John Hagee: A Profile in Pathological Christian Activism

Andrew Joyce, Ph.D.


We live in a truly depressing age — one where groups like the ADL and the Zionist Organization of America can kick back and let Christians do their dirty work for them. Although Pastor John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel, has recently backtracked on his recent claim that Barack Obama is one of the “most anti-Semitic presidents” in history, he persists in attacking Obama for being ‘anti-Israel.’ Under pressure from powerful associates who thought  he had pushed things too far, the corpulent Christian issued a clarification to comments he made at the ZOA’s recent annual dinner. Citing “conversations with friends in the pro-Israel community ” (including Robert Sugarman and Malcolm Hoenlein, respectively the chairman and executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations), Hagee writes:

The prepared text of my remarks before the Zionist Organization of America called President Obama one of the most ‘anti-Israel’ presidents in US history. … During my speech, I inadvertently called him one of the most ‘anti-Semitic’ presidents in history. … While I regret my misstatement, I stand behind my prepared remarks. I am alarmed by the policies of this Administration and the contempt it has shown towards Israel’s democratically elected government. I believe that those of us who love Israel must be aggressive in our criticism thereof.

Hagee had attended the event to receive an award from the ZOA, which was presented to him by none other than Sheldon and Miriam Adelson. One nausea-inducing report of the night’s proceedings noted that:

The other stars of the night were the ubiquitous Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam, whose generous contributions to ZOA have helped lift the organization out of the doldrums and into the spotlight and the fast lane. [ZOA president Mort] Klein gave Adelson a gift mezuzah for his new Las Vegas home (in which “God himself would be happy to live if he could afford it”] then Miriam Adelson told the audience “how I fell in love” with Pastor John Hagee “the most effective Christian Zionist in the world” and then Hagee described the Adelsons as “the greatest citizens of America.” And the crowd kvelled.


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Hagee will presumably need to find some more shelf space at home because he has previously been the recipient of the ZOA Israel Award, the ZOA (Dallas) Service Award and the Humanitarian of the Year Award by the San Antonio B’nai B’rith Council in recognition of his “unwavering support” of Israel. After receiving his latest token of gratitude, “the most effective Christian Zionist in the world” turned his attention to ongoing nuclear negotiations between America and Iran, and said that Obama “is anxious to accommodate Iran and its nuclear ambitions,” followed immediately by his claim that “the executive branch is in the hands of one of the most anti-Semitic presidents in the history of the United States of America.” The prostrating pastor then further criticized Obama for his lack of support for Israel, and argued that the president has “been trying to break” U.S.-Israel relations “for the past five years.”

Hagee is not a complete stranger to TOO. In March 2010 Kevin MacDonald penned an article describing “one of the oddest phenomena in American politics: The rabid pro-Israel activities of the Christian Zionists as exemplified by Pastor Hagee. Hagee is the ultimate Christian Zionist.” The article emphasizes how American Jews and the Israeli government have actively cultivated Christian Zionism since its beginnings in the early twentieth century. There can be little doubt that Hagee’s rabid pro-Israel stance was a great career move.

The following month, TOO contributor Lasha Darkmoon discussed the millions of American Christians “whipped into a frenzy of religious fervor by the Grahams and the Robertsons, the Falwells and the Hagees, the Lindseys and the La Hayes.” Darkmoon pointed out that:

These Christian Zionists have become imitation Jews almost indistinguishable from Vladimir Jabotinski and Baruch Goldstein. They believe in a Greater Israel — entailing further conquests of Arab Land — and in the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. They have “adopted” illegal settlements and they directly finance the bulldozing of Palestinian homes, the uprooting of olive trees, and the daily oppression of the rightful owners of the Holy Land. They pray every Sunday in their vast soulless churches for the destruction of Iran. And if push came to shove, they would gladly give their blessings to genocide — and call it “the will of God.” There are now 80,000 fundamentalist pastors and clergy preaching their message of madness to these ill-educated Christian masses — in many ways as gullible and gormless as medieval peasants.  The pernicious views of their “pastors” are disseminated by 1000 local Christian radio stations as well as 100 Christian TV stations.

