Mar 18 2013

But of course we all know what Satan looks like

He’s got to have dark skin, and he’s got to have a surprising resemblance to…


The History Channel is showing some popular pestilential schlock about the Bible, and Satan has to make an apearance somewhere, so they found an actor who fits the popular perception of Satan. Who has a surprising resemblance to Barack Obama.

Or — think about this — maybe Obama has an unsurprising resemblance to Satan. Huh? Yeah? Maybe everyone’s got it backwards, and a cheesy TV show has unveiled the face of the antichrist. (I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t wingnuts already making that argument, but seriously.)


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  1. 1

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t wingnuts already making that argument, but seriously.

    I just came from msnbc and almost all of the comments are doing just that. Actually a few seemed to be implying that it was insulting to satan because at least satan isn’t a commie.

  2. 2

    Nope. Satan has a taller hat and funny red shoes.
    Theguy in the picture is just another galactic emperor.

  3. 3

    But Obama IS Satan. Fux Nooze says so and they can’t be wrong! They have Jeeziz,

  4. 4

    Damn, birgerjohansson beat me to it. But yeah, it really looks like they told the makeup artists to go for Darth Obama.

  5. 5

    Funny, I was always under the impression that Satan in the bible was described as being incredibly beautiful.

  6. 6

    so the history channel is presenting the pop version of Satan not the actual biblical one?

  7. 7

    also no shock we’ll get white Jesus and black Satan

  8. 8

    To know what Southec a k a Satan looks like, all you need to do is watch “The Pyramids of Mars”. And tell Fox News to fuck off, The Doctor has already finished off the bad guy.

  9. 9

    When did History Channel stop showing history and started being about myths?

  10. 10
    Gregory in Seattle

    @Alverant #9 The “History” Channel has been going downhill for years: most of their shows nowadays are about alien astronauts and Nostradamus, and lot of non-critical Bible shows.

    Do a Google search for “criticism of the history channel” and you’ll find complaints as far back more than 5 years.

  11. 11

    If Satan is the antigod, why does he need to wear clothes? Why does he need pigments in the skin to protect himself from UV light? And since he can put ehvil thoughts into your mind telepatically and feeds on ehvil, he really does not need a mouth either. He should not need a physical body at all.

  12. 12

    I don’t know exactly when, but it’s not a new thing. They’ve been pushing crap for a while. I seem to recall a wonderful show on Newton and Biblical prophecies: “The world will end in 2060 and you can trust it because Newton is famous.”

  13. 13

    Satan: I’ve seen him… big fat guy with a beard… dresses in red (at least since Coca Cola got at him).

  14. 14
    Gregory in Seattle

    @birgerjohansson #11 – Because Satan is evil, and “evil” means homely, dark skinned and scary clothes.

  15. 15
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    . . . and “evil” means . . . dark skinned and scary clothes.

    So all he needs is a bag of Skittles?

  16. 16

    It’s about the bottom line. Since a majority of Americans think the myths are history then the Myth Channel gets renamed and gets higher ad revenues.

  17. 17

    I like how the idiots in the Twitter feed in the link all say, “Satan looks a lot like Obama…Coincidence?”

  18. 18
    Pierce R. Butler

    Dark skin – check.

    Hoodie – check.

    Where are the Skittles™ and Arizona Iced TeaⓇ?

  19. 19
    Pierce R. Butler

    Oops – shoulda refreshed before I stepped on Ogvorbis’s line @ # 15.

  20. 20
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.


    Not to worry. You did it much more betterer.

  21. 21
    Lynna, OM

    During Obama’s first campaign for President, mormon acquaintances included me in emails to their mormon email-tree recipients. Several of these mass emails contained “proof” that Obama is Satan, or is influenced by Satan, or is The Adversary.

    Some of these judgements were made on the basis of his hand gestures and body language.

  22. 22

    It’s funny just poorly this works for someone with a slightly different upbringing.

    I was raised in Redneckistan, Eastern Washington. But I was raised in a Jewish family. Insofar as Satan was mentioned in mythology classreligious instruction it was as the Cosmic DA, the Accuser, the Tester also the most faithful of the angels. Treating Satan as the Enemy and Source of Utter Evil would be kind of like issuing a fatwa against the Postman.

  23. 23

    honestly I think this is a way better candidate..

  24. 24

    I was trying to avoid the slightest, other than unfortunate commercials, association with the latest piece of crap on the Babble from that channel, so thanks for nothing! lol

  25. 25

    Isn’t there a passage in the Bible that describes the appearance of Satan as young, beautiful and seductive? He’s supposed to be a fallen angel. (I don’t know my Bible quotes, I admit.)

