McCain has issues with pastor he...


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By Joseph Williams, Globe Staff

WASHINGTON -- After winning the backing of an influential Texas televangelist, presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain today abruptly rejected the pastor's endorsement after more of his controversial remarks became public -- including a sermon in which he says the Nazis "operated on God's behalf" to drive Jews from Europe to Israel.

McCain had distanced himself from the Rev. John Hagee's anti-Catholic remarks describing the church as a "great whore," a statement for which Link Removed But the Arizona senator, who wanted Hagee's support to shore up his uncertain standing among evangelical conservatives, had not repudiated the endorsement until today.

"Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them," McCain said in a statement today. "I did not know of them before Reverend Hagee's endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well."

The controversy is the latest intersection of faith and politics in this year's presidential race.

Democratic front-runner Barack Obama's association with the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., the former pastor at his home church in Chicago, threatened to derail his candidacy after videos surfaced of Wright making a series of remarks that many viewed as anti-American and racially divisive. Among them, Wright condemned the country for past racism, said the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were the fruit of unjust US foreign policies and suggested he agrees with rumors that the US government had developed and used the AIDS virus as an act of genocide against black people.

After rejecting Wright's remarks but likening the fiery minister to family, Obama formally cut his ties to Wright last month -- after Wright defended himself in a lengthy TV interview and two defiant, high-profile appearances.

McCain has said he is sure that Obama does not share Wright's views, but scolded Obama for not severing his long ties with the minister. But in his statement today, McCain distinguished his relationship with Hagee from Obama's with Wright, saying, "let me also be clear, Reverend Hagee was not and is not my pastor or spiritual advisor, and I did not attend his church for twenty years."

Soon after McCain's rejection, Hagee withdrew his support and said he would sit out the 2008 campaign.

"Ever since I endorsed John McCain for president, people seeking to attack Senator McCain have combed my records for statements they can use for political gain," Hagee said in a statement. "They have had no qualms about grossly misrepresenting my position on issues most near and dear to my heart if it serves their political ambitions. I am tired of these baseless attacks and fear that they have become a distraction in what should be a national debate about important issues."

McCain's strongly-worded rebuff, however, could hurt him among some evangelical voters, whose support he needs in November, said John C. Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

But McCain, Green added, had little choice because Hagee had become a political liability.

"There's only so many controversial statements that someone who has endorsed a candidate can make," Green said. Hagee's anti-Catholic comments were one thing, Green added, but "the second set [about Jews] creates big problems."

The leader of the 19,000-member, non-demonimational Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Tex., Hagee also runs a substantial communications empire with national reach. His televised sermons are well known among evangelicals -- as are his controversial views on homosexuality, the Roman Catholic Church, and his fundamentalist interpretations of the Bible.

In sermons and in statements, Hagee has called Catholicism a "false cult system." The minister also has suggested that Hitler's anti-Semitism was shaped by the church, and said the devastation of Hurricane Katrina was God's response to homosexual sin.

Nevertheless, McCain -- along with other GOP presidential rivals -- sought Hagee's endorsement and the voters he could bring with him. McCain accepted his endorsement at a news conference Feb. 27 in San Antonio, shortly before he won the Texas presidential primary and clinched the nomination.

Though McCain did not disavow Hagee after his anti-Catholic statements surfaced, the remarks on Judaism and Hitler were too much to ignore. In a late 1990s sermon, disclosed online today by the Huffington Post and others, Hagee quoted the Bible and said that “the Nazis had operated on God's behalf to chase the Jews from Europe and shepherd them to Palestine,” the promised land.

Green said the political uproars over Hagee and Wright "just reveals how controversial religion can be when it comes into the political arena" and is taken out of the church.

The Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, a Baptist minister who is president of the Interfaith Alliance, which called for McCain to repudiate McCain, agreed. "While I’m happy Sen. McCain is disassociating himself from Pastor Hagee, this action should have come much sooner and not simply because of public outcry," he said in a statement. "Any time that religious leaders and politicians attempt to use each other, both of them get hurt."
 

NDS

New member
Hagee is a nut-case with a large following. McCain correctly put distance between himself and the 'good' pastor.

