Please read the following and ask yourself why Obama has been pilloried (no, I did not write "Hillary-d"!) about Farrakhan, who Obama has consistently repudiated, but the media has been slow to focus the same criticism at McCain for his acceptance of Hagee's endorsement.
Before I get into the really insane stuff, let me point out that Hagee is a hukster who has become rich off of his hate-filled teachings. He believes "poverty is caused by sin and disobeying the Word of God." And, like most other prosperity preachers, Hagee believes that "poverty is a curse." Surprise, surprise, Hagee follows these kinds of remarks with exhortations to fill his coffers: Christians achieve prosperity through giving, asserts Hagee. "When you give to God, He controls your income. There's no such thing as a fixed income in the Kingdom of God. Your income is controlled by your giving." According to Hagee, Christians grow prosperous through giving because "God created a universe where it is impossible to receive without giving. Everything that God controls, gives. . . . Givers gain. You do not qualify for God's abundance until you give." Again, of course, you are to give directly to Hagee and his "church." And, not shockingly, Hagee ignores the many passages of the Bible that run directly contrary to these views, like when Jesus Himself said, "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. . . . But woe to you who are rich . . ."
Anyway, let's move on to the really bizarre-o stuff: According to Sarah Posner at The American Prospect, "Hagee's view of current affairs is animated by his view of the end-times, and his belief that godly forces are engaged in spiritual warfare with satanic forces. The bible foretells, he believes, plagues, natural disasters, and nuclear war. So all those things should be cause for celebration, since they demonstrate the biblical prophecy of the events preceding Christ's Second Coming are taking place in our lifetime."
In the Fall of 2006, Hagee gave a speech at the late Jerry Falwell's church, where he shared the stage with Tim LaHaye, another Christian lunatic and co-author of the best-selling Left Behind series of novels. "How close are we to the second coming of Christ?" Hagee asked. "The Bible clearly states that heaven and earth shall pass away. … The signs of his coming are very clear in Scripture. If you listen closely, you can hear the hoofbeats of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, racing toward the battle of Armageddon."
So, what are some of Hagee's so-called "Christian" views? Here is just a taste:
• On Catholicism: "Most readers will be shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews." [Jerusalem Countdown by John Hagee] In his relentless war against Catholics and the Catholic Church, Hagee also regularly calls it the "Harlot Church," "The Great Whore," an "apostate church," the "anti-Christ," and a "false cult system." In case you don't believe me, here is Hagee preaching against the Catholic Church:
• On Hurricane Katrina: "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 were recipients of the judgment of God for that." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06] And, "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." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]
• On Islamic Beliefs: Fresh Air host Terry 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." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]
• On African-Americans: The San Antonio Express-News reported that Hagee was going to "meet with black religious leaders privately at an unspecified future date to discuss comments he made in his newsletter about a 'slave sale,' an East Side minister said Wednesday." The Express-News reported: "Hagee, pastor of the 16,000-member Cornerstone Church, last week had announced a 'slave sale' to raise funds for high school seniors in his church bulletin, 'The Cluster.'" And, "The item was introduced with the sentence 'Slavery in America is returning to Cornerstone" and ended with "Make plans to come and go home with a slave." [San Antonio Express-News 3/7/96]
• On Women: "Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist." [God's Profits: Faith, Fraud and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, Sarah Posner] Or, "[T]he feminist movement today is throwing off authority in rebellion against God's pattern for the family." ["Bible Positions on Political Issues," John Hagee]
• On Iran: "The coming nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty," Hagee wrote [in 2006] in the Pentecostal magazine Charisma. "Israel and America must confront Iran's nuclear ability and willingness to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons. For Israel to wait is to risk committing national suicide." [The Nation, 8/8/2006, http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060814/new_christian_zionism] He has also said, "military confrontation with Iran is foretold in the Bible as a necessary precondition for the Second Coming." (http://blog.prospect.org/mt-tb.cgi/67989)
