During the debate in Cleveland, on Tuesday, there was a rather heated couple of minutes on whether Obama had denounced and rejected the 'radioactive' Louis Farrakahn loudly enough. Tim Russert, pestered Obama who eventually said "I both denounce and reject him".
Most Obama sympathizers like myself thought this was squabbling over pretty 'small beer', differences of parsing the English language. After all, they are politicians, not moral theologians and it seems to me almost all religions are full of historical bigotry. Lee Ward and I continued in the comment section. As I have said before, to paraphrase Freud, the worst arguments are over small differences.
Now to the other side of the political fence where are there are real large differences of non- denunciation and non- rejection, No parsing here and hence no argument, specifically of a uber-nut, right wing pastor whose vilification of muslims jews, gays, just about everyone left of Torquemada makes Farrakahn look like a ecumenical Judeo-Christian.
What has the response been by the GOP politicians to this man, John Hagee? As you would expect, it's been very warm and embracing.
And more to the point, John McCain has not only failed to reject John Hagee's endorsement ... which he sought, but yesterday, McCain said he was "very honored, and very proud to have Pastor John Hagee's support.'' See video of Hagee speaking/preaching on John McCain's website.
Firedoglake gives some background to Hagee...
Hagee was, if you'll remember, the guy who said that Hurricaine Katrina was God's revenge for a gay pride parade. He thinks war with Iran is essential so as to bring about Armageddon (when you can say bye-bye to the Jews). But as Glenn Greenwald says, Magee's a white Christian evangelical bigot, and therefore entitled to respect from the pundit class:
White evangelical Ministers are free to advocate American wars based on Biblical mandates, rant hatefully against Islam, and argue that natural disasters occur because God hates gay people. They are still fit for good company, an important and cherished part of our mainstream American political system. The entire GOP establishment is permitted actively to lavish them with praise and court their support without the slightest backlash or controversy. Both George Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sent formal greetings to the 2006 gathering of Hagee's group.
By contrast, black Muslim ministers like Farrakhan, or even black Christian ministers like Rev. Jeremiah Wright, are held with deep suspicion, even contempt. McCain is free to hug and praise the Rev. Hagees of the world, but Obama is required to prove over and over and over and over that he does not share the more extreme views of black Ministers.
How come Tim Russert -- in all the times he sits and chats with Lieberman, McCain and various high Bush officials -- never reads all of the inflammatory, disgusting, crazed "Rapture-is-Coming/ All-Jews-will-Burn/ Kill-All-Muslims/ Hurricanes-are-Punishment-against-Gays" pronouncements from John Hagee and James Dobson and Pat Robertson and demand that John McCain and George Bush and Joe Lieberman "denounce" those views and "reject" their support? What's the difference, exactly?
Update: Not to be outdone, Hagee has called the Catholic Church,'The Great Whore,' an 'apostate church,' the 'anti-Christ,' and a 'false cult system', only not on McCain's website.
Update: Late yesterday, McCain courageously, " I obviously do not" agree completely with Hagee, but still accept his support ' What will Tim Russert say? .... most assuredly nothing.
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