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Cenk Uygur

Cenk Uygur

Posted: March 3, 2008 11:45 AM

The Real Problem With Reverend Hagee


John McCain was warmly endorsed by Rev. Hagee this past week. McCain said he was "very honored" and "very proud" of the endorsement.

Reverend Hagee is a Class A kook. Stark raving mad. He believes someone will unite the whole world together and bring peace to everyone -- and that person is the Anti-Christ. Yeah, God forbid we should have peace. So, Hagee prefers war instead.

He wants to preemptively strike Iran to start the festivities. So, will this bring peace later at least? No, exactly the opposite, it will bring Armageddon. Then nearly everyone will die -- which, of course, is a great thing because Biblical prophecy will be fulfilled and the few people who agree with John Hagee will all be saved and laughing their ass off in heaven. And the rest of us will be dead. Killed by Rev. Hagee's righteous God.

This is all very comical and patently absurd. I know it seems literally unbelievable that grown-ass men would believe something this childish and stupid. But I sat through a whole hour of the Glenn Beck show to make sure I wasn't misinterpreting what they were saying. You can watch it here (it's in seven hilarious parts, which are all next to this clip on You Tube). By the way, Beck enthusiastically agrees and supports Rev. Hagee as he lays out the ravings of his lunatic mind. Thereby proving my dad right when he says in his heavy Turkish accent, "Glenn Beck is the crazy."

As I read and watched all of Hagee's ideas about how Gog and Magog and Dumbledore were going to come out of Russia to unite the Muslims (who, of course, are the worst people on earth and the minions of Satan), I thought he looked like an overgrown kid who was really wrapped up in a great game of Dungeons and Dragons.

The only thing that separates this nonsense from D&D or Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter (which Hagee, of course, believes is the work of the devil) is that at least those non-fiction works make some degree of sense. One thought is connected to another and you have a nice, fable that you can follow along.

In Hagee's version of the Bible, Jesus comes back to suck up every believer on earth. They get vacuumed into heaven. And then the Anti-Christ comes and we eventually walk down the road to Armageddon. You don't think the rest of us would catch on when all the Christians get sucked up into the sky? We'd still walk happily into the arms of the Anti-Christ even though we just saw all these people transported into heaven.

Look, I think all of the major religions are the silliest fairytales I have ever heard, but if people start to get sucked up into the sky by Jesus, believe me, I'm listening. I guess they think the rest of us aren't very bright.

Then there is the logical inconsistency of trying to start Armageddon, as Hagee would like to do, when the tribulation is supposed to happen first (that's the vacuum moment I referred to above). Since the tribulation has to happen first, Pastor Hagee seems to be putting his cart before his Four Horses of the Apocalypse.

But like I said, this would all be an amusing joke, if it weren't for one thing. It's that these wackjobs have actual power in this country. President Bush sent a congratulatory note to one of Rev. Hagee's meetings (on Armageddon preparations well done I assume). Hagee was also invited to the White House to talk with the White House deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams. The pastor came out of the meeting saying, "we felt we were on the right track."

The president regularly meets with Christian right zealots, like Pat Robertson, who all believe this same insanity. In fact, the president met with Robertson right before the Iraq invasion. The White House has a regular conference call with evangelical leaders every Monday. Members of the Christian right are placed in important positions throughout the government as reward for their political support. Evangelical activist Gary Bauer says, "I think we've had some impact." That's exactly what I'm worried about.

Now, they are wooing John McCain. They would like him to start this fun little Apocalypse everyone is so jazzed about. The skeptics will say that McCain is using them and doesn't really believe any of this crap. First, I have no interest in finding out. While I have faith that McCain is a liar of the first order (and he would have to be to say he is "very honored" to get this man's endorsement and then laugh at him behind his back), I would rather not take that chance.

But more importantly, I don't want McCain taking orders from these guys. A president trying to appease these lunatics by changing our foreign policy is a terribly dangerous possibility. John McCain has become the world's biggest panderer in this election cycle. Is there anything he won't stoop to in order to wrangle up a couple of more votes from the Christian Right? Would he let them influence policy in order to get their endorsement again in 2012? You'd have to be awfully naïve to think he wouldn't.

If John Hagee, Pat Robertson and Glenn Beck sat in a basement playing Armageddon while the kids next to them played Dungeons and Dragons, I wouldn't bat an eyelash. It's a free country. Somebody's gotta be stupid. Everyone's got a niche.

(By the way, I would like to pause to say that I don't mean to denigrate the honorable D&D players out there. The difference between you guys and the Hagees of the world is that at least you know you're playing a make-believe game in a make-believe world. Plus, you probably have a 100 IQ points on them.)

So, Reverend Hagee thinks the Catholic Church is the "Great Whore" and that Muslims are programmed to kill and that New Orleans had it coming because they were going to do a gay pride march and the head of the European Union will be the next Anti-Christ and that the whole world will be soaked in blood and most of the people on the planet will die if we play our cards right. So what? It's a free country. You can be as bat-shit crazy as you want to be. But I draw the line when someone takes you seriously. When you can actually effect world events to bring about the bloody conclusions you seek. When you have access to power.

Until then, it's shits and giggles. But when they have a presidential candidate in their back pocket, that's when it becomes our business to point out how absolutely crazy they truly are.

You can say that I'm overreacting. Republicans are liars who are just using these halfwits for their votes and will never actually listen to them. After all, the Christian Right had Bush in their back pocket and he didn't start a war in the Middle East for no apparent reason ... oh yeah.

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