• On Science: "The knowledge explosion," said Hagee, "has produced a generation that is dying of AIDS, abortion, enslaved by drugs, homosexuality, Satanism, and witchcraft, and the collapse of the traditional family with the celebration of abortion. Why? Because knowledge without God only produces an intellectual barbarian." (http://blog.prospect.org/mt-tb.cgi/67989)
• On the possibility of nuclear war: Hagee claimed that "I had a congressman sit in my office the other day and say that the CIA now believes that nations hostile to Israel have purchased submarines from cash-hungry Soviets to attack Israel from the Mediterranean Sea. That U.S. Congressman said we have missiles that are missing, and we don’t know where they are. . . . Ladies and gentlemen, nuclear war is coming to the Middle East, and it will engulf the world. That was a mystery that was not known just a few years ago. But now it is known with Bible clarity." (http://blog.prospect.org/mt-tb.cgi/67989)
• On Jerusalem under Jewish control: Hagee maintained that "Satan wants Jerusalem for his messiah, the Antichrist. God has promised it to King David, that his seed, Jesus Christ, shall rule over it forever and forever. People ask why can’t the Arabs and the Jews get together over this city. Listen to me: it is not about the two-state solution. It is not about money. It is not about land. It is about theology. . . . Muhammed taught a theology of triumphalism . . . .for Islam to rule the earth. The problem is that sitting in the throat of Islamic nations in the Middle East is Israel, who has an unconditional blood covenant with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that the land shall be theirs forever and forever. God did not loan the land to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He gave it to them by blood covenant, and the Book of Genesis and that covenant still stands. It is there regardless of what the United Nations wants. It is there regardless of what the U.S. State Department thinks. It is there in spite of what the Arab nations want. It belongs to Israel. . . . I am telling you there will be no lasting peace in the Middle East until the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, returns to that sacred city and sets up his eternal kingdom." (http://blog.prospect.org/mt-tb.cgi/67989)
• On secular humanism and deception: Hagee said that "secular humanism is deception. Secular humanism says there is no right there is no wrong. Secular humanism says man is the master of his fate. What nonsense that is. You can’t guarantee your next breath. Only God can give you life. . . . You are the master of nothing! There is one master, he is King Jesus, the son of the living God, and there is no other." (http://blog.prospect.org/mt-tb.cgi/67989)
• On pestilence: Asserting that we don't have a cure for AIDS, and that earthquakes are "a tool God has of communicating with those who are hard of hearing spiritually," Hagee claimed that "God will announce the coming of Jesus Christ with the biggest earthquake the world has ever seen when the islands of the sea will disappear, and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount will be collapsed, and the Mount of Olives will split in half and Jesus will come and say, I am the Lord, and there is none like me, and he will set up his throne on the Temple Mount and rule from the throne of his father King David, of his kingdom there will be no end." (http://blog.prospect.org/mt-tb.cgi/67989)
So, let's review. This so-called Christian is racist, sexist, anti-science, anti-Catholic, hateful toward gays and Muslims, a war-monger trying to scare up nuclear war in the Middle East, and arrogant as hell.
Uh... can't you just feel the Christian love and compassion oozing out of every pore in Hagee's body??!!!?!?!?!??!! Ummmmm.... doesn't the Bible say something about the anti-Christ being cloaked in the garb of righteousness?
But, wait, WAIT! Before you dismiss Hagee out of hand as some fringe crazy, note these stats:
Again, quoting from Sarah Posner's article, "A 2002 Time magazine poll found that 'fully 59% [of Americans] say they believe the events in Revelation are going to come true, and nearly one-quarter think the Bible predicted the Sept. 11 attack.' A 2007 AP/Ipsos poll found that one quarter of Americans believed that Jesus Christ would return in 2007 and 46% of evangelicals believed that it was 'somewhat likely.' A comprehensive study of Pentecostals and charismatic evangelical Christians conducted by the Pew Center on Religion and Public Life in 2006 found that 'Pentecostals have particularly strong views on "the rapture of the church," the teaching that before the world comes to an end the faithful will be saved and taken up to heaven.' According to the survey, 90% of American Pentecostals held that belief, while 69% of charismatics and 59% of other Christians did." So, there are a lot of lunatics walking around out there pretending to be sane people...
