22 May 2008
Rev. Hagee: "Hitler Was a Hunter"
When I first saw the news about McCain suddenly repudiating Pastor Hagee's endorsement, and I saw the quote that apparently provoked the repudiation, my first thought was: So it took Hagee offending the NRA to drive McCain away from him? That turned out not to be the case. The pastor was just again expressing his peculiar love for the Jewish people. From what I've read, Hagee is a legitimate Judeophile; hence his support for Israel and his erstwhile blaming of Catholics for collaboration with Hitler. He believes that God never revoked the covenant with Israel, and that Jesus was not the Jewish Messiah. In his view, the Jews are always God's chosen people, but the deity himself expresses tough love sometimes. Yahweh's attitude, as Hagee interpreted it, seems to have been: "Hey, Jews. Palestine is your promised land, so why aren't you over there?" Working, as usual, in a mysterious way, the Lord put Hitler in power in order to drive the Jewish people to Palestine. If you believe in an omnipotent God, then the Holocaust probably has to be part of a plan, but putting it as baldly as Hagee apparently did was bound to disturb some people. That shouldn't bother Hagee; his calling is to see things in a way that won't necessarily make people comfortable. Non-believers can only shrug their shoulders, since Hagee's interpretation of history is just about self-evidently false. As citizens, we can only ask our politicians what else they expect when they seek the endorsement of people like Hagee or Rev. Wright. Their kingdom is not of this world, after all, so why should they care who's president or whom they embarrass by calling things as they see them? If McCain were to learn from this not to curry favor with the clergy anymore, I'd be impressed and surprised.