McCain Finally Denounces and Rejects Extremist Ministers Hagee and Parsley
by Sheila Musaji
There is something very wrong in this country when one candidate is asked to denounce and reject a minister that has made statements considered extreme by some, and another candidate gets a free pass when he not only accepts the endorsement of much more extremist pastors, but calls one of them his “spiritual advisor”.
The American Muslim has been publishing articles about the troublesome views of these two supporters of John McCain for some time and the double standards that seem to prevail:
Should John McCain reject and denounce Minister John Hagee?, Anisa Abd El Fattah
Should McCain Reject and Denounce Minister Rod Parsley?, Sheila Musaji
As Bruce Wilson has pointed out:
“As a nation, America is under the curse of God, even now.” That ominous slam at America came from Pastor John Hagee, whose endorsement Republican presidential candidate John McCain sought, secured, and recently affirmed to ABC News that he is “glad to have.” Hagee claims God’s “curse” and “doom” is upon America because of two key issues: reproductive freedom and broad support for the teaching of the theory of evolution.
Although Senator McCain recently told George Stephanopoulos in an interview that his seeking of Hagee’s endorsement was “probably” a mistake, he then doubled back to affirm his approval of Hagee’s endorsement, stating, “I’m glad to have it.”
If McCain did not know of Hagee’s belief that God is against America, he should have: Hagee’s pronouncement of God’s “curse” and “doom” on our nation was not a passing comment. It was a major theme of Hagee’s book, Day of Deception (1997). In fact, Hagee devotes a whole chapter to it. Here’s the curse and doom quote in context:
In “America Under a Curse,” a seventeen page chapter in Day of Deception, John Hagee wrote, “As a nation, America is under the curse of God, even now. Look at the scriptures and see for yourself. The stand we have taken on abortion, the stand we have taken against God in our classrooms, just may have sealed or doom.”
And, as Frank Rich has pointed out: McCain actually sought out Hagee’s endorsement, and “Mr. McCain instead told George Stephanopoulos two Sundays ago that while he condemns any “anti-anything” remarks by Mr. Hagee, he is still “glad to have his endorsement.”
McCain has now rejected the support of both Rev. Hagee and Rev. Parsley. What finally prompted McCain to denounce and reject these fiery preachers we don’t have any way of knowing, but the Israeli paper Haaretz published an article with the title “McCain rejects pastor’s support after ‘God sent Hitler’ comment”. This article notes that “McCain issued a statement after audio surfaced in which Hagee said “God sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reach the promised land.” McCain said in a statement: “Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them. I did not know of them before Reverend Hagee’s endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well.”
I wish that McCain had been prompted to act months ago when information about the hateful comments made by these Pastors towards Muslims was brought forward, but it seems that the straw that broke the camels back was this audio which offended the Jewish community.
The statement that John McCain released said: “Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them. I did not know of them before Reverend Hagee’s endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well. I have said I do not believe Senator Obama shares Reverend Wright’s extreme views. But let me also be clear, Reverend Hagee was not and is not my pastor or spiritual advisor, and I did not attend his church for twenty years. I have denounced statements he made immediately upon learning of them, as I do again today.”
It does seem odd that McCain did not know about the views of Hagee and Parsley since all that is needed is a simple google search to turn up more information than anyone would need to know that these men hold extreme views. Since McCain also seems confused about the “connection” between Iran and al Qaeda, his ignorance seems at least plausible, if not reasonable. It is also less than encouraging to see that even in this “rejection” McCain feels the need to attempt to deflect attention to Senator Obama and Reverend Wright. I would like to believe that he is denouncing and rejecting all of the bigoted statements made about Muslims, Catholics, Jews, etc. and that other videos had something to do with this rejection, but I somehow doubt that this will turn out to be the case. It will be interesting to see who McCain now chooses as a"a moral compass, a spiritual guide.”