At the Democratic debate in Ohio on Tuesday, Tim Russert pressed Barack Obama on the unsolicited endorsement he received from Louis Farrakhan. Russert evidently thought it important for Obama to provide a double-super denunciation, since weeks earlier, Obama remarked:
I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan. I assume that Trumpet Magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decision with which I agree.
Since that statement apparently was insufficient, Obama made a further point to "reject and denounce" Farrakhan. In total, he has now decried, strongly condemned, disagreed, rejected, and denounced. One can only speculate what will be the next hoop Obama must jump through to prove once and for all that he doesn't harbor sympathy for Farrakhan deep in the recesses of his heart.
In the meantime, though, it might be worth remarking that John McCain received the endorsement of John Hagee, a white Evangelical preacher whose views are every bit as vile as Farrakhan's.
Who is John Hagee? He is the leader of the group Christians United for Israel, ostensibly dedicated to fostering good relations between the state of Israel and American Christians (though Protestants only; more on that in a moment). In fact, Hagee advocates a first strike against Iran on the grounds that it "will cause Arab nations to unite under Russia's leadership, as outlined in chapters 38 and 39 of the Book of Ezekiel, leading to an 'inferno [that] will explode across the Middle East, plunging the world toward Armageddon.'" In other words, the annihilation of Israel is a feature, not a bug of his brand of Zionism. Hagee supports the Jewish state, as Lenin would have put it, the way a rope supports a hanging man.
Hagee's philosemitism is likewise peculiar:
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.
Whose fault is it that the Jews have been an historically persecuted people? The Jews' fault, of course, and not their persecutors. Nor are Jews the only group for whom Hagee has, shall we say, an idiosyncratic way of showing his Christian affection.
Islam in general — those who live by the Koran have a scriptural mandate to kill Christians and Jews.
I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that…[T]here was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came…I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.
This is the Great Whore of Revelation 17. This is the Antichrist system. This is the apostate church…This false cult system that was born in Genesis 10 and progressed through Israel and became Baal worship, God says "the day is going to come when I'm going to cause this Beast to devour this apostate system"…This false religious system is going to be totally devoured by the Antichrist.
Hagee on Harry Potter fans:
As millions of people anticipate the release of the latest Harry Potter book and film, we're reminded once again of Satan's ongoing attempt to deceive and destroy. The whole purpose of the Potter books is to desensitize readers and introduce them to the occult.
So how did the Straight Talk Express react to support from a man who, by Russert logic, any decent person must reject and denounce pre-emptively? McCain immediately declared himself "very honored," and continued, "all I can tell you is that I am very proud to have Pastor John Hagee's support." And that's the least of it. McCain held a public event to celebrate the Hagee endorsement, and has worked it into his stump speech.
Imagine, for just one moment, what the headlines today would be if Barack Obama had lavished such fulsome praise on Louis Farrakhan.