AP Photo Evokes Obama as Christ at His Baptism

I noticed this photo accompanying an unrelated and relatively straightforward AP story at MSNBC.com about Barack Obama's electoral strategy. As you can see, it falls into the Obama-as-messiah mold, albeit a little more subliminal and requiring more biblical literacy than previous still shots:


Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in AP photo by Alex Brandon | NewsBusters.org


Photo by Alex Brandon/AP. Caption: "Sen. Barack Obama walks to the pulpit to speak at the Apostolic Church of God service about fatherhood in Chicago on Sunday."

As you can see from the photo, the background is a brick wall with the text "Jesus Christ Is Lord" emblazoned beneath a depiction of a descending dove. Depicting Obama beneath it evokes to the biblically literate reader the account of the descent of the Holy Spirit as a dove upon Jesus after his baptism, as recorded in all four gospel accounts.

From Matthew's gospel account in the English Standard Version (3:13-17):

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

What's also odd is that the photo accompanied a story not about Obama's speech on fatherhood at the Chicago church in which the photograph was taken, but rather how "Obama sees possible win without Ohio, Florida."

In other words, the man can work miracles!:

FLINT, Mich. - Barack Obama's campaign envisions a path to the presidency that could include Virginia, Georgia and several Rocky Mountain states, but not necessarily the pair of battlegrounds that decided the last two elections - Florida and Ohio.

In a private pitch late last week to donors and former supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe outlined several alternatives to reaching the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House that runs counter to the conventional wisdom of recent elections.

At a fundraiser held at a Washington brewery Friday, Plouffe told a largely young crowd that the electoral map would be fundamentally different from the one in 2004. Wins in Ohio and Florida would guarantee Obama the presidency if he holds onto the states won by Democrat John Kerry, Plouffe said, but those two battlegrounds aren't required for victory.

Religion Campaigns & Elections 2008 Presidential Christianity Associated Press Media Business Online Media MSNBC.com Alex Brandon