Well, it seems John McCain has finally found what remains of his spine, and cut ties to two pastors even more controversial, racist and inflammatory than the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
The first, of course, is evangelical pastor and Jew-baiting right wing nut-job Jim “the Horrible” Hagee. Hagee is, of course, the man who described the Catholic Church as the “Great Whore” and said God sent Hurricane Katrina to destroy New Orleans because of a gay pride parade scheduled for the day the Hurricane hit. One of his more interesting sermons has been making the rounds lately, and I feel I must do my part:
Hagee the Horrible
Okay, dude, no problem. I’m offended.
McCain, of course, tried to shift the focus back to Jeremiah Wright:
“I have said I do not believe Senator Obama shares Reverend Wright’s extreme views,” Mr. McCain said in his statement. “But let me also be clear, Reverend Hagee was not and is not my pastor or spiritual adviser, and I did not attend his church for 20 years.”
Nice try. Obama didn’t actively pursue Wright’s endorsement, unlike the McCain/Hagee connection. And when Rev. Wright’s more extreme sermons came to light, Obama quickly and definitively denounced them. He didn’t let the whole thing simmer and build, the way McCain has with Hagee. It took Obama only a few days to respond to the first allegations; it’s taken McCain weeks.
The other “religious leader” that McCain has turned against is Rod Parsley, McCain’s spiritual guide famous for these interesting statements:
I especially like the bit where he says America was founded to destroy Islam. You know, I’m no scholar of American history, but I’ve read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers. There’s nothing there about “destroying Islam”. There’s a lot there, though, about freedom of religion.
In a way, this is good. No previous candidate has so actively sought, and received, the public endorsements of such controversial people. And the fact that it went all but ignored for so long speaks volumes about our nation’s priorities. You have to wonder why Rev. Wright’s comments and Obama’s connection with them received such detailed scrutiny, while the racist, bigoted and, frankly, ignorant rantings of these two fools went nearly uncommented for so long. It really serves to highlight the insane double standards our country still has when it comes to race and religion. White evangelical preachers get a free pass on their racist, sexist, homophobic, historically ignorant rants because we expect it from them. Black preachers get the rectal probe if they even put one toe out of line because deep down, we’re still afraid of the blacks “gettin’ uppity”.
We’re not as progressive as we’d like to believe. And that’s yet another reason we need President Barack Obama in the White House.