May 23rd, 2008
04:57 PM ET

Splitting hairs: Hagee, Parsley, and Wright

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/23/art.hagee.jpg caption="Rev. John Hagee"]
Kelly Daniel
AC360° Staff

As we went on the air last night, we learned that Sen. John McCain was not only rejecting Rev. John Hagee's endorsement, but also Rev. Rod Parsley's. Hagee seemed to imply that Adolf Hitler was carrying out God's will during the Holocaust when he said in a sermon:

"God says in Jeremiah 16: 'Behold, I will bring them the Jewish people again unto their land that I gave to their fathers. ... Behold, I will send for many fishers, and after will I send for many hunters. And they the hunters shall hunt them.' That would be the Jews. ... Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone who comes with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter."

Hagee also offended Catholics, calling the Catholic church "the great whore" and "the apostate church." Hagee has since said his words were taken out of context and has withdrawn his support for McCain because he is "tired of these baseless attacks and fear that they have become a distraction in what should be a national debate about important issues."

Parsley set off other problems, saying Islam was "an antichrist religion that intends through violence to conquer the world." McCain rejected both of their endorsements yesterday, but drew a distinction between these controversial endorsements from religious figures and Sen. Obama's denouncement of his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. McCain said:

"I have said I do not believe Sen. Obama shares Rev. Wright's extreme views. But let me also be clear, Rev. Hagee was not and is not my pastor or spiritual adviser, and I did not attend his church for 20 years. I have denounced statements he made immediately upon learning of them, as I do again today"

What do you think? Do the situations compare? Are Hagee and Parsley's support as problematic as Wright's?

Read more about the McCain rejecting the endorsements

Filed under: John McCain • Kelly Daniel • Raw Politics
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    The same applies to any Church leaders comments about anyone be it McCain, Obama, or If necessary HRC.
    They are not thier brothers keeper.
    They do not necessarily agree with what Pastors, Reverends, Evangelical leaders say.
    I have many close friends of 30/40 years standing with whom I disagree and they disagree with me that is life.
    Finally we are talking about millions and millions of voters and to assume that what an individual Pastor etc says is the candidates responsibility and or shared view is simply media short of news and/or "hunting" for drama.
    Please report on serious matters of the campaigns.

    May 26, 2008 at 1:54 am |
  2. C. A. Harris

    Most Christians consider Mormonism to be a cult religion. How could a Candidate slice and dice Christian pastors on issues of lessor importance, while seriously considering a Mormon running mate for V.P.? If John McCain really understands what Mormons believe in, how could he possibly choose one for his V.P.? There is some sort of "dual standard" going on here!

    May 25, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  3. ginger

    While we debate back and forth over this issues, I only ask the people get their facts in line before typing.

    1. For 395 days John McCain actively sought the endorsement of Pastor Hagee. Why? Because he wanted the Christian vote. McCain is simply pandering to get votes. He's doing the same thing meeting with older African-American women who make quilts. Rememeber he voted against the MLK holiday. Now because he's running President he's sorry. Well, maybe he is, I don't know.

    2. Sen. Obama met Rev. Wright when he was about 25 years old. They met out of Sen. Obama's desire to serve the underserve on the South side of Chicago. Over time they developed a relatationship. I believe despite Rev. Wright's outrageous statements, Sen. Obama had done a lot of good works within those church walls. And despite what the Obama haters think, Trinity United Church is not a church filled with racial hatred. And I noticed Sen. Obama speaks nothing like Rev. Wright. Sen. Obama did come to Jesus and that's what Jesus wants.

    May 25, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  4. Barbara-Dalton Ga

    This goes to show what can happen when candidates feel the need
    to get an endorsement just to promote their bid for election. A person's personal religious believes should not matter to any of us, we are electing a candidate to hopefully help solve our problems which are universal to us all–food, shelter, sound economy, enviromnet, etc. Our country has many faiths and even within most
    faiths there are branches that have broken off and started anew because some members disagreed with other members. I have never understood the need to vote for someone because of their
    religious convictions.

    May 25, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  5. Jim Shamanski Florida

    All of these pastors have THEIR OWN VIEWS. Let's talk candidly here. Do you people who say Obama sat in church for 20yrs....blah...blah...blah, actually believe or go to church and are all the sudden brain washed...I mean really people. A couple things
    1. Who every said that Obama went to church every Sunday...I seriously doubt it. I have been a "member" of a church for 25 years and my kids were baptized there...but I certainly don't go every Sunday

    2. If you actually believe in or adopt every ideal or belief people you know (pastor, teacher, professor) believe, then you are probably one very sad or mixed up person

    None of this is as bad as Hillary's repeated lies about NAFTA, Bosnia and her other "miscommunications" Hillary has the propensity to do the same thing Bush did with Iraq. Sell the American people a bunch of BS to push her agenda, that's what the NAFTA and Bosnia lie was all about and it worked for her, just like it worked out for Bush with Iraq...we bought it too.

