(Video) Another Fiery Pastor for McCain

With Barack Obama’s Jeremiah Wright scandal just beginning to fade, new scandals are surfacing for the Republican nominee, John McCain. At this point, there is very little for John McCain to gain by going after Barack Obama and his relationship with Pastor Wright, as he has his own history of problematic and fiery religious leaders.

Take for instance reports linking McCain to Reverend Jerry Falwell. Like Jeremiah Wright, Jerry Falwell blamed the United States as well for 9/11; however, instead of blaming Whites, he blamed the ACLU, abortionists, feminists, gays, and others for the attack (so much for the theory that a bunch of people from a transnational organization called Al Qaeda did it).

Then there is the more recent controversy surrounding Pastor John Hagee endorsement of John McCain. Hagee has called the Roman Catholic Church the Great Whore, and blamed New Orlean’s support of gays and the removal of Jews from the Gaza Strip for Katrina’s devastation in New Orleans (so much for blaming inept politicians for neglecting to improve New Orlean’s Levee or react prudently).

Although McCain denies it, Pastor Hagee insists that John McCain sought out his endorsement.

The more recent scandal involves Pastor Ron Parsley, who believes the United States was founded in order to rid the world of the “false religion, Islam.” David Corn of MotherJones reports, May 8, 2008:

During a 2005 sermon, a fundamentalist pastor whom Senator John McCain has praised and campaigned with called Islam “the greatest religious enemy of our civilization and the world,” claiming that the historic mission of America is to see “this false religion destroyed.” In this taped sermon, currently sold by his megachurch, the Reverend Rod Parsley reiterates and amplifies harsh and derogatory comments about Islam he made in his book, Silent No More, published the same year he delivered these remarks. Meanwhile, McCain has stuck to his stance of not criticizing Parsley, an important political ally in a crucial swing state.

Parsely’s divisive and inflammatory language is captured in a video from the same article:

Now, what can we make of these political alliances?

Barack Obama sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church for over 20 years, had his two children baptized, and was married by Pastor Jeremiah Wright. This certainly looks like a very personal and long-term relationship, but it also is an apolitical relationship. Obama’s relationship with Wright was in the church, not in politics, and when Wright’s views became politicized, Obama was quick to publicly denounce Wright’s inflammatory and divisive words.

While John McCain never had a long and personal relationship with Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, John Hagee, or Ron Parsely, he has received their endorsements, a clear political connection. Furthermore, he has not publicly denounced many of their words, unlike Barack Obama.

If we take a step back, we can clearly see that John McCain’s alliances with these men are more for political support than shared ideologies. Prior to the presidential election in 2000, McCain attacked Christian fundamentalists like Falwell and Robertson for their views and positions. So what can we make of this?

McCain might not personally agree with these men, but he needs their support. The question is how far does their support go, and how far will McCain go to secure this support? These are important questions to ask.

We can also see that the Jeremiah Wright scandal was political propaganda, or at least overblown in its magnitude, in an attempt to discredit Barack Obama. There are fiery and inflammatory pastors aplenty between these two candidates. Religious leaders do not define candidates, they define voting blocks, and thus reflect important pockets of demographics within the Republican and Democratic infrastructures.

We can also consider politics from an economic standpoint of supply and demand. As long as fundamentalists supply a significant and collective voting block in either Party, they stand to have leverage in presidential politics and policies. In the end, it is the U.S voters who determine the political leverage in an election.

  • Dreadsen

    I want everyone to close their eyes and swap out McCain for Obama and Hagee for Farakahn. if Obama had sought Farrakahn’s endorsement and received it. Then gave the exact same explanations McCain has given for embracing Hagee’s endorsement. It would be the biggest Uproar possible. And Farakahn hasn’t promoted the eradication of a group or incited violence.

  • In the interest of fairness and accuracy, here is Hagee’s response to these charges:

    Has Rev. Wright responded in any such fashion? Has Wright responded saying that he’s being misquoted? Has Wright responded saying that he truly loves all Americans, regardless of color? Has Wright responded saying he loves his country and loves the tremendous 10,000 square foot home in a predominantly white neighborhood it has afford him? No, he has not, he rails against the system being “racist” while he lives the millionaire lifestyle. In fact, Wright has continued to spew hatred and stand by his statements, never once saying they were out of context, incorrect, or exaggerated in any way. Obama stated the same thing saying that Wright has exacerbated the situation with his continued comments.

    I don’t think Hagee, Falwell, and Parsley can really be compared to Rev. Wright. They are teaching the Bible which, surprise surprise, is going to be divisive when taught in an uncompromising fashion. Wright is spewing anti-white rhetoric and anti-American rhetoric. Plus, Wright is putting forth lies about the federal government instilling AIDS in the African-American community.

