Give Hagee a chance, says McCain ally Lieberman
U.S. news networks have been abuzz with the latest twist to the saga — a Hagee endorsement (of sorts) from renegade Democrat-turned-independent Senator Joe Lieberman.
Lieberman, who is Jewish, said in a statement posted on his website on Wednesday that “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.”
The maverick Connecticut senator went on to note Hagee’s work with “Christians United for Israel.”
“Pastor Hagee has devoted much of his life to fighting anti-Semitism and building bridges between Christians and Jews. The organization that he has helped build, Christians United for Israel, is a vital force in supporting the war against terrorism and defending our ally, Israel. I will go to the CUFI Summit in July and speak,” he said.
Presumptive Republican nominee McCain dumped Hagee like a burning ember last week after it emerged that the Texas pastor had given a sermon in the 1990s in which he quoted from the Bible to make the argument that Hitler was doing God’s work by helping to drive the Jews back to Israel.
Millions of evangelical Americans to varying degrees subscribe to such views.
Observers of this scene say Hagee’s views are hardly news.
“He’s been saying this kind of thing for decades … he’s a providentialist — he believes that everything that happens on earth is part of God’s plan for the redemption of the world,” said historian Nicholas Guyatt, who has written extensively on apocalyptic Christian culture.
Watch this space: Hagee will remain in the news for some time to come.