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 Hagee has since said his words were taken out of context and has withdrawn his support for McCain because he is "tired of these baseless attacks and fear that they have become a distraction in what should be a national debate about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. Nate M

    Oh,Yeah!! The old double standard continues. As a pastor, I am REALLY tired of people who don't attend church (which seems obvious) commenting on the nature of the church. Let's clear up some things #1Pastors ARE NOT spiritual Mentors, we are preachers; the Bible says ..."study to show thyself approved a workman....) #2 Obama attended a church for 20yrs, how many times did he attend,per month?,per year? Anyone ever ask that question? Let's keep it simple, people DON"T ATTEND church because of pastors..they attend church because of GOD and the fellowship in the body of Christ...#3 Part of the responsilbilty of a pastor, is to marry folks, that's what Pastors do, I marry folk all the time who are not members of my church...so do judges #4 Giving money to a church is a command of God..."Bring ye all the tithes to the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house..."#5 My views and Gods' word are not the same thing, and I pray to God my congregation knows the difference. Hagee, Parsley, Wright, it really doesn't matter, its a free country..."he who is without sin, cast the first stone....If the media didn't play these things in the 24hour loop for days at a time, none of you would even care! Maybe if CNN got some people on that knew how the church functions, a lot of these comments would not be needed

    May 24, 2008 at 12:24 am |
  2. deb in az

    what a joke cnn.........are you going to pound this one around for the next month or so? look i dont agree with some of the statements of hagee, and you know the republicans like him to endorse the republican party nominee.......but on the other hand i really dont believe this pastor is like good old rev wright........we all know that rev wright is a racist and a bigot........this is why bho will lose the white house........you can wish rev wright away, but he is not going anywhere......next time you take an exit poll about if race had anything to do with your vote i would suggest that you poll every race creed and color........you are the ones that are suggesting that race is a big factor in the way people vote which for the most part is bs.....i dont support john mccain but please you folks over there cannot hold a candle to this man......he has served this country for so many years and has done a good job.......compare records of bho and sen mccain and then make that a news program........

    May 24, 2008 at 12:11 am |
  3. Gary Chandler in Canada

    sorry I am very sorry , i could not get off the floor from laughing...
    started to think of the nasty campaigns that the Reds might run...
    Okay here is one for the Blues..
    Parsley,, rantingingly "' America created to destroy Islam """
    recorded Clip of McCain "" you should speak for my campaign ""
    Hagee (still believes!) "Catholicism is the whore of the Bible "\
    McCain (yet to denounce) "you are a Spiritual Guide """
    Hagee """ Katrina was God's punishment for a gay parade "
    McCain " you are a great American leader "
    okay okay, so he had now denounced them, but it was 3 PM not 3 AM when he 'decided', against all good advice to chase them!
    The statements and beliefs of these 'religious' men were already on UTube when McCain slavored after them.

    May 23, 2008 at 11:57 pm |
  4. Kay

    John McCain only said that he was not a member of Pastor John Hagee's church or ever attended Pastor Hagee's church; however, Pastor Hagee' weekly services are watched faithfully my millions of people {internationally}....and those same viewers are impacted as much {and perhaps more.....in some cases} than individuals who actually attend their own local churches.

    More relevant questions [for John McCain] would be "Have you ever watched Pastor John Hagee's or Pastor Rod Parsley's services on television? If so, for how long, i.e., for how many years?" I think that you would be surprised at John McCain's answer....if he were to answer truthfully.

    Multiplied thousands of believers watch these Christian services {on TV}... and many consider these TV pastors...their own unofficial pastor.

    The fact that John McCain refered to John Hagee and his wife as friends tells me t hat John McCain has a thorough knowledge of Pastor John Hagee's ministry and his Biblical teachings.

    I must admit, that when I first heard that John McCain respected Pastor Hagee and Pastor Parsley....and was endorsed by them, I was very impressed with John McCain. I then believed that John McCain was a Christian who believed the Bible.... and would not compromise that Christian belief in Biblical teachings.

