As a Catholic, do I care?
SEDONA, Ariz. -- Endorsed by an influential Texas televangelist, Republican John McCain endeared himself to one group of voters but risked alienating another with the pastor's anti-Catholic views.
The controversy has been mild so far, but still, every vote counts in a presidential election that is expected to be closely contested.
Translation: The AP is disappointed that the "controversy" has been mild so far, so it's trying to whip up outrage.
...The televangelist, San Antonio megachurch leader John Hagee, has referred to the Roman Catholic Church as "the great whore" and called it a "false cult system" and "the apostate church"; the word "apostate" means someone who has forsaken his religion.
He also has linked Adolf Hitler to the Catholic church, suggesting it helped shape his anti-Semitism.
Catholic groups are pressuring McCain to reject the endorsement, which he announced at a news conference with Hagee last week. The Democratic National Committee also is publicizing Hagee's views.
"Indeed, for the past few decades, he has waged an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church," said Catholic League President Bill Donohue.
"Senator Obama has repudiated the endorsement of Louis Farrakhan, another bigot," Donohue said. "McCain should follow suit and retract his embrace of Hagee."
...It remains to be seen how much Hagee's views may hurt McCain's standing among Catholics, a group that can hardly be considered monolithic. Though they lean Republican, their views span the political spectrum and split nearly evenly along party lines.
Despite the recent publicity, Hagee is not well-known outside his sphere of influence, which includes a congregation in the tens of thousands and an even wider television audience.
"What he holds about Catholicism in my mind is despicable," said the Rev. James Heft, religion professor at the University of Southern California. "I totally reject Hagee's view of Catholicism, but I don't know how widely known it is."
If Hagee's views become well-known, the endorsement could hurt McCain among some Catholics.
"If you offend even a small percentage, that could make the difference in an election," Donohue said in an interview Sunday.
Democrats are doing their best to keep the fracas alive, with Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean raising it Sunday on CNN's "Late Edition."
Hagee's views aren't well-known. That's why the DNC and Howard Dean and the lib media are doing their best to get the word out.
...McCain's response to the controversy has been tepid, Heft said. Following two days of criticism, McCain issued a statement saying only that he doesn't agree with everything Hagee says.
"In no way did I intend for his endorsement to suggest that I in turn agree with all of Pastor Hagee's views, which I obviously do not," McCain said. Before issuing the statement, he told reporters he was "proud" of Hagee's spiritual leadership of his congregation.
The Dems and their media mouthpieces are trying to make Hagee an albatross for McCain, like Farrakhan is for Barack Obama.
It seems to me that McCain should have been more forceful in his condemnation of Hagee's views on the Catholic Church. He should have been more specific.
It's especially troubling when considering how McCain rushed out to distance himself from Bill Cunningham's use of Barack Obama's middle name "Hussein," the name given to him by his parents.
If that's such a sin, surely referring to the Church as "the great whore" is much, much worse than that speaking the truth regarding Obama's name. McCain should clearly reject Hagee's views on Catholicism.
Do I care that Hagee has endorsed McCain?
Do I care that McCain hasn't forcefully rejected Hagee's disparaging, disrespectful remarks on Catholics?
Yes. I do because he's being politically expedient. He doesn't want to alienate any evangelicals so he's dancing around this.
Call the Catholic Church "a false cult system" but don't utter Barack Hussein Obama ever, ever again. McCain should be ashamed.
That said, this won't impact my vote. Sitting out the election is not an option. I won't boycott the election and I won't boycott the hypocritical McCain.
Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are pro-abortion. Hillary is a lib and Obama is a super lib with frighteningly little experience. I disagree with them dramatically more than I disagree with McCain.
McCain is the lesser evil.