    Anyway, the guy in the picture and the Emperor in Star Wars both look less sinister than the Pope Emeritus, in my opinion.

  26. 26

    That guy doesn’t look at all like Barack Obama though, apart from having a long-ish head and big ears?

  27. 27
    Akira MacKenzie

    I don’t see it.

    However, give him blue-within-blue eyes, and he’d make a decent-looking Fremen.

  28. 28
    Gregory in Seattle

    @anuran #22 – Christianity was strongly influenced by dualism. It’s chief rival during its formative years was Manichaeism, which held that the material world had been created by a demiurge to corrupt God’s perfection and that humanity consisted of a pure spark of divinity trapped in the corruption of material existence. Most gnostic sects were based on Christianity and drew from Manichaeist and Zoroasteran teachings. A lot of early theology was written as a rebuttal of Manichaeism and gnosticism, and a lot of early theology was written to make Christianity attractive to Manichaeans and gnostics.

    The end result was a view of God as having different emanations (Greek-speaking Manichaeans used the word hypostasis, the same term used at Nicaea to describe the persons of the Trinity) and a personification of evil so powerful that the future fate of the universe and humanity is effectively unknown.

  29. 29
    Gregory in Seattle

    @mikeh #25 – A very substantial body of Christian deuterocanon and legend says that when Satan and his cohort were cast from Heaven, their true nature was revealed for all time. While they can occasionally put on a pleasant and attractive face — according to Christianity, evil is incredibly attractive, after all — they rarely do so in person: beauty, being a sign of good, is difficult and painful for the Forces of Evil to maintain for long.

  30. 30

    Not really surprised considering this is another one of Mark Burnett’s series (also known for “reality” series such as Survivor and Celebrity Apprentice). Would not put it past him to influence this specifically for the publicity. I guarantee with the outrage being brought up over this that the audience will likely double the next episode…

  31. 31
    M can help you with that.

    @ Mikeh –

    Most of the popular Christian images of the Satan/Lucifer/etc. character come from a bit of syncretization between the canonical Satan (basically the “angel of temptation”) and assorted poetic and metaphorical references to kings who weren’t popular among the writers of the Hebrew scriptures. “Lucifer,” for instance, comes from a reference to, IIRC, a Babylonian king — he was compared to the morning star, translated into Latin as “Lucifer” (“light-bearer”), in the sense of “Sure, you’re hot shit and the brightest thing in the sky right now, but it’s not gonna last.” Very “look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair,” and actually IMO a great metaphor. Christians didn’t quite have the context of generations-old Hebrew political agendas, though, so they read it as cosmic theological warfare. Plenty of the other “names of Satan” (or major demons) were taken from names (or insulting nicknames) from deities of competing religions (or made-up variations thereof, or religions invented to demonize political enemies or fill space or create dramatic tension in the folk history…this is what happens when we mostly have a written version of a probably-initially-orally-transmitted politico-religious folk history recorded by people with agendas.

  32. 32

    I have to say when I first looked at the picture it did not occur to me that there was any resemblance to the President. Once I read what you were getting at I looked again, and it still doesn’t look like him to me. Perhaps to you all coloured people look the same.

  33. 33
    Nick Gotts

    Isn’t there a passage in the Bible that describes the appearance of Satan as young, beautiful and seductive?

    Yeah, but that was a few thousand years ago. All that tempting and tormenting wears a guy down.

  34. 34

    In a perverse way I think this is a good thing let me explain.
    This is not just a above (or below) average christian program it is commercially made by and for a commercial channel there may be some belief involved but it is primarily about making money by delivering eyeballs. There are few things that can survive that kind of exploitation with out being devalued. Popular tastes are fickle and the stories are on par with comic book land.

    It is a hope anyway.

    uncle frogy

  35. 35

    There are even some crazies who think Obama is Satan because he has been filmed with flies buzzing around him… You know- the Lord Of The Flies…

  36. 36
    Richard Smith

    I caught the second half of the first episode, essentially the story of Exodus. I was previously unaware of just how fair-skinned and inclined towards red or blonde/brunette hair the Jews were at that time! Must have been those forty years in the desert that selected them out.

  37. 37

    Doesn’t Rupert Murdoch own the History Channel?

    I’m sure that would explain everything.

  38. 38

    I have to admit I didn’t look at this picture and see Obama. But that’s probably due to my poor facial recognition ability. Anyway, if Satan is inhumanly beautiful and looks like Obama does that mean Fox has a secret crush on Obama and consider him the epitome of beauty?

