Their racial paranoia having earned them ridicule even from “The Daily Show,” the forces of progress shift gears. Karl reminds us in the comments to our Headlines item that author Amy Sullivan comes to Time mag from the Washington Monthly (see his post from March about her take on l’affaire Wright) and the piece itself follows hot on the heels of Democratic consultants circulating a memo that pushes the Antichrist read. Then again, the Journal has an article about this out today too quoting some of the same people. A dumb juicy story is a dumb juicy story, whatever your bent.

Not being Christian, I’m more reluctant to pronounce upon the symbolism or lack thereof than I was with the Britney ad, but try this on for size:

Perhaps the most puzzling scene in the ad is an altered segment from The 10 Commandments that appears near the end. A Moses-playing Charlton Heston parts the animated waters of the Red Sea, out of which rises the quasi-presidential seal the Obama campaign used for a brief time earlier this summer before being mocked into retiring it. The seal, which features an eagle with wings spread, is not recognizable like the campaign’s red-white-and-blue “O” logo. That confused Democratic consultant Eric Sapp until he went to his Bible and remembered that in the apocalyptic Book of Daniel, the Antichrist is described as rising from the sea as a creature with wings like an eagle.

Does he mean chapter seven of Daniel? Because there are actually four beasts, only one of which has wings and the most frightening of which has horns, which are absent from the ad. But never mind that. Are they really suggesting that the fake seal that drew national mocking media coverage, sufficiently so that it was retired after one appearance, isn’t widely recognizable? It’s the singular symbol of Obama’s hubris — a no-brainer for a video teasing him about thinking he’s the Second Coming. And if it’s supposed to be a symbol of the Antichrist, what’s Moses doing calling it forth? Moses is … a good guy, right?

Like CJ, the one thing that gives me pause is the fact that there are religious nuts out there advancing this theory about Obama. See, e.g., this Glenn Beck clip from a few months ago, in which Beck and John Hagee laugh off the absurdity of the idea but not until Beck notes how much e-mail he’s gotten on the subject. And in fairness, Time and the Journal are right that the font and the orange clouds do look a bit like the cover of the last “Left Behind” book — although why that should surprise anyone given that the LB series is about the Rapture and the point of the ad is to mock the quasi-rapturous phenomenon of Obamamania escapes me. Any evangelicals want to weigh in?