    Furthermore, the reason Hagee, Falwell, and Parsley aren’t being denounced is because they’re preaching the Bible, which most Americans can relate to. Wright is teaching something entirely different, some kind of black liberation philosophy which I don’t think much of anyone can relate to. I know personally I’ve never seen much of what Wright preaches coming from the Bible in terms of his hatred.

    I think you’re also entirely missing the fact that Falwell, unlike Wright, backed off his 9/11 statements. Wright stands by his hatred and backs it up with more hatred, big difference.

  • Nate, the clips I provided gave direct words from the pastors, not paraphrases or descriptions of them. If you watch the Hagee Clip, he clearly states that the Roman Catholic Church acted as the Great Whore, so I do not buy his argument now that he never said this (and note, he dances around it by saying “all Christian churches will be the Great Whore”).

    All four men are speaking from the pulpit– all four using their Christian capital to speak on political matters. There are numerous examples of Falwell and Robertson calling for violence– at one point Robertson calls for the U.S to smite countries with missiles.

    There is nothing in the Bible that states this. Hagee has preached hatred for gays– there is nothing in the Bible that “specifically condemns” homosexuality. If you’d like, I could write quite a bit on this section.

    Furthermore, Parsley’s anti-Islam stance, which allows him to demonize over 1.4 billion people (nearly half a million U.S citizens, mind you), is hateful as well.

    Falwell and Robertson have a long list of groups and people they hate, and they try to justify it through the Bible. The Bible says nothing about abortion, ACLU, feminism, etc., these are modern interpretations. And if you think they lecture from the Bible, consider examples such as this:

    As for Wright, he responds by distinguishing his comments. He says he has nothing against U.S people, it is the U.S government and its policies that he condemns:

    But this gets away from my main point, which is that these fiery pastors do not make a politician.

  • First off, I’m not defending Robertson, he’s a loon which he proves annually.

    On Hagee, I’m sorry but “acted as” and “is” seem to be two different things but you’re mixing them.

    Two verses, in specific, condemn homosexuality:

    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (NKJ, Leviticus 18:22)

    If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. (NKJ, Leviticus 20:13)

    So you can’t say it’s not directly condemned, because it clearly is.

    Plus, the Bible does speak about abortion in that people are formed in the womb, and “known” before being born. In that, abortion is the ending of human life anytime after conception.

    Yet Thou art He who didst bring me forth from the womb; Thou didst make me trust when upon my mother’s breasts. Upon Thee I was cast from birth; Thou hast been my God from my mother’s womb. (Psalms 22:9-10)

    For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from Thee, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Thy book they were all written, The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. (Psalms 139:13-16)

    Thus says the LORD who made you And formed you from the womb, who will help you, `Do not fear, O Jacob My servant; And you Jeshurun whom I have chosen. (Isaiah 44:2)

    Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself, And spreading out the earth all alone, (Isaiah 44:24)

    Take this verse for example:

    “And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no further injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him; and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life.” (Exodus 21:22-23)

    The Bible speaks of a “fetus” being as important as a grown person, again speaking directly to abortion. You can argue and spin it any way you’d like, but it’s right there in black and white.

  • Nate, this is exactly what I am talking about. You are looking at the English translation of a King James version of the Christian scriptures. Now, in the book of Leviticus, you need to understand that the word “abomination” did not mean the same as it does to us today.

    For example, you committed an abomination in the Book of Leviticus if you also:

    * Harvested your entire garden (19:9)
    * Consulted with a psychic or medium or had a tarot card reading (20:6)
    * If you’re a man and have had sex without taking a shower and cleaning the sheets immediately after. (15:16)
    * Touched a woman while she was menstruating (19:19)
    * Had a juicy steak or hamburger (17:10)
    * Eaten pork (11:7)
    * Have a tattoo (19:26)
    * Stolen anything at anytime in your life (19:13)
    * Had a dog that produced a litter of mutts (19:19)
    * Worked on Saturday (19:3)
    * Eaten crab (11:10)
    * Talked back to your parents (19:3)
    * Said “I hate you” to a parent or sibling (19:17)
    * Unjustly judged your neighbor (19:15)
    * Kept something you found without trying to find the owner (6:3)
    * Eaten calamari (11:10)
    * Planted 2 different kinds of plants in the same pot/garden bed (20:19)
    * Worn a cotton/wool blend (20:19)
    * Trimmed your beard or the hair around your temples (19:27)
    * Gotten out of bed after either your parents or grandparents (19:32)
    * Not returned incorrect change (19:35)
    * Cheated on a test (19:35)
    * Eaten rabbit (11:6)
    * Eaten shrimp (11:10)

    So, no, there is no “clear condemnation” of gays anymore than there is of eating shrimp from this passage.

