Playing the Christian "Bass" with the skill of Cream-era Jack Bruce: Like his notorious predecessor in Arkansas, Mike Huckabee is a high-viscosity politician advised by Dick Morris. Like too many other Republicans, he's a Christian "pro-lifer" not unduly burdened by the death of thousands of children in needless foreign wars.
One is a former Southern Baptist Pastor, the other a one-time Mormon Bishop. One established a niche as a hard-line social conservative who is surprisingly “progressive” on welfare state issues; the other began his political career trying to out-flank Ted Kennedy to the left on abortion and gay rights, only to re-tool himself into the very model of a modern moral majoritarian.
There's a polygamy joke in here somewhere: A low-res photo of Mitt Romney with Reich-wing succubus Ann Coulter.
They are separated by a vast political gulf and have followed very different political vectors, but GOP presidential aspirants Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney are now the chief contenders for the support of the Christian Right. The only authentic conservative in the race, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, disqualified himself in the Christian Right's eyes by taking the teachings of the Prince of Peace too literally, and applying the Golden Rule to foreign policy. The Mullahs of the Mega-Churches, and many of their followers, are mortally offended by the notion that decades of bellicose interventionism by Washington might have something to do with the antagonisms that breed and feed anti-American terrorism.
Romney has already received an unction from some prominent Evangelicals, largely on the strength of his unqualified commitment to continue (and most likely to escalate) Bush the Lesser's war against the Islamic world. But as Romney faces the prospect of being eclipsed by the more orthodox Huckabee, he has made a pilgrimage to holy ground – the George H.W. Bush presidential library – to offer a speech on “Faith in America.” Romney's purpose is to assuage concerns that a follower of Joseph Smith would be an unsuitable vessel for the political purposes of the Christian Right.This isn't quite like Henry IV standing bare-headed in the snow outside Canossa, but Romney's gesture displays an element of plaintive desperation nonetheless.
On this day (December 5) when Romney's theological convictions and religious affiliation take center stage, we would do well to consider some of Huckabee's baggage – specifically, his attachment to the Rev. John Hagee, Pastor of San Antonio's Cornerstone Church, Founder and Director of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), and the most impassioned advocate of open-ended war with the Israeli government's enemies, beginning with Iran.
Hagee almost seems to be a genetically engineered caricature of the televangelist culture. As orotund as he is rotund, Hagee looks like a late middle-aged version of JB's Big Boy and behaves a bit like Elmer Gantry. Both his physique and lifestyle testify that Hagee is a stranger in the house of self-restraint. And this is quite odd, given the fact that he ardently believes in the Rapture, during which believers would be taken away to heaven, leaving behind all material encumberances, including the clothes they would be wearing at the time.
As C.S. Lewis noted, wealth knits a man to this world. Despite repeatedly admonishing his flock to prepare for the fast-approaching Rapture, Hagee remains thoroughly enmeshed with the world. He may well be the wealthiest of the war-obsessed clergymen we could call War Propheteers.
Stephen Strang is the human vinculum between Huckabee and Hagee. Strang, a long-time friend and business associate of Hagee, presides over a Pentecostal publishing empire; among Strang's imprints is Front Line books, which has published several of Hagee's books, including his latest, In Defense of Israel.
Late last Summer, a cover story in Strang's New Man magazine anointed Huckabee as the heir apparent to George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. In recent weeks, Huckabee has tapped Strang to serve on his “Faith and Values Coalition,” which is intended to attract money from, and consolidate support within, the Christian Right. Strang served a similar role in the early days of Bush the Lesser's first presidential campaign.
Strang is also a regional director of Hagee's Christians United for Israel, a pressure group that describes itself – without a detectable hint of irony – as a “Christian AIPAC,” as if one such organization weren't a sufficient burden and blight upon our land. Each year CUFI holds a "Night to Honor Israel" in dozens of cities nation-wide, events often organized in cooperation with the Israeli government. And each summer since its founding CUFI has dispatched thousands of its members to Washington to lobby Congress on behalf of a foreign power that is hardly without its own influence in the Imperial Capital.
Whatever one thinks of AIPAC and its works (which include espionage), the attachment of American Jews to the nation-state of Israel is organic and understandable. Hagee's devotion is largely abstract and theological, and colored with more than a hint of opportunism.
