The Apocalypse is upon us once again (This Friday! Wear sunscreen!), and so what better time to get our antichrists in order?
Jolly Herman Cain would seem an unlikely Beast, but Michele Bachmann's got his number. "When you take the 9-9-9 plan and you turn it upside down," she observed at the last debate, "I think the devil's in the details." And whenever Bachmann says creepy things she later clarifies were hilarious jokes, she isn't so much kidding as winking in tongues to her most devoted apostles.
And lo, you will find them in the dank, sticky recesses of the web, on sites named for assault rifles and also on Facebook. They've been pushing the evil pizzaman meme since long before Bachmann face-planted with it, presenting Cain's 666ness as anything from an intriguing thought experiment to dire warning. Their logic is impeccable, if by logic you mean a numbered list, their evidence irrefutable, if words can mean just what you choose them to mean ("Arch Ennami or Arch Enemy, is what Herman Cain's name spells if you rearrange the letters. The 'Antichrist' is the arch-enemy of God.") Many elements of their proof are also redundant with the case brought against previous Dark Lord Barack Obama, which is odd since the two men have almost nothing in common.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is a demon-worshipping cultist, according to the official dogma of the Rev. Robert Jeffress, who lately has been appearing with Gov. Rick Perry, or anywhere really, to spread the Word that it would be un-Christian to vote for anyone but an unadulterated Christian (except for, of course, that Obama devil). The Reverend's buddy Perry has done little but grin in response.
A cynic might suggest neither Bachmann nor Perry believe what they are saying or tacitly approving, and are following the latest version of Nixon's Southern Strategy, pandering to the worst instincts of our weakest minds. After all, a dumb nut's vote counts the same as anybody else's, and dumb nuts do vote.
But I prefer to take the long view, which is that it won't matter in three days anyway. The world will end on Oct. 21, 2011, according to Harold Camping, taking mulligans on his unfulfilling Raptures of May 21, 2011, September 6, 1994 and May 21, 1988. And this time everybody gets to go. "There will be no pain suffered by anyone because of their rebellion against God," Camping says. "He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked."
How Christian of Him.
Originally published at Time.com, October 18, 2011