"Pro Israel" Christian Leader Blames Jews For The Holocaust
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Mar 05, 2007 at 10:50:15 AM EST
UPDATE: Here's a piece I've justed posted today, McCain-backer Hagee's CUFI Worldview: "Thrilling" Rapture, Then "Holocaust"

"I originally compiled the bulk of the following as an authoritative base reference on statements CUFI leaders and other Christian Zionists have made. Because of John Hagee's recent endorsement of GOP presidential front-runner John McCain, I've decided to publish this now although I already have a great deal of material to add. I've decided to create this as an evolving, versioned document and welcome comments and suggestions for new material. As an adjunct, here's a video clip from a larger piece I'm working on...."

John Hagee, deemed one of the 20 most influential evangelical leaders in America, is an increasingly powerful, fast rising star on the Christian right who has built his career on aggressive support for the Israeli hard political right. In early 2006, Texas pastor John Hagee founded the new, ostensibly "pro-Israel" national lobbying group "Christians United For Israel". But John Hagee's writings, in his latest book, might lead some to doubt Mr. Hagee's love for Jews.
other perspectives on and Christian Zionism and CUFI:

Jews On First

Challenging Christian Zionism

In "Jerusalem Countdown: A Prelude To war" Hagee has stated that Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves by rebelling against God and that the Holocaust was God's way of forcing Jews to move to Israel where, Hagee predicts according to his interpretation of Biblical scripture, they will be mostly killed in the apocalyptic Mideast conflict Hagee's new lobbying group seems to be working to provoke and which John Hagee believes to be a necessary precondition for the "Rapture" that will lift Christians, but not Jews, bodily into Heaven to enjoy physical immortality amidst paradise.

Over the past year, frequent and generally favorable media coverage of a new US national political lobbying group, "Christians United For Israel", and its outspoken founder Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee has helped cement Hagee's brand recognition as a steadfast friend to Israel and has cast a favorable light on his new CUFI lobbying group that is designed to flex the political muscles of tens of millions of American evangelicals, ostensibly on Israel's behalf.

In a January 2007 conference call with Jewish bloggers, John Hagee explained that he and his fellow CUFI members were working to "organize every congressional district where every church in that district that is an evangelical church can be known to us so that if at a point in time someone in Congress or the US Senate proves to be hostile to Israel that we can lend our strength to retire them from public office."

Since CUFI's founding in early 2006, John Hagee has been barnstorming the American Jewish community through feel-good events entitled "A Night To Honor Israel" which have helped win the confidence of American Jews and swelled the roles of volunteers pledged to travel to Washington DC  for CUFI organized lobbying events. In apparent recognition of the new lobbying group's growing electoral power, The White House has granted CUFI considerable access and and top GOP leaders such as John McCain and House GOP Minority Whip Roy Blunt have met personally with Pastor John Hagee in recent weeks.  

Few media reports, however, have paid attention to jarring contradictions between CUFI's public face and public statements and writings of its founder John Hagee and CUFI's top executive members.

Text from the Christians United For Israel website home page depicts the goals of the organization: CUFI seeks peace and a strong Israel, is committed to Israel's defense, and "blesses" Jews:

"The Bible commands us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), to speak out for Zion's sake (Isaiah 62:1) to be watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem (Isaiah 62:6) and to bless the Jewish people (Genesis 12:3). These and so many other verses of the Bible have one overriding message - as Christians we have a Biblical obligation to defend Israel and the Jewish people in their time of need."

But On July 19, 2006, at a CUFI's Washington DC inaugural event, with GOP Party head Ken Mehlman and US GOP Senators Sam Brownback, Rick Santorum, Kay Bailey-Hutchinson and John Cornyn in attendance ( President George W. Bush sent recorded greetings to the event ) , Pastor John Hagee declared :

"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 [the] Second Coming of Christ."

[7-4-2011 - update and correction: the text, above, is a misquote incorrectly attributed to John Hagee--who has publicly declared (CUFI Washington D.C. summit 2007) that "It is time for America to consider a military preemptive strike against Iran to prevent a nuclear holocaust in Israel and a nuclear attack in America" but has not directly stated that this will bring about the end-time scenario Hagee predicts. For an extended discussion of this misquote, see Christians United For Israel Lashes Out (Anatomy of a Misquote) For an extensive collection of sourced John Hagee quotes here at Talk To Action - see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Hagee subsequently wrote, in a Charisma Magazine editorial entitled "The Coming Holy War",  that the preemptive attack he advocates should be carried out with nuclear weapons.