Witnessing Hagee’s latest activities, I found myself pondering just what exactly is going on inside this man’s head, and I began to dig a little deeper into his writings and theology. The results of my research ranged from predictable discoveries common to pathological aspects of Christianity, to elements of thought which are only slightly less common, but are infinitely more bizarre and lacking entirely any historical basis. Take, for example, his rabidly anti-European, anti-Catholic book Jerusalem Countdown, in which he claims that Adolf Hitler was born from a lineage of “accursed, genocidally murderous half-breed Jews.” Hagee writes (Jerusalem Coundown: 93) that “it was Esau’s descendants who produced the half-breed Jews of history who have persecuted and murdered the Jews beyond human comprehension. … Adolf Hitler was a distant descendant of Esau.” As an explanation of the centuries-old German-Jewish conflict, Hagee’s theory must sit somewhere alongside theories that the National Socialists were Orcs from Middle Earth. This is world history told via Jewish fairy tales.

Nevertheless, Hagee sees himself as a gifted historian, as well as a potent carrier of prophecy. Evidently in awe of his own historical expertise, in his 2007 In Defense of Israel, Hagee described Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as “the new Hitler,” and made the laughably earnest claim: “As an avid student of history, I am convinced we are facing the same situation the world faced in 1938.”[1] This is the bizarre but frighteningly influential figure we are up against.

The precise origins of the porcine preacher’s activism on behalf of Jews are unclear, and his own comments on the issue are unconvincing or, to me at least, intellectually unsatisfying. He recalls being “a scrawny eight year old” when he witnessed his father weeping with joy at hearing of the founding of the State of Israel on the radio, but, other than this incident, Hagee’s involvement with Jews and Zionism came much later. With hyperbolic religiosity typical of that venal breed of persons known as televangelists, Hagee describes a kind of ‘divine conversion’ experience which resulted in his becoming a philosemite of Biblical proportions. Hagee, also an avid fan of exclamation marks, writes:

In June of 1978, I went to Israel as a tourist and came home a Zionist!  I have traveled the world but as I walked the cobblestone streets of the Holy City, I knew I was home!  My roots were there!  I felt a very special presence in that sacred city that changed my life forever! As I stood praying at the Western Wall, I noticed an elderly orthodox Jewish man praying with all his might, rocking back and forth and reciting Scripture. I thought to myself, “Here we are at the same holy place, praying to the same God and quoting the same scripture…yet I know nothing about this man or his faith.” In the days that followed, my heart was charged with a commission from the Holy Spirit to do all that I could to bring Christians and Jews together in an atmosphere of mutual esteem and unconditional love…

Some months later, Israel bombed the nuclear reactor in Iraq. The media in San Antonio devoured Israel for their actions. I personally felt that Israel had done the peace-loving world a favor by stopping the construction of a nuclear reactor that most assuredly would have been used for the production of nuclear bombs in the Middle East…As the television commentators chastised Israel, I said to my wife, “I disagree with their position! How can we publicly express our support for Israel in such a way where the press will send a message to our Jewish friends that we support Israel’s courage to defend themselves?”

Within minutes the idea came! “We’ll rent the municipal auditorium, invite our Jewish community, and hold an event called, “A Night To Honor Israel” where Christians will come together and show solidarity for Israel and the Jewish people!” Diana asked a very important question, “Don’t you think you should ask the Jewish community if they want to participate?” “How do we get in touch with the official Jewish community?” I knew there were Rabbis in our city and after a few phone calls, I discovered something called the Jewish Federation where everything kosher starts and stops. I went to the Federation the next day and asked to meet the Executive Director. I told him that I wanted to have an event called, “A Night to Honor Israel!”

Supporting Jews and Zionism has been a feature of Hagee’s work for over thirty years, starting with that that first event, held in 1981. Hagee’s annual “A Night to Honor Israel” has raked in millions of dollars (a total of $80,000,000) for the Zionists every year since. Because of his ability to siphon vast amounts of cash from Christians to Jews, he became the first pastor ever invited to address AIPAC.[2]

In addition to hosting events and tours of Israel for the wealthy and the gullible, Hagee articulates his dubious theology, history and politics through his sermons and books. The most directly relevant of his books to Jews and Zionism is In Defense of Israel (2007), which, I state with utmost seriousness, ranks among the most turgid, facile and ridiculous pieces of writing I have ever rested my eyes upon.