The Reverend is more or less a standard-issue radical dispensationalist of a familiar variety, but distinguishes himself by the near-monomania he displays in promoting the interests of Israel – at least as he and some Israeli factions perceive them. And there is a certain duplicity at work here, since the eschatology embraced by Hagee dictates that Jews have an obligation to gather into Israel as a prelude to an apocalyptic war in which most of them will be slaughtered.
By this time, as Hagee foresees it, he and his brethren will have been evacuated from the earth via the Rapture, and thus be able to observe the bloodbath from the safety of a celestial skybox.
Although he stoutly denies it, Hagee's convictions dictate that he do what he can to foment war, rather than promote peace. For several years he has been urging that the US wage a war of aggression against Iran for the purpose of preempting its nuclear program.
Rev. Hagee makes the case for endless bloodshed to Texas Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, whose voting records suggest they were a receptive audience.
Hagee would doubtless insist that the recently published National Intelligence Estimate, which concludes that Iran froze its nuclear program in 2003 (the year Tehran offered to re-open diplomatic relations with Washington), was ghost-written by Satan. Other key voices of the War Lobby, such as Norman Podhoretz and Rush Limbaugh, are content to posit a wide-ranging conspiracy of “wreckers” in the CIA who produced the NIE, thereby undermining the drive for war. Only Hagee has the courage and insight to stalk the truth to its demonic lair: This is nothing less than a vast conspiracy led by the Devil himself.
For indeed, is it not written that the heathen will rage, the people imagine a vain thing, and the kings rulers of the world will take counsel together against the Lord and His anointed? Most Christians understand that passage from the second Psalm to be a prophecy of the advent of Jesus of Nazareth, whom we worship as the Christ, or messiah. Rev. Hagee, however, has repeatedly and passionately insisted that Jesus is not, and never claimed to be, the messiah.
Hagee visits General Ariel Sharon during one of his many trips to Israel.
There is “not one verse of Scripture in the New Testament that says Jesus came to be the Messiah,” writes Hagee in his new book In Defense of Israel (page 136), reporting a discovery unique in Christian history. Even “after his resurrection,” Hagee continues, Jesus made “repeated denials” that he was or would be the Messiah (page141).
All of this would be quite startling to the countless thousands of Christian believers -- including those who embraced the Gospel in the early first century -- who could have spared themselves the pains of martyrdom if they had been willing to disavow the Messianic status of Jesus of Nazareth.
After elaborating on this notion at length, Hagee makes passing reference to the fact that he and a long-time friend, Orthodox Rabbi Aryeh Schienberg, “agree to disagree” regarding “the nature and identity of the Messiah” (page 171), and that “when we stand in the streets of Jerusalem and see the Messiah walking toward us, one of us will have a major theological adjustment to make!”
Similar disingenuous comments are sprinkled through Hagee's book, intended to inspire a knowing chuckle from Christians and reassure Jews. But I think Hagee himself would also have to make a radical theological adjustment under the circumstances he describes, since he is careful only to insinuate that Jesus is the Messiah, and refuses to announce that conclusion clearly and unambiguously.
Arab Christians celebrate the birth of their Messiah at the Church of the Nativity in Gaza: From Hagee's perspective, these folks must not be considered "true" Christians.
It's also significant that a large section of In Defense of Israel consists of lambasting the Christian Church -- beginning with the New Testament itself -- for what he describes as history of relentless anti-Jewish persecution. Hagee describes the purported beliefs of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a collection of classic anti-Jewish notions, including the view that Jews "are essentially scheming to take over the world.... [and] are responsible for every negative situation in the world and that they are behind every international event or crisis, including the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany."
"If this sounds familiar, it is," he concludes. "It is no different than the teachings of the Christian church prior to the Holocaust." (Page 74.)
One of the reasons why Mitt Romney is unappetizing to many conservative Christians is the Mormon teaching that historic Christianity, prior to the advent of Joseph Smith, was hopelessly mired in apostasy. John Hagee teaches exactly the same thing, while placing the UN-created nation-state of Israel in a central position akin to that occupied by Joseph Smith in the Mormon view of history. This might help explain, among other things, why the Rev. Hagee has little if any sympathy for Arab Christians residing in the West Bank and Gaza.
How closely would Hagee be tied to Huckabee, were the latter to win the White House? During the reign of Bush the Lesser, Hagee has been on the presidential speed-dial. He has been among the most passionate defenders of the doctrine of the all-powerful president who can make war according to his sovereign whims. In an interview with the estimable Charles Goyette, Hagee declared: "We do not have a war declaration for Iraq, and neither does the president need one to expand it [the war] into Iran."
