McCain Reneges on Pledge To Never Seek anti-Catholic Support
With his disavowal of hate speech during the 2000 primaries, John McCain seemed to have established a principled position but eight years later McCain has reneged on his 2000 pledge and both aggressively courted and also accepted support from Christian evangelical leaders, such as pastor John Hagee, whom McCain called, in the 2000 primary race, "agents of intolerance". John Hagee calls the Catholic Church a satanic cult and "the Whore of Babylon", but John Hagee's endorsement of the McCain candidacy carries a heavy baggage, of bigotry beyond Hagee's anti-Catholic views and John McCain's refusal to disavow Pastor Hagee's endorsement may prove an unfortunate milestone in the mainstreaming of hate speech in America. In his 2006 book "Jerusalem Countdown: A Prelude To War", Texas megachurch Pastor John Hagee charged that the Catholic Church conspired, along with Hitler and the Nazis, to carry out the Holocaust. Hagee and his fellow Christians United For Israel leaders have also repeatedly vilified Islam, and Muslims worldwide, by characterizing the religion, held by over one billion people around the world, to be-- like the Catholic Church --a satanic cult. Hagee and leaders of CUFI have also repeatedly claimed that the United States is at war with "Islamofascism" and Hagee has stated explicitly that this is a "religious war", between Christianity and islam.
In addition, Hagee, and various of his CUFI leaders, have repeatedly blamed gays and other Americans for natural disasters and key CUFI executive board member Jerry Falwell (now deceased) charged that gays, feminists, "abortionists", the ACLU and People For The American were partly responsible for the September 1, 2001 terrorist attacks.
John Hagee has repeatedly denied having any ulterior motives for supporting Israel but, in 2003 as John Hagee was voicing strong support for a possible US attack on Iraq, Hagee's San Antonio Cornerstone Church megachurch marketed a 3-videocassette series, of Hagee's church sermons, entitled "Iraq: The Final War" and which asserted that a US invasion of that country would inevitably destabilize the entire Middle East and cause a "vast army" of millions of Arabs and Muslims to join in "fanatical unity" in an attack on Israel.
John Hagee's lobbying group, Christians United For Israel, has symbolically encouraged terrorist attacks against the state of Israel, by choosing as a CUFI organizational logo a picture of Jerusalem's Temple Mount from which Islam's third holiest site had been airbrushed out.
But John Hagee is, if anything, an equal opportunity bigot. While Hagee publicly implies that a significant portion of Americans are in a "satanic cult" and his CUFI leaders noisily decry something they refer to as "Islamofascism" John Hagee has also has publicly discussed his expectation of a fate "worse than Auschwitz" for Jews and several of John Hagee's CUFI board members have stated their expectation of a coming Holocaust for Jews in Israel and even worldwide. CUFI founding executive board member Jerry Falwell once told a congregation that million of Jews will be slaughtered in the coming End-Time Hagee and his fellow CUFI leaders feel is now immanent. During a press conference at CUFI's 2007 Washington DC summit pastor Hagee, when confronted by journalist Max Blumenthal with actual text from one of Hagee's recent books, which seemed to suggest that Jews were responsible for the Holocaust, Hagee stated "I never wrote that".
Hagee, who has repeatedly denied having "eschatological" motives for supporting Israel, has sought to reassure critics by repeatedly stating that humans cannot alter "God's plan". But John Hagee has also appeared, in a 1999 joint sermon, broadcast throughout the United States, during which evangelist Kenneth Copeland, now under investigation for tax irregularities, appeared to claim that humans can become Gods or god-like and one of CUFI's regional directors, Billye Brim, has stated unequivocally that God needs humans to carry out his plan. Brim has also publicly fantasized about the destruction of the 3rd holiest site in Islam, the Dome of The Rock on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, an act of terrorism which, it is widely believed in Israel, would have disastrous regional or even global consequences.
In addition, John Hagee also calls Islam a satanic cult and both Hagee and his fellow CUFI leaders vilify Muslims to the extent that, at a summer 2007 CUFI conference which John McCain made a special, surprise appearance at, CUFI speaker Brigitte Gabriel claimed that Muslims and Arabs throughout the Middle East "have no soul". In summer 2007, Gabriel also made an appearance at a symposium, held at the US Joint Staff Command College in Norfolk Virginia, during which she told US armed forces personnel that they should oppose American-Muslims seeking public office because such candidates, in office, could not be trusted in the event the US were at war with a Muslim nation. At the event Gabriel also denied her association with the Hasbara Speaker's Bureau, a pro-Israeli right public relations and propaganda effort.
Pastor Hagee and his fellow CUFI leaders impugn the motives of large swaths of global humanity but they also tar domestic American groups with a hateful and absurdly illogical brush. During a September 2001 700 Club show with Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell-- who, according to John Hagee, was the first Christian leader Hagee consulted with on Hagee's plan to form Christians United For Israel and whom Hagee was to choose as a founding CUFI executive board member --charged, offering no evidence whatsoever, that gays, feminists, "abortionists", the ACLU and People For The American Way were partly to blame for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon.
Pastor John Hagee and CUFI leader Billye Brim have blamed gays for the near-destruction of New Orleans by charging that Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment against New Orleans for homosexual activity in that city. Hagee stated, in a September 2006 appearance on Terry Gross' Fresh Air radio show, that God sent Katrina to destroy New Orleans because of a gay parade which had been scheduled to occur around the time Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
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