AFP ‘Welcomes’ Pro-Israel Pastor to Washington
Texas Evangelist John Hagee Meets Our Own Willis Carto
By Michael Collins Piper
Dripping in diamonds and gold and draped in designer clothes, hundreds of well-heeled supporters of Texas evangelist John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel poured into the Washington Convention Center, July 21-24, for Hagee’s third annual “Israel Summit.”
Big on the agenda was promotion of Israel’s—and Hagee’s—long-standing demand that the United States destroy the Islamic Republic of Iran. Joining the applause for Hagee’s campaign was Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Sallai Meridor, a featured speaker at Hagee’s “Night to Honor Israel” banquet on July 21.
Critics say Hagee’s outfit is cult-like and not Christian at all, and that it places worship of the modern-day state of Israel (and the Jewish people) at its center, rather than devotion to Jesus Christ and His teachings. With this in mind, some traditional Bible-believing Christians greeted Hagee and his followers outside the convention center, waving picket signs and distributing literature exposing the un-Biblical and un-Christian nature of Hagee’s theology.
These critics patiently explained to Hagee devotees who dared to listen that Hagee’s theology is not Biblical in origin, but rather a product of the late 18th century and only came to popular attention in the mid-20th century. Critics denounced Hagee as a “Judas goat” and as a “false prophet” and urged him to repudiate the anti-Christ teachings of the Jewish Talmud.
Among those seeking to educate Hagee’s followers was AFP correspondent Willis Carto, joined by AFP staffers Vince Ryan, Steve Lombardo, Mike Piper, AFP contributor Pete Papaheraklus, as well as veteran Christian writer E. Stanley Rittenhouse and others.
Inside the convention center, Hagee and his followers were warmly greeted by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), an Orthodox Jew who is a strong supporter of Israel and close friend and pivotal spokesman for Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).
Always popular with the so-called “Christian Right” —despite Lieberman’s devotion to the teachings of the Jewish holy book, the Talmud, which makes unpleasant comments about Jesus—Lieberman praised Hagee, saying Hagee’s support for Israel was “so much more important” than bitter anti-Catholic remarks made by the Texas evangelist.
Lieberman said he was “proud” to stand with Hagee and spoke of “the bond” he felt with Hagee and the members of his cult.
Other than Lieberman, at least one other member of Congress was advertised as among the guests, namely Rep. Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican. Others who lent their prestige to Hagee’s cult were: Jonathan P. Falwell, son of the late evangelist Jerry Falwell; and neo-conservative pro-Israel Muslim-bashing propagandists Frank Gaffney, Daniel Pipes, Clifford May, Robert Satloff and Dennis Prager. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.)—defeated for reelection and angling for a comeback—and country singer Randy Travis also popped up.
Last, but far from least, joining the festivities were the Bilderberg group’s William Kristol, editor of Rupert Murdoch’s Weekly Standard, and Kristol’s close friend and collaborator Gary Bauer, touted as a defender of “family values” in Republican circles.
(Issue # 31, August 4, 2008)