Hagee Redux

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Hagee and books.jpgAmong the side issues stirred up by fracas over Pastor John Hagee’s endorsement of John McCain was whether the Jewish community should or would insert itself into the the discussion. On the one hand, Hagee’s alleged anti-Catholicism (OK, this blog has argued that there’s it’s bona fide) might induce Jews to their traditional denunciation of all forms of religious bigotry. On the other, there’s the fact that Hagee has been a huge supporter of (and fund raiser for) Israel. Led by ADL president Abe Foxman’s assertion that Hagee’s endorsement was “not a Jewish issue,” the community’s initial reaction was essentially to sit on its hands. But now, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, has put the fat back in the fire by denouncing the Jewish alliance with Christian Zionists like Hagee–Hagee in particular–as bad for Israel. He urges Jews to stay away from Hagee’s patented “Nights to Honor Israel.”
Meanwhile, the conservative Catholic pundit Deal Hudson, author of a new book on “the growing power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States,” reports in his blog on his visit to Hagee. Hudson notes Hageean perplexy: “Deal, how can people think I am anti-Catholic when my wife is an ex-Catholic, and a third of my congregation are former Catholics?” As we’ve noted in this space, it’s precisely his church’s effective mission to Latino Catholics that has driven his anti-Catholic message. Hudson doesn’t seem to recognize that, however. He mostly want to make nice.