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Thursday, February 28, 2008


McCain and John Hagee: Double Standard on Religious Bigotry? john hagee apocalytic
(Updated below)
Yesterday, Senator John McCain enthusiastically accepted the endorsement of the Reverend John Hagee, noted apocalyptic preacher and anti-Catholic (This is hardly surprising--McCain had a secret meeting with Hagee last year). McCain: "I'm very honored by Pastor John Hagee's endorsement today." Hagee is the poor man's Jerry Falwell (watching his televised sermons with a so-bad-it's-good sense of ironic detachment was a favorite exercise of mine until I discovered that the Bush Administration and some media outlets were giving credibility to his bellicose and scary End Times scenarios).

Like many old school fundamentalist preachers, Hagee has a long history of inflammatory statements about the Roman Catholic Church. It's noteworthy that McCain's eagerness to accept Hagee's support would occur a day after Tim Russert grilled Barack Obama concerning Louis Farrakhan's endorsement of his candidacy (To Obama's credit, he repudiated Farrakhan).

Two things I'm wondering:
1) The next time McCain appears on Meet the Press, will Russert question him about his relationship with Hagee?
2) Will William Donohue of the right-wing Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights condemn McCain's acceptance of Hagee's support?

UPDATE:
I'm no fan of William Donohue of the Catholic League. However, in this instance, he has the courage of his convictions by issuing a press release today strongly denouncing McCain's embrace of Hagee.

UPDATE II: Glenn Greenwald has more.

UPDATE III: This is refreshing. On the right-wing discussion board Free Republic, a significant number of posters dismiss Hagee as a kook.

UPDATE IV: Here's a video of McCain telling a town hall audience how "pleased" he was to have Hagee's endorsement.

UPDATE V: (via Don Byrd of Talk to Action) Here's a YouTube video in which Hagee portrays the Roman Catholic Church as the "Whore of Babylon" discussed in the Book of Revelation. Note: Hagee's reference to the Catholic Church as a form of Baal worship is a rehash of the theories put forth by nineteenth century protestant minister Alexander Hislop in his book, The Two Babylons: Papal worship Revealed to be the worship of Nimrod and His Wife.. Although Hislop's thesis has been rejected by serious historians and theologians, his theories are still put forth by Chick Publications (in many Chick tracts as well as in the recent books such as Babylon Religion: How a Babylonian Goddess Became the Virgin Mary). Quick note: Chick has two new tracts, "Fatal Decision" and "Oops."

UPDATE VI: Glenn Greenwald interviews Bill Donohue of the Catholic League about McCain and Hagee. Greenwald's post links to this photo on Oliver Willis' blog of McCain with Hagee.

UPDATE VII:Catholic League president Bill Donohue makes the following observation regarding Mike Huckabee's "disappointment and surprise" that McCain received Hagee's endorsement:
If Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama were fighting over the support of Louis Farrakhan, we’d say they’re nuts. So what are we to conclude about McCain’s embrace of Hagee, and Huckabee’s lament for not getting the bigot’s endorsement?

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