    With John McCain's "caving in" to political pressure, I believe that he showed poor judgement , a tendency to compromise when pressured to do so by politicians, the media, or the public. How weak is that !

    I would also like to find out why John McCain's personal pastor has not publically endorsed him and why John McCain did not seek out his pastor's endorsement. Why would he go to another denominational pastor to seek political endorsement.....if he {John McCain} did not know what that church was teaching. I would have thought that John McCain's "good judgement" would have compelled him to check out {vet} any pastor from whom John McCain was seeking an endorsement. Hmmmmmmm,

    May 23, 2008 at 11:50 pm |
  5. Karwn

    Sunday mornings at 11 am is the most segregated time of the week. Black and White ministers are preaching to their congregations what the followers are willing to hear. Katrina had nothing to do with anything going on in the Bible.

    May 23, 2008 at 11:42 pm |
  6. Michael

    I can't help but think that McCain's "pastor problem" is far worse than Obama's. Obama had a relationship with Wright that brought him to God and was sincere. McCain used the pastors to further his political ambitions. This is cynical and dishonest and the noise about the offensive comments have been out for a very long time, he must have not cared about Catholics or the people of New Orleans. Not politically important enough for McCain.

    May 23, 2008 at 11:41 pm |
  7. wygenia

    I was wondering how long it would take before someone brought up Pastor Hagee and Parsley. With all the hype over Rev. Wright it seem that the media tried to destroy Senator Obama on Rev. Wright's words and all the while I was saying that Hagee and Parsley both have made similiar statements. Now that it has come to surface you have people like your guest/comentator Tony Perkins saying it is like apples and oranges. That is sad, it sounds like you have a misconception of what belonging to a church means we don't go to church to serve the pastor but to serve God. Senator Obama is his own person he has a mind of his own to make his own conclusions about what is going on here in the United States. What Rev. Wright said is obvious to me and I am not a member of his church and I do believe it is obvious to many others but many are just afraid to speak the truth. Maybe he should have used different words but the truth is the truth and yes sometimes the truth hurts because it is the hardest thing to face.

    May 23, 2008 at 11:38 pm |
  8. Matthew

    There is nothing in Barack Obama's stated views that reflects any of the sentiments or ideas expressed in Reverend Wright's most controversial statements.

    The common thread with Hagee and Parsley is the sincere belief that World War III in the Middle East is the beginning of the Rapture as described in the Bible's Book of Revelations. This belief was shared by the conservative think tanks that helped craft Bush's Iraq "strategy". McCain's posture of saber rattling towards Iran is completely consistent with the views of these pastors even if, for him, this seems to be less about religion and more about a multi-generational ethos within the McCain family towards military colonialism.

    People seem to be afraid that Barack Obama might turn out to be a secret radical Muslim. Both Hillary Clinton and John McCain have capitalized on those fears in ways that are dishonorable even within the relatively amoral context of American political campaigns. But, that's not what I'm afraid of.

    I'm afraid John McCain will start World War III.

    That's clearly what Hagee and Parsley are hoping for. I find that much more frightening and offensive than anything I've heard from Jeremiah Wright.

    John McCain actively sought the endorsement of Hagee, whose views are well known. The Fresh Air interview contains a lot more frightening stuff about his views on the Middle East, Islam, and "God's Foreign Policy". The media seem to have focused on his comments about Katrina from that interview which aired two years ago. While offensive, the Katrina comments are pretty much pedestrian right-wing fundamentalist gay-bashing / race-baiting. The comments on Islam and the Middle East are much more revealing of the kind of worldview that McCain is comfortable with, especially since the same kinds of sentiments have been expressed by McCain's official "spiritual adviser", Parsley. This view of the world as being on the verge of a Biblical Armageddon is what terrifies me about the right, George Bush, Dick Cheney, and John McCain.

