Monday, March 03, 2008

And He Has a Very Large Congregation

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League continues to press for moral clarity from the McCain camp, but apparently it is not yet forthcoming, unless through surrogates:
Sen. Sam Brownback was more specific about what McCain allegedly believes. In a news release his office sent to us Friday afternoon (McCain’s staff has not contacted us at all), Brownback said, ‘While John McCain certainly cannot be expected to defend or espouse the views of every individual who has thrown their support to him, McCain completely repudiates any and all remaining elements of anti-Catholicism in America today.’

That’s a great statement. Too bad it didn’t come from McCain. But there’s the rub: John Hagee has contributed mightily to anti-Catholicism in America, so how can McCain have it both ways?
Well, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson sought to clarify the situation for us Catholics on Wolf Blitzer's show:
Well, I think there are two very different situations. John Hagee, Pastor Hagee [oops--oh yeah, don't forget to toss that "Pastor" in there!], has done some very good things, particularly with regard to Israel and the support for Israel and denouncing terrorism in that area. And he has a very large congregation. His endorsement, I think, is for people who believe and work for him. And he does some good things.
I wonder whether the McCain camp would be able to focus their criticisms of Hagee a little more sharply if he had a smaller congregation. Well, of course, Louis Farrakhan also has a "large congregation", but apparently Clinton and Obama were not impressed enough by size to let their moral guard down in his regard. As Donohue points out:
Farrakhan has done some very good things, too. He has called upon young black men to steer clear of drugs and to support their families. Yet no one is citing his good work as a justification for his bigoted comments. The same rule should apply to Hagee.
And the same moral clarity ought to come from McCain that is coming from the Democrats.

Oh, did I mention that Hagee has a very large congregation? Of conservative voters? Let's hope that they're not the vicious bigot that their "Pastor" is.

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