Christians United for Israel: The Truth About John Hagee

John Hagee has blamed both Protestant and Catholic anti-Semitism for helping create a climate in which Nazi racial anti-Semitism could flourish.

Brog-224-88new (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
It's part of the official story now, and it seems that it won't be going away anytime soon. Every time some talking head criticizes Pastor Jeremiah Wright, another will respond by mentioning the "anti-Catholic" John Hagee. When it comes to controversial pastors, we're told, it's pretty much a wash. This comparison is weak in so many ways. The most glaring flaw in this logic is that it rests on a false premise: Pastor Hagee is not anti-Catholic and has never called the Catholic Church the ugly names that people claim. This assertion will certainly come as a surprise to many. After all, many prominent media outlets have been reporting for weeks now that John Hagee called the Catholic Church a "Great Whore," a "false cult system," and an "apostate church." Strong words these. And if Pastor Hagee used them in reference to the Catholic Church then the criticism he's received would be warranted. But stop the presses and the lynch mobs, Pastor Hagee never called the Catholic Church these names. When it comes to Pastor Hagee's views on Catholics, the press has gotten it terribly wrong. Let's take a step back. This whole "Hagee hates Catholics" thing started barely a month ago. That's when an organization called the Catholic League drowned the media in press releases denouncing Hagee as "anti-Catholic." Their core allegation was that Hagee had called the Catholic Church these three nasty names. To support this claim, they sent out a link to a video which allegedly catches Pastor Hagee in the act of name calling. The few bold souls who actually watched the video tended to question the assertion for which it was supplied as proof. The video does indeed show Pastor Hagee using these three terms. But he doesn't use them to describe the Catholic Church. Instead, he mentions them in an effort to teach on the very murky Book of Revelation. It is actually Revelation that supplies us with the term "Great Whore." Pastor Hagee merely explains that this will be an "apostate church" made up of all those who abandon the teachings of Christ and embrace false doctrines such as anti-Semitism. Pastor Hagee believes that the "Great Whore" will be comprised of people from all Christian denominations and churches, including his own Cornerstone Church in San Antonio. This probably explains why we see the video of Jeremiah Wright in an "endless loop" but no one ever bothers to play the Hagee video. One video incriminates. The other vindicates. If pressed on this discrepancy, critics would likely respond that Hagee was using code words which other evangelicals have employed to denigrate the Catholic Church. But certainly such misuse by others cannot render key concepts from the Book of Revelation off limits to all Christians. Especially not when they employ these terms, as Hagee does, to elaborate their disagreement with those who claim that this "Great Whore" is somehow synonymous with Catholicism. Besides, Pastor Hagee is not a man who uses code words; he's as blunt as they come. In fact Hagee does have a problem with the Catholic Church of which he has spoken quite often and quite bluntly: it's past anti-Semitism. Although he enthusiastically praises Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict for their role in reconciling with the Jewish people, Hagee has often criticized those Catholics who brought us the Spanish Inquisition and the Crusades. But he has just as often and just as bluntly criticized Protestants for their long history of anti-Semitism. When it comes to the Holocaust, he has blamed both Protestant and Catholic anti-Semitism for helping create a climate in which Nazi racial anti-Semitism could flourish. These comments are made by a Christian in the spirit of self criticism and repentance, not attack. I typically applaud the work of the Catholic League. They defend Americans from one of the last tolerated prejudices: anti-Catholicism. But they got this one wrong. And too many who should have known better followed their lead. Al Qaeda's recent accusations against the Pope and threats against Americans and Jews everywhere should be a sober reminder that now more than ever people of faith need to join hands, not bicker. For more of Brog's Blog, please visit Previous entries: Words are more powerful than weapons National Incompetence Estimate Full steam ahead A setback on Iran Annapolis Arrives A Year to go? No picnics in Gaza Constant Vigilance The fate of the Sunday People