Tag Archives: John Hagee

John McCain’s Character Problem: The Hagee Rejection

You can almost see John McCain raising his eyebrows and rolling his eyes at the instructions his campaign undoubtedly gave him to reject John Hagee’s endorsement.  Of course he knows of Hagee’s comments, (the alternative is he is hopelessly out of touch). The real issue, I think, is he really doesn’t care.  McCain’s alliance with christian evangelicals is much more superficial than is Bush’s relationship with them. Bush’s relationship with the christian right may well prove to have been yet another act of extreme cynicism, but with McCain, it is more an act of short term political expediency. I don’t think he cares one whit about Hagee. I do think he solicited the Hagee endorsement because he needed the votes of religious conservatives, and thought it would help. 

Still, since McCain obviously knew about Hagee’s comments while at the same time suggesting today was the first he had heard of Hagee’s anti semitic, anti gay rhetoric, McCain once again has lied about another important association in his campaign.  

Again, the alternative to having lied is that McCain simply doesn’t pay attention (not a good sign) and nobody in his campaign bothered to inform him about Hagee’s irrationally nutty comments about Hitler and Jews (Hitler a prophet?), and hurricanes and gays (another foreboding sign of incompetence, of import now b/c general election aides often become WH aides).

Further, McCain’s rejection of Hagee is accompanied by a cheap comparison to Obama and Jeremiah Wright, “i’m not comparing this to Obama and Wright, but…”  Sort of high schoolish, and hypocritical. It matters not the level of attachment between these candidates and these religious figures, for McCain, the import comes down to the fact that he criticizes Obama for denying he knew about comments that, he says, Obama most likely knew full well about. (On this narrow count, McCain might well be right; but I would add the caveat that Obama’s relationship with Wright is real–unlike McCain’s with Hagee– and complex — unlike McCain’s superficial act of expediency–).  McCain loses any leverage on this issue because he just made the same mistake– 

The point here is that McCain’s comments today continue to harden a rhetorical pattern of denying things he knows about or, in the alternative he is again so out of the loop as to raise pressing questions about his fitness to serve as president.  Either way,  the MSM would do well to notice.

 

Hagee, California Wild Fires and Gay Marriage

 

I was in the gym watching CNN and saw a new headlines with video about 3 large fires in California.  The news sprawl then reported the news that the California Supreme Court just declared gay marriage to be constitutional in the State of California.

And then I saw John Hagee’s name sprawling about some different topic, and I wondered…

When will Pastor Hagee blame today’s California wild fires on the california Supreme Court’s decision today legalizing gay marriage? 

and 

How will John McCain prevaricate when asked if he condemns Hagee’s latest comment?

The Media’s Obama (Black Church)- McCain (White Evangelical Church) Conundrum

I just did a couple quick searches on the NYTimes web site and found the following. 0 results mentioning John McCain and Rod Parsley, 3 results mentioning John McCain and John Hagee, AND, 36 articles mentioning Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright. Then I checked the Washington Post site and found: 17 results for McCain and Hagee; 2 results for Parsley and McCain; AND 59 results for Wright and Obama.

Why the heavier media scrutiny for the candidate-black church relationship than the candidate-white church relationship? Media face less resistance going after black churches.

David Corn describes Rod Parsley, whom John McCain referred to as his “spiritual guide,” as follows:

The leader of a 12,000-member congregation, Parsley has written several books outlining his fundamentalist religious outlook, including the 2005 Silent No More. In this work, Parsley decries the “spiritual desperation” of the United States, and he blasts away at the usual suspects: activist judges, civil libertarians who advocate the separation of church and state, the homosexual “culture” (“homosexuals are anything but happy and carefree”), the “abortion industry,” and the crass and profane entertainment industry.

Further, according to Corn, “Parsley claims that Islam is a “false religion,” and an “anti-Christ religion” predicated on “deception.””

Next is John Hagee, founder of Christians United For Israel, who threw his support behind John McCain, calling him a “man of principle, who does not stand boldly on both sides of any issue.” McCain embraced Hagee, after having courted him for over a year, saying he was honored by the endorsement.

Problem is Hagee has called the Catholic Church, ” the Great Whore,” an “apostate church,” the “anti-Christ” and a “false cult system.”

Back in 2003, Hagee’s television series on Islam was cancelled in Canada for inciting hatred against Muslims. Hagee has also suggested that Hurrcane Katrina was “punishment against gays.”

If you were to watch any number of Hagee speeches on the internet, you see joy on his face as he progosticates war with Iran, and disparages and demonizes Muslims, gays and Catholics.

War and hatred. But say what you will about Parsley and Hagee, these guys love America, and it is this “lapel pin” propagaganda that helps give them a pass from the media. Perhaps also more is that Parsley and Hagee represent a white evangelical constituency, a still potent force in american politics.

Now consider Pastor Wright’s social justice critique of America’s legacy of racism. Wrights message is “unashamedly Black and unapologetically Christian.” It is an “African centered point of view” that has been heard in Black churches for generations, and thus also remains a marginalized social force in american politics. This constituency has never been a potent force in american politics. Wright’s voice is of a legacy that includes such scorned geniuses as Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson, as well as including the final economic campaign days of MLK Jr.

It is an angry voice that holds american institutions and elites to account for a legacy that has excluded african americans from the country’s promises of equality and justice for all.

Here is the relevance for the skeletal media content analysis that started the post. This message, if taken seriously would force media moguls to restructure how their reporters cover the news. They would be forced to investigate the claims that Wright and others have made over the years. Such are questions that the media are structured not to ask.

In other words, Wright’s message threatens the media establishment in ways that Hagee’s and Parsley’s message does not, which explains why the NYT and WaPo would rather demonize Wright and Obama’s relationship, than ask fundamentaly important questions about why white evangelical churches and the candidates they support have received a pass for so many years. It would force such questions of folks who continue to take Hagee’s and Parsley’s support for granted, and only then would McCain receive the sort of scrutiny now being leveled at Obama.