McCain-backer Hagee's 'Thrilling' Worldview: Rapture, Then "Holocaust"
NOTE: There are links to a wide assortment of Talk To Action articles on John Hagee, Christian Zionism and related material at the end of this article.
San Antonio megachurch pastor John Hagee founded CUFI in 2006 : ostensibly as a "pro-Israel" non-profit group which would teach American Christian Zionists to lobby for Israel and coordinate their efforts. CUFI holds yearly summer lobbying conferences in Washington DC and also organizes numerous "A Night To Honor Israel" events around the United States on an ongoing basis, as part of CUFI's agenda of strengthening political alliances between American Christian Zionists and American Jews. But CUFI's politics, as compared to average political views of Jewish Americans, veer far to the right, lie along the extreme end of the theocratic spectrum and espouse an intransigent and radically bellicose approach to Mideast politics. CUFI is allied with the hard Israeli right and, most recently, has been organizing to block efforts by the current Olmert administration, writes journalist Bill Berkowitz, towards any Israeli-Palestinian peace deal that would divide Jerusalem. CUFI's extremity goes beyond the politics of its allies in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud Party - one of CUFI's key founding executive board members, Jerry Falwell, once preached that "millions of Jews will be slaughtered", called Jews "spiritually blind" and stated, in 1999, that the coming 'anti-Christ' Falwell expected would be a Jew. CUFI regional director George Morrison has predicted "another Holocaust" and another regional director, Dr. Chuck Missler, currently sells an audio lecture series entitled "The Next Holocaust" and has said that Auschwitz was "just a prelude". In his 2006 book "Jerusalem Countdown", Pastor John Hagee's seemed to blame Jews for the [last] Holocaust (for disobeying God) and identify Hitler, the Nazis and the Holocaust as God's way of driving Jews to settle in Palestine. He has called also liberal Jews "poisoned". The core of the following assembled material I put together, last fall, for the benefit of a potential financial benefactor, to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, who- as a Jewish-American -was torn between concern over the growing influence of Christian fundamentalism in the US military and loyalty to Jewish groups and institutions in his area which had received financial support from Christians United For Israel and its supporters.
Later, I realized that the document could serve as a reference for those unaccustomed to the darker side of Christian Zionism, its apocalyptic eschatology with an end-time vision holding that non-Christian fundamentalists, most of the world's population that is, will soon be slaughtered in terrible wars and acts of divine retribution.
This will not be the final version nor will there necessarily ever be a final version - as long as Christian Zionism remains an active political force. I will use the standard document versioning convention (major updates requite numerical changes, e.g. 1.0 to 2.0 while minor changes are indicated by sub-numbers, 1.0 to 1.1). - BW
Blaming The Holocaust On Jews
In "Jerusalem Countdown", Pastor John Hagee seems to blame Jews themselves for the Holocaust (see passage below):
"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 upon his rebellious chosen people." ( "Jerusalem Countdown: A Prelude To War", paperback edition, pages 92 and 93. Note: there are many editions of this book and so those passages appear on different pages in different editions. )"
At the 2007 CUFI conference in Washington DC, Hagee was questioned by Journalist Max Blumenthal about that passage from Hagee's latest book.
Blumenthal asked, "I just wanted to clarify, if by quoting Deuteronomy, or by using this quote... you are blaming the persecution of the Jewish people on the Jewish people for the rejection of Christ."
Pastor Hagee responded to Blumenthal's question by saying "I'm not blaming.... that is an absolute stretch. I never wrote that in the book."
For a short video by Max Blumenthal, with footage of this incident, see: http://www.talk2action.org/story/2007/7/27/22848/0528
Hitler and The Nazis as Agents of "God's Boundless Love" ?
John Hagee also has written, in "Jerusalem Countdown", that Hitler and the Nazis were sent by God, agents of "God's boundless love... for the Jewish People" :
"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 )
The implication of Hagee's writing is that Jews have no legitimate right to live anywhere else but in Israel, where per Hagee's beliefs they will soon be all but destroyed, reduced to a "remnant" and converted to Christianity
Orthodox Christian Zionist Eschatology: Most Jews Will Die Another, Coming "Holocaust" and Judaism Will Vanish From The Earth
In a September 18, 2006 interview on WHYY's "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross, John Hagee stated:
"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 Ezekiel'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."
Hagee also stated during the interview that "believing" Jews (who had converted to Christianity) would be "raptured" as well. But Hagee's mention of Ezekiel's War is a reference to the apocalyptic Christian dispensationalism Hagee espouses.