  • As for abortion, this is an incredibly politicized issue and people READ into the Bible according to their position. If I had more time right now, I would get into this more, but I have to catch a flight in ten minutes. See: http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_biblh.htm

    for some examples of how the Bible is used to support Pro-Life stances.

    I am not saying pro-life is wrong, or right, but that you can interpret the Bible for political purposes. The “black and white” you speak of is a modern day translation of a late translation of a religious scripture. You are interpreting from this context. That is what you were just doing. This is fine, but it is political.

  • Here, read it this time:

    If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. (NKJ, Leviticus 20:13)

    You’re going to try and tell me that the line, “They shall surely be put to death,” is just there by coincidence? I hate to split hairs this far, but seriously. Are we not to take from that verse that the Bible seems to frown upon homosexual acts?

    Detractors, such as yourself, will always be around to try and dispute it so it’s nothing new.

    Abortion isn’t exactly “political,” it’s more like right and wrong. Take politics out of it, examine it at face value in regard to the Bible speaking of life in the womb equaling life outside the womb. If you don’t believe the Bible, that’s fine, but please don’t argue that the Bible does anything less than equate the unborn with the born.

  • Dreadsen

    This is VERY correct about people reading into the bible according to their positions.

    Pastor Hagee can use the bible to defend his statement of selling slaves at his church to raise funds. So as long as he’s preaching from the Bible that makes it ok right?

    The Bible supports slavery in the old testament and the new. I’m sure this was used to justify slavery from the church. No where in the Bible does it all out say that slavery is wrong.

    Abraham, Joseph, David and Solomon owned slaves. These were all great and honorable people in the bible.

    Not only did the Jews own slaves in the Bible but God gave very detailed instructions on owning slaves. You see there were rules.

    Here it tells you under what circumstances can a slave eat Gods sacred food.

    Leviticus 22:10-16
    10 “‘No one outside a priest’s family may eat the sacred offering, nor may the guest of a priest or his hired worker eat it. 11 But if a priest buys a slave with money, or if a slave is born in his household, that slave may eat his food.

    Here you can have sex with someone’s slave girl even if she’s promised to another man as long as you go get a ram and kill it.

    Leviticus 19:19-29
    1 The Lord said to Moses, ….
    19 “‘Keep my decrees. “‘Do not mate different kinds of animals. “‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. “‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material. 20 “‘If a man sleeps with a woman who is a slave girl promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment. Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. 21 The man, however, must bring a ram to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting for a guilt offering to the Lord. 22 With the ram of the guilt offering the priest is to make atonement for him before the Lord for the sin he has committed, and his sin will be forgiven.

    And OMG here it tells you it’s only punishment for beating your slaves if you beat them to death. It’s perfectly fine if you beat the slave to the point where he or she can’t get up for 2 days!

    Exodus 21
    20 “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property. . ..

    Here it tells you to give your slave a break at least once a week.

    Exodus 23:10-19
    10 “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, 11 but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove. 12 “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed. 13 “Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.

    Here if someone’s bull hurts your slave the owner of the bull owes you 30 bucks and you have to throw some rocks at it.

    Exodus 21
    32 If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull must be stoned.

    And the 10th commandment doesn’t tell you that slavery is wrong. It just wants to make sure that you don’t covet your neighbors slave.

    Hagee had announced a “slave sale” to raise funds for high school seniors in his church bulletin, “The Cluster.”
    To help students seeking odd jobs, his church newsletter, The Cluster, advertised a “slave” sale. “Slavery in America is returning to Cornerstone,” it said. “Make plans to come and go home with a slave.”

    If he wanted to there’s an overwhelming amount of support he would have had in the bible that his slave sale is legit and the bible backs him up.

  • Michelle

    I just want to say thank you to Nate for shedding some light on this, something that has yet to be revealed. It totally kills the “unelectable” arguement for Obama vs. McCain becuase McCain has more “pastor baggage” than you can shake a stick at. He PURSUED these people’s support, whereas Obama attended a congregation and never asked Wirght to support him EVER.

    Obama’s looking better and better each day!

  • Michel

    Nate: I hate to intervene only to say this, but Dreadsen’t comment has efficiently nulified your argument. I can accept the positive effects that religion have on people, but I can’t accept its vindication of the notions of right and wrong… specially notions as strict as Hagee’s.

    Michelle: You mistook Michael for Nate there. The one who posted the analysis was Michael.

    And yes, Obama IS looking better every day.

