On Bennett Show, McCain Waffles Over Hagee Hate Speech
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Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:04:53 AM EST
On Former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett's radio show today Bennett, a Catholic who has advocated leveling Iraqi cities with nuclear weapons, asked John McCain for a comment on the controversy over McCain's recent endorsement from Pastor John Hagee, who has many notable views and has written that there exists a "clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews", called the church "The Great Whore [of Revelation]" and described it as a "false cult system". McCain responded, "obviously I repudiate any...
any comments* that are anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, racist, any other... and I condemn them, and I condemn those words that Pastor Hagee uh, apparently, uh... that Pastor Hagee wrote". Then McCain, citing Hagee's claim that his words were "taken out of context", seemed to suggest it was possible that Hagee's beliefs had been misinterpreted and proceeded on to raise irrelevant points on the Pastor's behalf such as: Hagee supports Israel (true, but it's heavily qualified support and only relevant if McCain were both acknowledging
and seeking to justify Hagee's anti-Semitism) and opposes a US "surrender" in Iraq (simply irrelevant). [transcript inside. above, right: audio from Bennett/McCain radio segment, video of Hagee attack Catholic Church ]. *note: McCain failed to repudiate both Hagee's apparent approval of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hate speech and terrorist acts against the State of Israel.
Bennett: I gotta ask you about something, as a Catholic. This is something a lot of Catholics were talking about. A couple of weeks ago Senator you received the endorsement of San Antonio Pastor John Hagee. He's written about my church - "there's a clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews", he's called the Catholic Church "a great prostitute", except he used a stronger word, he's referred to my church as a "cult"... Your comment on this ? There's been a lot of talk about it.

McCain: Well, obviously I repudiate any... any comments that are anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, racist, any other... and I condemn them, and I condemn those words that Pastor Hagee uh, apparently, uh... that Pastor Hagee wrote. I will say that he said that his words were taken out of context. He defends his position and I'd hope that maybe you'd give him a chance to respond - he says he has never been anti-Catholic but I repudiate the words that create that impression. I will say - I'd like to say in his behalf - that he's been a very strong supporter of the State of Israel and when we were doing the "No Surrender" tour he came and spoke on behalf of not surrendering in Iraq and so anybody - any comments that are made that are in any way offensive then I repudiate those and for all of the obvious reasons, Bill.

Bennett: Good, good... You're on a... on a campaign of real high-mindedness - you're calling us to what Lincoln would call the "better angels of our nature," Senator McCain. We've been talking about your ads, this ad with Churchill...




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I expect Hagee with use one of two arguments to defend his Catholic "Great Whore" Church comments.  First, he might say it's not him but the Bible that says it (the  archetypal "get out" clause for fundamentalist bigots of all kinds).  Second, and probably more likely in this case, he'll claim that the Revelation uses a number of esoteric and hard to understand passages that have all to be understood in the precisely the right context before their true meaning is recognized, and therefore the Great Whore comment isn't really as bad as it seems.  (i.e. blind them with junk theology, and hope they pretend to understand what the heck you're saying and agree).

by tacitus on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 02:37:33 AM EST
You're probably right, but both arguments are invalid in my opinion, for historical reasons, and they both also founder on the shoals of common sense - why would any God with a lick of sense dispense revelation through inspired scripture that wouldn't be correctly interpreted for about 18 centuries ?

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:10:28 PM EST
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