In short, Hagee's new lobby -far from promoting any sort of peace- appears to be devoted to promoting war and conflict in the Middle East. Hagee called the 2006 summer Israeli bombing and invasion of Southern Lebannon a "miracle of God" and Hagee, along with CUFI's  executive board members, have repeatedly publicly vilified Islam and Muslims.  

Similarly, Hagee speaks of the need to "bless" Jews but has written that Jews suffer under a historic, divine curse which is their own fault.

In his 2006 book "Jerusalem Countdown" that has sold over 1.1 million copies so far, Pastor John Hagee writes that Jews themselves are responsible for antisemitism, for their own persecution, and for the Holocaust itself :

"It was the disobedience and rebellion of the Jews, God's chosen people, to their covenantal responsibility to serve only the one true God, Jehovah, that gave rise to the opposition and persecution that they experienced beginning in Canaan and continuing to this very day....

How utterly repulsive, insulting, and heartbreaking to God for His chosen people to credit idols with bringing blessings He had showered upon the chosen people. Their own rebellion had birthed the seed of anti-Semitism that would arise and bring destruction to them for centuries to come.... it rises from the judgment of God uppon his rebellious chosen people." ( "Jerusalem Countdown: A Prelude To War", paperback edition, pages 92 and 93 )

The Holocaust also was part divine mechanism, suggests Hagee in his book, God's way of forcing Jews to move to Israel, where most of them, Hagee thinks, will soon be killed in the apocalyptic war his lobbying group seems to be formed in part to encourage but where Hagee seems to feel they properly belong, as a necessary, magical human precondition that must be in place before the Rapture, that will grant Christians physical immortality in Heaven:

The Prophet Jeremiah... paints a vivid picture of the human agents God intended to use to bring the Jewish people back to Israel:

'But now I will send for many fisherman', declares the Lord', 'and they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks.'

I believe this indicates the positive comes before the negative.....

First, God sent the fisherman to Israel. These were the Zionists, men like Theodore Herzl who called for the Jews of Europe and the World to come to Palestine and establish the Jewish state. The Jews were encouraged to escape while there was still time....

[Then] God sent the hunters. The hunter is one who pursues his target with force and fear. No one could see the horror of the Holocaust coming, but the force and fear of Hitler's Nazis drive the Jewish people back to the only home God ever intended for the Jews to have-Israel.... I am stricken with awe and wonder at his boundless love for Israel and the Jewish people...( "Jerusalem Countdown", paperback edition, pages 132 and 133 )

In "Jerusalem Countdown" one can find echoes of many of the themes that been at the core of historical antisemitism. IN the book, Hagee repeatedly states that Jews are "spiritually blind" - echoing the age-old charge that Jews are materialistic - and in an a September 18, 2006 WHYY "Fresh Air" interview with Terry Gross, Hagee seemed to blame Jews for the death of Jesus:

Zechariah says in the 14th chapter `and when they, the Jewish people, see him whom they have pierced' -and the word pierced there actually refers to his rib and side-`when they see him whom they have pierced, they will weep as one weeps for his only son for a period of one week.

In a July 26, 2006 interview with the San Antonio Times, Hagee has described liberal Jews who do not agree with his political views as "poisoned"  :

" I think if I could put a dividing line, the Orthodox and Conservatives who have a Torah appreciation give us wholehearted support. The rest who are not driven by the Word of God have a liberal agenda.

And the liberal agenda is they are pro-abortion. They're pro-homosexual. They're pro-gay marriage -- they want men to marry men and women to marry women -- and their difference with me is not really what I'm doing with Israel. Their hostility to me is poisoned by their liberalism."

In fact, the wellbeing of Jews themselves appears not to be the centerpiece of John Hagee's foreign policy objectives. Rather, Hagee seems intent on a catastrophic war that will trigger "The Rapture" :

Russia with Arab allies will plot and plan Israel's destruction. That's happening right now. It has been happening for 10 years. Iran's nuclear weapons have been produced with Russian scientists. The Islamic Arabs are using the Roadmap to Peace to get all of the land of Israel they can get. And when Israel finally says, `Enough!' you're going to see the beginning of the implementation of Ezekial's war in 38:39. The critical point is the church is raptured before this war begins. I am telling you that makes this message one of the most thrilling prophetic messages you've ever heard in your life. You could get raptured out of this building before I get through finished preaching. We are that close to the coming of the Son of Man. - Pastor John Hagee, from a September 18, 2006 interview in WHYY's "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross

What John Hagee leaves out of his "thrilling" apocalyptic narrative, is that he believes, subsequent to the "Rapture", that most Jews in Israel, who by definition are not a part of the ones who will get "raptured" to Heaven, will die in the apocalyptic conflict Hagee and his fellow apocalyptic Christian zionists yearn for. IN "Jerusalem Countdown", Hagee does not specify what percentage of world Jewry would be killed in the apocalyptic global conflict he has described as "thrilling", but he gives a general sense. In reference to passages from the Bibles Book Of Isaiah 10:22, 22, Hagee writes :

"Who is this remnant [those who will survive] ?

