John Hagee

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John Hagee is a the founder and senior pastor of the Cornestone Chruch in San Antonio, Texas. He is a televangelist who has alluded to the Catholic Church as "the great whore" and linked it to Hitler.

"Most readers will be shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews" - from Jerusalem Countdown (revised edition, 2007), p. 114. [2].

Republican Presidential candidate John McCain sought and received the endorsement of John Hagee on Febuary 27, 2008 for his run for President.[1] [2]

Hagee is known for his strong anti-Catholic and anti-homosexual views. [3]

In a September 18, 2006, interview on National Public Radio's show "Fresh Air," host Terry Gross said to Hagee, "You said after Hurricane Katrina that it was an act of God, and you said 'when you violate God's will long enough, the judgment of God comes to you. Katrina is an act of God for a society that is becoming Sodom and Gomorrah reborn.' " She then asked him whether he still thought that Katrina was punishment from God for a "society that is becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah." Hagee answered by saying: [4]

All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are -- were recipients of the judgment of God for that. The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades. So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know that there are people who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the day of judgment. And I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.

In the same program, Gross asked Hagee if he believed that "all Muslims have a mandate to kill Christians and Jews." Hagee replied: "Well, the Quran teaches that. Yes, it teaches that very clearly." [4]

Public relations help

In April 2008, the firm 5W Public Relations announced that it was representing Hagee. The firm released a statement from Hagee, in which he denied calling the Catholic Church the "great whore": [5]

In my writings, I have never stated that the great whore is the Catholic Church. Quite to the contrary, the Book Revelation teaches clearly that the great whore will be an apostate church made up of all Christians from all denominations that stray from the path of God and embrace a godless lifestyle including the sin of anti-Semitism.
The truth is, I am not now nor have I ever been anti-Catholic.... I have great love and respect for the Catholic people and Catholic Church, and hope this statement sets the record straight [3].

After much controversy on the subject, on May 12, 2008, Hagee issued an apology to the Catholic Church "expressing regret for 'any comments that Catholics have found hurtful'" [4].

Beating the drums for war

John Hagee is founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel or CUFI [5], "a lobbying organization intended, he says, to be a Christian version of the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee. With CUFI, which Hagee has said will cause a 'political earthquake,' the televangelist aims to put the political organizing muscle of the conservative evangelical movement behind his grand plan for a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ.... Hagee has dismissed pussyfooting diplomacy and primed his followers for a conflagration" [6]. "Their goals span beyond supporting Israel, but also implementing a one-sided and radical approach to the Arab-Israeli problems in the Middle East. There is no nuance to their policy prescriptions and ironically (or perhaps not so ironically) the agenda of Hagee and his group would actually make matters much worse in the Middle East" [7].

Hagee once said that "the United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West... a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ" [8]. [9]. It's this skewed support of only one side in the Middle East conflict, for purely religious reasons, and which is connected to a strange attraction, even eager anticipation for an all-out apocalypse (Armageddon) that many see as ominous [10]. See also the book HOLY WAR: The Rise of Militant Christian, Jewish and Islamic Fundamentalism.

The McCain connection

According to Hagee, John McCain actively sought and won his endorsement for President of the United States, "It’s true that McCain’s campaign sought my endorsement" [11].

"This morning I had an extended breakfast with Senator John McCain of Arizona. Our topic of discussion was Israel and his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States of America. Senator McCain's comments concerning Israel are on target! He gets it! While I do not want to put the specifics of our conversation in this update I am glad to report to our leadership and supporters that John McCain is solidly pro-Israel" [12].

"All I can tell you is that I am very proud to have Pastor John Hagee's support" stated McCain in response to the endorsement. [13]

"John McCain has aligned himself with one of America's purest -- and most powerful -- haters, and that ought to be the story here" [14]. This link is especially serious, many assert. Does Hagee's theology influence McCain's stated desire to "stay the course" in the Middle East?

Some have openly questioned the double-standard of criticism of Barack Obama's ties to his minister Jeremiah Wright on the one hand while lacking of the same outrage with regard to McCain's stated embrace of Hagee on the other[15].

