Preachers & Politicians
Longhaired preachers come out every night; Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right. - Joe Hill, The Preacher and the Slave
As John McCain and his presumptive vice-presidential running mate, Joe Lieberman, toured the middle East together (Joe to remind John of who is on first in Iraq so as to correct gaffs born of John's ignorance or old age, and John to demonstrate that notwithstanding his occasional gaffs, he still has the intellectual ability to be president of the United States) it was useful to keep in mind the words of one of John's recently announced supporters, John Hagee. It was especially useful since instead of hunting and exposing the Fox as responsible media should do when in pursuit of truth, the media has been docilely led and influenced by the Fox in the Fox's unceasing attempts to savage Barack Obama because of the words of his friend and pastor, Jeremiah Wright.
A reading of the sermon that inspired the Fox's incessant diatribe reveals that the sermon is no worse than, and in many respects considerably more thoughtful than, the hatred expressed by John McCain supporter, John Hagee (JH) over the years. JH's calumny has made anything even hinted at by Reverend Wright seem bland. He has explanations for just about everything bad that has ever happened and, amazingly, they all relate back to God's and JH's view of current events.
Interviewed by Terry Gross on National Public Radio's Fresh Air on September 18, 2006 JH explained his and God's thinking. About Hurricane Katrina he said that on the day of Katrina's arrival, a homosexual parade had been planned in that city. As a result of that and a generally dissolute life style pervasive in that city, he explained: "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. . . . And I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans." Asked by Ms. Gross whether Muslims have a mandate to kill Christians and Jews he replied that the Quran "teaches that very clearly." Muslims and gays are not the only groups that have received the benefit of the Lord's thinking as explicated by JH.
On February 28, 2008, Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League For Religious and Civil Rights, commented on the JH's endorsement of John McCain the preceding day saying: "[F]or the past few decades, he [JH] has waged an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church. For example, he likes calling it 'The Great Whore,' an 'apostate church,' the 'anti-Christ,' and a 'false cult system.' . . . In Hagee's latest book, Jerusalem Countdown he calls Hitler a Catholic who murdered Jews while the Catholic Church did nothing. 'The sell-out of Catholicism to Hitler began not with the people but with the Vatican itself' he writes." Of course Mr. Donohue is not totally objective. He's a Roman Catholic.
JH also knows how to raise money. On July 27, 2006, the Wall Street Journal reported on a fund-raiser sponsored by JH's 16,000 member Cornerstone Church. In the church bulletin, "The Cluster", the fundraiser was announced with a catchy lead-in. It said: "Slavery in America is returning to Cornerstone." The teaser ended with the sentence "Make plans to come and go home with a slave."
John McCain was delighted to be endorsed by the other John. Following the endorsement he said: "All I can tell you is I'm very proud to have pastor Hagee's support." He was not asked to explain whether that meant he, too, shares that John's feelings about Muslims, Catholics, and the joys of slavery. (A few days after the endorsement and told of the other John's comments about Catholics, John McCain partially followed Barack Obama's lead who, when asked about his endorsement by Louis Farrakhan, denounced Farrakhan's anti-Semitic rhetoric and rejected his support. John McCain did not reject the endorsement but said he repudiated any of Hagee's comments if they were "anti-catholic or offensive to Catholics.)
John McCain's acceptance of the endorsement by the other John may well have been influenced by his mentor, Joe Liebermann. Joe is a big fan of both Johns. He hangs out with the John who's running for president. He admires the other John.
In July 2007, a year after the "slave sale" at the other John's church, Joe was a speaker at a convention of "Christians United for Israel," a group of which the other John is founder and national chairman. In thanking the other John for inviting him, Joe said: "I would describe Pastor Hagee with the words the Torah uses to described Moses, he is an "Eesh Elo Kim," a man of God because those words fit him; and, like Moses he has become the leader of a mighty multitude in pursuit of and defense of Israel. . . . If ever there was a man who will be blessed because he has blessed Israel, Pastor Hagee, it is you. . . ." Whether John McCain is blessed because the other John blessed him only time will tell.