First, it's obvious that all of that remnant is Jewish.....

God promises that by his sovereign grace a "remnant" would be saved by the grace of God, a group of survivors who have the opportunity to receive Messiah, who is a rabbi known to the world as Jesus Christ." ( Jerusalem Countdown, paperback edition, pages 192 and 194 )

Many Christian Premillenial Dispensationalists -- the theological persuasion Pastor John Hagee belongs to --  believe that the majority of the Jews currently living in Israel will be killed in the period of warfare that follows the "Rapture," when "believing" Christians ( fundamentalist Christians, that is ) are bodily transported up to safety in heaven. The standard interpretation is that 2/3 or more of Israeli Jews will be slaughtered during this period but that a righteous "remnant", who have realized the error of their ways and converted to Christianity, will survive what Christian Zionists often call the "final Holocaust" or the "second Holocaust." Writings and statements made by CUFI board members Jerry Falwell and George Morrison sum up such views:

Millions of Jews will be slaughtered at this time but a remnant will escape and God will supernaturally hide them for Himself for the last  three and a half years of the Tribulation, some feel in the rose-red city of Petra.  I don't know how, but God will keep them because the Jews and the Chosen People of God." ( CUFI Executive Board Member Jerry Falwell, in a December 2, 1984 sermon)

As recounted by Terje Langeland, reporting for the Colorado Springs Independent in 2003, one of Pastor John Hagee's CUFI board members, George Morrison, expresses his sense of how Israeli and Israeli Jews will fare in the apocalytpic scenario Hagee and others long for:

"Morrison, whose casual, folksy manner belies his apocalyptic beliefs, already sees signs that the End is approaching. The European Union, he says, might be the alliance of nations that according to prophecy will join the Arabs to wage war against Israel during the final days.

"Great wars will begin to take place" Morrison says in a matter-of-fact voice. "Those wars are going to involve nukes."

The extent of the destruction will prompt Jesus to return in order to stop it, Morrison believes. Unfortunately, he says, many Jews will be killed.

"It's another Holocaust, if you will" Morrison says. "

When talking to many Jews and Israelis, Hagee seems stress the need to protect Israel and promises his group's unwavering support for what Hagee calls God's historic covenant with Jews to whom, Hagee believes, God gave the historical lands of Israel for perpetuity.

When talking to the Christian Zionists of CUFI, however, Hagee speaks of other matters : the need for an apocalyptic war in the Mideast that will trigger the "Rapture" of fundamentalist Christians into Heaven but also kill, Hagee believes, most Jews now living. That "necessary" war ( necessary to trigger the "Rapture": of Christians, that is )  may even lead, Hagee speculates in "Jerusalem Countdown", to massive nuclear strikes that will destroy America's East and West coasts and kill hundreds of millions and which would amount to, Hagee feels, divine punishment visited, via ICBM, on liberal Americans for insufficient support for the sort of far right, even fringe, Israeli politics Hagee promotes.

Texas Pastor John Hagee, who heads the San Antonio based 20,000  member Cornerstone Church and has founded a growing broadcast empire that projects his sermons around the world is deemed one of the 20th most influential evangelical Christian leaders in America. This is a continuation of a running series on Pastor John Hagee and his new "apocalypse lobby," CUFI. For the last installment, see:

Holocaust For Zion: CUFI's Christian Zionism Made Simple

What Secret "Other Matters" Did McCain Discuss With "Apocalypse Now" Hagee ?

GOP House Minority Whip Roy Blunt To Help Nuclear War Advocate

and also these stories:

Max Blumenthal : Israel, the US, and the Christian Right: The Menage a Trois From Hell

Bill Berkowitz : Holy Warriors Set Sights

on Iran

Esther Kaplan : Christian Zionism all juiced up

Richard Bartholomew : Armey: Bush Believes in Tribulation, but not Trying to Make it Happen

Bruce Wilson : Dick Armey Denies Bush Administration Trying To Provoke "End Times"

Sarah Posner: Lobbying For Armageddon

"As Bush's War Strategy Shifts to Iran, Christian Zionists Gear Up for the Apocalypse"

"Apocalyptic preacher John Hagee says McCain is 'on target'"

"Can Giuliani Be the Armageddon Candidate?"

