After haloes for Obama, even unintended suggestions of Trump earn blasts
(WND) – After years of fostering the narrative of President Obama as a messiah, members of the media now seem to have developed a sudden aversion to attributing divine attributes to the leader of the free world.
For years after Obama’s election, establishment media described Obama often with soaring language, sometimes in photographs capturing him in a halo.
But now they seem alarmed by the claim that the GOP thinks President-elect Donald Trump is Jesus.
The issue began when Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus and Co-Chair Sharon Day sent out a statement celebrating Christmas, as the party has done for many years.
Part of the statement read: “Merry Christmas to all! Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King. We hope Americans celebrating Christmas today will enjoy a day of festivities and a renewed closeness with family and friends.”
Some immediately seized on the phrase “new King” to suggest that since Trump was the new president, the passage was a reference to him, and the RNC was comparing Trump to Jesus Christ.
BuzzFeed wrote: “The combination of the words ‘this Christmas’ and ‘a new King’ had people wondering whether the GOP was comparing Donald Trump to, well, Jesus.”
The article then went on to quote several people, including John Weaver, a top aide to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who said: “Dear RNC: We don’t have a ‘new King.’ What the hell is wrong with you people?”
Dan Rather even strongly suggested the RNC was committing blasphemy. In a Christmas post on his Facebook page Rather wrote, “I am sorry to break the Christmas spirit, but a colleague brought the issue of GOP Chairman Reince Priebus’ Christmas message to my attention and, even on a holiday – news is news.”
Rather then went on to quote the so-called controversial part of the tweet before attempting to sound fair and objective by noting “RNC spokesman and incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the reference had nothing to do with Trump. ‘Christ is the King in the Christian faith.’”
However, he then finished by saying, “I am just not sure how one would explain the word ‘new’ in the quote,” suggesting he was skeptical of the RNC’s claims.
Spicer expressed disgust for the way the story was being portrayed in the mainstream media, tweeting: “Christ is the King. He was born today so we could be saved. Its sad & disappointing you are politicizing such a holy day.”
It was another story when Obama was a newly elected president.
WND reported in 2009 that artist Matthew J. Clark hosted a parade through the streets of Des Moines, Iowa, that featured a statue of newly inaugurated Obama being led on a donkey with palm fronds and a “Secret Service” escort. The imagery was plainly a reference to Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Fred Love, a reporter for Lee Enterprises whose account was published by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, reported on the event.
“Progressing slowly down Locust and holding up traffic was a rubbery Barack Obama sculpture saddled on the back of a donkey,” Love writes. “A pair of black SUVs led the procession and two more trailed behind, Secret Service-style. A couple of the SUVs were decked out with tiny American flags.”
Love continued, “A few men led the Donkey down the street and a woman made her way along the sidewalk, keeping up with the procession and handing out palm branches to the few perplexed onlookers who had gathered on the sidewalks to see what the fuss was about.”
During Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012, calendars for sale outside of the Democratic National Convention were even more direct by claiming one of the most famous Bible verses is a reference to Obama.
The calendar, by James Hickman, titled “Keep the Dream,” featured monthly photos of Obama and his family. However, the August 2013 photo featured a picture of what is supposedly the president’s birth certificate along with quoting John 3:16.
Other well-known members of the media were just as direct in their feelings about the president.
In a broadcast appearance with Piers Morgan, Barbara Walters admitted that the media regarded Obama as the “next messiah.”
“He made so many promises,” she said, The Blaze reported. “We thought that he was going to be – I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime, but – the next messiah. And the whole Obamacare or whatever you want to call it, that Affordable Health Act, it just hasn’t worked for him and he’s stumbled around on it, and people feel very disappointed because they expected more.”
While many in the media seemed to be skeptical of the RNC’s explanation for the email, they had no such compunction when Obama made a similar “verbal gaffe.”
The website obamaformessiah.com notes that Obama, in reference to Morgan Freeman portraying God in the film “Bruce Almighty,” said, “This guy was president before I was. … This guy was God before I was.”
Despite the wording, no one in the mainstream media apparently took the time to contact the White House or DNC to ask for a comment on whether this meant Obama believed he was God.
The site contains other quotes by well-known media figures.
“This is bigger than Kennedy. … This is the New Testament.” … I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often. No, seriously. It’s a dramatic event.” — Chris Matthews
“Obama’s finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don’t even really inspire. They elevate.. … He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh. … Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves.” — Ezra Klein
“I would characterize the Senate race as being a race where Obama was, let’s say, blessed and highly favored. That’s not routine. There’s something else going on. I think that Obama, his election to the Senate, was divinely ordered. … I know that that was God’s plan.” — Bill Rush
After President Obama’s first 100 days in office, artist Michael D’Antuono unveiled a painting titled “The Truth,” which featured Obama in front of the presidential seal with arms raised, head tilted downward and a crown of thorns on his head. The imagery is obviously intended to compare Obama to Jesus.
In the May 21, 2012, issue of Newsweek, the magazine featured Obama with a rainbow-colored halo.
American students were subjected to a lesson plan that made overtly messianic references, including biblical references.
The lesson plan was created by Sherece Bennett and based on the book, “Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope” by Nikki Grimes.
Kyle Olson reported the plan on his Education Action Group website, commenting that it casts Obama “in a messianic light. Literally.”
In one passage, Olson points out, a young Obama sees beggars and wonders, “Will I ever be able to help people like these?’”
“Hope hung deep inside of him,” the book says.
Olson quotes another section: “Before dawn each morning, Barry rose – his mother’s voice driving him from dream land. ‘Time for learning English grammar and the Golden Rule. Be honest, be kind, be fair,’ she taught him.”
The lesson even uses biblical references to describe Obama, explaining how he changed his name from Barry.
“One morning, he slipped on the name he’d been born with. The name of his father, Barack. For the first time in his life, he wore it proudly – like a coat of many colors.”
There were also multiple examples of pictures printed in the mainstream media that featured Obama with a halo effect. The issue became so pronounced that the Associated Press was forced to address the issue.
The Washington Examiner reported that the AP issued a clarification in 2015, saying it was not trying to make President Obama look like an angel, despite the many photographs to the contrary. The AP’s statement came after conservative bloggers, including Michelle Malkin, took issue with an AP photograph of Sen. Ted Cruz with an apparent gun to his head, noting the contrast between the halo effect with Obama.
“The halo issue has been around for over a decade,” J. David Ake, AP’s Washington assistant bureau chief for photography said in a blog post. “It’s never been our photographers’ goal to give the president a heavenly glow. The out-of-focus presidential seal is simply a tool to separate the subject from the background so he is not speaking in a sea of black.”
However, Ake failed to address the countless other photographs that show the president in a similar vein, even where the presidential seal is not evident.
Some Obama fans weren’t even gray about their beliefs.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, another powerful Chicago-based political figure associated with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and other long-time associates of Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama, left no doubt about what he thought of Obama during the 2008 campaign.
He said when Obama talks “the Messiah is absolutely speaking.”
Addressing a large crowd behind a podium Feb. 24 with a Nation of Islam Saviours’ Day 2008 sign, Farrakhan proclaimed:
“You are the instruments that God is going to use to bring about universal change, and that is why Barack has captured the youth. And he has involved young people in a political process that they didn’t care anything about. That’s a sign. When the Messiah speaks, the youth will hear, and the Messiah is absolutely speaking.”
However, at the time, talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh had a put-down for Obama’s fans.
“I know Jesus Christ. I pray to Jesus Christ all the time,” said Limbaugh. “I study what Jesus Christ did and said all the time, and let me tell you something, Barack Obama, you are no Jesus Christ.”