Further details emerge; this time, audio of a sermon from the 1990s:
Going in and out of biblical verse, Hagee preached: “‘And they the hunters should hunt them,’ that will be the Jews. ‘From every mountain and from every hill and from out of the holes of the rocks.’ If that doesn’t describe what Hitler did in the holocaust you can’t see that.” …
“God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter. And the Bible says — Jeremiah writing — ‘They shall hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and from the holes of the rocks,’ meaning there’s no place to hide. And that might be offensive to some people but don’t let your heart be offended. I didn’t write it, Jeremiah wrote it. It was the truth and it is the truth. How did it happen? Because God allowed it to happen. Why did it happen? Because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel.”
For the record, I don’t blame John McCain for not knowing this about Pastor Hagee. McCain is not a theologian, and I’m sure it was an honest mistake when he spoke of Hagee as being a strong supporter of Israel.
But the Hagee story does illustrate an important point. White Christian preachers are innocent until proven guilty, whereas black preachers — and certainly preachers who are both black and Muslim — don’t get the benefit of the doubt. They have to turn somersaults to prove their innocence.
Similarly, Obama is viewed with greater suspicion than McCain. Yes, I know Obama’s relationship with Rev. Wright was much more significant than McCain’s relationship with Pastor Hagee. But still … Obama himself is no radical, yet he is expected to answer for every offensive thing that anyone associated with him says.
There’s a double standard at work here. It’s probably unfair to characterize the dynamic as racist; but “xenophobic” is surely justified. Obama is suspiciously other, and therefore has to pass tests to prove to sceptics that he’s a full-blooded American.
p.s. McCain has had enough.