  39. 39

    BTW, I absolutely LOVE the defense the producers of the show give…

    “Look! the actor playing the part of Satan looks nothing like Obama”

    they then show a picture of the actor without makeup.

    indeed, he doesn’t look anything at all like Obama.


    talk about a fail.

    I mean, hell, they even raised his cheekbones to make him look more like Obama! It’s fucking pathetic.

  40. 40

    I have been looking into the program for about as long as I can before getting dizzy from eye-rolling. Did you see that Samson was very black and had waist length dreadlocks?

  41. 41

    And you do have to admit that the angels look a little more Jedi-ish, but still have somewhat dark visages.

  42. 42

    Certainly that is a taller version of yoda.

    Come to take your souls have I.

  43. 43

    Apparently the actor is a Moroccan who has made his career playing satanic-type figures, dating to well before Obama was elected president.

    That in itself is “interesting”…..

  44. 44

    That in itself is “interesting”…..

    Ok, I’ll bite.

    how so?

  45. 45


    I have not watched a minute of the History Channel in about 5 years.

    the first time I saw the photograph copied in the OP, my thought was:

    “Oh, here’s a clever photoshopper trying to make an ‘Obama bin Laden’ picture”

    the resemblance to Obama IS intentional, there is simply no way around it. After reading that it was actually “Satan” from the “Bible stories” thing on History Channel, and seeing an actual picture of the actor without makeup, this becomes even MORE obvious.

  46. 46

    My favorite Satan was Viggo Mortenson in The Prophecy. That was one sexy Satan. He didn’t have dark skin but was wearing all black and seemed to be wearing black eyeliner.


    It does say in the Bible that Satan “can appear as an angel of light.” 2 Cor 11:1

  47. 47

    Remember when Game of Thrones got into trouble by having one of the severed heads in the background look like W? Funny how the cons were all up and arms over a background piece but are cheering at how a close-up of Satan was intentionally made to look like the first non-white President.

  48. 48

    The interesting part, to me, is that the archetype predates Obama; it was easy to find an actor who resembles the President, who also has experience portraying devils, because of the President’s skin color.

  49. 49

    My favorite Satan was Viggo Mortenson in The Prophecy.

    I love Viggo. Can’t help but always recall a line from Ghostbusters II whenever his name comes up…

    “He is VIGGO! You are like the buzzing of flies to him!”

  50. 50

    it was easy to find an actor who resembles the President

    but Sally, if you look at a picture of the actor himself, WITHOUT makeup, he doesn’t much resemble Obama at all, AND he’s white.

    all the more reason, like I said, to suspect the producers of the program of deliberately working hard to MAKE him look like Obama.

  51. 51
    Eurasian magpie

    I guess this will reveal my profound ignorance of popular memes but it never occurred to me that devil should be dark skinned.

  52. 52

    here’s a better picture of the actor:


    compare that to how he looks in the History channel film.

    Pretty fucking clear what they tried to do.

  53. 53
    Eurasian magpie


    Can you link to a picture of the actor without make-up?

  54. 54

    I assume you cross-posted that last.


  55. 55
    Eurasian magpie

    heh. I did indeed. And for the record, to me he is way more devilish in his natural state.

  56. 56

    Indeed, which was likely how he got typecast playing similar characters in the past.

    oddly, IIRC, in none of those previous films was he made up to look like Obama.

    One does wonder why they didn’t just leave his looks as is….

  57. 57

    Isn’t there a passage in the Bible that describes the appearance of Satan as young, beautiful and seductive? He’s supposed to be a fallen angel. (I don’t know my Bible quotes, I admit.)

    As far as I can tell, this is inferred from Ezekial 28:12-19, which Christians assume is talking about Satan. The teeny tiny problems with this is that (i) it is identified as being addressed as a tirade against the King of Tyre (the Israelites spent a lot of time ranting against their neighbours who weren’t poor nomads) and (ii) God is clearly stated as destroying said Satan-figure.

    But if that is the case, then Satan is a cherub. Which, if you read Ezekial 10, don’t look like a geeky middle-aged black President.

    Man, Ezekial must have been ripped off his tits when he had that vision.

  58. 58
    Samantha Vimes

    “For this week’s Face Off challenge, you must turn one of these models into Satan. But there’s a twist; you’ll also be making them recognizable as one of the following politicians: …”

  59. 59


  60. 60

    Why didn’t they get Kirk Cameron?

  61. 61

    …to play Jesus you mean?

  62. 62

    Weighing in a little late, but clearly Obama is not Satan. If he was, the Republicans would make a deal with him.

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