I’m all for prayer, and God knows our country needs it more that when George Washington called for a day of prayer way back when. So I have no problem with Governor Perry’s prayer meeting in Texas today.
However, enter Pastor John Hagee, of the Cornerstone Baptist Church in San Antonio. A longtime anti-Catholic, Hagee has long advocated Armageddon, the earlier the better, so that Christians can rule with Christ for 1,000 years. This apocalyptic tenet comes from Dispensationalism, a creed created in England in the nineteenth century and embraced and spread by the British Foreign Office. My friend Cliff Kiracofe has ably documented the story here.
Christian Warmonger Hagee has a powerful following these days in his role as founder and leader of Christians for Israel. In the run-up to the 2008 Iowa caucuses, Mike Huckabee went to San Antonio to get Hagee’s endorsement (he failed). John McCain finally did, but then had to renounce it because of Hagee’s anti-Catholicism (full disclosure: Some friends tell me that they have heard Hagee apologize, privately, for his fifty years of bigotry).
Which brings us to Hagee’s appearance at today’s prayer meeting. Perhaps he was invited, perhaps he crashed the prayer party, perhaps all were welcome, in a Christian sort of way. But in his prayerful remarks he came mighty close to comparing Governor Perry to Abraham Lincoln. Which may well mean that Perry will wind up like John McCain.3:45 pm on August 6, 2011 Email Christopher Manion