Wednesday, May 21, 2008

McCain Parts Ways With Pastor Hagee

Back on April 25th I blogged about the mainstream media's analysis and treatment of Barack Obama's former Reverend Wright versus their examination of Pastor John Hagee; an early supporter of GOP presidential candidate John McCain.

McCain was never a member of Hagee's church in Houston, Texas but the Arizona Senator was content to tout his endorsement to score points with the millions of registered voters from "Bible Belt" regions who tend to align themselves with the Christian Coalition at election time.

Hagee is living proof that fundamentalist and evangelists Christians do not hold a monopoly on moral authority, logic or a reasoned interpretation of the Bible.

What a difference a month makes. The hornets in the nest of mainstream media were stirred up after Sam Stein penned a revealing piece on the Huffington Post Website detailing disturbing statements Hagee made in a sermon that seem to ascribe a biblical reasoning for Adolph Hitler's extermination of millions of European Jews during WWII.

Bruce Wilson first posted an audio recording of Hagee's sermon on his Talk To Action Website of the opinionated Pastor asserting that Hitler's Holocaust was a divinely inspired fulfillment of scripture.

The effect of the statements and their content were sufficient for McCain to finally cut the tether between his campaign and Hagee - and Pastor Hagee, insisting that his statements were taken out of context also withdrew his endorsement of McCain.

In the end this episode points to the power of the media to link a presidential candidate to statements made by religious leaders associated with them. Obama had nothing to do with Reverend Wright's bizarre ramblings nor did McCain have anything to do with Pastor Hagee's.

The more interesting question is the media's use of material made in the pulpit on Sunday mornings to paint a presidential candidate in a different light - even if it's not their own.

Many in the Blogosphere have all questioned why the media remained relatively hands-off on Hagee when he suggested the residents of New Orleans brought destruction upon themselves because of sin; or that the Old Testament foretold a US invasion of Iran.

Did the media storm kick in only after Hagee's bizarre assertion that the Holocaust and Hitler were fulfilling Biblical prophecy? Did the mainstream media lend equal analysis to the statements made by Wright and Hagee?

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