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The Babylon ComplexTheopolitical Fantasies of War, Sex, and Sovereignty$
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Erin Runions

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823257331

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823257331.001.0001

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Who Lives in Babylon? The Gay Antichrist as Political Enemy

Who Lives in Babylon? The Gay Antichrist as Political Enemy

(p.179) Five Who Lives in Babylon? The Gay Antichrist as Political Enemy
The Babylon Complex

Erin Runions

Fordham University Press

This chapter explores places where the “war on terror” and sexual regulation explicitly overlap, via depictions of Babylon’s prince, the antichrist. The chapter looks at popular images of political enemies as homosexualized antichrists in apocalyptic thought and also at images of homosexualized Muslims, such as Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, in secular political humor (liberal and conservative). These images provide an entry point into thinking about the way in which exception to law and torture are bound up with apocalyptic notions of sexuality, the human, and the future. The apocalyptic reasoning that produces the homosexualization of the enemy as antichrist is the same future-oriented logic that is central to the delimitation of the in/human that enables the imperial project its dehumanizing techniques. The chapter argues that legal attempts to regulate sexuality and ban same-sex marriage from U.S. polity were integrally related to U.S. disregard for international law (the state of exception) that allows for torture overseas; both draw boundaries around the human in ways that accord with apocalyptically oriented desire.

Keywords:   antichrist, apocalyptic, exception to law, future, homosexualization, human, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, same-sex marriage, torture

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