On the political situation in the Middle East, and ‘anti-Semitism,’ Hagee states that:

Israel is not the problem, and making Israel the scapegoat will not solve the problem. … But across the world we are hearing voices raised in curses against Israel. Even supposedly devout Christians praise the patriarchs of the past – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – while avoiding their Jewish neighbors across the street. This is anti-Semitism, and anti-Semitism is sin. And as sin, it damns the soul. As Christians we should ask God’s forgiveness and ask the Jewish people for forgiveness of every act of anti-Semitism in our past. The Crusades. The Spanish Inquisition. Martin Luthers ‘Concerning the Jews and their Lies.’ The Final Solution of Adolf Hitler, which was carried out by baptized Christians in good standing with their church.[3]

There are, of course, a multitude of things one could say about this particular paragraph — it is a veritable harvest of ignorance and pathology. However, it might suffice simply to say that it is clear why the Hebrew hierarchy finds in this obnoxious man a knight in shining armor. He urges his congregation to hold figures from a Jewish book of fairy tales in total reverence, and to see the Jews allegedly descended from these figures as possessing some sort of ethereal power. He condemns criticism of Jews as a sin, and he urges his fellow Christians to prostrate themselves before their Hebrew demi-gods in supplication and repentance for every act of rebellion carried out by their ancestors. For some icing on this kosher cake, Hagee has a clear obsession with Hitler and his “ghost” which, according to the rotund writer, still walks around Europe stirring up sinful ‘hatred’ against Jews and Israel.

Hagee articulates a theory of ‘anti-Semitism’ which is entirely in sync with that advanced by Jewish scholars and activist groups – that antagonism towards Jews as a group is by nature pathological and is rooted exclusively in Christianity. The third chapter of In Defense of Israel, titled ‘The Sins of the Fathers,’ is concerned solely with this theory, and with berating Christians into supporting Israel out of guilt. Hagee writes:

When average Americans hear the term anti-Semitism, they probably think of Hitler and the Nazis, or al Qaeda and the militant jihadist terrorist organizations. They might even think about the Ku Klux Klan or ‘skinheads.’ In actuality anti-Semitism has its origin and its complete root structure in Christianity, dating from the early days of the Christian church. Until we come to terms with the true origins of anti-Semitism, we will not be able to correctly address this most egregious of sins.[4]

Hagee describes the comments of the early Church fathers on Jews, many of which were sociological rather than religious, as “a poisonous stream of venom.”[5] His woeful lack of scholarship and reading leads him to make such ridiculous pronouncements as “During the First Crusade to the Holy Land, in 1096, the crusading armies, called Knights of the Cross, left a trail of blood across Europe.”[6] (For a more accurate reading of Christian-Jewish conflicts during the First Crusade see my remarks on the work of Robert Wistrich).

When not convincing his readers that their hands are stained with Jewish blood, Hagee’s writings are filled instead with exaltations of the Jewish “contribution to society.” These ‘contributions,’ according to his laugh-out-loud chapter on ‘Our Debt to the Jewish People,’ includes:

  • Hershey’s chocolate
  • The writings of Elie Wiesel
  • The diary of Anne Frank
  • That Leonardo da Vinci’s mother ‘might’ have been Jewish

Once even the most ardent chocolate-lover learns the fact that Milton Hershey was a Pennsylvania Dutch-speaking Mennonite, and not even remotely Jewish, Hagee’s list is underwhelming in the extreme.

Hagee is also an arch-apologist for the Jewish terrorist campaign against the British, which lay behind the creation of the State of Israel. In an earlier article I touched upon Jewish barbarism, stating that:

Jewish terrorism against the British had culminated in 1947 with the kidnapping of two British army Intelligence Corps NCOs, Sergeant Clifford Martin and Sergeant Mervyn Paice. Martin and Paice were beaten and bloodied by their Jewish captors, before being hanged in a eucalyptus grove near Netanya. Their bodies were booby-trapped with mines, causing them to be torn to pieces when efforts were made to retrieve them. The brutal and sadistic slayings comprising the ‘Sergeant’s Affair’ had followed the bombing of Jerusalem’s King David Hotel (British headquarters in Palestine) a year earlier. The new atrocity sparked a wave of revulsion throughout Britain. More specifically, the actions caused the British people to re-think Jewish loyalty.