In that view, after Christians are "Raptured" bodily up to heaven, most Jews in Israel ( 2/3 or more ) will die in the battle of Armageddon. The surviving "remnant" of Jews will then be converted to Christianity. What's especially notable about this religious end time vision is its focus on specific numbers of Jews who will die, and also its view that Judaism, and Jews as such, will soon vanish, in a great spasm of terrible military conflict, from the Earth. Christian Zionism does not attach a percentage-- of casulties expected to occur, during the Tribulation, Armageddon and other end-times disasters --to any other ethnic or racial group but Jews.
CUFI board members Jerry Falwell (now deceased), and Pastor George Morrison have described their expectation of a second, end-time "Holocaust" that will happen in Israel and one of CUFI's state directors expects that to be "worse than the Holocaust".
In a 1984 sermon, Jerry Falwell said: "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) CUFI's Oklahoma state director Dr. Chuck Missler sells a cassette and DVD lecture series entitled "The Next Holocaust" and has stated in one of his audio lectures that Auschwitz was "just a prelude".
In "Jerusalem Countdown", Hagee writes, in reference to passages from the Book Of Isaiah 10:22, 22 :
"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 )
The conflict Hagee envisions seems very possibly Global as well. Hagee speculates, in "Jerusalem Countdown", that Ezekiel's War may also lead to a massive nuclear strike that will destroy America's East and West coasts and kill hundreds of millions and which would amount to, Hagee feels, divine punishment for insufficient support of Israel. In that scenario New York City and its environs, with the biggest Jewish population in the World outside of Israel, would be destroyed (along with the normally expected near total destruction of Israel).
An 'Inevitable' Catastrophe, Centered Around Israel
In a 2002 BBC interview with John Hagee, a BBC reporter asked:
"BBC REPORTER 1: You know, some people listening to your beliefs will be concerned that such as the black and white, good against evil; the global confrontation that you're talking about, it's inflammatory. It's dangerous."
To which John Hagee replied:
PASTOR HAGEE: "No, it's not dangerous. When you know the future, there's no reason to consider it inflammatory. It's going to happen. These things that I'm speaking of have been clearly predicted in Scripture as clearly as the sun shines at noonday. And when you study the Scripture in a scholarly fashion and understand that both Old and New Testament link together in a mesh work of prophetic logic that very clearly portrays the future, then there is no reason for concern. There's absolute reason for confidence in knowing that, yes, the world is getting ready to go through the birth pains of sorrow, what the Bible calls it. But on the other side of the birth pains will be the Messianic era of Jesus Christ and a thousand years of peace in the millennial reign."
In 2002, with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay at John Hagee's Cornerstone Church, Hagee preached:
"The war between America and Iraq is the gateway to the Apocalypse!"
Later, in 2003, John Hagee's Cornerstone Church ministry marketed a 3-videocassette series, of three of Hagee's sermons, titled "Iraq: The Final Conflict". A description, of the contents, on the back covers of the videocassettes stated, in a thematic manner characteristic of Hagee's preaching :
"The war between America and Iraq is the gateway to the apocalypse. It makes no difference how long the war lasts... 2 months or 2 years. It will destabilize the Middle East and produce an Islamic army of millions [who will]... fight to the death."
Pastor John Hagee has also repeatedly declared (as have many NeoConservatives) the onset of the next world war, "World War Three" and publicly proclaimed, in writings, speeches, and interviews, the immanence and necessity of an absolutist religious war between Christians and Jews, allegedly representing absolute good, and Muslims, allegedly representing absolute evil. One speaker at his Christians United For Israel 2007 conference, Bridgette Gabriel, stated that Mideast Arabs and Muslims "have no soul".
CUFI's leaders share a religious view that appears to be increasing in popularity in the US military, and especially in the officer corps which fundamentalist ministries have especially targeted for their proselytization efforts: the expectation of an immanent "rapture" of Christian believers followed by terrible, destructive conflict culminating in the battle of Armageddon, centered around Israel, which is expected to cause the deaths of all but the 'remnant' of Jews in Israel and which, as a background logical consequence of this expectation that the "remnant" will survive by converting to Christianity, would effectively mean the total elimination of Judaism as a religion.
On July 19, 2006, at a Christians United For Israel sponsored Washington DC 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.
John Hagee, "The Passion of The Christ", and the "New World Order"
[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]
In his 2006 interview with Terry Gross, John Hagee made a statement that 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."