    May 23, 2008 at 11:38 pm |
  9. Gary Chandler in Canada

    It didn't take McCain 20 years of church attendance to go live and public with statements that these nut case twisters of biblical doctrine and prophesy are "great American leaders' "Spiritual guiding lights" and 'men who should speak for his campaign"
    Flip over to UTube and search. Watch before you reply. McCain said these things on stage and in public! You WONT find Obama saying Wright 'should do the speaking'!!!
    20 years or 20 minutes,, what's the difference?, McCain fell head over for these goof balls!

    May 23, 2008 at 11:37 pm |
  10. Daniel in Loganville, GA

    While Sen Mccain did not attend their church he did seek their endorcement with that said neither he nor Sen Obama share the views of these men

    May 23, 2008 at 11:37 pm |
  11. Rhonda

    Gary Chandler in Canada-–GREAT post!!!

    May 23, 2008 at 11:31 pm |
  12. Rhonda


    you better check your facts–google Clinton and Rezko–you find that he donated to Hillary's campaign

    Ayers–Bill Clinton pardoned two of Ayers associates when he left office. These two associates murdered police officers

    Google Clinton and Peter Paul– a trial set to begin very soon involving The Clinton's.

    Google Clinton and the China connection

    I think if you will research you will find Clinton to be unfit for the Presidency!!!

    May 23, 2008 at 11:22 pm |
  13. Gary Chandler in Canada

    First we had Wright saying 911 was God's punishment, then Hagee saying Katrina was god's punishment. Have you heard the latest?
    McCain's pastor Dan Yeary believes God told Noah to build an ark before punishment was deleivered!
    (removing tongue from cheek now)
    McCain's recent political strategizing has managed to disenfranchise Catholics, Jews, Evangelicals, and gays, while endearing himself to Muslims. How you might ask?
    By denouncing Parsley's belief that American was created to destroy Islam, they have to like McCain.
    He never announced Hagee's belief that Katrina was to punish gays, and he never denounced the Catholicism is a whore theory.
    Hagee's theory that God used Hitler to fulfill a prophesy that returned them to Israel is actually accepted by the Jews; so McCain chose the 'wrong' Hagee theory in his denunciation. He should have used the previous two.
    By the way, in answer to Hagee and Parsley not being the same as Wright, you are correct. They are WORSE for MCCain.
    Or, try to find a UTube of Obama saying what McCain says about Parsley and Hagee. QUOTES >> 'great American leaders' 'spiritual guides' and 'should speak for my campaign'.
    These McCain comments are for public viewing on the Internet; but you CANNOT find Obama making statements about Wright like that, and you cannot find Obama CHASING political support of Wright, like McCain, stupidly, did with his nut cases.

    May 23, 2008 at 11:21 pm |
  14. Aubrey

    The point is, they were both using these preachers for political gain. Therefore, if Obama is guilty then so is McCain. There is a direct contrast between the two. So lets play fair and say this issue is equal. Now let's move on to the real issues: War, Economy, High Gas Prices, etc... That's all that matters to me. I could care less about where they go to church.

    May 23, 2008 at 11:14 pm |
  15. Rhonda

    Illinois–prove what you say or it will go down as a very vicious lie!!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  16. Rhonda

    I might also add that few people attend church every Sunday–and Obama's travel records prove he was not in church when the controversial sermons were made.....and I am sure that Wright did not preach the same thing week after week after week.......and another point is that there are people that sit in churches week after week after week and they commit adultery, murder, rape etc.. Look at the Catholic priest–they ARE the church and many of them molested young boys......so sitting in church does not guarantee that what they hear in church is what they practice....In fact in our society today it is pretty clear that very few people pay attention in church!!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 at 11:09 pm |
  17. lin

    I think this issue says more about McCain; he sought the endorsement and he got them now he does not want it.
    He is showing the American people his true colors its not something he has not done before. Sit and eat at Christian's tables then stab them in the back.
    I say McCain is even worst than Jeremiah what's his name.