By contrast, Hagee has a nausea-inducing section on Menachem Begin, the Irgun, and the bombing of the King David Hotel, in which he glorifies Jewish ingratitude for war-time British assistance, and the rank cowardice of the Jewish terrorists. Hagee talks of the “daring exploits of the Irgun,” and describes the loathsome Begin as “a freedom fighter.”[7] He ignorantly states that Irgun targets were “always British military personnel” even though it is common knowledge that the Irgun massacred hundreds of Arab civilians, and that most of the victims of the bombing of the King David Hotel (which Hagee applauds) were civilians. Despite this, Hagee writes that “the bombing of the King David Hotel was not an act of terrorism – it was an act of combat between warring forces.”[8]

Hagee’s other noteworthy book is Jerusalem Countdown (2006) which, though less focused on Jews and Israel, provides further insight into Hagee’s perception of historical events and his general mentality. Like Jewish Zionists, he is obsessed with gory images of massacres and is consumed by the idea that all Christians should feel immense guilt for past rebellions against Jews. Quite often, he reaches for anecdotes which reveal just how historically ignorant he really is. For example, in one section on ‘Nazi anti-Semitism’ Hagee discusses a gory Soviet report from 1942 on what he believes to be the aftermath of a mass shooting of Jews by German troops in Kerch, Ukraine (Jerusalem Countdown, p.115). But we in fact know that the event in Kerch actually involved Romanian troops undertaking excessive reprisals against Roma gypsies associated with partisan terrorism, and dumping the victim’s bodies in a nearby anti-tank ditch. No Germans. No Jews. Hagee’s narrative possesses no historical or factual merit whatsoever — but that, unfortunately, won’t prevent his readers or his congregation from eagerly drinking from his well of guilt and horror.

Hagee’s work is also a wonderland of panegyrics to the Jews. He calls them “the apple of God’s eye,”[9] and argues frequently that “every nation that rises up in judgment against Israel God will punish and punish severely.” Ignorant of history, Hagee advances the narrative that nations which have risen against Jews or Israel will be punished down through the generations for their ‘sin.’ This really goes against the grain of historical fact. For example, England, Spain and numerous German provinces enjoyed great prosperity following the historical expulsions of their Jewish communities, particularly when their position was contrasted with those Eastern European states still harboring powerful Jewish populations linked to local elites. Far from being severely punished, the English peasantry, whose agitation brought about the expulsion of Jews from England, were rewarded with “a golden age for the English laborer. … There was a well-developed land market among peasants, some of whom managed to rise above their neighbours and began to constitute a class called yeomen.” So much for the wrath of Jehovah.

Finally, Hagee assists his Jewish associates by ceaselessly beating the war drums against Iran, and maintaining the constant refrain that the national security interests of America and Israel are inextricably linked. In Jerusalem Countdown the chubby chaplain claims that “America and Israel will be forced to stop Iran’s nuclear production or gamble with the national security of both nations.”[10] Hagee’s views on Iran are apparently based on his practice of ‘Bible prophecy,’ which gives him the power to see that the psychedelic book of Ezekiel, which also mentions spaceships and monsters, discusses an alliance of Islamic nations and Russia against Israel. Hagee thus believes that “World War III has begun.”[11] Eight years on, we can cue tumbleweed…

While Hagee in many respects cuts a ridiculous figure, and some aspects of this article are streaked with levity, the fact remains that he represents a clear and present danger to our people. There is a reason why he is beloved of the Adelsons, and the darling of AIPAC. In many respects, he is infinitely more harmful to the position of Whites, and the foreign policy of the United States than any Jewish/Zionist organization. He promotes White guilt; he facilitates the transfer of financial resources from Whites to Jews; he places Jews above Whites and uses a dubious theology to reinforce this in the hearts and minds of believers; and he advocates a psychotic, senseless and potentially disastrous foreign policy. Waking up Whites to the reality of their ethnic position will be made more difficult than necessary as long as they remain plugged into the kind of Christianity® that cretins like Hagee continue to brainwash them with.

As I have stated previously, one of our fundamental problems is that even where modern Christianity is not explicitly pro-Zionist, it is a fact that:

Christianity is, in theory as well as practice, currently opposed to the preservation of the European peoples. It opposes the very idea that Europeans conceive of themselves as a racial group with their own interests. In the view of many major Christian bodies, Europeans are committing a “sin” simply by asserting that they are a member of a race with interests and ties of kinship, rather than some generic human vessel which houses a “soul” destined to enjoy a multicultural paradise in this life and the putative next.

I now, and always will, oppose this position.

___________________________________________________________________

[1] J. Hagee, In Defense of Israel (Frontline: Florida, 2007), p.2.
[2] J. Hagee, In Defense of Israel (Frontline: Florida, 2007), p.2.
[3] Ibid, pp.4-5.
[4] Ibid, p.17.
[5] Ibid, p.20.
[6] Ibid, p.21.
[7] Ibid, p.211.
[8] Ibid.
[9] J. Hagee, Jerusalem Countdown (Frontline: Florida, 2006), p.117.
[10] Ibid, p.vii.
[11] Ibid, p.1.

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