Matthew Avery Sutton argues “Why the Antichrist Matters in Politics” in a New York Times op-ed column.
Writing for First Things, someone named Matthew J. Franck is deeply wounded that Sutton, rather than Matthew J. Franck, was invited to write for The New York Times.
Franck’s response to Sutton’s column conveys three main points: 1) That Matthew J. Franck thinks very highly of the intellect and scholarship of Matthew J. Franck; 2) That no examples can be found to suggest that belief in a coming Antichrist one-world government has any influence at all on American politics; and 3) That, seriously, Matthew J. Franck is so awesomely awesome that everyone will forgive him for coming across as a condescending jackwagon and just marvel at his awesome awesomeness.
Allow me just to respond to Matthew J. Franck’s second point, providing just a quick handful of examples disproving his claim that no such examples exist. Since Matthew J. Franck’s other claims — those about the awesome greatness of Matthew J. Franck — hinge on this claim, it would seem that this disproof of Matthew J. Franck’s second point would also refute his first and third points as well.
Here is conservative celebrity Chuck Norris, warning in 2009 that the Copenhagen conference on climate change was intent on creating a One World Government:
Does anyone doubt that our president, as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who believes he can negotiate with terrorists and dictators, has a global desire for international coalescence? Or should it not concern us that at the G-20 conference, he pushed for world leaders to reshape the global economy?
Here is Rep. Michele Bachmann in 2009, warning that the world is moving toward a single global currency:
What that means is all of the countries in the world would have a single currency. We would give up the dollar as our currency and we would just go with a One World currency.
Here is Rep. Michele Bachmann in 2010 warning that American participation in the G-20 economic summits is a step toward one-world government:
President Obama is trying to bind the United States into a global economy where all of our nations come together in a global economy. I don’t want the United States to be in a global economy where, where our economic future is bound to that of Zimbabwe. … This is a very bad direction because when you join the economic policy of different nations, it is one short step to joining political unity and then you would have literally, a one world government.
Gov. Rick Scott of Florida has joined the chorus of tea-party members worrying about something called “UN Agenda 21,” saying:
I know it’s not good for Florida and so I’m going to make sure we’re not giving someone else the power to figure out our destiny. I’m focused on our rights as an individual state. I don’t believe the federal government should be telling us what to do and clearly the UN should not be dictating how we build our state.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate George LeMieux of Florida has also denounced “Agenda 21” as “international law” against which he pledged to be “vigilant.”
LeMieux is running against tea-party favorite and retired Army Col. Mike Calister, who is campaigning against “UN initiatives of the one-world government with Agenda 21 wanting to tell you where you’re going to live and going to take away your guns.”
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, campaigning for president in Florida this month, pledged that an executive order barring “any kind of activity that relates to the United Nations’ Agenda 21” would be one of his first acts as president.
The Rutherford Institute is suing the state of Oklahoma, saying the use of high-res biometric photographs on state driver’s licenses violates the religious freedom of Kaye Beach:
Ms. Beach’s religiously motivated practice is based on her sincerely held religious beliefs that the Bible, specifically Revelation 13:16-18 and 14:9-11, explicitly commands believers to not participate in a global numbering identification system using the number of man, and eternally condemns participation in that system.
Three states have passed legislation barring the forced implantation of microchips in citizens, and five other states have introduced legislation to ban the process, due largely to concern about the coming Mark of the Beast based on a premillennial dispensationalist reading of the same passage from Revelation cited in the Rutherford lawsuit. (Testimony in support of Georgia’s bill was particularly interesting.)
After winning control of the House of Representatives, one of the first actions taken by the new Republican majority was to introduce legislation to cut U.S. funding for the United Nations.
The 2008 Texas Republican Party Platform called for the United States to “immediately rescind our membership in, as well as all financial and military contributions to, the United Nations,” and urged Congress “to evict the United Nations from the United States and eliminate any further participation” (.pdf link here).
And on a more local level, here are just a few examples of Anti-Antichristianity influencing local government. Both of these are from the first part of this week, but similar stories can be found from across America every week.
In Warren Township, N.J., the “Sustainable Jersey Program” is under attack as an alleged part of a United Nations conspiracy for one-world government:
“Three weeks ago, I went to a Tea Party meeting and someone mentioned Agenda 21,” said [Warren resident Joan] Schiller. “So I came home and did some research, and what I learned was really quite frightening.”
She went on to draw a list of parallels, based on her research, between Sustainable Jersey and Agenda 21. According to Schiller, the programs are based on the notion that private land ownership contributes to social injustice leading to environmental degradation, and that Judeo Christian values are partially responsible for the loss of biodiversity.
Schiller ultimately asked the Committee to “withdraw from the restrictive mandates that under the guise of environmentalism are required to create social and environmental equality with all the other nations of the world.”
So what’s that make? A dozen-or-so examples just off the top of my Google. These are all actual cases in which opposition to Nicolae Carpathia — the imminent tyrannical dictator of the Antichrist’s one-world government — has a direct influence on American politics. Those reaffirming their opposition to Nicolae Carpathia include major-party presidential candidates and big state governors.
These are all concrete examples of the existence of that which Matthew J. Franck dismisses as the feverish nightmare of lesser minds.
In conclusion, then, it seems Matthew Avery Sutton is right, “the Antichrist matters in politics.” And it seems that Matthew J. Franck is wrong — both about Sutton’s point, and about his own immense self-regard.