February 27, 2008


Televangelist Supports McCain (Laura Meckler, 2/27/08, Wall Street Journal: Washington Wire)

Sen. John McCain took a step toward making peace with the evangelical community as he picked up the endorsement of televangelist John Hagee, a leading Christian supporter of Israel and pastor of the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church.

Hagee praised McCain’s positions on abortion, Israel, the war in Iraq and immigration. “John McCain will be a strong, courageous and effective leader from the first day he steps into the Oval Office,” he said. “I am very honored today to lend my vigorous, enthusiastic and personal support to an American hero.”

Hagee, a fundamentalist Christian, preaches a health-and-wealth belief: if congregants’ faith is strong enough, God will reward them. He has devoted a great deal of energy to raise money and awareness for Israel. He is a leading figure in the “Christian-Zionist” movement, a political philosophy rooted in biblical prophecies and a belief that Israel’s struggles signal a prelude to Armageddon.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 27, 2008 7:40 PM

Sorry, McCain, this is not "a step toward making peace with the evangelical community," (though perhaps McCain could gain some points with the uninformed and some in the Jewish community), since the evangelical community is distancing itself from Hagee as awareness grows of his crossing the line into rank heresy with his latest book, In Defense of Israel by emphatically denying Jesus is the Messiah. (Google search Hagee + Messiah, you'll see what I'm talking about) No, this is establishment power politics as usual, with a hint of scandal that will come back to bite McCain in the general election.

Posted by: ER at February 27, 2008 11:25 PM

Agree with ER. The increase in support for McCain in the past week or so simply reflects the GOP establishment getting behind the nominee. If these people felt that good about McCain they would have endorsed earlier when McCain's status as nominee was questionable.

The dynamic from the primaries hasn't changed. In the general McCain will get lower support from the conservative base than Bush that he will have to make up for with moderates and independents - the question is can he take enough moderates and independents away from Obama to win? Unless the Obamamessiah gets punctured the answer is no.

Posted by: AWW at February 27, 2008 11:58 PM

I agree that Hagee is a bit wacky with his big wall chart of the eschaton, and had concluded that his view of the Messian and the Jews had a place in my own Syllabus of Errors.

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 28, 2008 5:16 AM

Hagee has clarified what he meant in his book and it seems normal evangelical thought to me. Those calling him a heretic are probably just jealous that his church is bigger than theirs.

Posted by: Randall Voth at February 28, 2008 6:46 AM