    May 25, 2008 at 12:42 am |
  6. Sam Breidner

    Perhaps someone at CNN can reflect how disturbing it is for those of us of the Jewish faith to hear us discribed as "Jewish-Americans," on CNN. Are there Catholic-Americans or Baptist-Americans? We've been on this continent since 1654; when are we just called Americans?

    May 24, 2008 at 11:33 pm |
  7. Mike from Calgary, Canada

    If you want to know Obama or McCain, listen to what they say. If you like it, you're free to support either.

    It's not like the candidates are out there saying they have the support from the uneducated, stupid or racist voter .... oh I forgot about the Clinton supporters! Her supporters buttress Obama's call for more support for educators in America

    May 24, 2008 at 9:19 pm |
  8. Apple in Tampa

    Sen McCain actively went after Rev Hagee's endorsement to me that was a very important point . The problem I had was it took so long for Sen McCain to denounce Rev Hagee even after it was proven that Rev Hagee had made the remarks.

    It also seemed there was an enormous amount of pressure on Sen Obama to denounce Rev Wright and that same type of pressure was not applied to Sen McCain to denounce Rev Hagee.

    May 24, 2008 at 8:54 pm |
  9. Vietnam Veteran

    Its amazing how the under cover racist attempts to justify those bigits by saying Sen. Obama was in Rev. Wright's church for twenty years and Sen. McCann only knew these pastors recently, that's BS", he went after there endorsments, their past sermons was well known, the news media made him disavow them, too much press. I don't hear the under cover racist saying to the life long Catholics, they should leave their church because of all the pedophile priest and the millions in settlements paid to the victims. The double standard in america continues.

    May 24, 2008 at 8:29 pm |
  10. Mira's Auntie

    Illinois – Stop get a life. Where did you get your information You sound as crazy as the ministers! By the way are you a minister? Maybe not but you are crazy, no doubt.

    May 24, 2008 at 7:07 pm |
  11. Mira Auntie

    Stop it please, Give me a break. Lets move on neither of these men hold the same views as these ministers. Yes Obama stayed in the church for 20 years, yes Rev Wright was his spiritual advisor. But lets be real here, SPRITUAL ADVISOR isn't the same as LIFE ADVISOR. Rev Wright brought him back to God nothing else. 20 years 20 days what difference does it make, he didn't go to church every Sunday, so what if he knew the man had views that do not line up with his own. I have had family, friends, ministers, bosses etc. that I have know for more than 20 years and still embrace and call family, that have had views that are different than my own. But does that mean that I have to stop loving them or being around them simply because our views do not follow the same path.

    That is absolutely ridiculous! I love them now and I loveD them then and will continue to love them and tell them, YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR ARE A NUT, BUT I LOVE YOU ANYWAY!!

    May 24, 2008 at 7:00 pm |
  12. Kelly, PA

    It's apparent that a lot of people are not aware of what the Old Testament says about what Hagee spoke of. Perhaps they should read it and understand that his sermon was based on the book from which he teaches. There are many phophecies listed throughout the bible and some have occured during modern times. Although saying Hitler was one of several hunters the Jewish people encountered seems harsh, the same book says the Israelites are his chosen people. Perhaps, McCain doesn't know his bible to even understand that?

    May 24, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  13. jp

    the comparison should be the same ..regardless if obama attended rev. wright's church for 20 yrs or not...he explicitly stated that the rev wright of today is not the rev he met 20 yrs ago and his preaching has changed from 20 yrs ago...you idiots need to let the rev wright news story go. the media did its part and etched the rev wright story into the publics mind forever. not broadcasting any other sermons that wrght gave – that is a bias that has been shown. just ask the same question of hagee's and parsley's followers – do you think they have been influenced by the teaching and preaching of their pastors. sen mccain sought the endorsement of hagee. for the obama haters – HE WILL BE PRESIDENT despite your best efforts to try and destroy, castrate and hate him.

    May 24, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  14. Monty O'Toole

    For one thing. It is my opinion that believers in Jesus Christ ought not to be involved in politics...period. If you believe that God is sovreign, as I do...and you are a believer in the resurrected Christ, why are you going against Biblical principals? Read Romans 13. Sure...we can share an opinion and blog. But the bottom line is we ought to be about the Father's business. Spreading the "Good News"!!! Not putting our reputation on the line for some politician who will jump ship to make themselves appear righteous in an unrighteous world.
    All of these folks, Clinton...who panders to anyone who will listen, especially Roman Catholic's. McCain, who made a spectacle of John Hagee and Rod Parsley. Obama, who belongs to a cult.
    Friends we are in the Last, of the Last Days. We all know who is the ruler of the darkness of this world...Satan.
    He is the landlord of planet earth...but God own's it.
    Read some of the comments....people accusing God of atrocities because of the acts of sinners. I have news for you Rhonda. The Catholic Church is not the true church. It is an apostate church. I was raised in it and was a victim myself. Then Jesus found me and saved.
    me. So I would be careful about blaming God for the acts of sinners.
    And you "know "you're no saint. What are you going to say to God at the Great White Throne Judgement? Oh...Lord...I didn't believe because ot the acts of others...thay sinned worse than me.
    I live in Canada. I try not to let this election affect me...but it does because it's always on the news. Praise The Lord that soon...and very soon...we are going to see The King...The Lord Jesus Christ...even so,
    come Lord.

