13 May 2008

Pastor Hagee Apologizes

In an act of self-evident political expediency, Pastor John Hagee (sometime spiritual adviser to Senator McCain) has published an apology to the Catholic Church, addressed to Catholic League crybaby William Donohue. Hagee proclaims "an improved understanding of the Catholic Church, its relation to the Jewish faith, and the history of anti-Catholicism." Clarifications follow: Hagee says, for instance, that he only criticized Catholics vis-a-vis their alleged anti-Semitism during the Crusades and the Holocaust.

As for calling the Catholic Church the "great whore," Hagee pleads not guilty. Here's his explanation:

I hope you recognize that I have repeatedly stated that my interpretation of Revelation leads me to conclude that the "apostate church" and the "great whore" appear only during the seven years of tribulation after all true believers -- Catholic and Protestant -- have been taken up to heaven. Therefore, neither of these phrases can be synonymous with the Catholic Church.

This confession would seem to make Hagee a liberal among Rapture-believers. I haven't made too close a study in the subject, but the impression I had was that only "born-agains" would get Raptured. Keep an eye on this side of the story in case Hagee gets himself in trouble in his own house.

Speaking of which, Hagee rather naively states that "I better understand that reference to the Roman Catholic Church as the 'apostate church' and the 'great whore' described in the Book of Revelation is a rhetorical device long employed in anti-Catholic literature and commentary." Long-employed is certainly accurate, since the device probably dates back to the origin of Protestantism. Hagee's report makes him sound ignorant about his own theological roots. To be honest, it makes the apology look more disingenuous than naive.

In any event, Hagee proceeds to fawn over Pope Benedict while reminding Donohue of the strong teamwork of Catholics and Protestants against Communism, abortion, etc. Hagee wants the teamwork to continue, preferably in the interest of John McCain, and Donohue probably thinks the same way, since he says that Hagee's apology closes the issue as far as he's concerned. But that doesn't mean we have to keep the case closed. This is a scab that asks for picking. Let our motto be J. Wellington Wimpy's: Let's you and him fight!

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