Pastor John Hagee, a controversial critic of Catholicism, was onstage with Glenn Beck at this weekend’s “Restoring Honor” rally.
A panel on MSNBC’s Hardball found themselves shocked Tuesday to find Hagee “getting all the hosannahs for being a great American” while on stage with the Fox News host.
Hagee is the founder and pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas and the chief executive of Global Evangelism Television.
His views on homosexuality, Judaism, Islam, and Catholicism have brought him numerous criticisms.
As the Huffington Post reports, in Hagee’s book Jerusalem Countdown, he describes Hitler as a “half-breed Jew” descended from Esau.
“God promised to be at war with the descendants of Esau and Amalek forever,” Hagee writes. “Esau’s descendants would produce a lineage that would attack and slaughter the Jews for centuries. Esau’s descendants included Haman, whose diabolical mind conceived the “final solution” of the Old Testament — the extermination of all Jews living in Persia. 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.”
On Hardball, Salon.com Joan Walsh and Democratic strategist Bob Shrum debated what Beck has to gain by sharing the stage and aligning himself with the anti-Catholic Hagee.
“I couldn’t believe it when I read it this morning that Hagee was back up there with Glenn Beck, getting all the hosannahs for being a great American,” said Matthews.
Matthews aired a clip of Pastor Hagee describing the Roman Catholic church as an “apostate church” and “false cult.”
“This is the great whore of Revelation 17,” preached Hagee. “This is the anti-Christ system. This is the apostate church. In this cup, if you will read it in the Book of Revelation, is the blood of the saints, this false cult system that was born in Genesis 10 and progressed through Israel and became Baal worship. God says, The day is going to come when I’m going to cause this beast to devour this apostate system. So you can say very clearly that while the church is in heaven, this false religious system is going to be totally devoured by the anti- Christ.
“That’s the great John Hagee,” said Matthews after the footage. “His comments came to light during the 2008 presidential race, when he had to express regret, as he put it, for, quote, ‘any comments that Catholics have found hurtful.’
In other words, it’s Catholics who had a problem with what he said,” Matthew continued, “not that he or his followers had a problem with what he was preaching. And there was Hagee up there below the Lincoln Memorial enjoying the day with Glenn Beck.”
Joan Walsh commented that “to pick Hagee is either ignorance, or you know, I think more likely, he simply doesn’t care,” and noted that Beck urging people to leave churches preaching ‘social justice’ was seen by many as a slap at Catholicism.
Bob Shrum, the Democratic Strategist, added that “Beck himself clearly is riding a bandwagon of bigotry and fear to gather millions of followers and millions of dollars. He’s made anti-Muslim remarks. He’s made remarks about the president that are certainly tinged with racial overtones. So why wouldn’t he associate with an anti-Catholic?”
At the end of the segment, Matthews promised to keep an eye on Glenn Beck’s pals.
“I don’t know. This — we’re going to learn more about — I’m going to make more of an effort now to study who hangs out with Glenn Beck because he’s got an interesting cotillion up there. I didn’t know about this person, John Hagee. I honestly couldn’t believe it when I read this morning that he was up there, that this guy Hagee’s up there getting all those hosannahs.”
This video is from MSNBC’s Hardball, broadcast Aug. 31, 2010.