On McCain and Hagee

On McCain and Hagee March 13, 2008

Given the level of interest here at Vox Nova regarding Rev. John Hagee’s controversial endorsement of Senator John McCain, I thought I would republish a post of mine from Southern Appeal and RedState here at Vox Nova, which y’all can read below the fold.

I am not going to mince words. I don’t care for John Hagee, the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. I realize this may offend some evangelical readers, but that’s certainly not my intent; and I hope they will, at the very least, understand why a faithful Catholic might take offense at someone referring to his beloved Church as “the Great Whore,” an “apostate church,” the “anti-Christ,” and a “false cult system” (see also, this video of Hagee spewing his anti-Catholic nonsense).

So, needless to say, I wasn’t exactly thrilled when Senator John McCain, who I strongly support, announced that he was “very honored” by Hagee’s endorsement. It disturbed me greatly when Governor Huckabee associated himself with Hagee by speaking to his Church, and it bothered me as much, if not more, when McCain publicly embraced this joker.

That having been said, let’s consider the facts. Senator McCain strongly repudiated Hagee’s anti-Catholic views, not once, but twice:

We’ve had a dignified campaign, and I repudiate any comments that are made, including Pastor Hagee’s, if they are anti-Catholic or offensive to Catholics. I sent two of my children to Catholic school. I categorically reject and repudiate any statement that was made that was anti-Catholic, both in intent and nature. I categorically reject it, and I repudiate it. And we can’t have that in this campaign. We’re trying to unite the country. We’re uniting the country, not dividing it.

Now, that may not be good enough for the dems, but I think it is a damn fine statement by the good senator–certainly much more forceful than Governor Huckabee’s comments when he was confronted about Hagee’s views.

To be sure, I would rather McCain completely disassociate himself from Hagee, but his failure to do so (no doubt as a matter of political prudence) is not nearly enough for me to sit out an election that may, among other things, decide who gets to fill as many as three Supreme Court vacancies in the next four years. I mean, seriously, do the dems really believe that faithful Catholics are just going to sit on the sidelines this November because one of McCain’s high-profile supporters is a bigoted twit? Do they honestly think that this sort of thing matters more than Senator Obama’s unwillingness to support legislation designed to provide basic medical care to babies who survive botched abortions?

The bottom line is this: On the non-negotiable teachings of the Catholic Church, Senator McCain is the clear choice for faithful Catholics (even with his deeply troubling support of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research). And no amount of jeering by dems over Hagee’s endorsement of McCain is going to change this fact. Besides, I would think Obama and Clinton supporters have plenty of other things to be concerned about.

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