Thursday, April 24, 2008

Straight Talk About The Church?

Sometimes I get to thinking: is John McCain, confused, temperamental, or self-conscious about his own hypocrisy? Fox News reports an extraordinary, if disarmingly simple, response of the presumptive Repub nominee to questions posed to him in New Orleans aboard his bus today, April 24, 2008:

Q: What is your reaction (to Hagee Katrina comments)?

McCain: It’s nonsense.

Q: Would you withdraw accepting his endorsement?

McCain: It’s nonsense, it’s nonsense, it’s nonsense. It’s nonsense. I don’t have anything additional to say about that. It’s nonsense.

Q: Do you regret accepting his endorsement?

A: It’s nonsense. I don’t have anything more to say about that. Of course–I apologize for that. It’s nonsense. I reject that categorically and I would point out there’s a lot of people who have endorsed me. They support my views. That does not mean that I support–would I consider repudiating his endorsement? I certainly condemn those parts of his remarks. I continue to appreciate his support for the state of Israel and for many of the good things that he and his church has done. But I repudiate as strongly as possible those remarks and those of the Catholic church as well.

At first glance, the fun response (to the second question) is "it's nonsense, it's nonsense, it's nonsense. It's nonsense. I don't have anything additional to say about that. It's nonsense." This is, of course, a perfect description of McCain's response and means nothing.

But McCain's response to the third question may be more revealing. First, he refuses- or, rather, avoids- repudiating Hagee's endorsement. And then he says something astonishing which is not going to be noticed. McCain said "I repudiate as strongly as possible those remarks and those of the Catholic church as well" (emphasis mine).

What remarks of the Roman Catholic Church does the Senator repudiate? Did he really mean that? Before you conclude that he couldn't possibly have been taking a shot at the Church, remember: this is all about John McCain's admiration of someone who has publicly referred to the Roman Catholic Church as "the great whore of Babylon."

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