Much noise has been made re Barack Obama's former association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
A limited amount of noise, though worrisome enough, has been made of Hillary Clinton's association with Doug Coe, leader of the secretive "Family" group.
What has gotten surprisingly little coverage in the press--especially compared to the coverage of Obama and Wright (I'll grant the lack of exposure re Clinton's association because "The Family" is so darn secretive and only one person is really writing about them)--is John McCain's association with no less than John Hagee--a guy who thinks gay people are responsible for Hurricane Katrina, that reproductive rights caused the 11 September terror attacks, and wants to use the State of Israel and the world's Jewish population as a trigger for Armageddon.
Read on, and educate yourself...
Fun with "Joel's Army" leaders and their use of Israelis as endtime pawns
There is more light finally being shown on what is increasingly brought up as hypocrism--and an example of Democratic candidates generally being more frank on matters.
Despite the condemnation of Barack Obama's pastor Jeremiah Wright (he did eventually distance himself after he felt Wright was getting just a WEE bit crazy), not much has been written regarding the other two viable candidates and their decidedly odd spiritual counselors.
In Hillary's case, I can see this--"The Family", and Doug Coe, is a secretive enough organisation by design that getting much documentation is hard (and Jeff Sharlet is to be commended for his efforts--in part inspired by being a walkaway--in exposing those things "The Family" would rather keep, erm, in the family).
This is rather less excusable in the case of John McCain's advisor, John Hagee.
Hagee--for those who either have a) recently come back from areas where news has been unavailable (such as on deployment in Iraq or Afghanistan, having spent the past few years being fostered by wild creatures, living in coercive religious groups where news of Outside (tm) is highly restricted, or remaining in a Skinner box for the past few years)--is the pastor of an "Assemblies daughter" church called Cornerstone Church, one which pretty much takes Assemblies theology and kicks it up a few notches (as we'll explain).
DailyKos and Talk to Action member Troutfishing has done some bang-up work in regards to some of the more decidedly disturbing things that have come out of Hagee's mouth--things like the Joel's Army line that the US is destined to get into a nuclear war with Russia over Israel (no, the "Russian Threat" and religious conspiracy theory re Russia never did die, seeing as it's a major part of neopente dominionist core theology) and this is the nuking of the Eastern Seaboard is meant as a sort of divine "pimp slap"; the claim that public schools are apparently abortion mills (which would be funny, if it weren't so sad and so blatantly BS; most states have mandatory parental notification (with limited judicial bypass options) re abortion, and (partly because dominionists believe "The Pill" and Plan B are abortifacients) are trying to get this extended to nearly all forms of birth control to boot); the specifically Joel's Army/Joshua Generation claim that allowing reproductive rights, rights for LGBT and non-dominionist individuals, and the very fact that the US has not become the Neopentecostal Taliban is "cursing" the US because it's allowing the US to be infested by "demonic spirits" (yes, this is the neopente dominionist theological basis for Christian Nationalism in general; the goal being a mass "national exorcism" of sorts); and that somehow the 11 September terror attacks were apparently meant as God allowing Satan to smack around the US because we weren't a theocracy. (He's also notably made identical claims about Hurricane Katrina and the Boxing Day tsunami--that these were essentially meant as "moral enemas" of entire regions. To be honest, I shall not be surprised if a similar statement ends up being issued re the hundreds of thousands dead as a result of Typhoon Nargis in Burma.)
Probably what Hagee is most notorious for is a particular frontgroup he operates called "Christians United For Israel"--the main purpose of which is twofold: encouraging the conversion of Jewish people to "Messianic Jews"--neopentecostals who keep High Holidays and Jewish cultural traditions even whilst embracing a theology that has even less to do with Judaism than it does with non-dominionist Christianity--and literally using the Jewish people and specifically the State of Israel as a trigger to force Jesus Christ to come back. (This last bit makes little sense unless you know some of the "Joel's Army"/"Joshua Generation" theology regarding the "Rapture"; supposedly at some point post-Rapture (usually given as 3 1/2 years afterwards), two post-Rapture convertees are supposed to be martyred, and this is supposed to trigger a mass conversion of Jewish people in Israel. These people, along with the "Joel's Army" members and General Jesus H. Christ himself, are meant to come down from heaven afterwards and literally slaughter the rest of humanity at Megiddo Hill. One of the commonly referenced "trigger points" for Rapture in neopente dominionist circles is the majority of Jewish people going back, or in some cases being sent back, to Israel; another "trigger point" is the conversion of 144,000 Jewish people to "Messianic Jews".)