    May 23, 2008 at 11:06 pm |
  18. Rhonda

    McCain SOUGHT Hagee's endorsement very intensely!! If he had good judgement he would have vetted him before seeking his endorsement. Two pastors and five staff members gone due to being lobbyist and one higher up advisor quitting because he won't campaign against Obama shows that McCain has no business being in charge of the White House. He can't pick a campaign staff and that concerns me!!!

    May 23, 2008 at 11:03 pm |
  19. Redphilly

    You could say that because Obama spent 20 years with Rev. Wright meant he shared his views if he had given us any reason to think this. He has proven time and time again that he is a person for all the people. He goes out daily campaigning to reassure voters. Not only that, people keep saying Rev. Wright is unpatriotic. Rev. Wright loves this country. What he hates, as do all African-Americans in this country, are racists and their actions. Is he supposed to say, "Make me a slave, keep me a second class citizen, but expect me to act like stepandfetchit and like it!"? The media can and will spin the pastors deal the way they want it to sound. But what's good for the gander (Obama) is good for the... gander (McCain).

    May 23, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  20. Joy in Seattle

    It is expected that the Republican nominee for President cozy up to the Evangelical leaders. It would not matter who the nominee was. Anyone in the Republican party who ever wants to be President one day must stay on good terms with the extreme religious right.

    This is a flaw in the system, not with John McCain. It's a problem because it forces the nominee to engage in a balancing act. If he offends the religious leaders, he will lose social conservative support. If he cozies up to them, he offends people like me. I'm a fiscal conservative who is an atheist.

    In many ways this very discussion points out a dangerous compromise in the republican party. The social, religious conservatives don't really get a long with the small government, fiscal conservatives.

    Unfortunately, John McCain has to find a way to make both of us happy.

    May 23, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  21. PDF

    I would love for the day to come where media pundits and commentators believe that Christians have a mind of their own and do NOT let his/her pastor unduly influence him/her in their preference for presidential candidates!

    As a pastor of a non-denominatial church in the midwest, I DO NOT ever expect any person to be influenced by the words that I speak (which, by the way are the very words that God gives me) from the pulpit.

    I believe that many evangelical Christians (and I hope many Americans) do not allow the personal foibles of their pastor/priest/rabbi influence who they are as people and who they should vote for - it should be a matter of personal conscience!!!

    May 23, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  22. Lesley Morrison

    This presidential election has proven to be more about religion than politics. Pastor Hagee's comments are completely unintelligible, and for this reason, among many others, American politics should focus more on improving the economical, social, and cultural arenas of human life rather than bicker about clearly insubstantial religious views. I would personally be embarrassed to be offered an endorsement from such a religious leader as Hagee, but I am delighted that Anderson (and crew) bring such issues to light.

    May 23, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  23. Sally, Florida

    I thought there was separation between church and state. Don't see this hurting McCain at all. Different than Obama/Rev Wright relationship which was over 20 years and a very personal/emotionally tied relationship.

    May 23, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  24. Olivia

    McCain will associate with anyone or will do anything to win. This shows his personality, what he is willing to do now against his real beliefs. How can we trust somebody like that? At least Obama was sincere and faced the problem like a man. McCain is just using those endorsements to win votes now, but they really don't mean anything to him. He is just desperate for votes.

    May 23, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  25. Kathryn

    To conflate the two situations is absurd. McCain merely was endorsed by these ridiculous men he did not call them his "mentor" he did not name a book after him nor did he sit in the pew and listen to his vitriol or donate money in large amounts to his congregation. It isyet another way the media is trying to cover for Obama. Obama believes in a RACIST belief system, Black Liberation Theology. He admired Wright, according to his own words. His trying to make the situation with McCain and Parsley and Hagee is entirely different. Hagee and Parsley are also despicable men, but he did NOT have a close personal relationship with him and learn at his knee like Barack did with Wright. Barack's associations with Wright, Rezco, Ayers and Dohrn render him UNFIT for the Presidency. Judging Barack by the content of his character you come away seeing that he is not the right man for the incredible job of being President. It is NOT about his RACE though the media constantly paints it that way.