    May 24, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  15. Guinivere

    McCain's associations with religious nuts are not a problem because McCain's voters are also bigots.

    May 24, 2008 at 12:52 pm |
  16. Jen

    Let's see, Sen. Obama denounced the statements and it was not enough. He gave a speech and it was not enough. He explained his side and it was not enough. It went on for weeks about every hour of the day. We still hear it. I watch a great deal of the news. I have not heard the Hagee and Parsley situations. I know everyone sees what he or she want to see and sometimes the reason is for ratings, but Rev Wright was far bigger news without question. As I see it, we are more willing to berate Sen. Obama for things he said he had not heard and excuse Sen. McCain for seeking out pastors that said things we all were aware of. It's a double standard and will most likely, remain that way. That is life in America in particularly for minorities. We have different bars for different people and we spin situations to our liking. The louder voice usually has the last word. That’s why McCain is not called out as often or as loudly as Obama. That’s why “Cling” is more important that “Assignation”. We value who says it differently for each candidate. It is not fair, but it is what it is!

    May 24, 2008 at 12:24 pm |
  17. Steve

    Separation of Church and State. Let's keep these phoney preachers out of politics.

    May 24, 2008 at 11:40 am |
  18. Kent, Illinois

    Hey, McCain sought his endorsement for over a year. If he didn't check him out first that is his poor judgement. When they pull out Wright again they can pull out this crack pot as well.

    May 24, 2008 at 8:46 am |
  19. Pat M

    Rhonda maybe you should Google Obama Wood Fund. You will find there that Farrankan known Anti-Israel Semetic, Ayers former Terrorist, Kalidi Rashid, his wife Director and both supporters of a well known Palestian Group who authorized two grants totalling 75 thou to the same and all donated to Obama's Senator's Campaign.
    Does this make Obama unfit for President? Does this imply that his association with Rev. Wright maybe because he shares the same views as his Rev. and these other supporters?

    May 24, 2008 at 8:11 am |
  20. Fred Chicago

    McCain is far worse. He sought out these two pastors. Hagee spews his garbage everyday on cable television. There are numerous examples of his venom. People who try to sum up Wright because of a 45 second loop played over and over are truly narrow minded. I live in Chicago and know people who attend Wright's church. The one piece of footage is not reflective of his entire belief system as many of HRC supporters WANT to believe. He has done incredible work in his community and speaks very positively about God's love. If you even bothered to watch Bill Moyer's interview where they actually played a few minutes of the sermon, you would better understand the context of what he was saying. Secondly, the media and HRC brought Wright into this campaign, not Obama. McCain brought these two pastors into the campaign for purely political purposes. Rhonda is right. If you Google as she suggests you will see how deceptive Hillary is. If you go to you tube and search Real McCain, there are videos which show interviews of him consistently saying one thing and in another interview, saying the exact opposite.
    Looking at HRC supporters posts, seems to show that they are so passionate that they are unwilling to even look at facts that show what they want to believe is false. Too much information out here to remain ignorant.

    May 24, 2008 at 4:03 am |
  21. James Gillian

    The problem with John Hagee and other evangelicals is that their doctrine and beliefs that the Jewish people are God's chosen people is off and not accurate Biblically, Prophetically and Historically they are simply not that at all. The False State of IS-IT-REAL that was established in 1948 is not at all the fulfillment of the return of God's people back to the Land. ISRAEL is Zionist State that was set up by the Rothchilds and other secret societies along with British and The United States. The True Biblical Israelites of the Bible are the so-called Blacks, Negroes, Coloreds, African Americans ect... that you brought over here in the slave trade this can be proven. But you won't give us a chance on your broadcast to prove this, because you have a Zionist agenda and are afraid of the truth.

    May 24, 2008 at 2:47 am |
  22. Dianne

    You know folks, this should be a glaring flag for everyone to remember why our founding fathers set up our government to separate state and church. You could not find any denominations in the world who agree completely on everything. Religion has done more to split apart society than any other cause or idea. It's time for the politicians to go back to the original intent of our country – leave the religion in the church – keep it out of politics!