UPDATE: On May 22, 2008 McCain finally rejected Hagee's endorsement after more controversial remarks began to circulate on the Internet. The particular remarks were to the effect that Hitler was a tool God used so as to lead to the establishment of the state of Israel. About them McCain said "Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them" and "I just think that the statement is crazy and unacceptable". "I did not know of them before Reverend Hagee's endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well".

In taking a swipe at Obama McCain also said "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 advisor, and I did not attend his church for twenty years. I have denounced statements he made immediately upon learning of them, as I do again today". This latter statement is curious since McCain has obviously known of Hagee's extremism at least since the endorsement, and rather than the unequivocal denouncement he implies, McCain continued to accept Hagee's endorsement for months after many offended groups had been urging him to renounce it. "Initially, after learning about Hagee's comments, McCain said that just because he accepts -- or seeks -- someone's endorsement does not mean he endorses that person's views. McCain later said that he repudiated Hagee's views, but continued to say that he accepted and was proud of the endorsement" [16] "I’m glad to have his endorsement. I condemn remarks that are any way viewed as anti-anything. And thanks for asking" [17].

However, Orthodox Jews have come to defend Hagee's words. Jewish allies of the Rev. John Hagee rushed to his defense yesterday to say the Texas evangelist is not anti-Semitic despite Sen. John McCain campaign's repudiation Thursday of the evangelist's endorsement.

"John Hagee is one of the Jewish people's best friends," Los Angeles talk show host Dennis Prager said on the air yesterday morning. "Identifying John Hagee with anti-Semitism would be like identifying Raoul Wallenberg, the great Swede who saved thousands of Jews in the Holocaust, with anti-Semitism."

Orthodox Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg, of Congregation Rodfei Sholom in San Antonio, appeared at an afternoon press conference yesterday to say Mr. Hagee's "words were twisted and used to attack him for being anti-Semitic."

In actuality, Mr. Hagee "interpreted a biblical verse in a way not very different from several legitimate Jewish authorities," the rabbi said. [6]

On the other hand, J Street, "the political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement", has taken an opposite position and is asking Lieberman to withdraw his support for Hagee [18].

Notable quotes

"Pastor Hagee in the words that the Torah uses to describe Moses, he is an 'Ish Elokim,' a man of God and those words really do fit him; and, I'd add something else, like Moses he's become the leader of a mighty multitude, even greater than the multitude that Moses led from Egypt to the promised land". - Joesph Lieberman comparing Hagee to Moses.

"And we support Senator Joseph Lieberman, that it's time for our country to consider a military preemptive strike against Iran if they will not yield to diplomacy" [19] - John Hagee.

"Hagee has a long history making strange predictions about world events that are almost always wrong. His books in the late 90’s trumped up Y2K hysteria to ridiculous levels. He inaccurately predicted that the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin was the "Beginning of the End" in the book of the same name. In every book he writes, he is constantly warning of catastrophe in various forms right around the corner" [20].

Anti-Islamic Views

On several occasions Hagee has publicly denounced the Islamic faith and has propagated "several myths about Islam and American Muslims." Hagee has made the following demagogic claims about Islam:

"Radical sects, which include about 200 million Islamics, believe they have a command from God to kill Christians and Jews."

"They are trained from the breast of their mother to hate us. Radical Islam is a doctrine of death. It is their desire, it is their hope, it is their ambition, it is their highest honor to die in a war against infidels. And you are 'infidels' and there is nothing you can do to accommodate them. That's what makes them so dangerous."

"Ladies and gentlemen, America is at war with radical Islam...Jihad has come to America. If we lose the war to Islamic fascism, it will change the world as we know it."[7]


SourceWatch resources

External links


  1. McGirk T, TIME Magazine McCain's Holy Land Pilgrimage News article. March 19 2008.
  2. TIMEThe Victor: McCain's moment March 6, 2008
  3. Associated Press/ MSNBC Hagee endorsement of McCain has risks: San Antonio megachurch leader an outspoken critic of Catholic Church March 3, 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 National Public Radio, Fresh Air from WHYY Pastor John Hagee on Christian Zionism, September 18, 2006.
  5. "5W Reps Controversial Pastor," O'Dwyer's PR Daily (sub req'd), April 22, 2008.
  6. Jews defend Hagee's words [1] May 24th, 2008
  7. Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir, "Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America, Center for American Progress, August 2011.