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McCain backer John Hagee tempers Hurricane Katrina comments

Pastor John Hagee has revised his view of God's wrath, and chances are John McCain couldn't be happier.

Without fanfare, in an e-mail sent the latter part of Friday, Hagee backed off his assertion that Televanglist John Hagee has endorsed Republican presidential candidate John McCain of Arizona Hurricane Katrina was the Almighty's punishment of New Orleans because it had planned to host a gay pride parade.

Hagee's history of anti-Catholic statements already has made his high-profile endorsement of McCain a mixed blessing. And much to the McCain camp's chagrin, Hagee earlier this week reiterated his opinion that God targeted New Orleans -- remarks coming as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee geared up for a campaign stop in the still-recovering city.

A McCain spokesman quickly stressed that the candidate rejected such statements. And then Hagee, in the e-mail billed as an "official statement" from the influential televangelist, did so, as well. He wrote:

"As a believing Christian, I see the hand of God in everything that happens here on earth, both the blessings and the curses.  But ultimately neither I nor any other person can know the mind of God concerning Hurricane Katrina. I should not have suggested otherwise.  No matter what the cause of the storm, my heart goes out to all who suffered in this terrible tragedy.  There but for the grace of God go any one of us."

That's quite a different opinion ...

than he publicly expressed in September, 2006. During an interview with NPR, he said the devastating storm "was, in fact, the judgment of God against ... New Orleans.”

The city, he continued, "had a level of sin that was offensive to God” because “there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came.”

On Tuesday, Hagee refused to disavow those comments. He told talk radio show host Dennis Prager, "What happened in New Orleans looked like the curse of God... . It was a city that was planning a sinful conduct.''

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: Ken Hively/L. A. Times

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Fascinating that the supposedly liberal media is still going gangbusters the Rev. Wright dustup, while the discussion of Hagee and his connection to McCain is largely confined to a few corners of the blogosphere. I'd love to see Faux News and CNN and the rest of the network blowhards run hourly updates about Hagee's hate speech and demand that McCain denounce him... but then, as long as I'm living in Fantasyland, I'd also like a pony.

Why not bring Rod Parsley into the mix while you're at it? He's supposed to be McCain's "spiritual advisor".

Although I don't agree with McCain's pastor, what I find appalling is his sacrifing his beliefs for McCain. He conveniently revises his stance because one of his flock is running for president. That is hypocrsy in the house of God.

(Just for the record, he is not McCain's pastor. He offered his endorsement unsolcited. McCain was asked to comment.)

of course, this exegetical religious abstinence that might be expected to come very painful to hagee himself, and more so to many of his proud followers, would be understood by most of them as a temporary measure clearly defined by the constraints imposed by what is understood as the 'presidential endorsement.' after all, where's the fun in extrapolating on 'human, all too human' actions of divine dimensions once you're to refrain from attributing to them the 'godly, all too godly' (or vice versa) - intentions, reasoning, and emotional highs and lows and temptations and catches and sometimes (albeit unfailing) failures to go along with them? a self inflicted blow where it hurts most; all for the sake of the 'higher glory.' but like the hurricane, it is expected to pass, and there might even be mercy and relief and rich remuneration after all the hardship.

Hurricanes are caused by weather and wind conditions right here on little old Earth. They are not caused by supreme beings, if any.

Why is it that a respected newspaper can discuss nutball religious theories about the awful destruction of New Orleans without mentioning that none of the religious interpretations of the disaster have any basis in fact? Shouldn't you at least include one simple paragraph on the causes of hurricanes?

Here here on SC's post:

SC | April 26, 2008 at 01:05 AM

Yeah, where's all the coverage on this Hagee guy?! He's clearly a radical right-wing nutcase, another holier than thou who thinks he knows God and we don't. Why do so many Americans believe the nonsense that another person, Hagee, the Pope, Bush, can talk to God, or understand God better than the rest of us?! What a bunch of fools and suckers! Get real! NOBODY knows God, so deal with it and get over it! Hagee is a hate minded bigot and McCain accepted his endorsement!

So, almost two years after making his original statement, he reiterates it on the Prager show.

But a few days later it suddenly dawns on Hagee what a hateful, disgusting and stupid remark it was.

It's a miracle!

John Hagee has backtracked on the statement that is least likely to offend his base. Will he clarify or repudiate his statements that Catholics are satanic and part of an apostate Church, or that Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves?

Hagee is another fundie idiot. He should be denounced. Come on, media! Stop talking about Wright & go after Hagee!

