It’s time to give McCain some shit for the religious company he is keeping.
John McCain has been endorsed by John Hagee, a senior pastor at Cornerstone Church in Texas. He heads one of those Evangelical "super churches" that says and believes a good chunk of nonsense the religious right is known for. Here’s what Hagee has to say on a number of matters.
“How utterly repulsive, insulting, and heartbreaking to God for his chosen people to credit idols with bringing blessings he had showered upon the chosen people. Their own rebellion had birthed the seed of anti-Semitism that would arise and bring destruction to them for centuries to come.”
Hurricane Katrina and Homosexuals:
“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.”
Hagee’s a real class act as you can see. He is also accused of being anti-Catholic by none other than William Donahue, but I can’t muster the same contempt for Hagee on this ground. The fact that he doesn’t believe the Catholic Church is the correct vessel for God is a given, seeing that he is an evangelical and a sectarian. Catholics, by his definition and theology, are sinners and apostates. I don’t oppose Hagee because he hurts the feelings of some other church (the various protestant churches are apostates too according to Catholic doctrine, so Donahue probably shouldn’t throw stones).
But to say that those who died from Katrina (or 9/11 or the Holocaust) were done so through a godly act of retribution for the sins of those slaughtered, is disgusting and despicable, and I believe increases the number of folks willing to attack and torment those who belong to such groups. If God is righteous when he drowns some homosexuals, what makes the armed mob any less righteous when it cleanses them from the community? Once you believe one group of people is deserving of death and persecution, you have opened the door to every totalitarian to act with virtuous impunity, all to gain grace in the eyes of God.
I hope that these recent uproars over religious men and their bizarre conspiracy theories will dissipate the desire of the American public to see their candidates with “holy” individuals, which act as little more than amplifiers for hate groups and bamboozlers. McCain was right in 2000, when he called these types of preachers “agents of intolerance.”
The truth is, being a preacher is one of the last occupations for a racist or despot to take these days, and both political parties pander to them as if they need these hoodwinks to win over the majority of the American populace. I don’t believe for a second that Wright or Hagee is going to help either Obama or McCain win a single vote they were not already going to pick up; they will only push away voters with their bizarre religious rhetoric.
I think McCain should completely disown Hagee and his ilk. The Obama/Wright connection is far more damaging to Democrats this November than Hagee’s endorsement of McCain, but I don’t think it's acceptable to give McCain a pass simply because he is not going to suffer at the voting booth for having Hagee’s support. I want better from my leaders and representatives, and America can do a whole lot better than a “spiritual adviser” like Pastor John Hagee.