Pastor Hagee and his wife Diane Hagee were invited in 2005, by Mel Gibson, to a special pre-release screening of "The Passion Of The Christ". Hagee and his wife both gave glowing recommendations for the film on Hagee's church newsletter.
Hagee has also called Jews "spiritually blind" echoing the age-old charge that Jews are materialistic, and In a July 26, 2006 interview with the San Antonio Times, Hagee described liberal Jews who do not agree with his political views as "poisoned"
Pastor John Hagee has even advanced, in a church sermon, a "New World Order" conspiracy theory alleging that "illuminati" and malevolent "international financial interests" conspire to rule the world on behalf of the Antichrist : an ideological argot that traces back, at the very least, to the foundational document of 20th Century anti-Jewish conspiricism, "The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion" - a forgery from the Tsarist secret police that purported to be a secret manifesto of Jews plotting world domination.
Hagee's "New World Order/Illuminati" sermon is available on the Internet here : http://www.talk2action.org/story/2007/7/27/22848/0528
Hagee Targets Jews For Conversion
"I do not target Jews for conversion.", Christians United For Israel founder Pastor John Hagee told David Horowitz, in an interview that was printed March 20, 2006 in the Jerusalem Post. Hagee qualified his position very slightly, adding "If you come into my church [of your own volition], you are asking to hear my witness of Jesus Christ and you're going to get it, wide open.". Only a few days later, John Hagee was on a special DayStar broadcast network television show during which DayStar founder Marcus Lamb announced the launch of a "100%" Christian TV station in Israel that would reach "over 1,000,000" Israeli homes, to which Hagee responded "This is like Christmas day. This is a phenomenal event. This is a massive announcement to the body of Christ.". Hagee also declared, "It's just all I can do to keep from getting up and dancing. It's a joy and it's a dream come true. If we are able to preach the gospel without reservation ... it's a major breakthrough..." The Jewish Week, on May 19 2006, described Pastor John Hagee as "[o]ne of the most prominent backers of the broadcast initiative".
When Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz of The Rabbinical Council of America, which represents Orthodox rabbis and congregations and had lodged an official protest against the launch of the Hagee-affiliated Daystar station, met with Pastor Hagee to discuss the dispute, Hagee made a statement that seemed to denigrate Orthodox Jewish religious education as inadequate:
"If rabbis would put more emphasis on putting Jewish kids into Jewish schools, young Jews would never want to become Christians,"
John Hagee & the total War for a "Christian Nation"
Hagee has been very active recently in the Christian right movement to remake America into a "Christian nation" and wrote in the July/August 2004 issue of Hagee's Cornerstone Ministries church magazine, in a piece entitled "The Five Principles Of Victory" :
"...Today the Church of Jesus Christ is in a culture war for the soul of this nation. It is a war of light vs. darkness, of Christ vs. antichrist, the Word of God vs. secular humanism. There will be a winner and a loser! To the winner go our children and our grandchildren. There is no compromise with the enemy. There is no neutrality in this war!...
The Allies came together in unity to crush the Axis power - why can't the church do that? We are in a culture war for America. The homosexuals are out of the closet - why can't the church of Jesus Christ get out of the closet? The A.C.L.U. is organized, funded and fighting day and night for "freedom from religion - no freedom of religion." Terrorist cells around the world are willing to strap bombs around their bodies to advance their cause. They are all unified! This is a call to arms to every Bible Believer in America..."
Later in the same issue of the Cornerstone Church/John Hagee Ministries magazine, Hagee also writes:
"When your child goes to public school they hear the theology of "secular humanism." They are blasted with a perpetual anti-Christian message and environment that is nothing less than an intellectual sewer for your child. Just a few weeks ago the Southern Baptist convention passed a motion asking parents not to send their children to public school!
Secular humanism teaches that God does not exist and that man is self-sufficient. You are god! There is no absolute right and no absolute wrong. Many people ignorantly think "secular" means neutral. Wrong! Secular humanism is a worldwide religion and its goal is to expel every other faith! "
NOTE: I'll be footnoting this [ongoing] work as soon as I get the chance. ***
TTA contributor Chip Berlet, Senior Analyst for Political Research Associates, provides some background on the recent history of "New World Order" conspiracism among John Hagee's fellow Christian Zionists such as Tim LaHaye and Pat Robertson in The Age Old Conspiracy
McCain-backer Hagee's 'Thrilling' Worldview: Rapture, Then "Holocaust" | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)
McCain-backer Hagee's 'Thrilling' Worldview: Rapture, Then "Holocaust" | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)