I suspect that if Mitt Romney is elected president, Hagee would have no difficulty reaching across the theological divide -- as long as Romney remains true to the gospel of militarist bloodshed. If Huckabee makes it to the Oval Office, it's likely that Hagee would be part of the Inner Court. Either prospect would be troubling to the Christian Right, were it more interested in defending Christian principles than in accumulating and preserving political power.
Dum spiro, pugno!
I find it Odd that Hagee would claim that Jesus is not the Messiah, since he is one of the most prominent teachers of the rapture and tribulation. That teaching relies heavily on Jesus being the Messiah.
We'll forget to mention the prophecy of Daniel 9 of the coming of the Messiah. To the day.
We'll also forget Jesus's direct statements of "I am he." Before the Sanhedrin in at least one case.
That, and "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father but through me." is just a misunderstood passage. You know, because Jesus often used hyperbole, and this might be one case.
Jesus NEVER claimed to be the messiah. :)
What an excellent post! I've copied it and sent it to all of my family members who refuse to support Ron Paul because he's "just too radical" and claim they will be voting Huckabee instead. Keep up the amazing work on Pro Libertate!!
I have long been saddened by the Christian Right embracing statism to the point of idolatry.
Ron Paul represents the most biblically sound platform out there — that the state exists for the restraint of evil alone (as per Romans 13). He alone recognizes that it is not the role of the state to administer God's grace to this world — that role belongs to the church.
Ron Paul is the most biblical candidate running and he will, sadly, not only be ignored by the Christians he would well represent, he will be vilified.
Mike and Mitt are all for business, which is where they get their contributions from. In order to have a chance at winning presidency they have to please their people. That means agreeing to war.
Why? Cause war makes a load of money.
If you want someone who's supported by the people, and wants the best for the people, then vote Ron Paul.
My initial reaction to any front-running Republican candidate is skepticism; however, in the case of Huckabee, the connection with the war-cult (particularly Hagee) seems tenuous at best, at least as presented in this post. I don't say there isn't a connection, only that I am not yet convinced.
Something that has been bothering me about Paul is his stance on abortion. Yes, it would be great to overturn Roe, and that is more than we are likely to ever get, but does that make it sufficient? If we are shooting for the impossible, why not a national ban on abortion? Abortion violates the fifth amendment, and as such would seem to fall under the jurisdiction of the national government. In addition, the constitution guarantees to each state a republican form of government, which can hardly be said of a state where abortion is legal.
The way I tend to see it is this way: rape is currently not a national crime, but it is illegal in all fifty states. Suppose one state were to legalize it? How can it be that a national government created to guarantee our rights ought to be powerless to overturn such a law? This is why I am hesitant to throw myself entirely behind Ron Paul, and why I am curious about Huckabee (about whom I admittedly know inexcusably little).
John Hagee scares the life right out of me!
Are you going to blog on the Romney Morman speech?
Hagee is just another pan-handling gas bag. Over the years the rhetoric and the decibels have steadily risen from his foam flecked lips.
A thousand thank-you's for this entry. I have been wanting to write something along these lines myself, but not finding the time, and lacking your 10th dan level ability with words, I am glad you nailed it with this superb piece. Strang (an appropriate name if there ever was one)the Big-boy look alike,Hagee, and their mindless followers are following the path to hell and don't even know it. The CFR is already puffing Howd-Doody Huckabee. Thanks again for this blog piece.
Rev Charles Roberts
For the record, Strang also annointed Huckabee in his much more widely circulated CHARISMA magazine.
I'm new to your blog but not new
to Hagee. Being myself from
SanAntonio Texas I was for years
very impressed with the content
of Hagee's sermons which for the
most part were severly critical
of the government.
However, on one occasion years ago
he paraded a clutch of Israeli
bureaucrats (Netanyahoo, Perez,
into his "Church," and on televison
on a Sunday morning allowed them
to declare the Muslim world the
emodiment of evil and the enemy
of all mankind. This display
literally sickened me and I have
never listened to him since.
Thank you for this article. I
was especially intrigued by the
similarities you draw between
Hagee's brand of cultism with
Romney's. Very very interesting.
