by JewsOnFirst, September 26, 2006
John Hagee, the megachurch pastor who is the current face of Christian Zionism in the United States, depicted Jews as Christ killers in a recent interview. Hagee also stated that Muslims have a "mandate" to kill Christians and Jews and that God caused Hurricane Katrina to destroy New Orleans to prevent a scheduled gay parade.
Hagee made the controversial remarks about Jews, Muslims and gays during a September 18th interivew on the National Public Radio program Fresh Air. Jews, he said, will weep when they "see" Jesus Christ whose side they have "pierced."
Hagee is pastor of the Cornerstone Church in Antonio and head of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a new organization led by the religous right's biggest names. CUFI's purpose is to lobby Congress to support Israel. The Christian Zionist movement's motives are based on end-times "Armageddon" scenarios of wars involving Russia, Iran and Arab countries. Hagee has been warning that Iran is planning a nuclear attack on Israel. ( See our earlier report) He "explains" all this with biblical verses.
Opposition to ceding land for peace
Christian Zionists put great emphasis on returning all the world's Jews to Israel as part of their end times scenarios. They also oppose Israel ceding any land as part of a peace agreement. Hagee and other Christian Zionists make a great show of raising money for Israel (often to fund settling immigrants or expansionist Jewish settlers).
Christian Zionists justify all this with a mumbo-jumbo of biblical interpretation. For example, Hagee said during the Fresh Air interview: "Joel 3:2 says do not do it. Those who divide up the land of Israel will come under the judgment of God. Therefore, don't do it. It's just that simple."
Hagee made the Christ-killer statement when Fresh Air host Terry Gross asked him about about the "rapture" that he says will occur when Jesus Christ returns in the end-times scenario. At first, Hagee insisted that Jews could be "raptured" into the air along with Christians.
"Well, there are Jewish people who believe in Jesus Christ, and there are Arabs who believe in Jesus Christ, so you don't have to be a gentile to be a believer," he told Gross.
But, she pressed, "you do have to believe in Jesus Christ." Hagee agreed to that, and Gross pressed on, asking what about "Israeli Jews who don't believe in Jesus Christ when the Rapture comes?"
Jews will "see"
Hagee responded that those Jews would not be raptured, but would have to live through the "Tribulation."
Where that leaves them is that during the tribulation, the book of Revelation says in the 14th chapter that God is going to send angels who will preach the everlasting gospel across the face of the earth so that everyone will have the opportunity of knowing who Jesus Christ is. Now, when it comes to the Jewish people, Zechariah very clearly says that they are not going to believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah until they see him. Zechariah says in the 14th chapter `and when they, the Jewish people, see him whom they have pierced'--and the word pierced there actually refers to his rib and side--`when they see him whom they have pierced, they will weep as one weeps for his only son for a period of one week. They're simply not going to believe he is the Messiah until they actually see him, and that's at the Second Coming. Then, at that point in time, there is the judgment of the nations in which all nations are judged for the way in which they have treated the nation of Israel and the Jewish people, and the Jewish people are front and center in the kingdom of God that will be an eternal kingdom.
Hagee and his fellow Christian Zionists have gone to great lengths to reassure Jewish organizations that they will not take advantage of their activities in support of Israel to try to convert Jews.
A "mandate to kill"
In arguing against an Israeli compromise for peace, Hagee stated: "those who live by the Quran have a scriptural mandate to kill Christians and Jews." Gross questioned him twice on the statement.
GROSS: Do you believe that?
Pastor HAGEE: Well, the Quran teaches that. Yes, it teaches that very clearly.
GROSS: So, for you, there's absolutely no way of tolerating Islam at all. I'm not talking about extreme Islam. I'm just talking about the Muslim religion.
Pastor HAGEE: No, there are Islamics who want peace, but they don't have center stage right now. And whenever Islam, radical Islam, does things that make the headlines, like getting on a bus with a bomb strapped around them and killing people, the moderates do not speak up because they're afraid that they will be killed by the radicals. So it gives the appearance that there are no--there is--there are no moderate Islamic people...
At the end of the interview, Gross asked Hagee about a sermon in which he'd said Hurricane Katrina was a punishment from God. He explained:
I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are--were recipients of the judgment of God for that. The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade on the Monday that the Katrina came, and the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades. So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing.
Numerous Jewish organizations work with Hagee and CUFI because they value the Christian Zionists' support for Israel. Some rabbis, however, view Hagee's domestic agenda as detrimental to Jewish life in the United States. Rabbi Barry Block of Temple Beth El in San Antonio, writing for the Jewish Telegraph Agency said: [Cufi's] advocacy for Israel will harm everything we hold dear, as Israel and the Jewish people are tarnished by association."
September 18, 2006
There are excerpts of Hagee's sermons throughout the transcript. His statements start on page 8. The transcript also contains interviews by Israeli expert on Christian Zionism Gershom Gorenberg and journalist Max Blumenthal. Please click here for the transcript, a PDF file.