    The media is using Hillary trying to draw a parallel between other candidates that were running into June with nary a complaint from the media and you take that and try to make it about something sinister. Once again, you show us who you are. It is truly disgusting.

    May 23, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  26. TJ

    I dont understand what makes this different than Wright. Okay, Wright was Obama's pastor, but Hagee and Parsley are Klans members that have been friends with McCain for your years. I don't think membership plays a large roll because most of these types of remarks and behaviors take place at the good ole boys meeting and conversation. It's amazing the racial priority that is taken on many of the issues that are evolving.

    May 23, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  27. Annie Kate

    I don't think you can compare McCain's pastor problems with Obama's. McCain only received the pastor's political endorsement. Obama spent 20 years in Reverend Wright's church, calling him a mentor and a close family friend and extolling the influence Wright had on his life. Having described their relationship in those terms, it is understandable for people too be concerned that Obama may share some of the more outlandish beliefs Wright mentioned in his sermons.

    Endorsements seem to be more trouble than help in this election.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 23, 2008 at 9:19 pm |
  28. Matt

    Let me guess, CNN is going to try to spin this as a rev. wright equilvalent? You're grasping.

    May 23, 2008 at 9:10 pm |
  29. Mari, Salt Lake City

    Splitting hairs is right. Good grief! Hagee is a hate-monger and I am still wondering why CNN has not dug up some of Hagee's sermons and put them on TV until we are just sick and tired?????????

    Hagee's comments do not represent the views of average Evangelicals, nor do the comments of Wright represent the views of the average African-American. I am fair enough and open minded enough to be DISGUSTED by Hagee WITHOUT blaming McCain for his views.

    Some will say, well McCain was not a member of his church! No, BUT he DID seek Hagee's support!

    The problem with our politics is that the media wants to sensationalize everything and the candidates 'think' they can ONLY win by destroying their opponents.

    I am hoping that Americans are just sick and tired of politics as usual. I believe that is why Sen. Obama has done so well, we are tired of destruction, lies, swift-boating.

    Warning to Republicans: try to destroy Sen. Obama with your hateful-fear-mongering ads and you will see people turn against you!

    May 23, 2008 at 7:55 pm |
  30. Mike in NYC

    He actually revised Christian dogma to accommodate Jews.

    The NT is clear that belief in Christ is necessary for salvation. No exceptions are made. So, according to Christian doctrine, Jews must accept Christ as their savior, or they will not enter heaven.

    Today, this will obviously lead to political, um, "difficulties." So Hagee, being the arch-Zionist that he is, has graciously made an exception for Jews. He does this by saying that Christ did not come as the Messiah, so it's not necessary to believe in him to achieve salvation.

    In other words - to accommodate Jews, he stopped being a Christian.

    Quite a sacrifice, isn't it? A little appreciation is in order, wouldn't you say?

    May 23, 2008 at 7:45 pm |
  31. Mary

    No way could those pastors who support McCain be compared to the very close mentoring relationship of Obama and Rev. Wright for 20 years. McCain did not belong or attend the church of these two pastors. Somebody is just trying to smear McCain knowing that over 50% of Americans believe that Rev. Wright and Senator Obama have the same basic views. Obama will never be able to overcome those 20 years of a close relationship and he should stop trying and just tell the truth.

    May 23, 2008 at 7:25 pm |
  32. Larry

    Did Obama accept the endorsemets of controversial religious luminaries Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton; now there's quite a history in those two.

