Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Changed Man

I noticed recently that Reverend John Hagee, as a prelude to the visit to New Orleans in April, 2008 by his most famous fan, John McCain, has amended his comments about Hurricane Katrina. On September 18, 2006 Hagee told Terry Gross of National Public Radio, as reported by salon.com's glenn greenwald:

JH: All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that.

The newspaper carried the story in our local area, that was not carried nationally, that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it would was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other gay pride parades.

So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know there are people who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the Day of Judgment, and I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.

As of April 22, 2008 Reverend Hagee was unrepentant, as evidenced by this portion of a conversation (reported by thinkprogress.org) with right-wing Repub syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager:

PRAGER: Right, but in the case, did NPR get, is this quote correct though that in the case of New Orleans you do feel it was sin?

HAGEE: In the case of New Orleans, their plan to have that homosexual rally was sin. But it never happened. The rally never happened.

PRAGER: No, I understand.

HAGEE: It was scheduled that Monday.

PRAGER: No, I’m only trying to understand that in the case of New Orleans, you do feel that God’s hand was in it because of a sinful city?

HAGEE: That it was a city that was planning a sinful conduct, yes

But a mere three days later, on April 25, 2008 Reverend Hagee had a sudden change of hart and did a huge favor for John McCain, asserting in an e-mail:

As a believing Christian, I see the hand of God in everything that happens here on earth, both the blessings and the curses. But ultimately neither I nor any other person can know the mind of God concerning Hurricane Katrina. I should not have suggested otherwise. No matter what the cause of the storm, my heart goes out to all who suffered in this terrible tragedy. There but for the grace of God go any one of us.

One could suggest that Hagee is a changed man, and rejoice in his redemption. Less generously, I'll take note of Reverend Hagee's flexibility in altering his view of divine sovereignty just as John McCain swooped down into New Orleans as part of his springtime public relations tour.

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