(incidentally I found your blog
through a link on lewrockwell.com)
Thanks, Will, for this excellent piece. How blind so many of this heretics followers are who believe this guy is a follower of the lowly Nazarene and Prince of Peace. Who knows but what he is a plant of the Insiders and knows who to "pay off."
It appears Hagee doesn't have Matt. 7:15-29 in his Bible, or he has not read it in a LONG time!
Type "Hagee says Jesus wasn't the Messiah" in either youtube or Google. This guy is anti-christ IMO.
WNG just keeps rolling along and he was the main reason I read NEW AMERICAN, now he is better than ever.
As far as Hagee and the Pat Robertson's these people who make merchandise out of Christians, they are really dangerous and that is a fact. AIPAC over the last decades has molded Congress into what they want.
Ron Paul bravely voted against that DISGUSTING Lebanon Resolution in summer of 2006 and he has earned their ETERNAL WRATH for doing so.
While most Americans have to endure our season of Christ called HOLIDAYS rather than CHRISTMAS as it had been they don't know just how much of their tax dollars have gone to Israel then back to AIPAC to suborn the Congress.
Of course, Jesus claimed to be the Messiah. He stated as such to the Samaritan woman at the well as recorded in John's Gospel. The Sanhedrin's high priest asked Jesus to His face if He was the Messiah, and Jesus said "I AM" followed by the proclamation of His deity to which the high priest responded by tearing his garment as a gesture of Jesus' so-called blasphemy. Moreover, Jesus further identified Himself with the Messianic term 'The Son of Man' extensively throughout the Gospels which is used in Daniel chapter 7 in describing the Messiah's second coming. All mankind, the Gentiles and the Jewish people, have One Savior, One High Priest, the greatest Prophet (As foretold by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15-19) and the unique Incarnate God-Man, the Lord Jesus, but He is exclusively Israel's Messiah. The Gentiles do not have a Messiah, but when Y'shua/Jesus returns to rescue Israel from the false messiah and his satanic, ten-regional bloc world government toward the end of "Jacob's Trouble", He will restore all things and establish His global Kingdom from Jerusalem. There is but one divine Messiah with two roles fulfilling two separate missions. The first mission as 'Masciach ben Joseph' brought spiritual salvation to humanity; the second, 'Masciach ben David' will bring political salvation to the world. Jacob's sons did not recognize 'Joseph' until the second time, and when that time comes, their recognition will trigger the Messiah's return.
I sent this article to Gary Bauer, the guy who runs the Christian website www.ourAmericanValues.org -
His reply was one wotd: "Manure."
Of course I expected this reply because Bauer also wrote to me once that "he wants to kill them (Muslims) before they kill us." I asked him which Bible verse backs that up and he never replied.
Thanks for the great article that speaks the truth!
The Supreme Court had no jurisdiction
in the Roe case and Ron Paul understands this. Ron Paul is not opposed to a Pro-Life amendment to the Constitution, but believes we can
do something NOW to stop abortion without waiting years and years
for a Constitutional Amendment
Concerning what fedup wrote, regarding Gary Bauer. Bauer signed on to the NeoCon agenda several years ago, even adding his name to the PNAC documents that laid the foundation for the current administration's nation wrecking attempts at world domination. His response, or lack thereof, to your emails, are precisely what one would have expected. I have always suspected that Bauer was compromised by some dirty tricks team working for the Insiders. If you recall, he was running for the Republican presidential nomination a few years back, and was doing quite well in the polls, when lo and behold, one of his female campaign workers accused him of making advances toward her. End of Bauer, end of his campaign. Next thing ya know, he's publically endorsing PNAC documents! Coincidence? I think not.
Great analysis as always. It's possible that what Hagee may have meant is that Jesus did not fulfill the full "conquerer" messianic role of the Priest-King that would come to establish an earthly kingdom in his first coming.
Still its a little convienient that this is being peddled to Christians in a time which I believe is precursory to the foising of a false Messianic figure on the religions of the world in the hopes of uniting them under the New World Order.
Perhaps this can help turn your christian friends and family toward supporting Ron Paul and away from idolatry of state force.
"But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." - Holy Bible (kjv), James 1:25
As for Y'shua being Messiah of only the Jews, messiah is just the Hebrew word for 'anointed one.' There are 3 categories of anointed ones in scripture - prophets, priests and kings. He is all 3. He came as King of the Jews, He will return as King of the whole world. And according to the Epistle to the Hebrews, He is our High Priest. See also Psalm 2 where the Father says (paraphrased) 'It is too small a thing for you to have only Israel. Ask of me and I will give you the nations (goyim in Hebrew) as an inheritance.