He will probably be tainted by whatever crazy remarks Hagee has made anyway. It's a problem Republicans have brought on themselves by pandering to anyone who can bring some religious-right support, no matter how extreme.

:ranting2:
 

automatic slim

New member
McCain may have jumped the gun.

This is unfortunate as Hagee has always been a staunch defender of the Second Amendment and has a large following. He could probably deliver Texas singlehandedly. Hagee certainly didn't say God D**n America or refer to America as the US of KKK, something which Wright did do.
Hagee simply gave his interpretation of scripture, which really doesn't have anything to do with the election.

I think what Hagee was trying to say was that due to Hitlers actions the Jews now have a homeland. Through Hitler, God was able to reach the concience of an uncaring world and world leaders at the time felt the only decent thing to do after the holocaust was give the Jews a place of their own where they would be free from persecution. Remember, he does work in mysterious ways.
 

HK4U

New member
This is unfortunate as Hagee has always been a staunch defender of the Second Amendment and has a large following. He could probably deliver Texas singlehandedly. Hagee certainly didn't say God D**n America or refer to America as the US of KKK, something which Wright did do.
Hagee simply gave his interpretation of scripture, which really doesn't have anything to do with the election.

I think what Hagee was trying to say was that due to Hitlers actions the Jews now have a homeland. Through Hitler, God was able to reach the conscience of an uncaring world and world leaders at the time felt the only decent thing to do after the holocaust was give the Jews a place of their own where they would be free from persecution. Remember, he does work in mysterious ways.


I agree with you. I do not feel that Hagee from anything I have heard him say is that extreme. If you take time to read the scripters in the old testament God used Pharoe and the Egyptians to prepare the Hebrews too move them to the promise land. I am not familiar with exactly the quotes that Hagee said in this case but I do know that the liberal press has been guilty on many occasion of taking something completely out of context. What this shows if anything is that McPain has no clue to what the Bible does or does not say but will take any endorsement he can get until a little heart comes from the those way left of center then will jump ship at the first sign of trouble. He like so many other politition's has no integrity.
 
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Scarecrow

New member
I'm just tired of the whole, let's see how I can stab this candidate in the back today..and not focus on the real issues... our country is falling apart fast. and there is more focus going to where it does not even matter, and not enough focus going to where it does. I don't trust any of them. somehow it seems they managed to grab the worst of the worst. and who decided this crap? that these are the people who are going to represent the american people? just once I would like to see a "real working american" to represent real america..
 

toreskha

Titles are un-American.
I think what Hagee was trying to say was that due to Hitlers actions the Jews now have a homeland. Through Hitler, God was able to reach the concience of an uncaring world and world leaders at the time felt the only decent thing to do after the holocaust was give the Jews a place of their own where they would be free from persecution. Remember, he does work in mysterious ways.
Maybe so. However, bringing up Hitler as a subject of rhetoric is playing with fire when dealing with the hundreds of millions of citizens who are unwilling to think in a critical and multifaceted way.

Bottom line when dealing with political messages to the public...if you can't say something in one sentence, and if it isn't simple and self-explanatory, it's almost always too complicated for people to understand. Average people will stop listening after the first declarative statement, and will typically judge your entire message on the first 5-10 words.

That's why we have these incredibly shallow phrases like "war on terror", "keeping our children safe" or "guns are dangerous". People are unwilling to listen to anything more than an oversimplified message, and yet there are so many people convinced that politicians are "out of touch" or the like.

When a huge controversy comes up, people often pack out meeting rooms and city council chambers, asking their elected officials to do something. Where are all of those people when there's nothing exciting going on? Where's their spirit of involvement then? 99% of the time, private citizens are bored and uninvolved with the process. Even when invited, people won't come...you can't drag a citizen to a public meeting most of the time. They come up with all kinds of excuses..."No one will listen to me" or "they don't care once they're in office". Maybe they went one time and didn't get the instant results they wished for, and that's discouraged them from any involvement whatsoever forever.
 

Torch

New member
He could probably deliver Texas singlehandedly.

