the second coming of our Savior and our Redeemer, Prince of Peace and King of Kings, Jesus Christ?” Noah wrote. “His press coverage suggests we can’t dismiss this possibility out of hand.”

“I therefore inaugurate the Obama Messiah Watch, which will periodically highlight gratuitously adoring biographical details that appear in newspaper, television and magazine profiles of this other worldly presence in our midst,” Noah proclaimed.

Noah added that readers are invited to submit similar details, such as “Obama walking on water, Obama sating the hunger of 5,000 with five loaves and two fishes – from other Obama profiles. And also, of course, to repent, just in case the hour approacheth nigh.”

WND reported how the numerous instances in which Obama has interrupted speeches to attend to a fainting follower has some questioning whether the campaign is employing shills or whether the phenomenon is evidence of fanaticism and cause for concern.

The “Is Barack Obama the Messiah?” blog features a “Transfiguration” image of the Illinois senator – a photo by Michael Edwards that appeared in a New York magazine story published April 16, 2007

Some of the estimated 21,000 who came to hear Sen. Barack Obama in Seattle earlier this month (WND photo)

According to the magazine, the photo was taken at a fundraiser at the Manhattan home of Steven and Judy Gluckerstern. It shows Obama elevated from the crowd, standing on a staircase that ascends to a darkened window above his head.

George Soros is clearly seen sitting at the base of the staircase to Obama’s immediate left.

The website cites numerous well-known figures under the heading of “Conversions,” who represent Obama in larger-than-life terms.

New Age luminary Deepak Chopra said in a Jan. 5 op-ed piece on the Huffington Post that “the X factor which sets Barack Obama aside as a unique candidate is his hard-won self-awareness.”

“If we are lucky, we will wake up and begin the journey back to self-awareness as people,” Chopra wrote. “That happens only rarely, and now it has happened to a junior senator from Illinois.”

Chopra asserted that if Obama “makes it all the way to the White House, it will represent a quantum leap in American consciousness and a promise to restore America’s position in the world.”

MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews recently claimed he felt a “thrill going up my leg” listening to an Obama speech.

Matthews bubbled on, claiming Obama “speaks about America in a way that has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with the feeling we have about our country. And that is an objective assessment.”

Oprah Winfrey, after listening to speech Obama gave to a Des Moines audience Dec. 8, told reporters, “When you listen to Barack Obama, when you really hear him, you witness a very rare thing. You witness a politician who has an ear for eloquence and a tongue dipped in the unvarnished truth.”

Conservative critics have pondered whether the messiah phenomenon will help or hurt Obama.

Writing in the American Thinker, consulting editor J.R. Dunn noted the tendency liberals have to see their leaders as transcendent beings, “someone more than human, someone with a touch of the divine.”

Examining how liberals tend to put Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy on a God-like pedestal, Dunn commented that for the American left, “Leaders don’t handle tasks, they lead movements, they embody the spirit of the age. They transform. Leaders, to put it simply, are fuehrers.”

Internet blogger Jon Swift, writing critically about the “Obama Messiah” movement, muses “there comes a time in the life of every adolescent girl, and even Chris Matthews, when they peel the yellowing photos of Scott Baio they cut out of Tiger Beat off their bedroom walls and toss them in the garbage bin.”

“Barack Obama will be [47] in August,” Swift noted. “Will Chris Mathews and Obama’s other devoted disciples still have his picture on their bedroom walls then?”


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