Perhaps you wonder why John McCain, who clearly does not subscribe to this insanity personally, would accept this endorsement. Oh, and let me be clear, McCain accepts this endorsement:
Later, on Friday, February 29, 2008, McCain said: "Well I think it's important to note that pastor John Hagee who has supported and endorsed my candidacy supports what I stand for and believe in. When he endorses me, it does not mean that I embrace everything that he stands for and believes. And I am very proud of the Pastor John Hagee's spiritual leadership to thousands of people and I am proud of his commitment to the independence and the freedom of the state of Israel. That does not mean that I support or endorse or agree with some of the things that Pastor John Hagee might have said or positions that he may have taken on other issues. I don't have to agree with everyone who endorses my candidacy. They are supporting my candidacy. I am not endorsing some of their positions."
And later that day, with public outrage growing, the campaign released this statement: "Yesterday, Pastor John Hagee endorsed my candidacy for president in San Antonio, Texas. However, in no way did I intend for his endorsement to suggest that I in turn agree with all of Pastor Hagee's views, which I obviously do not... I am hopeful that Catholics, Protestants and all people of faith who share my vision for the future of America will respond to our message of defending innocent life, traditional marriage, and compassion for the most vulnerable in our society." Yet, he refused to "reject or denounce" Hagee and his endorsement.
So, why? Well, that is easy: McCain is desperate for the support of the hard Right in his Party and is apparently willing to do just about anything to get it. In fact, for the last few years, in preparation for his 2008 run, he has pandered to all kinds of right-wing issues and causes and groups, flip-flopping hard in the process. Steve Benen at "Crooks and Liars" has put together a brief list:
* Pander On Tax Cuts: In 2001, McCain was one of just two GOP senators to vote against Bush’s destructive tax cuts. Now, however, McCain makes a point of touting his support for making Bush’s tax cuts permanent.
* Pander On Stimulus: For the past few months, McCain has been declaring that passing an economic stimulus package is at the very top of his agenda. Yet when the Senate voted earlier this month on a generous bill providing increased assistance to seniors and veterans, McCain skipped the vote. The bill fell just one vote short of passage, a victory for the far right.
* Pander To Karl Rove: In the 2000 presidential campaign, Karl Rove launched vicious smear tactics against McCain on behalf of Bush’s campaign. Recently, however, McCain has embraced the right-wing political operative. He said that he has “always respected Karl Rove as one of the smart great political minds I think in American politics” and specifically refused to condemn Rove’s partisan smears.
Those are all excellent recent examples, but if we look back just a little bit further, Sen. McCain’s (R-Pandertown) shameless record emerges in even more detail.
* Pander On Immigration: McCain was a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants’ kids who graduate from high school. Now, to make the nativist elements in his party happy, he’s against it.
* Pander to U.N. Critics: McCain used to champion the Law of the Sea convention, even volunteering to testify on the treaty’s behalf before a Senate committee. Now, to pander to U.N. critics, he opposes it.
* Pander to Abortion-Rights Opponents: McCain used to say he would not support a reversal of Roe v. Wade. Now, to pander to his party’s base, he’s said the opposite.
* Pander to the Religious Right: McCain condemned radical TV preachers like Jerry Falwell as “agents of intolerance” in 2000, but once he began running for president again, he pandered to the religious right by cozying up to the man who said Americans “deserved” the 9/11 attacks.
* Pander to Iowans: McCain was anti-ethanol before the 2008 campaign. Once on the trail in Iowa, he became pro-ethanol.
* Pander to South Carolinians: McCain was against official promotion of the Confederate flag, but in 2000, hoping to curry favor with South Carolinians, pandered shamelessly on the issue, and later conceded that his position was one of “cowardice.”
So, the questions are:
- How much of a "maverick" and "independent-minded" politician is John McCain, really?
- Why has the media been so hasty to jump on Obama, even though he has consistently denounced the views of Farrakhan, but slow to criticize the white candidate and his hateful white "Christian" endorser?
- And, finally, is John Hagee really the anti-Christ? (wink)
What do you think?