It is true that Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, will rule over all nations when He returns, but He does so when He returns as the conquering Jewish Messiah, the Son of David, to first rescue Israel from the "worthless shepherd/false messiah" mentioned in Zechariah 11:15-17 as He lands upon the Mount of Olives. When Jesus came the first time, He was not only King of the Jews; He was also King of the world (He made the world; He owns it.), but the mission of His first coming was as a Suffering Messiah, a universal Savior for all humanity, not as the Conquering Messiah which would come later.
Again, there has never been any concept in the Hebrew Tanakh and the Jewish authored New Testament (Luke being the lone exception, a gentile physician, who wrote his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles) of the Anointed One of Israel or Messiah Who is also known as the Anointed One of the Gentiles, even though He will rule over both Israel and the nations when He returns. This is the ultimate meaning behind the Torah's passage of Genesis 12:3 where Abraham and his Jewish descendants will become a blessing to all the families of the earth through their Messiah. Through this one Jewish Descendant, Israel's God-Man Messiah Y'Shua (Micah 5:2), redemption has come to all men who accept it through His substitutionary death and resurrection. As the ultimate Passover Lamb, Jesus brought salvation to all who desire it, to the Jew first and then to the Greek/gentile (Romans 1:16). Moreover, His atoning sacrificial death was also foreshadowed through the Temple's sacrificial system and Abraham's sacrificial offer to God of his son Issac. Just because the gentiles have no messiah doesn't mean they won't reap the political benefits of the Jewish Messiah, Y'shua of Nazareth, Who will bring justice, liberty and peace to the entire world (Isaiah 9:6-7) when He rescues Israel from the one-world, global/ten-region confederation of nations toward the end of this age.
(Zechariah 12:2-3,12:10,14:1-4, 14:9)
If we want to understand Brother Hagee and his acolytes, we have only to remember the scripture that warns us that "Satan walks up and down about the world, seeking whom he may devour."
Grossly fat and delicately perfumed Brother Hagee is being carefully prepared - basted with pride, seasoned with malice, and stuffed with greed - as a tempting morsel for the dinner table of Brother Lucifer.
Ah, but such is the cunning of Hagee's lord and master that Brother Hagee is bringing tens of thousands of other souls with him to become side orders at Brother Lucifer's feast.
It just goes to prove for the rest of us that science fiction can indeed become science fact. Hagee is a living example of the old science fiction movie, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," where alien beings take over more and more humans and turn them into mindless, robotic Pod People. Except, in Hagee's case, this movie should be called "Invasion of the Turds."
Imagine the overweening arrogance of these blind preachers leading their blind devotees. Hagee says: “When we stand in the streets of Jerusalem and see the Messiah walking toward us, one of us will have a major theological adjustment to make!”
Whatever orgasm of delusional pride makes him think HE, of all people, will be so honored?? And how does he propose to recognize the Messiah from amongst all those Jews in Jerusalem? By the Messiah's American Flag lapel pin and sticker on His SUV which says "Support our Troops"? Or by the Messiah's M-16 assault rifle slung over His shoulder?
And notice, too, all Hagee's friends - Mitty Romney, Sister Coulter, Brother Huckabee, Karly Rove, Rushie Limbaugh, Billy O'Reilly - don't they all look just so freshly washed and white and blond and delicious? Like little stuffed mushrooms to garnish Satan's Caesar salad? I can just imagine, with infinite pleasure, the sound of Lucifer crunching down on their little delicate bones.
Sweet dreams to all.
White Man in Virginia.
So, Mr. Grigg: What do you have to say about your "Beware the War Propheteers" blog now that Hagee has endorsed McCain?
What would I say? First of all, that it's something of a pity I can't "revise and extend" my remarks, in the fashion of Congressmen and Senators sanitizing their comments in the Congressional Record.
Actually, Hagee's endorsement of McCain represents a less dramatic change of allegiance for him than the scenario I discussed at the end of the essay -- namely, that Romney would be elected and Hagee would set aside doctrinal objections to Mormonism if Romney proved to be suitably bellicose.
Of McCain's bellicosity we have no doubt. On that basis, I suspect, he's entirely acceptable to Hagee.
Post a Comment