Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Portion For Foxes: Defending Pastor Hagee

But those that tell lies, that seek my soul to destroy it,they shall go into the nethermost parts of the earth; they shall fall by the sword; they shall be a portion for foxes -Psalm 63.

In an effort to fend off the Obama/Jeremiah Wright controversy, the Angry Left has turned on one of John McCain's endorsees, Reverend John Hagee.

Starting with the New York Times' resident buffoon Frank Rich and continuing today with a rabid HuffPo piece, the question is asked ....why is Jeremiah Wright being demonized while John McCain gets a free ride because of his being endorsed by the 'anti-Catholic' Pastor John Hagee?

The latest horse manure being peddled is that Pastor Hagee referred to the Catholic Church as `The Great Whore' and said that G-d Himself sent Hitler to move the Jews to Israel.

Here's the unedited tape in question, with what Pastor Hagee actually said:

A bit of background for the scripturally challenged - the 'Great Whore' referred to by Pastor Hagee is a term used in Revelations for the new false church that will spring up around the anti-Christ. And the sole reference to the Catholic Church in his entire talk comes when he quotes Hitler as rationalizing his plans for the Jews by telling his associates that he was not going to do anything to the Jews that the Roman Church had not been doing for centuries, except he was going to do it more thoroughly.

There is no reference whatsoever to the Catholic Church as 'The Great Whore' of Revelations. Period.

I should also mention in this context that when Pastor Hagee realized that his words were being deliberately distorted, he sought out the Catholic League's William Donohue and apologized and Donohue accepted that apology:

"After weeks of meeting with various Catholic leaders, and accessing scholarly literature on Catholic-Jewish relations, Pastor John Hagee has demonstrated an improved understanding of the Catholic Church and its history. In his letter to me, Hagee says, 'I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful.' He specifically cites his emphasis of 'the darkest chapters in the history of Catholic and Protestant relations with the Jews,' and has pledged to provide a more complete and balanced portrayal going forward that will not reinforce mischaracterizations of the Catholic Church. And while he stresses that his invocation of terms like 'apostate church' and the ‘great whore’ were never meant by him to describe the Catholic Church, he acknowledges that anti-Catholics have long employed such language," Donohue said in his statement.

"The tone of Hagee’s letter is sincere. He wants reconciliation and he has achieved it. Indeed, the Catholic League welcomes his apology. What Hagee has done takes courage and quite frankly I never expected him to demonstrate such sensitivity to our concerns. But he has done just that. Now Catholics, along with Jews, can work with Pastor Hagee in making interfaith relations stronger than ever. Whatever problems we had before are now history. This case is closed."

Just a bit different than Jeremiah Wright, I'd say.

I'm not a member of his faith, but I know a little bit about Pastor Hagee and his Church.

To meet John Hagee in person is meet a man who's aura of goodness and determination to do G-d's work as he sees it regardless of what it costs him personally is readily apparent. It simply shines forth of its own accord. And it both saddens and angers me to see a genuinely good man's reputation trashed to try and excuse the twisted ideas of a malignant racist and anti-Semite like Jeremiah Wright.

Pastor Hagee's Cornerstone Church, among their other numerous good works raised $8.5 million dollars to rescue Jews from the Soviet Union and to help them to settle in Israel.

And Pastor Hagee and his Church are the linchpin behind Christians United For Israel, one of the most diligent and uncompromising supporters of Israel and the Jewish people anywhere. They rival AIPAC when it comes to manning the trenches in Congress to lobby for the nation Jeremiah Wright famously referred to as 'a dirty word' .

Sadly, Senator John McCain decided to do the convenient and expedient thing and disavow Hagee's endorsement, after a tape of a sermon Hagee made in the 1990's was unearthed exploring the possibility that Hitler may have been referred to by the Prophet Jeremiah in scripture as a force designed to help bring the Jews to Israel. McCain did use the occasion to remark on the difference between Obama's relationship with Wright and his relationship with Hagee, saying:“I have said I do not believe Senator Obama shares Reverend Wright’s extreme views. But let me also be clear, Reverend Hagee was not and is not my pastor or spiritual adviser, and I did not attend his church for 20 years."

While McCain was certainly deft in turning this around, I think less of him for disavowing Pastor John Hagee's support in this way.

Hagee himself has no illusions about what's going on,and true to form has his eye on the big picture. He released a statement about the way the way his sermons have been picked apart since he endorsed McCain. He said he was withdrawing his endorsement so McCain “may focus on the issues that are most important to America and the world,” and that he would not have any active part in the 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. “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.”

We live in strange days indeed, when this good man, one of the best friends Israel and the Jewish people ever had is demonized as a hater and an anti-Semite.

In the end, Pastor Hagee and his church will continue to make a difference, and those acts will be recorded and rewarded where it counts.The Bank Of Karma Uptown keeps pretty good records.

And the people that have libeled him so viciously?

Well, they'll be a portion for foxes. Depend on it.


benning said...

I came here via Bookworm, and I'm glad she linked to you.

I see Hagee on the tube every now and then - as I do T.D.Jakes - and am wlways taught something, uplifted, encouraged, moved closer to God. I've never heard anything remotely anti-semitic, anti-Catholic, or anti-anything else save Evil. McCain has erred in tossing Hagee overboard, but I hope he let Hagee know that it was for political reasons only. Hagee showed class and composure.

Excellent post! Many thanks!

Freedom Fighter said...

Welcome to Joshua's Army, Benning. And many thanks for the kind words.