More on Apocalyptic Christian Zionism : Pastor John Hagee's beliefs are closely aligned with other Apocalyptic Christian Zionists such as Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, authors of the "Left Behind" book series. Writes author and senior analyst at Political Research Associates, Chip Berlet:
When White supremacists post websites demonizing Jews and gay people, they are condemned for the hatemongers they are. When leaders of the armed citizens militias and their allies in the Patriot Movement in the 1990s urged their followers to form anti-government underground cells and battle global cooperation and the United Nations, they were condemned as dangerous guerrillas spreading divisive conspiracy theories. When Timothy LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins write the Left Behind series of novels containing the same type of bigotry, they sell 70 million books and are interviewed by clueless journalists who use a double standard by not confronting LaHaye and Jenkins for spreading hate and conspiracism as well as promoting religious violence as a heroic duty.... This is the demonizing theology, ideology, and action plan being taught to millions of Americans by the LaHaye and Jenkins Left Behind series. We ignore this phenomenon at our own risk.

Chip Berlet, on the underlying ideology of the "Left Behind" Books: "Left Behind Video Reflects Bigoted Apocalyptic Violence of Original Fiction Series," (6/12/2006)

"LaHaye and Jenkins: Why is the Criticism Left Behind? "

The World According to Tim LaHaye: A Series
Part One: Hunting Down the Enemies
Part Two: Pre-Trib Perspectives
Part Three: Satanic Secular Humanism
Part Four: Secular Humanism as False Religion
Part Five: The Secular Humanist Web
Part Six: The Council for National Policy
Part Seven: Humanists Attack the Family
Part Eight: The Age Old Conspiracy

that this and your previous diary haven't gotten much response yet.  Of course, many of the themes about Christian Zionism, CUFI and Hagee are familiar to regular readers of this blog.  Some themes that you raise in these diaries may be news to a broader audience.  Specifically, even though the left generally thinks that Christian Zionists are closet anti-Semites and are aware of their ultimate "Convert or Burn" scenario for Jews in their vision of the apocalypse, Hagee's blaming Jews for the Holocaust is not widely known.  Also, even though Christian Zionist hardline support for Israel and general support for Bush's aggressive wars in the Middle East is well known, their lobbying specifically for war with Iran -- especially nuclear war, with the belief that it is a "necessary war" to set up the Apocalypse, is not widely known either.  Will you be cross-posting either diary to Street Prophets or Daily Kos?

by Rusty Pipes on Mon Mar 05, 2007 at 02:26:40 PM EST
I probably should have gone to dKos first.  Good to see it up on the rec list.

by Rusty Pipes on Mon Mar 05, 2007 at 02:30:44 PM EST

I posted it to the Daily Kos. It's at the top of the rec. list.  It's also on Alternet.

So, it's getting a decent amount of airplay. More would, of course, be better.

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Mar 05, 2007 at 02:32:48 PM EST

This man had a warped view on so many things.  His christian Zionism is beyond bizarre but it's not the only place he is really wierd.

I happened to tune in one Sunday morning as I was getting ready for church and heard him preach about another pastor he admired.  According to Hagee this pastor held his, the pastor's wife, in such high esteem that he only ever called her baby.  Baby this and baby that.  It seems that this pastor's church was in a rough part of town and there had been death threats against him.  One morning the pastor woke to find that "Baby" was not in bed.  He went looking for her and found that the car was missing from the driveway.  As he waited, the car returned, driven by "Baby".  she said that she had thought there might be a bomb in the car so had taken it out for a spin to see.  Hagee went into rhapsodies about how wonderful this was.  All I could think of was how stupid.  

Hagee is dangerous and needs to be exposed for the charlatan that he is.  

by SFLady on Mon Mar 05, 2007 at 03:12:20 PM EST

Hagee blames Jews for being Jews, and not adopting Christianity. It has been standard fare for the Christian Right to claim the Holocaust was a punishment for European Jews for failing to convert to Christianity. Apparently it is beyond the efforts of Hagee or his fellow-travelers to see that the Holocaust was the natural outcome of centuries of Christian persecution of Jews for remaining Jews. Evidently those Israeli officials are willing to ignore these teachings in return for the support of the premillennialists. Gershom Gorenberg probably gave the best description of how the premillennialists really think in his book The End of Days, in which he describes the premillennialists' views of Jews as extras in their great religious drama, and failing to  see the Jews as human beings and individuals.  

by khughes1963 on Mon Mar 05, 2007 at 10:02:05 PM EST
And, I generally agree with you - Hagee's position is mostly factory standard....