WHo cares what this hate filled piece of trash preacher says. He hates the Catholic religion. And John McCain embraces his support. Why doesn't the press ask McCain if he too hates the Catholic religion. What is so sick and twisted is how McCain pimps to get the right-wing trash vote, yet no one calls out Lumpy on this. This is worse than the Rev. Wright incident since Lumpy McCain has in effect agreed with Hagee due to the fact he refused to disavow Hagee's endorsement. ON the other hand Obama disavowed the endorsement. But I am not surprised on this. Lets face it, if you walk into most right wing churches on Sundayyou will likely hear this hate filled homophobic and anti Catholic rheoric spewed by the "good" preachers.

Pastor John C. Hagee was my pastor for many years while I lived in San Antonio, TX during the 90s and I strongly supported him then and I continue to strongly support him now. He's human and may not always be correct, but he preaches the Bible in a time when many people don't want to preach, and for that I respect and admire him. God bless Pastor Hagee and God bless his ministry.

In a city, where billions in federali dollars were pumped into in order to stave off the great loss which prevailed I find it odd that a large segment of New Orleans has seen in known history, yet redevelopment of affordable housing, for blacks is either nill or downright slow, but vast oil discoveries in that region also finds blacks of this fair city with the self same connotation?

Howbeit that areas of New Orleans where blacks lived were destroyed, yet the entire French Quarter, where gays are well populated, they danced either during or after hurricane Katrina?

It seems that no one cares about the plight, of blacks in New Orleans enough to stop the practice of stealing their homes, and forcing them into dogish behavior in order for them to survive, as human beings, in America!

When are these idiots going to admit that the only reason their religion says anything about homosexuality is because the homophobic chauvinistic fools who wrote the Bible didn't like the idea of it. And funny thing: God gives us free will then wipes out two cities for not worshiping him and kills the majority of the poor (i note, the poor: not the rich, safe in their ivory towers, apparently buying their way out of this God's wrath) of New Orleans for planning a gay pride event, et cetera et cetera: the way i figure it, if God does even exist, he's a complete b*****d and I'd sooner burn in Hell forever then condone his cruelty. At least I'd have the moral high ground over the sadistic bully. But see - if God is the all forgiving nice guy they say he is, then Hagee's talking rubbish. Either way the fool's either saying God's evil and cruel, or he's making it up as another homophobe using religion to buy an excuse for his petty views. It's a sad world sometimes.

In this day and age, its hard to believe anyone would give the time of day to someone who would say something so silly as God is punishing a New Orleans for hosting a gay pride parade. If this were true, how many cities would have already been wiped off the map?

Hagee was right and still is...And so God says that as in the last days it wil be like it was in the days Noah,....and so it is! It's just that people in general don't want to hear the truth, so their itchy little ears are always trying to put God aside...just Like the Lord Says!! That's how the christian knows it's the last days....
It dosen't matter if you believe it or not! it dosen't change the way it is..! So answer this? What are you goning to do when the scripture that says God will Proclaim His name among the fufilled? One day soon He's coming back, and it's sure going to tear up a lot of fools are without excuse!
Wise Up! Before it's too late!

Ok Redwolf, not McCains Pastor, however, he did officiate his marriage. Since you appear to have an inside loop into this evangelical neo-con, perhaps the next time your having counsel with him will you confirm if he still regards the Catholic faith as "The Great Whore". If not, he may want to fire off a priority email to Pope Benedict and express his sacred evangelical Christian change of heart. Now that would surely be the Godly thing to do don't ya think. Being the professed Christian Hagee espouses to be, I strongly feel in the interest of sound fellowship in bringing God's flock closer together he should invite the good Reverend Wright as a guest Pastor to conduct Sunday worship services at his Cornerstone Church. You can bet that would bring a big Amen to his congregation's ears, and who knows, they just might learn something they didn't want to hear. Like the truth....

I wonder how far we would be if there were no religion, no god? How many wars would have been averted? How many lives allowed to flourish, if there were no god or religion...I wonder.

can't unring a bell
can't put the bullet back in the gun
such bigotry is rampant among evangelicals

"my heart goes out to all who suffered in this terrible tragedy"

Except, of course, the gays.
For whom he has only the vilest of hate, in Jesus name.

Rev. Hagee's contention that there was a gay pride parade being held in New Orleans is incorrect, and the press has continued to repeat the error. The gay event that was planned was the annual Southern Decadence circuit party held every year in New Orleans on Labor Day weekend.

Hallarious SC!

Why do I think God is able to handle a gay pride parade? It is funny when straights says stuff like that. It is like you all are so pure? Christians of all people should be the most humble if they really believe these Pastors BS. I remember this dude that protected a lady from being stoned to death once, after she was "caught in the act." The religious people were the one with the rocks.

God doesn't just hate gays in New Orleans. He has particular hatred for the fundagelicals and our troops when he slammed the hell out of Gulfport Mississppi.

Isn't it telling that a large number of churches were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, but not one of the gay bars in the French Quarter or Faubourg Marigny (the two predominantly gay neighborhoods). God must have poor aim.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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