    Who is Obama's current pastor, and what does he preach that is different from Wright? Since its open-season on pastors then its a fair question.

    May 23, 2008 at 7:08 pm |
  33. erico

    Everytime one of these so called 'ministers', men of God, bible stumping bafoons, put their foot in their mouth, my mind reverts to that televised moment of Swaggart crying the big croc. tears; after admiting contact with prostitutes and addiction to porno mags. These idiots have such repressed identities that it eventually overwhelms them. The onely one I admire and that stands wayyyy above them all is Billy Graham.

    May 23, 2008 at 7:05 pm |
  34. Dominic Haberman Hattiesburg, MS

    Neither one of these are truly issues for me. However, McCain is a seasoned veteran of politics, and this shows a real lack of credibility and judgement to seek out these men without doing the necessary background on these men. That is the real issue. Actions speak louder than words, and every action and statement by Barack Obama reflects that he does not agree with Rev. Wright's controversial statements. I was raised in the Roman Catholic church and attended every sunday for at least 15 years. If you want to suggest my values directly reflect my pastor's you know very little about intelligent free-thinking individuals. The recent child sex scandals and problems of the Roman Catholic church did not deflect from my parent's faith in the church and it's message, but they sure as Hell do not reflect the same values of those priests that did unforgiveable damage to the lives of those kids and their church. You have two men running for office that reflect good morals in their personal and public life. This sharing values crap is ridiculous. Stick to the issues that will affect this country when you elect your next president, and maybe our foreign policy and economy won't be in such a mess four years from the next November.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  35. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Who do I think is right?
    Parsley, sage rosmary and thyme~

    May 23, 2008 at 6:43 pm |
  36. rodney

    Regardless of which is worse, how come this Hagee story isn't plastered over all of the networks like Wright was? Looks like the media has decided for us which is worse!

    May 23, 2008 at 6:41 pm |
  37. Kristina

    The Pastors are alike in that both are going to come back in the general election, whether or not the candidates have anything to do with it. As well, McCain can argue he doesn't share the views of Hagee (and it's true) but he will pay for it because he did not just accept his endorsement, he actively sought it for over a year, even after his controversial comments about Muslims, Catholics and Katrina. Those comments have flown under the radar throughout this campaign and now the media has a reason to talk about them, causing McCain to have to defend himself, as he should.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  38. carmelita

    I find it very ironic that McCain gets a free ride on this issue. I think what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

    CNN and other news media only seem bias where Obama is concerned. I could not turn on my TV here in Toronto without been assaulted with the Reverened Wright issue for at leat 3 months.

    Everyone had to slice, dice and disect the issue and put it back together before it was deemed not news worthy anymore.

    But I quess that's the media for you they decide who to tear down and who to lift up.

    I wonder how the christian folks in America feel about McCain only coming to them for votes.

    I find it more offensive that all I am needed for is to cast votes and not much else.

    I quess that's why no one wants to hear about hope & change because we have gotten so used to the same old ways and are now immune to anthing new.


    May 23, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  39. Pat M

    To even suggest that these two scenerios have any correlation is more than a Long Shot! I don't support John McCain but I am fair.

    Obama described his Pastor as his Mentor, he dedicated one of his books to a Pastor Wright Sermon and he referred to his Pastor as being like family, like an old uncle. In addition, he was a member of his Pastor's church for twenty years! And also referred to his Pastor as being an Inspiration to him and as being the person who led him back to religion and God.

    McCain has never belonged to these Pastor's Church or Congregations. He has never associated with these Pastor's or had any personal friendship with them or did he mention they were instrumental in his life in way, shape or form.

    This is more than a Leap. Let's move one.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  40. Anders Scooper

    No, McCain didn't attend these churches regularly. Obama said Rev Wright was like an uncle and was his spiritual advisor. Obama attended his church for 20 years and probably was very close to him.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  41. Sharon from Indy

    Mixing politics and religion makes a bitter brew.

