Monday, March 31, 2008

Senator McCain Can't Quit John Hagee : Religion and Politics


Religion and the three Presidential candidates
What about the separation of Church and State
Will their decisions in the White House be a result of their Religious or Spiritual mentors ultimate beliefs or a matter of their belief in a particular End-Times scenario .
Will they be able to put such considerations aside if they are forced to decide whether or not to Launch Nuclear Weapons.
On the other hand will they decide to not torture detainees because it would go against their Christian Principles.
Would they decide against a war of aggression because of their Christian Principles.
Would they insist on doing more for America's poor and the homeless and others unjustly treated in America based on their Christian Principles.
Or would they just cherry pick from scriptures to suit their own agenda?

Anyway Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has been criticized and mocked because of his association with Reverend Wright who is rather outspoken and sometimes veers into the conspiratorial realm. Though I think some of his criticisms of America are reasonable it is also true due to his rhetorical style he has away of saying things in a rather inflammatory manner. There are also some things he has said such as that the CIA invented Aids or is selling drugs to enslave Black Americans etc. which are just conspiratorial nonsense.

Now Senator John McCain is also involved with an Evangelical preachers who has also said some rather disturbing things . Should we now condemn Senator McCain or should we as in the case of Obama have him explain the situation. If the Media is to take Obama to task over Reverend Wright then they should take Senator McCain to task over his association with Pastor Hagee . Should McCain be given a free ride on this matter. It would be extremely unfair to attack Obama on this matter and not McCain since Pastor Hagee has also said some rather disturbing things i.e. his anti-Catholicism, blaming Gays and Lesbians for Hurricane Katrina or suggesting that Islam is an evil religion and must be destroyed etc.

But as has been pointed out Hillary Clinton shouldn't be left off the hook either. Senator Hillary Clinton belongs to an evangelical group that also at times sounds almost conspiratorial which may be a result of their rhetoric or a matter of beliefs espoused by certain individuals. But the group she belongs to is Fundamentalist and Evangelical so they are more than likely going to espouse certain end-times views that appear as dangerous if they influence a potential president of the United States.

We have seen over the last eight years how such ideas have had a negative affect on the Bush Regime . Believing he is acting under God's guidance George W. Bush at times does not appear to spend enough time evaluating a particular situation or after making a decision given unforseen outcomes going back to re-evaluate the decision he has made.This in part explains why he has never taken a second look at his decisions regarding the War in Iraq. One of the things one hopes for in a leader is that they are able to examine all sides of an issue or a situation and are willing to take counsel from those with differing views who are experts in their fields and then make an informed decision. Merely making a decision is not enough.

It is similar to Hillary answering the phone at 3am and making a quick uninformed decision. What one would hope for is that someone in her position has already spent time considering all of the various situations which could arise and their outcomes and the different responses one could have. Hopefully for all our sakes certain options like the Nuclear Option is not a valid option.

And so here are some examples of the inflammatory comments which have been made by Pastor John Hagee:

TPMtv: Mccain Can't Quit John Hagee
ant-Catholicism and fanatical supporter of Israel
Hurricane Katrina a judgement from God against New Orleans

" Your Daily Politics Video Blog: There's been a lot of chatter over the last few days about John McCain's embrace of Pastor John Hagee, who's well-known for a history of anti-Catholicism and claims that God will send terrorists to create a "bloodbath" in America for its support of a two state solution in Israel/Palestine. So what is it exactly that Hagee's said and just how much has McCain cozied up to him? We thought we'd put all the choicest moments into one quick video so you could take a look and make up your own mind." VERACIFIER

And now a discussion about Pastor Hagee and John McCain by Keith Olbermann:

Reverend Hagee supports Sen. John McCain
On Keith Olbermann Countdown MSNBC

Hardball MSNBC Extremist Pastor Hagee supports Sen. McCain
Senator John McCain sought Pastor Hagee's support

Bombing Iran will speed the Apocalypse
The Catholic Church is a whore / the whore of Babylon

Pastor Hagee also preaches that Islam is a violent religion and that its followers intend to destroy all other religions. He like many Americans uses the term " Islamofascism as if it were equivalent to Islam. Hagee further preaches that American Muslims are not loyal Americans . Would Hagee place all Muslim Americans in detention centers or have them all driven out of the country.

Much of what Pastor Hagee and others have said about Islam is a characterization based upon a particular reading of the Quran . But the Quran can be interpreted in other ways. As in Christianity the interpretation of the sacred text is combined with the writings of commentary of the various Christian philosophers and scholars. This is also true in Islam and Judaism and in other religious systems.

Christianity though many Christians claim it is a religion of peace yet the history of Christianity suggest otherwise. Some would claim that Christianity from the very beginning was not a religion of peace. Christ said " I bring not peace but the sword ". Some therefore would argue that Jesus was not committed to a form of absolute pacifism. As with Augustine they believed in the concept of the 'Just War Doctrine '.
But there are Christians who practice their faith as if it were a religion of peace since this is how they interpret the words of Jesus.They therefore either renounce any use of violence or believe violence or the taking up of arms only applies in certain narrowly defined circumstances.

Some believe that Christ taught that society needed to take care of the poor , the weak, the widow, the orphan etc. and that the rich must give up a large percentage of their wealth to help others.
Other Christians claim Jesus preached a form of self-reliance and that success was a reward for those who truly believed in Christ.

Some Christians believe that Jesus taught that those with faith needed to be active in the world even to taking part in the political system . Others believe Jesus taught that those with faith needed only to preach the word of God and that they should keep out of politics as much as possible.
Almost any religion can be interpreted in various ways since this is the nature of the various religious texts and the writings of the various interpreters of these texts over the centuries.

and so it goes ,

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