WHAT?!? As a Catholic, Hagee's endorsement would be red flag, not a good thing, for any candidate. It's like saying that David Duke's endorsement would deliver Louisiana. While both have their fervent supporters, they are much to divisive to help any campaign much.
 

tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
McCain isn't doing anything that the typical politician, Republican or Democrat, wouldn't do for the sake of political expediency. Remember earlier this year when it took some of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial comments being leaked to the media for him to disassociate himself? Remember when Mitt Romney fired the company that did yard work at his home when it was revealed that the company hired illegal immigrants? I am not the least bit surprised by this.
 

7.62

New member
there is a huge difference between Hagee and Wright...huge. McCain seems uncomfortable discussing his faith while hie opponent is running all over claiming Christianity - which i find wierd. The left has nothing but contempt for Christianity, yet they nominate a man who claims it. I guess it's a cultlike behavior. McCain needs to appeal to the Christian base which seems to be more wooed by the messiah Osama (i mean Obama).
 

HK4U

New member
+1. I think those for the most part that have a problem with what Hagee said either don't know what scripture says or they just don't like what the Bible really says. If they have a problem with it perhaps they should address their concerns to God.
 

7.62

New member
Hagee did not and does not preach hate like Wright did. The far left think Christianity teaches hate, yet Wright was pretty much preaching liberal left talking points. So it's really the media pushing this stuff.

I feel Obama, and McCain have more skeletons in their closet, but Obama more so. he is unknown, empty, McCain has been around for a while and the country know what he is about.
 

tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
Actually, I never compared the two pastors, and I certainly did not mean to suggest that Hagee and Wright had anything in common. What I am saying, and I challenge either of you to disprove me, is that both Obama and McCain, when people associated with them were discovered to have said some things that many people did not like, for the sake of political expediency, publicly severed their ties with these men. Furthermore, I would bet the rent that neither would have severed these ties if they were not running for President of the United States.
 

7.62

New member
probably not. I don't like McCain at all, but he was quick to distance himself from Hagee for whatever reason...Obama danced around it for a long time and only did not for...political reasons. Obama say in it for 20 years...that speaks volumes.
 

HK4U

New member
Actually, I never compared the two pastors, and I certainly did not mean to suggest that Hagee and Wright had anything in common. What I am saying, and I challenge either of you to disprove me, is that both Obama and McCain, when people associated with them were discovered to have said some things that many people did not like, for the sake of political expediency, publicly severed their ties with these men. Furthermore, I would bet the rent that neither would have severed these ties if they were not running for President of the United States.

They are true politicians. They are like rats deserting a sinking ship
 

NDS

New member
+1. I think those for the most part that have a problem with what Hagee said either don't know what scripture says or they just don't like what the Bible really says. If they have a problem with it perhaps they should address their concerns to God.


She didn't answer...
 

toreskha

Titles are un-American.
McCain isn't doing anything that the typical politician, Republican or Democrat, wouldn't do for the sake of political expediency. Remember earlier this year when it took some of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial comments being leaked to the media for him to disassociate himself? Remember when Mitt Romney fired the company that did yard work at his home when it was revealed that the company hired illegal immigrants? I am not the least bit surprised by this.
I'm not a big fan of Romney...but I give him the benefit of the doubt there. He probably has a person who tells a person to tell a person to hire the landscaper. Romney didn't personally look the company up in the phone book and negotiate a price. Realistically, the first he probably heard about it was from an adviser who came and told him. I'm sure that getting his grass cut was never the foremost issue in his mind.

Similarly, I doubt McCain has ever listened to Hagee preach. I doubt Obama has never heard his own pastor say crazy stuff, though - so Obama is the only one here that I'm not believing. He must have gone there at least a few times in 20 years.
 
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tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
I'm not a big fan of Romney...but I give him the benefit of the doubt there. He probably has a person who tells a person to tell a person to hire the landscaper. Romney didn't personally look the company up in the phone book and negotiate a price. Realistically, the first he probably heard about it was from an adviser who came and told him. I'm sure that getting his grass cut was never the foremost issue in his mind.

Similarly, I doubt McCain has ever listened to Hagee preach. I doubt Obama has never heard his own pastor say crazy stuff, though - so Obama is the only one here that I'm not believing. He must have gone there at least a few times in 20 years.

Doesn't matter. They're all behaving like typical politicians.
 

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