Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hagee V. Wright

The intemperate and anti-American sermons of Barack Obama's minister Jeremiah Wright have received surprisingly wide airplay. Perhaps because this is something that even the dinosaur-like media know they cannot hide in this day and age. However, they are not defenseless- they are pointing to Pastor John Hagee as McCain's equivalent of Wright, right down to the fiery sermons. The only problem is that according to Joel Mowbray in the Washington Times newspaper- the two men are not comparable. wright is by any definition an anti-American, highly racist preacher whose brand of Christianity is questionable. Hagee by contrast is a preacher whose devotion to inter-religious harmony appears to be extremely strong. According to Mowbray,
The long knives are out for Rev. John Hagee. The fiercely pro-Israel evangelical leader is being branded a bigot—again—but this time the media have tagged him with the worst possible association: Hitler.

Granted, Hagee himself raised the specter of Hitler in a sermon reportedly from a decade ago that was recently dredged up by a left-wing blogger, in which he said that God sent Hitler and “allowed” the Holocaust to happen “because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel.”

Far from the ugly media-driven perception that Hagee was justifying—or even somehow praising—the Holocaust as Heaven-sent, he was actually trying to answer the question with which countless rabbis and survivors have grappled ever since: How could there be both an all-powerful God and the unimaginable horrors of the Holocaust?

While anyone could rightly be outraged at his theology or even his apparent hubris in purporting to know God’s motives, it cannot be said that he is anti-Semitic. The charge, in fact, is completely counter to what is most beautiful about Rev. Hagee’s ministry, that it has been so dedicated to combating Christian anti-Semitism.

Mowbray's article is a must-read if one wants to understand the controversy swirling around Pastor Hagee and the endorsement of John McCain that McCain refused to accept. But to compare Hagee with Wright is merely another example of why the mainstream media is mostly a lazy, partisan group of camp-followers. As Mowbray so accurately writes,
In an ideal world, anyway, journalists should be in search of the truth.

In the real world, sadly, most journalists are too busy—and lazy—to meaningfully research Rev. Hagee’s theology and documented teachings. Even given this reality, however, it might seem appropriate that before rushing to reduce 40 years of a man’s career down to a headline-worthy Hitler association, the media ought to spend 40 minutes to see if they’re actually getting the story right.

But that of course could prevent the press from accomplishing their goal- getting a Democratic President. And for the American press, partisanship trumps professionalism any day of the week. Hat tip to the guys over at the Power Line.

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