Not only this, but Hagee makes frequent use of "Walid Shoebat", a person claiming to be a former PLO mujaheddin but whom not only can't have his supposed mujaheddin bona-fides verified but is very likely to be committing a remarkably similar fraud to Mike Warnke's (completely and utterly debunked) claims of being a former "Satanic high priest". (Yes, this is also a staple of neopente dominionist circles--the former pagan/Satanist/gay/Moslem "terrorist"/Mafioso/etc. who supposedly committed all manner of atrocities before finally "seeing the light". No less than two people do this with the "former Mafioso" schtick (and have interestingly sued each other for plaigarism) and the old schtick in the 80s used to be with converted "ex-Satanists" who claimed to have led entire economies around the sacrifice of women and children to el Diablo; the new hotness in this is the "ex-terrorist" who is inevitably Moslem and inevitably converts to either neopentecostalism outright or "Messianic Islam".)
I won't repeat Troutfishing's writing here--follow the links, or feel free to dive into his diary--he's written a lot about Hagee and the fact that John McCain explicitly sought out Hagee for his dominionist "bona fides" in the GOP. I will touch on a few things not given heavy coverage, though.
Hagee also had a major part (along with Ron Luce of Teen Mania Ministries, the late Jerry Falwell, and Joseph Fuiten--who has been a frequent topic of research in this diary) in the CNN documentary "God's Warriors" which focused on religious extremism in the three Abrahamic religions. (It's probably of no small note here that three out of four "Christian" representatives are all "Joel's Army"/"Joshua Generation" promoters.) Hagee is a major promoter of "Christian Zionism"--the claim that Israel must be supported at all costs as a co-"Chosen Nation" along with the US--and that if people do not, the country is inevitably doomed:
HAGEE: A Christian Zionist is someone who believes that the Bible supports Israel. God begins in the foreign policy of Israel in Genesis 12:3 saying, I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you.
AMANPOUR: You said God's foreign policy statement?
AMANPOUR: God has foreign policy statements?
AMANPOUR: And his is pro-Israel?
HAGEE: Concerning the Jewish people, that's his foreign policy statement.
Unfortunately, as I've noted above, the reason for this is rather less than an innocent admiration for the Jewish people. Among other things, not only has John Hagee called for the destruction of the Dome of the Rock (one of the holiest sites in Islam, where it is believed that the prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven), even to the point of photoshopped art on CUFI's website; later in the series it's described how he made a replica of the Wailing Wall in his center:
AMANPOUR: There is a hallway lined with pictures of Israeli prime ministers. And outside Hagee's masterpiece, a replica of Jerusalem's wailing wall.
Now pastor, what is happening here? We're in a Christian conservative church and it looks like a little bit of Israel?
HAGEE: We sent to Israel and got all of these stones and put them in place here so they could have this opportunity of praying at the wall as close as we could replicate it.
AMANPOUR: But this is more than just a tribute to the Jewish faith. If Israel is at the heart of God's foreign policy, Hagee wants to make sure it shapes America's foreign policy, too.
HAGEE: There are voices in the State Department calling for the city of Jerusalem to be divided, to make way for a Palestinian capital. Let us make this clear, there shall be one Jerusalem that shall never be divided not now and not ever.
AMANPOUR: He's got his own pro-Israel lobbying group. Their recent meeting in Washington included a written greeting from President Bush.
(This is pretty subtle here; neopente dominionists have in fact been the primary group advocating the rebuilding of the Temple on the Mount, of which the Wailing Wall is the sole remaining portion of the Second Temple. Of course, to rebuild the temple, they have to remove that pesky mosque first.)
Later in the series, Hagee recounts neopente dominionist theology about Russia and Iran attempting to invade Israel based on what he claims is a "prophecy" (one which, as I've noted before, was never noted or promoted before the publication of the Scofield Reference Bible in 1909--the main source of much of Assemblies core theology):
AMANPOUR: Israel can do no wrong in Hagee's eyes, and he's identified his enemy. Hagee sees Iran and its defiant president as a threat to both the U.S. and Israel.
HAGEE: He is threatening to wipe Israel off the map. He has said that he can see a day when there will not be a United States of America. He's racing to obtain nuclear weapons and if he obtains them, it will be the western world's worst nightmare.
AMANPOUR: This is how Hagee thinks Iran's nuclear ambitions should be thwarted.
HAGEE: Well I think America should do everything in its power to make sure he never gets nuclear weapons whatever that takes. If they cannot do it through diplomacy, then I think there needs to be a military preemptive strike to deny them nuclear capability.
