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Hagee, Whores, Homos, & Holy Unions

May 14th, 2008 | by Daniel DiRito |

While John McCain has chosen to avoid a repudiation of Pastor Hagee’s endorsement of the presumed GOP nominee, it appears that the damage control has commenced. Today, Hagee issued a written apology to Catholics and the apology was accepted by Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League. Ahh, yes…a marriage made in heaven…isn’t that wonderful?

Like many evangelical pastors, John Hagee is no stranger to controversial statements. With his endorsement of the Arizona Senator, many of the remarks attributed to Hagee have resurfaced…and they are every bit as incendiary as the words that were spoken by Barack Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright…though they haven’t garnered near the attention. In the following video clip, Hagee is seen calling the Catholic Church “The Great Whore”.

Not to fear. Politics makes for strange bedfellows and none may be stranger than Hagee and Donohue. Take a look at today’s exchange of pleasantries.

“Out of a desire to advance greater unity among Catholics and Evangelicals in promoting the common good, I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful,” Hagee wrote, according to an advanced copy of the letter reviewed by Washington Wire. “After engaging in constructive dialogue with Catholic friends and leaders, I now have an improved understanding of the Catholic Church, its relation to the Jewish faith, and the history of anti-Catholicism.”

In the letter, addressed to Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League and one of Hagee’s biggest critics, Hagee pledges “a greater level of compassion and respect for my Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ.”

Hagee’s letter explains some of the harsh words he has used when describing the Catholic Church. “I better understand that reference to the Roman Catholic Church as the ‘apostate church’ and the ‘great whore’ described in the book of Revelation” — both terms Hagee has employed — “is a rhetorical device long employed in anti-Catholic literature and commentary,” he wrote.

Donohue, in a response to Hagee’s letter, accepted his apology. “The tone of Hagee’s letter is sincere. He wants reconciliation and he has achieved it. Indeed, the Catholic League welcomes his apology. What Hagee has done takes courage and quite frankly I never expected him to demonstrate such sensitivity to our concerns. But he has done just that. Now Catholics, along with Jews, can work with Pastor Hagee in making interfaith relations stronger than ever. Whatever problems we had before are now history. This case is closed,” Donohue wrote.

Hagee is also known for his derogatory remarks directed towards gays…particularly his assertion that Katrina was simply a matter of God punishing the people of New Orleans. Hagee argued that the upcoming gay pride parade led to the devastating hurricane. His statement in that regard follows.

All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens. 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.

The newspaper carried the story in our local area, that was not carried nationally, that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it would 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. I know there are people who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the Day of Judgment, and I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.

Hagee, subsequent to endorsing McCain, sought to step back from his comments by issuing the following statement.

“As a believing Christian, I see the hand of God in everything that happens here on earth, both the blessings and the curses. But ultimately neither I nor any other person can know the mind of God concerning Hurricane Katrina. I should not have suggested otherwise. No matter what the cause of the storm, my heart goes out to all who suffered in this terrible tragedy. There but for the grace of God go any one of us.”

Unfortunately, according to the Dallas Morning News, the seeming retraction apparently left a bad taste in the pastor’s mouth and that led him to offer the following response to a caller, who asked during a radio appearance, why the pastor had backed away from his comments in the face of criticism.

Hagee said he hadn’t. As for the Katrina, he said, God controls hurricanes and “God always punishes unconfessed sin.”

Now there seems to have been some confusion at the time. While Hagee was attributing Katrina to the gay pride parade, one of his fellow evangelists, Pat Robertson, was speculating that God was angry because Ellen Degeneres, a lesbian originally from New Orleans, had been chosen to host the upcoming Emmy Awards.

As it turned out, despite all of these revelations and proclamations, the French Quarter, the epicenter of gay life in New Orleans, weathered the storm with minimal damage. Since we know that God controls all natural disasters, I guess we’re left to conclude that the good Lord had an off day and simply misfired, leaving the gays unpunished and free to plan the next years parade.

Unfortunately, I had my phone turned off so I missed my own call from the Almighty - otherwise I might have been able to report my own communications and clear up any of the confusion that remains.

