On his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck hosted evangelist John Hagee but did not note any of the numerous controversial statements Hagee has made on various topics, including the Catholic Church, Islam, women, and homosexuality. Beck concluded the interview by saying: “There are people -- and they said this about Bill Clinton -- that actually believe he might be the Antichrist. Odds that Barack Obama is the Antichrist?”
On the March 4 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck hosted evangelist John Hagee, founder and pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, who recently endorsed Sen. John McCain for president. But Beck did not note any of the numerous controversial statements Hagee has made on various topics, including the Catholic Church, Islam, women, and homosexuality. Beck said only that Hagee had “some problem with the Catholics this week” and asked him, “Can you explain what happened this week and what your stance is with Catholicism?” Hagee responded that he had “criticized the Catholic Church for its past anti-Semitism” and that "[s]tanding against anti-Semitism does not make me an anti-Catholic." Beck did not ask Hagee about his statement in a book that "[m]ost readers will be shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews." Beck also did not mention that the Catholic League's Bill Donohue has called Hagee a “bigot” and has pressed McCain to “retract his embrace of Hagee.”
Additionally, Hagee told National Public Radio's Terry Gross that “those who live by the Quran have a scriptural mandate to kill Christians and Jews”; once wrote that “the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS” is that "[y]ou can negotiate with a terrorist"; and claimed that “Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans” because it “had a level of sin that was offensive to God,” as evidenced by plans for “a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came.” Beck did not note any of these comments or other inflammatory remarks Hagee has made.
As the blog Think Progress noted, Beck wrapped up his interview with Hagee by asking him if Sen. Barack Obama might be the Antichrist: “There are people -- and they said this about Bill Clinton -- that actually believe he might be the Antichrist. Odds that Barack Obama is the Antichrist?” Hagee responded: “No chance.” Beck has previously said of Sen. Hillary Clinton, “I think we may have found our Antichrist and our next president.”
From the March 4 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: All right, the evangelical vote. John Hagee is here. He's the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, president of the John Hagee Ministries.
Let me just get this right out on the table, pastor. You -- you've had some problem with the Catholics this week, and now it looks like John -- John McCain, who you've endorsed, may be distancing himself. Can you explain what happened this week and what your stance is with Catholicism?
HAGEE: Certainly, I can explain that, Glenn. First, thank -- thank you for having me on this telecast.
BECK: Not a problem.
HAGEE: I have written a book called In Defense of Israel. And in that book, I wrote a chapter called “The Sins of the Fathers.” It's a chapter about anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is an oxymoron. An anti-Semite is someone who is driven by hate. Christian anti- -- a Christian is someone who's driven by love. Therefore, there's no such thing as a Christian anti-Semite.
And in this chapter, I have talked about the anti-Semitism historically. I have criticized the Catholic Church for its past anti-Semitism. But I have also been very critical of the Protestants and their anti-Semitism, especially as led by Martin Luther.
Standing against anti-Semitism does not make me an anti-Catholic. And standing against anti-Semitism does not make me anti-Protestant. I am very much anti-Semitism. It makes no difference who participates in it.
BECK: OK, all right. So let me go to the endorsement of John McCain. You're an evangelical. Mike Huckabee is still in. He's an evangelical. Do you believe in John McCain? Or is he kind of like, the best one out there? Or -- tell me about your endorsement of him and why not a -- a fellow evangelical?
HAGEE: Well, let me answer the first question about John McCain. John McCain is pro-life, and that's a major issue with evangelicals. He has a 24-year voting record to back that up. And if there is an issue that's visceral with evangelicals, it is pro-life. The Constitution of the United States begins with the pledge to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
BECK: Yeah, but -- but pastor, I mean, you and I -- I've sat down with you for an hour. I interviewed you for an hour. And I'm -- I'm sorry, but I -- I mean, when I say to you, “Tell me about John McCain,” you go pro-life first. I don't think that fits with who I met on my set. You are a guy who believes we are here in the end days. Is John McCain the guy to make sure that -- that, you know, the end days don't happen as you believe we could be seeing now?
HAGEE: The fact is that I believe John McCain brings to the presidency a mature leadership and a leadership that has the strength of character to lead America into the future in a world that's become a very dangerous world.
BECK: Let me ask you, and this is -- 'cause I got -- I get so much email on this, and I think a lot of people do, and I've only got a couple of seconds. Then they say “Glenn, you in the media, you've got to wake up. Barack Obama's making people faint and cry and everything else. And he's drawing people in and -- ”
There are people -- and they said this about Bill Clinton -- that actually believe he might be the Antichrist. Odds that Barack Obama is the Antichrist?
HAGEE: No chance.
BECK: OK. Good. Whew.
HAGEE: He has a lot of charisma. There's a media love affair with him right now. He is a very formidable political person. But I believe the best leader for America in the future is John McCain.
BECK: Thank you very much, pastor.
Back in just a second. That's good news, at least where I stand.