Friday, March 14, 2008

McCain and Hagee

I did some poking around for some background on Dr. John Hagee, whose endorsement John McCain so proudly acknowledged, at least when it was first given. It does make one wonder who on McCain's campaign staff is responsible for background research.

Bill Moyers covered Hagee last fall and again this last week. October 2007's program was titled Christians United for Israel (CUFI). The March 7, 2008 program had two segments - another one on CUFI and a second titled The GOP's Nominee. Videos and transcripts are available for each of the segments as well as links to additional source material.

Hagee's a very nasty piece of work. Troutfishing on daily kos posted about him recently.

Questioned on CNN March 1st, about whether he had been aware of John Hagee's writings prior to soliciting Hagee's political endorsement, John McCain refused to answer but for not denying it McCain's response seemed closer to a confirmation that, yes, he had been aware of the political extremity of John Hagee's writing. In pastor Hagee's book 2006 "Jerusalem Countdown", Hagee claimed the Roman Catholic Church conspired with Hitler to kill Jews in the Holocaust but also, in the same book, blamed the Holocaust on Jews themselves (for worshiping idols) and wrote that Hitler and the Nazis were actually working for God, divine agents sent to chase Jews, through the rather inefficient and brutal mechanism of killing them in massive numbers, towards Palestine, "the only home God ever intended for the Jews to have." One can read a grotesque collective theological justification for genocidal campaigns against Jews as being inherent to John Hagee's view which decries anti-Semitism but also depicts Jewish residence anywhere else but in Israel as an affront to God.

The implication is that Jews living anywhere but in Israel should expect violent persecution until they relent and make Aliyah. But Israel, in Hagee's and the Christian Zionist vision, resembles not so much a refuge as, for the implied element of violent coercion, an ethnic bantustan that will, in the end-time, function as an enormous death camp for all the Jews chased there by Hagee's 'divine anti-Semitism'.

Several leaders of John Hagee's CUFI have discussed the coming "Holocaust" they expect for Jews, and former CUFI executive board member Jerry Falwell once told a congregation that "millions of Jews" would be slaughtered. CUFI leader Dr. Chuck Missler is even a bit more explicit and John Hagee, in Hagee's 2003 book "Battle For Jerusalem", both publicly acknowledged and also seemed to agree with Missler's view that the end of days will be, for Jews, "worse than Auschwitz."

There's more in the diary as well as a link to the blog, Talk to Action, which specifically focuses on following the insanity of the Christian dominionists and those such as Hagee. Talk to Action's link to more resources on Hagee and CUFI.

I don't see why people aren't calling on McCain to "denounce and reject" the endorsement of this man and his teachings. He's every bit as reprehensible as Farrakhan and I don't believe he's really 'flown below the radar'. It's probably more accurate to say that many in the corporate media do not closely monitor the Christian dominionist movement and all its many offshoots.

UPDATE: One more reason 'denouncing and rejecting' is most definitely in order.

Media Matters has more on Hagee's many outrageous stances including his words on Katrina and New Orleans.

On the September 18, 2006, edition of National Public Radio's Fresh Air, host Terry Gross said to Hagee, "You said after Hurricane Katrina that it was an act of God, and you said 'when you violate God's will long enough, the judgment of God comes to you. Katrina is an act of God for a society that is becoming Sodom and Gomorrah reborn.' " She then asked, "Do you still think that Katrina is punishment from God for a society that's becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah?" Hagee responded:

HAGEE: All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are -- were recipients of the judgment of God for that. The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades. So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know that there are people who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the day of judgment. And I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.

Earlier in the program, Gross asked if Hagee believed that "all Muslims have a mandate to kill Christians and Jews," to which Hagee replied, "Well, the Quran teaches that. Yes, it teaches that very clearly."

There's more including the 'slave sale' that his church was going to sponsor and of course, his denigration of Catholics.


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