So where does this leave us? Well, I can’t help but see politics as a numbers game. As such, it’s far more important to make nice with the Catholics than with the LGBT community, since the Catholics comprise a larger voting block and they are certainly more closely aligned with the positions of the GOP than the gays and the Democrats. Besides, demonizing gays has always been an effective weapon in the arsenal of people of faith.

That brings me to the protection of marriage…one of the quintessential issues for Christians. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that today’s events demonstrate that even a marriage of convenience trumps a same-sex marriage. Therefore, it is far easier for evangelicals and Catholics to kiss and make up, under the umbrella of the GOP, than it would be for any of them to alter their stance on portraying gays and gay marriage as the source of all that ails society.

The funny thing is…I’ve always thought that Christians frowned upon acts of prostitution…and engaging in a menage a trois. Little did I know that God would rather bless the union of three trick-turners than the loving relationships of two homos. It just goes to show that politics and prostitution have a lot in common…and if you think about it…they have maintained a long standing and fruitful connection. After all, isn’t staying together through thick and thin…while procreating more of the same…what marriage is supposed to be about?

With this newfound awareness, I know you’ll understand my need to excuse myself…I’ve got to go confess my sins…I just can’t bear to be the one with the sullied soul who causes the next calamity.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

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  1. 5 Responses to “Hagee, Whores, Homos, & Holy Unions”

  2. By Jersey McJones on May 14, 2008 | Reply

    YA’ know, I read about this today. First of all, WHO THE F’N HELL IS BILL DONAHUE TO ACCEPT ANYTHING ON BEHALF OF CATHOLICS OR THE CHURCH??? He’s a NOOOOOOOBODY! Secondly, Hagee has slandered, libeled and assailed the Catholic Church in ways that are completely unforfiveable per Church doctrine. SO WHAT THE F KIND OF F’N GOD DAMNED CATHOLIC WOULD EVEN CONSIDER ACCEPTING ANY-F’N-THING FROM THAT STUPIC SLEAZY SCUMBAG HAGEE???

    There. I feel better now.

    JMJ

  3. By Craig R. Harmon on May 14, 2008 | Reply

    Hagee ain’t my religious cup of tea. He fancies himself an interpreter not just of scripture but of naturally occurring events. Nuts.

    I actually do think that such statements as “All hurricanes are acts of God” is consonant with the biblical world-view: if not acts initiated by God then at least acts permitted by God (see the book of Job in the so-called Old Testament where God allows Satan to visit all manner of hardships and disease and griefs upon Job).

    But moving from a hurricane in New Orleans to blaming gays for said hurricane is a long-jump, and contrary to the overall message of Job, too.

    Why single out gays, even if hurricanes ARE judgments from God against sins? Surely there are plenty of sins occurring every day in America in the hearts of Christians and non Christians, gays and straights that there is no particular reason to single out gays, even if one considers gay sex to be sinful and disasters like this don’t come with explanatory notes from God (”This one’s for all the child buggering priests!–God) so where guys like Hagee get off divining divine intent from naturally recurring weather events, I don’t know.

    Why would God punish all of New Orleans and many places elsewhere? At least with Sodom and Gomorrah, God had the decency to get the good people out before raining down fire and brimstone. Surely Katrina smote many more straights than gays in Hurricane Katrina. What were they? Collateral damage? This would seem to suggest something other than gayness as the target even for those that view gayness as sinful.

    Gah!

    Jersey,

    Don’t hold back; tell us what you REALLY think? ;-)

  4. By Jersey McJones on May 14, 2008 | Reply

    Craig, God is as God doesn’t. That’s all religious people have anymore.

    JMJ

  5. By Rainbow Demon on May 14, 2008 | Reply

    Brilliant post, Daniel - but please… no ex-gay clinics to “cleanse” yourself ;) [just kidding]
    Thanks.

    Peace,
    =RD=

  6. By Daniel DiRito on May 14, 2008 | Reply

    Thanks Rainbow Demon. You needn’t fear, my sins and I are sufficiently attached such that the stain is no longer removable. I suspect I’d be rejected at the door…though there isn’t a chance in hell I’ll be knocking on it.

    Regards,

    Daniel

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