The fall-out from McCain vs. Hagee (and Parsley)

I’ve come across some interesting reactions to John McCain’s disavowal of an endorsement by televangelist John Hagee.

Hagee, of course, was first criticized for calling the Roman Catholic Church “the great whore” (for which he apologized) and for linking the Catholic Church to Hitler’s “final solution” for the Jews (a comment he said was misunderstood).

237hageeflag.jpgMcCain, though, broke ranks after it came out that Hagee (that’s him) also said that God sent Hitler to chase the Jews back to Israel (those who survived, apparently).

The Washington Post says that McCain’s rejections of Hagee and the Rev. Rod Parsley, another televangelist with a vast following, may hurt his support from evangelicals.

The Post notes:

Parsley said in a statement that he does not fault McCain, and he blamed the fallout on unidentified “political hit squads.”

Parsley has growing clout among evangelical Christians, a group he calls the “largest special interest group in America.” The pastor has said that he was divinely placed in Ohio to help influence presidential elections, telling a Christian magazine that he believes “in the geographic locating abilities of the Holy Spirit.”

Meanwhile, a Mother Jones blog says that Jewish groups are willing to forgive Hagee’s Hitler comment because of his strong support for Israel.

Blogger Justin Elliott says he asked the American Jewish Committee, the ADL and AIPAC if they would “finally take Hagee to task for his outrageous comments and for seeing Jews primarily in terms of their role in his eschatology?”

“The short answer is no,” he writes.

Another political pastor problem brewing?

As the Barack Obama-Jeremiah Wright story seems to be losing steam…

The venerable investigative magazine Mother Jones is trying to draw attention to John McCain’s “pastor problem.” No, they’re not talking about John Hagee, but another pastor, Rod Parsley.

images.jpegParsley (that’s him) is the pastor of a Pentecostal church in Columbus, Ohio, and a pretty prominent televangelist who runs the “Center for Moral Clarity.” McCain has called him a spiritual adviser and campaigned with him in February.

Mother Jones’ focus is Parsley’s comments about Islam. According to MJ:

The spirit of Islam, he maintains, is one of hostility. He asserts that the religion “inspired” the 9/11 attacks. He bemoans the fact that in the years after 9/11, 34,000 Americans “have become Muslim” and that there are “some 1,209 mosques” in America. Islam, he declares, is a “faith that fully intends to conquer the world” through violence. The United States, he insists, “has historically understood herself as a bastion against Islam,” but “history is crashing in upon us.”