Monday, May 5, 2008

NYT Addresses McCain's Embrace of Pastor John Hagee, Catholic-Hater

Here's what Frank Rich of the New York Times has to say about one pastor whose embrace John McCain has received warmly, perhaps because they agree that the US should start a first-strike nuclear war with Iran:
Mr. McCain has been shocked to learn that his clerical ally has made many other outrageous statements. Mr. Hagee, it’s true, did not blame the American government for concocting AIDS. But he did say that God created Hurricane Katrina to punish New Orleans for its sins, particularly a scheduled “homosexual parade there on the Monday that Katrina came.”

Mr. Hagee didn’t make that claim in obscure circumstances, either. He broadcast it on one of America’s most widely heard radio programs, “Fresh Air” on NPR, back in September 2006. He reaffirmed it in a radio interview less than two weeks ago. Only after a reporter asked Mr. McCain about this Katrina homily on April 24 did the candidate brand it as “nonsense” and the preacher retract it.

Mr. McCain says he does not endorse any of Mr. Hagee’s calumnies, any more than Barack Obama endorses Mr. Wright’s. But those who try to give Mr. McCain a pass for his embrace of a problematic preacher have a thin case. It boils down to this: Mr. McCain was not a parishioner for 20 years at Mr. Hagee’s church.

That defense implies, incorrectly, that Mr. McCain was a passive recipient of this bigot’s endorsement. In fact, by his own account, Mr. McCain sought out Mr. Hagee, who is perhaps best known for trying to drum up a pre-emptiveholy war” with Iran. (This preacher’s rantings may tell us more about Mr. McCain’s policy views than Mr. Wright’s tell us about Mr. Obama’s.) Even after Mr. Hagee’s Catholic bashing bubbled up in the mainstream media, Mr. McCain still did not reject and denounce him, as Mr. Obama did an unsolicited endorser, Louis Farrakhan, at the urging of Tim Russert and Hillary Clinton. Mr. McCain instead told George Stephanopoulos two Sundays ago that while he condemns any “anti-anything” remarks by Mr. Hagee, he is still “glad to have his endorsement.” NYT

As Rich says in this essay, "If we’re to judge black candidates on their most controversial associates — and how quickly, sternly and completely they disown them — we must judge white politicians by the same yardstick."


Anonymous said...

An endorsement is far different than a 20 year relationship with a person, that involves baptizing ones children. Obama is a hypocrite.

Francis Holland said...

Does McCain agree with John Hagee (and his own advisors) that there should be a first strike war with Iran? If so, won't that just double the problems the US now has in Iraq?

Wouldn't McCain end his first term with a 14% approval rating, by compounding Bush' stupidity?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wonder if a first strike plan on Iran is what McCain is promising to evangelicals to get them to vote for him.

Speaking of Hagee, and intrepid reporter went undercover into his church. And what he found wasn't pretty.
You'll probably not have the time to read all 9 pages, so let's just cover the basics.
1) As Hagee tells it, only after Israel is involved in a final showdown involving a satanic army (in most interpretations, a force of Arabs led by Russians) will Christ reappear. On that happy day, Hagee and his True Believers will be whisked up to Heaven by God, while the rest of us nonbelievers are left behind on Earth to suck eggs and generally suffer various tortures.
2)He was taking broken people and giving them a road map to a new set of parents, a new family -- your basic cultist bait-and-switch formula for cutting old emotional ties and redirecting that psychic energy toward the desired new destination.
3) Fortenberry then started in on a rant against science and against scientific explanations for cycles of sin. "Take homosexuals," he said. "Every single homosexual is a sexual-abuse victim. They are not born. They are created -- by pedophiles."

Francis Holland said...

Agent X, I am convinced that McCain is promising a radical Jews and Christians that he will bomb Iran, both because his top strategists have proposed it and said it's feasible and desirable, and because I think that's how he's rounded up new support from Christian leaders who once opposed him.

Anonymous said...

Well, I did some digging, and found one of those infamous Hagee sermons.
And people said Rev. Wright was unAmerican.