  • Sam

    You christians are so funny. Trying to live based on a book that was passed along orally for 200 years and translated through many different languages before english. Then you try to adapt the book to relate to your experiences in modern times! All this is based on the your faith in god. But your faith in god comes from the book. And the reason for believing that the book is true is your faith in god. Sounds quite circular! I can understand relating the MORALS of the book into modern times, but not word for word interpretation. Anyone who has played the telephone game as a child, and approaches this subject without bias can understand this as well.

    One of the most important steps our country made was to separate church and state. This can also be seen as separating faith from fact. It stops lawful discrimination against others in the name of a book or abstract entity. Recently these lines have eroded and now to be in the state, you must also be in the church. Politicians should not bring their religion to office. By seeking endorsements from religious officials, McCain is blurring the line of church and state. Look at this in reverse: if a pastor was applying for a job at a church, would the endorsement of a local politician matter? No, because the two aren’t related. Political matters should be decided on fact, not faith

  • IndiMinded

    I think Nate has a point here, and I’m glad that someone’s pointing out that Hagee, Parsley, and Falwell aren’t the same as Wright. They’re not – but it’s not because they stick to the bible while Wright rants about things across the board. I don’t think that’s a valid argument while Ron Parsley is making claims about America having been founded to destroy Islam. Hagee blames katrina partially on America moving jews off the Gaza strip – that’s an extremely political stance to take, and my guess is that all 3 exercise more political influence than Wright will ever have.

    But these men are different from Wright because they are preaching a familiar message. Falwell essentially said that God brought on katrina to punish the ACLU, feminists, abortionists, and gays AKA Those Damned Liberals. He said that katrina happened because of the liberals! Well what conservative is going to get upset at that? Everyone knows god hates the liberals, this was bound to happen eventually.

    Hagee, Parsley, and Falwell are all religious zealots, I’d argue that each one of them preaches ideals that are at least as dangerous as Wright’s. But they’re also ideals that run in a traditional conservative vein; these guys are nothing new or special – we know their kind very well.

    Wright was a unique story, a novelty, no presidential candidate has ever had a pastor like him! Lunatic conservative preachers, however, are boring, a-dime-a-dozen, and so Obama supporters can rant and rave until the end of time about the unfairness of it, but in the end the only questions anyone will ask is “How come nobody really wants to hear about this?”

  • Michel

    Wow Indiminded…. for being INDIminded you really sound like a liberal there.

    Was Obama_S. right about you? 🙂

  • Michel

    And yes, it IS a political issue. McCain would lose support among convservatives if he doesn’t stand by his pastor views on abortion.

    http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/Vote2008/Story?id=4824779&page=1

  • What do you Christian Bashing HATERS do on your day off? Wait, I probably don’t want to know since you seem to have no moral compass. It sounds to me that you’re scared that there could be a force higher than yourself that may hold you responsible for your gross actions here on earth. Following some of the big players on this site for a while now I see hatred for anyone’s opinion but your own. You hide behind your computer screens and spew your anti-Christian message to anyone who is also willing to listen. I am highly offended by your Christian bashing comments. If that’s what you set out to succeed in your posts then BRAVO, mission accomplished. None of you think of anyone but yourselves and how your opinions will effect others who may just believe that there is a spiritual being that others may take comfort in. Yes, there is a separation from Church and State, but that does not mean you have to trample and stomp on someone’s faith. Your comments in this forum are disgusting, if you don’t believe in God then I respect that, but at least have some respect for those who do believe. As a fellow human being who happens to share this planet with you, I am ashamed to be of the same species. Your comments here are hurtful, demoralizing and immature. I have to respect the fact that your not Christians, but there is NO respect for those of us who are, that is a true double standard! I can’t believe that there are people in this world who exist with the sole intentions of hurting others, which is what you all have done.

  • Comments will be re-open sometime, any personal or derogatory attacks will be removed.

  • Devryhouse

    Conservative Gal,

    I have enjoyed this discussion very much, including your comments. Could you elaborate on your position that the comments are disgusting, hurtful, demoralizing, and immature. I will re-read the statements that you identify. Also, could you give me any websites that cover politics in a manner that you feel acceptable?

  • Matt

    In response to the respective Obama contraversy and the future McCain contraversy….

    Just wait….its just as big of a deal, but McCain has remained untouched for the most part since Obama and Clinton have been hashing it out. When thats over, the remaining camps will begin firing upon each other and McCain will be just as dirty as Obama from all the mud.

  • Christopher

    Conservative Gal,

    Believing in God is one thing, as is having faith. Following any religion blind to the fact that they are wrought with corruption and bias to further the agenda of those who hold power within them is another. That goes for any religion. The Bible as we know it today, has been revised and rewritten by those in power to further their own greed. It was not even put together until 600 years AFTER Christ died.