Monday, March 19, 2007

Selective outrage

Last week I pointed out Pastor John Hagee, the leading voice of the fundamentalist we-support-Israel-so-it-can-host-the-Apocalypse crowd, who recently gave a keynote speech at the annual AIPAC conference. Indeed, Hagee is a strange kind of Judeophile, considering that he also promotes "New World Order" conspiracy theories.

Yet none of this seems to bother Scott Johnson at Powerline (via Scoobie Davis), who reported that Hagee's speech "had me crying."

But as one of Johnson's commenters noted, Hagee also practices a fairly invidious kind of Catholic-bashing. Indeed, back in 1997, the Catholic League protested Hagee's preachings:
The league viewed and protested a video produced and distributed by John Hagee Ministries, which cited certain "historical facts" designed to link the Catholic Church with Hitler's program of genocide in Germany. In its apparent attempt to drive a wedge between Catholics and Jews, the video, Southern Steps: Jerusalem and Bible Prophecy, ignored statements by various Jewish leaders citing the Catholic Church for its efforts to save Jews from the Nazis during World War II.

Moreover, as Frank Cocozzelli at Talk2Action details, Hagee has not softened his Catholic-bashing one whit in the intervening decade since that report -- while the Catholic League, over the same period, has remained oddly silent. For instance, in his recent book Jerusalem Countdown, Hagee opines:
Anti-Semitism is sin, and as sin, it damns the soul. Most readers will be shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolph Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews.

As Cocozzelli observes:
Donohue is quick to complain about the lack of Christmas trees or religious songs not being sung during school pageants. What Hagee wrote was maliciously inaccurate.

In fairness, the Catholic League spoke out against similar statements by Hagee-ten years ago, but evidently, it didn't do any good. And since then, Hagee has grown more prominent and more powerful. Does that make him untouchable?

Johnson offers a brief disclaimer: "One reader notes an anti-Catholic tilt to Dr. Hagee's speech that I missed. My appreciation of the speech obviously relates to its expression of support for the state and people of Israel."

But you can't separate Hagee's views on Israel from his views on Catholicism -- they're all part of the same ideological package. One wouldn't, for instance, celebrate a speech by David Duke simply because it managed to avoid overt anti-Semitism.

More to the point, Powerline was nothing if not dedicated in chiming in with Donohue regarding the supposed "assault on Catholic sensibilities" by the John Edwards' since-resigned staff bloggers. It also attacked them as "unhinged, anti-Catholic bloggers" while accusing Edwards' response of "lacking in the intellectual honenty [sic] department" -- with no apparent irony.

Indeed, Powerline has been similarly assiduous in decrying supposed anti-Catholic bigotry wherever it might be adduced (the dubiousness of such claims notwithstanding).

Funny that it can't see fit to denounce such bigotry when it rears its ugly head on the right.

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