AMANPOUR: Fighting words for a man of the cloth but this pastor thinks war is part of God's plan. In his recent book, "Jerusalem Countdown," which has sold more than a million copies, Hagee mixes biblical prophecy and current events and outlines a violent showdown for the end of days.
In his scenario, Russia and its Arab allies invade Israel. The antichrist appears as the head of the European Union. Armies mass and there's a final battle at Armageddon resulting in a sea of human blood before Jesus returns to slay nonbelievers and reign over an era of peace.
HAGEE: You have not read -
AMANPOUR: It's a controversial theological stance and critics accuse Hagee of supporting Israel and favoring war with Iran to hasten the second coming.
HAGEE: I would make it very clear for you. Our support of Israel has absolutely nothing to do with the prophecy.
Said "prophecy", of note, includes the Russians and the Iranians attempting to set up Jerusalem as literally the world's biggest ghetto--in the WW II sense.
(Yes, this is why a lot of dominionists are gunning for war with Iran--and why it would be a very bad thing if this happened.)
Oh, and as for that claim it's not related to the "prophecy"? Bunk, pure bunk. He admits that he ultimately expects Jewish people to convert to kosher neopentecostals:
AMANPOUR: Hagee does not try to convert Jews, but he's confident that when Jesus does return, the Jewish people will also recognize and accept him as their messiah.
HAGEE: And as I tell the Orthodox rabbi friend here in San Antonio that when we're both standing in the streets of Jerusalem and messiah is coming down the road, one of us has a big theological adjustment to make.
AMANPOUR: Which of you is going to make the adjustment? HAGEE: Oh, I think he is, of course, and he thinks I am. It's going to be an exciting day. The sleeping giant of Christian Zionism has awakened.
As for those who refuse to abandon the faith of their fathers and "theologically adjust" (a euphemism if I ever heard one)? Probably best not to talk about that in polite company or at all in much of Europe. You see, Hagee expects those who won't convert to be lumped in with the omnicide of the rest of the planet by "Joel's Army".
For that matter, it may not be a good thing to talk about what John Hagee really believes about the most tragic incident to befall the Jewish people in modern times in polite company (or, for that matter, most of Europe). We are of course not polite company as far as this goes.
You see, Hagee literally considers no less than Adolf Hitler as an agent of God in essentially herding the Jewish people to Israel via the strategic use of a few gas chambers and concentration camps:
The Prophet Jeremiah... paints a vivid picture of the human agents God intended to use to bring the Jewish people back to Israel:
'But now I will send for many fisherman', declares the Lord', 'and they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks.'
I believe this indicates the positive comes before the negative.....
First, God sent the fisherman to Israel. These were the Zionists, men like Theodore Herzl who called for the Jews of Europe and the World to come to Palestine and establish the Jewish state. The Jews were encouraged to escape while there was still time....
[Then] God sent the hunters. The hunter is one who pursues his target with force and fear. No one could see the horror of the Holocaust coming, but the force and fear of Hitler's Nazis drive the Jewish people back to the only home God ever intended for the Jews to have-Israel.... I am stricken with awe and wonder at his boundless love for Israel and the Jewish people..."
("Jerusalem Countdown", paperback edition, pages 132 and 133.)
Not only this, but per the same book, he literally blames the Jewish people for ha-Shoah--what the world knows as the Holocaust--and the series of never-ending progroms against the Jewish people from the time of the Diaspora on as being the result of Jewish people being too damn uppity:
It was the disobedience and rebellion of the Jews, God's chosen people, to their covenantal responsibility to serve only the one true God, Jehovah, that gave rise to the opposition and persecution that they experienced beginning in Canaan and continuing to this very day....
How utterly repulsive, insulting, and heartbreaking to God for His chosen people to credit idols with bringing blessings He had showered upon the chosen people. Their own rebellion had birthed the seed of anti-Semitism that would arise and bring destruction to them for centuries to come.... it rises from the judgment of God upon his rebellious chosen people.
("Jerusalem Countdown: A Prelude To War", paperback edition, pages 92 and 93.)
As if this weren't bad enough, Hagee has been one of those calling for the mass roundup and "degaying or death" of the LGBT population of the US, and the anti-Catholicism in neopente dominionist circles (where they'll court and even foment "Charismatic Catholic" groups as "missionary outreaches" but call them "Mary-worshippers" and "idolaters" behind their backs) is also brought up.
It would also appear that the "convert during the Tribulation or die" calls for mass omnicide of humanity aren't the only things chunder-inducing about Hagee. A groundbreaking infiltration of Hagee's church by Matt Taibbi finally reveals all tomorrow.