    What concerns me is when pastors or religious leaders use their dominance in a church or "movement" to promote an obvious political agenda and have "sold" themselves and maybe their church into an inappropriate spotlight.

    As a Christian, Christ was a Jew; He lived in the Middle East; He did not live abundantly; and He stayed as far away from politics as He could.

    Hagee, Parsley and Wright have nominated themselves to be the voice of God. Through the word of God answers will be given; not out the mouths of men.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  42. Lisa

    I wonder if McCain would have renounced their endorsements if this hadn't been made public? Afterall, he did wait until these comments became mainstream public knowledge (at least where Parsley is concerned). They served their purpose to help gain him the nomination. Their purpose is no longer needed so they can be discarded.

    I'm not sure which is worse - to stand by your friend and mentor and admit you don't always agree with him ... or to accept endorsement when convenient only to renounce them when they are no longer necessary. Which really does show the stronger character?

    May 23, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  43. Tee

    I have 30% in Obama right now, 20% in Hillary, and 2% in McCain. What's there to look foward to? BTW, it can change.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  44. Tee

    As hard as it is, there will never be a separation of church and state. I can't wait to get down to what's gonna be changed in our country. People are starving for change and not one person that is running has said what I'd like to hear. Beating around the bush is not going to get it with me. I'd like to hear a plan right now before I choose.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  45. Larry

    Yep, sitting in a church for 20 years listening to someone espouse ideas that neither you, nor any member of your family, agree with. I guess that there were no other churches around which were closer and presented family values of those in align with what he met growing up in Hawaii.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  46. Illinois

    IT's stupid to even try to compare the two. McCain can't stop people, even crazy people, from endorsing him. He was not a member of Hagee's church and did not have a personal relationship with the man.

    Obama, on the other hand, has a very personal relationship with Wright and sat in that racist/extremist church for 20 years. Obama paid Wright with $10M credit line recently just to keep him quiet so that more radical information about Obama doesn't leak out. Obama knew very well what he was getting into with Wright, knew exactly what this guy was all about, and likely shares many if not all of Wright's views.

    It's simply absurd to compare McCain's endorsement from Hagee to Obama's long-term relationship of 20 years to Wright. The DNC and Obama freaks are grasping at straws on this one.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  47. Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA

    Let's face it, the religious figureheads of all religions say incredibly stupid things. I don't for an instant believe Barack Obama and John McCain hold similar views to these religious leaders.

    Since there is a large Christian voting block in this country, national candidates feel they must appeal to these people who hold prejudices against other large voting blocks.

    Seeking the Presidency has become a balancing act, trying to keep onboard the many different factions which make up the sum total of voters.

    It's time for all the candidates to return to true campaigning, stating what they themselves believe in and what their plans are for governing this nation.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  48. Rob

    you're kidding?
    McCain sought out these people for political purposes to get the votes of their followers. the other was a pastor of the church he attended. McCain was looking for votes Obama a church.

    May 23, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  49. Michael

    I think this is a bogus story. Neither McCain nor Obama share the views of these pastors. I understand some make the argument that Obama attended the church for 20 years but, that does not mean he endorses those views. The same applies to senator McCain. What’s important is that we have a president who will help the American people with obtaining better pay, health care and ending this horrible war in Iraq.

    May 23, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  50. Cindy

    McCain being endorsed by Hagee and Parsley was no where near the same as Obama attending Wright's church for 20 years.

    McCain did not go Sunday after Sunday and hear the teachings of these men. John didn't even know these men much less sit and ingest their words. He took their endorsement only to get votes and there is nothing wrong with that.

    While Obama did sit and listen for a very long time and even called this pastor his mentor. To think that someone sitting in a church and listening to sermons all of those years and it not get into and effect him and make him who he is today is ludicrous!! Only people who have not attended church regularly would say that. Because they have no idea what going to church is about and what it truly means.

    May 23, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
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