When does a “controversial” preacher become a public pariah? In Jeremiah Wright’s case, it was when he danced gleefully around the podium before dozens of cameras at the National Press Club. In John Hagee’s case, it was when an old audiotape seemed to suggest that he believed God had acquiesced in the Holocaust to hasten the ingathering of the Jews in the Holy Land.
Never mind that a semi-respectable theological case could be made for what Hagee said. The tape proved to be the last straw for his endorsee John McCain, and McCain’s disavowal of the pastor meant that one and all were free to pronounce Hagee beyond the pale of respectability.
Enter the revelation that McCain’s best senatorial buddy, the self-anointed “Independent Democrat” Joe Lieberman, was listed as featured speaker at the annual “summit” of Hagee’s fundraising support group, Christians United For Israel (CUFI). Such was the heat that even the notoriously unapologetic Lieberman, who at last year’s summit praised Hagee as a Moses-like “Man of God,”
felt compelled to vouchsafe a few words of criticism even as he declared his intention of sticking to his plan to headline the CUFI event. As in:
I believe that Pastor Hagee has made comments that are deeply unacceptable and hurtful. I also believe that a person should be judged on the entire span of his or her life’s works. Pastor Hagee has devoted much of his life to fighting anti-Semitism and building bridges between Christians and Jews.
Today, the Hartford Courant, a paper that takes on Connecticut’s powers that be with only the greatest circumspection, spoke unto the Senior Senator, saying, “Don’t Go, Joe.”
Considering the hateful statements Mr. Hagee has made and Mr. McCain’s repudiation of the pastor, it is odd and inappropriate for Mr. Lieberman to sit at Mr. Hagee’s table again this year. The pastor is clearly a bigot.
Take that, O Man of God.