    May 24, 2008 at 2:36 am |
  23. Gloria Cummings

    First of all, If the system is base on separating Church from state, why did Mcain involve Pastor John Hagee? Let me start by saying that I really love Pastor Hagee. America needs to study her genesis, this Country was founded under a Christian principal. Today, because of this so-called freedom, Americans have gone astray and are leading their future generations into bondage & destrutions. If this nation could produce ten Pastors like Pastor John Hagee, it will be the greatest nation ever. Until than, No one should rise up in judgement of this great man of God. Pastor Hagee is doing alot of great things for the nation of Israel. Therefore, he should be thanks, and not criticize. There's a saying: if you can't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. A hint to the wise is quiet sufficient.

    May 24, 2008 at 2:25 am |
  24. Allana

    My pastor and I do not agree on every little thing, in fact we do not agree on quite a bit, but what we do agree on is what brings us together, our belief in our religion and that is what my pastor is for. We both believe in the bible, but just because he likes apple pie doesn't mean I have to also.
    McCain wanted to use religion to boost his image for votes, Obama actually went to church because that is how he practices his religion, so yeah there is a difference.

    May 24, 2008 at 1:42 am |
  25. shogun


    I am writing on your report of Pastor Hagee on CNN. Your report is not balanced as your commentors include Tony Perkins who basically an apologist for the religious right. He is a graduate of Liberty University founded by Jerry Falwell and is closely affiliated with Dobson, who shares the same theological and political views of Hagee. If you have a fundamentalist apologist in your panel, you should invite a representative from a liberal side as well.


    May 24, 2008 at 1:42 am |
  26. Harriet

    The two situations are parallel. What John Hagee said was more inflammatory than what Rev Wright said. I did not see these soundbites of John Hagee on the television 24/7, literally!!! Moreover, the fact that Hagee was not McCain's pastor or spiritual advisor is no excuse. He sought after Hagee 's endorsement for over a year. He met with Hagee, had meals with Hagee, and spoke highly of Hagee and his wife July, 2007. He had to have known of Hagee's controversial statements. But he did not care because he wanted the backing of the Evangelical flock, which is a very strong and faithful voting block of the religious right. In fact, most republican presidential candidates have sought after the Evangelical pastors' endorsement including Pat Robinson, the late Jerry Falwell, and Rod Parsley.
    With their endorsements, they were assured of the presidency. Moreover, Cnn should start delving into the past sermons of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robinson, and Rod Parsley, just as they did to Rev. Wright. The media assassinated the character of Rev. Wright and Senator Obama, but they have glossed over the inflammatory and despicable comments of John Hagee and Rod Parsley.

    John McCain is suppose to be an experienced candidate who exercises good judgement. His judgement concerning Pastor Hagee and Rod Parsley is questionable to say the least.

    Tony Perkins or Parker, a guest on 360 on 5/23 ,did not denounce Pastor Hagee's inflammatory comments but gave an unacceptable rationale. On the other hand, I have seen him on past shows crucifying Rev Wright and Senator Obama. That is very, very unfair and bias.

    May 24, 2008 at 1:28 am |
  27. B Downs

    I think Rev. Hagee's statements are very inflammatory. To think that
    God would allow the Holocaust to happen so the Jews would return to Israel is just crazy. Mccain may not have attended his church, but
    his statements are still offensive.

    May 24, 2008 at 1:28 am |
  28. joycelyn VI

    I've listened to Pastor Hagee's statement and as an evangelical who believes as Pastor Hagee I do not see a problem with his statement. The Holy Scriptures is a prophetic book and should be interpreted as such. If you have'nt studdied the Bible in depth you cannot possible understand or interpret it. Everything Pastor Hagee preaches, like or not, is from the Bible. I must say the same thing for Pastor Rod Parsley. Personally, I think that John McCain used them for political gain. I am not surprised that it blew up in his face. He was not honest in his dealings. He is weak and buckles under LITTLE pressure. What will he do under REAL pressure. I think that he will unplug the phone for the 3:00am call. John McCain lacks INTEGRITY. He does'nt know what he believes. How can he expect the nation to believe in him. Find another line of work Mr. Flip-Flop!!!!.

    May 24, 2008 at 12:32 am |
  29. V. Cooper

    The medias are the ones who are blowing what Pastor Hagee’s stated out of proportion, because it would seem that the people in the medias do not read the bible at all, especially the New Testament. I believe as well that some Jews are too sensitive, they believe that every time a non Jew say something they do not like or understand, then that person must be “anti Semitic,” that is so wrong. I am a Christian who believe that the men who crucified the Christ I worship were Jews, does that mean every Jew is responsible, or that gives me the right to be anti-Semitic, off course not. After all Jesus Christ himself was a Jew, according to my bible, and no-where in the bible state that anyone should hate Jews. The CANDIDATES and what they say should be the people's concern.

    May 24, 2008 at 12:26 am |
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