Hagee's Non-Denial is an Affirmation
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu May 29, 2008 at 02:30:08 PM EST
In the wake of the the widespread revulsion over John Hagee's unambiguous views that God sent Hitler to drive the Jews to Israel in order to fulfill his interpretation of Biblical prophesy, and John McCain's repudiation of his views as "crazy and unacceptable," Hagee has issued a press release. It is posted on the web site of his organization, Christians United for Israel. In it he makes many statements. Many of them undoubtedly heart felt. Many of them are no doubt true.

But what Hagee does not address is the original controversy, while furiously tossing red herring in all directions.  

The controversy that led to a mutual rejection by Hagee and John McCain, stemmed from Bruce Wilson's posting of the audio of a sermon he preached in the late 90s, in which he said:
"Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun, and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter. ... How did it happen? Because God allowed it to happen. Why did it happen? Because God said, 'My top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel.'"
This statement, in context is even clearer. What more, it reflects the content of his book Jerusalem Countdown.  

In the press release he states:  

It is time the candidates and the media turn their attention back to the pressing issues of our day and stop focusing on what I did or did not say decades ago.

But what has been disappointing has been to see my life's work the great passion of my life mischaracterized and attacked.

Of course, he does not deny that he said the things he said. That is because there is no question about it. What's more, he has not acknowledged that people have good reason to be upset and concerned, and he has made no attempt to explain any of it -- let alone apologize. It is reasonable to conclude, therefore, that he meant every word and regrets none of them.

Perhaps the biggest, flashiest of Hagee's red herring is his claim that the ideas at issue happened "decades ago." He might have gotten away with the generalization of a single decade, since the audio is not dated, but thought to be from the late 90s. But in fact, he says essentially the same thing in his book Jerusalem Countdown, which was published in 2006. So we have to mark this one down as basic dishonesty.

Finally, he has not said how his views have been "mischaracterized" or by whom. Fact is, people understood him perfectly, and reported his unambiguous views accurately.  

Hagee's non-denial is best understood as an affirmation.

since John McCain dumped Hagee and Parsley.

But the story has always been about much more than McCain and these religious right political leaders. Hagee, Parsley and the religious right are an integral part of our political culture and continue to weild power and influence, even after they have taken their lumps.

Fortunately, some folks are paying attention and are continuing to press Joe Lieberman, who is scheduled to be the headliner at Hagee's big conference in Washington, DC in July.

by Frederick Clarkson on Thu May 29, 2008 at 05:41:10 PM EST

by NancyP on Thu May 29, 2008 at 05:49:50 PM EST
going on about this. J-Street, the progressisve, pro-Israel, pro-peace group among others, has a large effort going on as well.

It is clearer now than ever before, that Hagee and others of his ilk can be pro-Israel (in a certain sense) and anti-Jewish at the same time.

by Frederick Clarkson on Sat May 31, 2008 at 10:11:51 AM EST

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