The imagined look into the future is part of an escalation in rhetoric from Christian right activists who are trying to paint Obama in the worst possible terms as the campaign heads into the final stretch and polls show the Democrat ahead.
Although hard-edge attacks are common late in campaigns, the tenor of the strikes against Obama illustrate just how worried conservative Christian activists are about what should happen to their causes and influence if Democrats seize control of both Congress and the White House.
"It looks like, walks like, talks like and smells like desperation to me," said the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell of Houston, an Obama supporter who backed President Bush in the past two elections. The Methodist pastor called the 2012 letter "false and ridiculous." He said it showed that some Christian conservative leaders fear that Obama's faith-based appeals to voters are working.
Like other political advocacy groups, Christian right groups often raise worries about an election's consequences to mobilize voters. In the early 1980s, for example, direct mail from the Moral Majority warned that Congress would turn a blind eye to "smut peddlers" dangling pornography to children.
"Everyone uses fear in the last part of a campaign, but evangelicals are especially theologically prone to those sorts of arguments," said Clyde Wilcox, a Georgetown University political scientist. "There's a long tradition of predicting doom and gloom."
But the tone this election year is sharper than usual and the volume has turned up as Nov. 4 nears.
Steve Strang, publisher of Charisma magazine, a Pentecostal publication, titled one of his recent weekly e-mails to readers, "Life As We Know It Will End If Obama is Elected."
Strang said gay rights and abortion rights would be strengthened in an Obama administration, taxes would rise and "people who hate Christianity will be emboldened to attack our freedoms."
Separately, a group called the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission has posted a series of videos on its site and on YouTube called "7 Reasons Barack Obama is not a Christian."
The commission accuses Obama of "subtle diabolical deceit" in saying he is Christian, while he believes that people can be saved through other faiths.
But among the strongest pieces this year is Focus on the Family Action's letter which has been posted on the group's Web site and making the e-mail rounds. Signed by "A Christian from 2012," it claims a series of events could logically happen based on the group's interpretation of Obama's record, Democratic Party positions, recent court rulings and other trends.
Among the claims:
- A 6-3 liberal majority Supreme Court that results in rulings like one making gay marriage the law of the land and another forcing the Boy Scouts to "hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to sleep in tents with young boys." (In the imagined scenario, The Boy Scouts choose to disband rather than obey).
- A series of domestic and international disasters based on Obama's "reluctance to send troops overseas." That includes terrorist attacks on U.S. soil that kill hundreds, Russia occupying the Baltic states and Eastern European countries including Poland and the Czech Republic, and al-Qaida overwhelming Iraq.
- Nationalized health care with long lines for surgery and no access to hospitals for people over 80.