But, there are a few elements of his theology that are comparatively new and which should really trouble Israelis.

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Mar 05, 2007 at 10:12:53 PM EST

Bruce, I see you and others have been running with this for awhile, and you have my gratitude.

Truth is, at first I didn't even look past the fold here.  I liked your Winkler piece, and was waiting for a response to a question I posted there about McCain-Hagee at about the same time you posted this new one (which, I see, more than compensates my request for information - thanks).

I am only recently a regular reader at T2A, and so far behind the "local" information curve that I will probably never catch up.  But I read your links above to stories on Hagee's meetings with McCain and Blunt (and the DC "honorary"), and I will be glad to know that I can depend on you for more when it breaks.

Why didn't I follow you past the fold?  People like me must frustrate you a little, and I'm sorry. These extreme end-timers literally make me sick, and they are so obviously deluded and treacherously unspiritual that I have not desired any more input about them since initially "taking their measure" as a fringe movement a few years ago.

However, if it has come down to the reality of their involvement with national political figures, I am all ears.

I hope I am not being naive to trust that, if even half of the American public can be shown what Hagee and La Haye, etc., really stand for, any and all national political time with them will be a negative to the candidate involved.  Not to mention that all Jews and their true friends need to know what Hagee's (and the President's) kind of "support" for Israel means.  That makes your work worthwhile, in my opinion.

Thanks again.

God bless the whole world - - No Exceptions
by John Anngeister on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 01:16:25 PM EST

Here is an interesting slice from a Bill Berkowitz article in Apr 2006
"Think of CUFI as a Christian version of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the powerful pro-Israel lobby," Hagee told The Jerusalem Post in an interview. "We need to be able to respond instantly to Washington with our concerns about Israel. We must join forces to speak as one group and move as one body to [respond to] the crisis Israel will be facing in the near future."

While Hagee wouldn't spell out which particular crisis he was concerned with, he did tell the Israeli newspaper that 'the Bible issue', namely what he considers to be the mistaken policy of trading parts of the biblical Land of Israel for peace, was at the top of CUFI's list.

He's telling Israelis to think of CUFI as a Christian version of AIPAC?  And he wouldn't spell out what crisis he's talking about?  Well, somebody had better tell somebody what's going on here.

(Found at the High Country Peace website)

God bless the whole world - - No Exceptions
by John Anngeister on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 08:06:21 PM EST

In reading through the article, what jumps off the page is that Hagee simple does not believe that God can do anything without him...

There are four doctrinal tenets of the Christian faith:

   1.  The authority of Scripture
   2.  The sovereignty of God
   3.  The Lordship of Christ
   4.  The presence of the Kingdom of God

Hagee denies the authority of Scripture by failing to believe what it intends to teach...Instead, he selects verses that support pre-conceived dogma and misses the significance of the New Covenant...

Hagee denies the sovereignty of God, as evidenced in statements that insist that we must get the Mid-East ready for the so-called Rapture...Furthermore, he congratulates himself for accepting Christ and condemns others for rejecting Christ, totally ignoring the pivotal role of the Holy Spirit in the equation...

Hagee sees Christ as impotent and away - sitting down on the job (at the right hand of the Father, who is a Spirit)...Apparently, nothing can happen until the leadership of the Christian Right makes it happen...

The Kingdom of God, for Hagee, is away and totally future...He is going to force it to earth...

What we have, then, is a person who ostensibly has accepted Christ as Savior and now views the Godhead as asleep until we jump start Armageddon...

When this kind of foolishness was contained within the ghetto we call church, it was somewhat amusing...With the merger of McChurch  with the Republican Party, however, it has the potential not only of chaos but the destruction of America and its ideals...

The bottom line is that, although Jesus died for Hagee's sin, His words on the Kingdom, in the Sermon on the Mount and in the Olivet Discourse, are meaningless....

Stan Moody, Christian Policy Institute, author of "Crisis in Evangelical Scholarship" and "McChurched: 300 Million Served and Still Hungry."

by Stan Moody on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:02:35 PM EST

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