McCain forced to reject Hagee, Parsley endorsements

by, May 22, 2008

May 22, 2008. Republican presidential candidate John McCain today rejected the endorsement of fundamentalist preachers John Hagee and Rod Parsley because of their controversial statements. John Hagee, who heads the Cornerstone megachurch in San Antonio and Christians United for Israel (CUFI), was reported to have said that the Holocaust was part of God's plan to propel Jews to Israel. Hagee was already a problem for McCain's candidacy because of his anti-Catholic statements.

Hagee's Holocaust statements, which we quoted twice -- in March 2007 and September 2007 -- were reported on two blogs this week. We found the quotes in Hagee's book Jerusalem Countdown. He wrote "the force and fear of Hitler's Nazis drove the Jewish people back to the only home God ever intended for the Jews to have: Israel."

Perhaps a more consequential motivation for McCain than the bloggers, was a stern letter sent yesterday to Hagee from Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the president of the Union for Reform Judaisml, asking Hagee to clarify the Holocaust statement.

"I hope that you agree with me that justifying the Holocaust or blaming it on the Jews is anathema to all who repudiate group defamation and cherish tolerance and respect," wrote Yoffie. He asked Hagee if he has repudiated this interpretation of the Holocaust.

Hagee is a leading Christian Zionist with wide support among Jewish organizations. Rabbi Yoffie has stood virtually alone in challenging the wisdom of Jewish cooperation with Hagee.

Video of Rod Parsley's bigoted statements about Islam made its way from progressive media last week to ABC's Good Morning America today. In the video McCain refers to Parsley as his spiritual guide. Parsley is pastor of the World Harvest megachurch in Ohio and credited with turning out that state's Christian right vote for George Bush in 2004. He is on the board of CUFI.

Last week posted recordings of two Parsley services and an accompanying report. Both show evidence of his animus toward Islam. Oliver North is a guest speaker at one service and notes with pride that, in Iraq for the first time in history, Christian men and women in the US military are protecting Muslim women.

It remains to be seen how Hagee's Jewish supporters will react to the publication of his statements about the Holocaust, which have been available to them for at least a year.

TOPIC: Christian Zionists