What John Hagee Didn’t Say

This is what rapidly changing attitudes and a shift toward acceptance and equality across the country, and even in Texas, will (potentially) do to the stridently anti-gay religious right.

The San Antonio-Express News is out with a story this week about the Alamo City’s efforts to pass a non-discrimination ordinance that, among other things, says businesses can’t tell prospective patrons to take their business elsewhere simply because they’re gay or lesbian.

You can read the story here
. Sorry, but it is behind a paywall.

The story notes two things we think are interesting and telling.

First, the city’s smaller churches have opposed the proposed ordinance. But Catholic leaders and San Antonio’s larger evangelical congregations have been somewhat mum on the matter. Writes the Express-News:

There’s a reason for that silence, some observers said: No single topic in recent years has so polarized congregations and entire denominations as same-sex attraction.

Even conservative pastors worry about its potential for discord in their own flocks — or about being called homophobes for making religious arguments against gay marriage in the public arena.

Next thing of note is the reporter’s attempt to get comment from San Antonio’s largest congregations, including Cornerstone Church and Oak Hills Church. Both passed.

That’s interesting because Cornerstone Church is the home of Pastor John Hagee. Not long ago, Hagee was blaming gays and lesbians for Hurricane Katrina, comments that contributed to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., telling Hagee to take back the endorsement of his presidential bid. Fast-forward to today and, at least on this issue, on his home turf, and in this story, Hagee went silent.

Does this mean that Hagee is moderating his views on the LGBTQ community? Not likely, we think. He could very well be using every single one of his Sunday sermons to blame gays for everything from that fender-bender you saw on your commute this morning to the Spurs losing game 6 to the Heat.

One thing is for sure, though. In a few short years he went from the intolerant rhetoric of blaming Adam and Steve for the worst natural disaster to strike this country to “no comment” when approached by a reporter. And that is, um … progress?

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5 Comments

  1. Donald
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    The words that I would use to describe John Hagee are not admissable in print. Any modern independent bible historian would have a field day analysing his stuff and rejoycing in the oppportunity to blast hm out of the park with rebuttles. Unfortunately he is very clever at disenabling his followers’ crap detectors and it would do little good because the multitude that are so afflicted will forgive and defend him for most anything.It’s hard to have even a debate when done in two different languages- fact and fiction. I have accuaintences who are Hagee and biblical innerent believers(redundant)and we have learned not to even talk about it. They thing I’m hell bent and I know stupidity when I see it. I thing half of that congregation still thinks this is a flat earth.

  2. Nate
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    @Jen Well, I thought it was interesting. Hagee’s certainly not been shy around the media previously. He’s not stupid, and likely does considerable research into which controversy-stirring will fill his coffers and which will hurt his bottom line. I’m certain that he’s far more an expert in the futures market for hatred and discord than you or I.

    @John My understanding is that churches, like other non-profits, can lobby and campaign on issues vague or specific, but are not permitted to endorse a specific candidate or party. Greenpeace can campaign to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, and TFN can lobby the Texas lege to keep religious proselytizing out of the classroom. There was a case several years ago of the IRS investigating a church in Pasadena, CA, for a sermon which contrasted Jesus’ pacifist teachings with Kerry’s and Bush’s views on ‘preemptive’ war; ultimately the IRS dropped the case.

    While my inner 14-year-old thought your prank call to Cornerstone was hilarious, I don’t know of any concrete evidence that Hagee’s outfit has endorsed a specific candidate or party.

    • John
      Posted July 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Nate — I’m glad your inter 14-year-old got a snort, but I wasn’t pranking when I seriously questioned the Cornerstone phone lady what the heck “Vote the Bible” meant and why they were attempting to influence voters with that (as illogical as it is). As for Hagee’s endorsements, in early November, Cornerstone’s website said to “Vote the Bible” and vote for Romney. Maybe it was that red dress Ann Romney wore that did them in…Leviticus said not to do that, you know, along with not to eat shellfish. Maybe they shouldn’t have served scallops at that “47%” fundraising dinner, too. Gee, it seems I did indeed “vote the Bible” when I voted for Obama.

  3. Posted July 16, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Lame reporting. “Minister Says NOTHING”? Then the rest of the story is just old news and common sense speculation. Hagee doesn’t change. He just figured out that the media is not his friend and he doesn’t have the clout he thought he had.

  4. John
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Hagee’s Cornerstone Church needs its nonprofit status with the IRS removed because it fully & flagrantly takes public political positions, which should disqualify it for tax-free status. Before the 2012 presidential election, Cornerstone promoted its “Vote the Bible” message (code for “Vote for Romney because Obama is pro-gay and pro-choice”). I called Cornerstone Church during early voting for “help” (I was faking it) to say I saw their “Vote the Bible” signs and thought, “Hmmmm….the Bible….the book that says help the poor, it is easier for a camel to get thru the eye of a needle, etc…..what would Jesus do and who would Jesus vote for? I’m quite sure Jesus would have voted for the guy who wanted to help the poor, not the guy who wanted the rich to get richer.” Needless to say, the woman on the phone at Cornerstone suddenly got quite strident with me. The last thing she barked at me before hanging up was “So you think able-bodied young people should get welfare?” I tried to call back but their fancy phone system now has my number blocked. Ain’t nothing that outfit can’t afford (how about that multi-million-dollar Disney-esque Noah’s Ark contraption to wow young kids into believing all that really happened?)

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