Today's Top Five
1. Looking for an extreme voice on Israel? It's John Hagee time!
Maybe it's time for Weblog to shift from its regular "Pat Robertson doesn't represent evangelicalism" programming to "John Hagee doesn't represent evangelicalism." He's the latest Christian media darling, getting truckloads of press clippings from reporters eager to profile a Christian leader who sounds gleeful over war in the Middle East and ties current events to apocalyptic premillennialism. The latest and probably most prominent and detailed profile yet is on today's Wall Street Journal front page. Andrew Higgins describes the scene at last week's Christians United for Israel rally in D.C.:
Standing on a stage bedecked with a huge Israeli flag, Mr. Hagee drew rapturous applause and shouts of "amen" as he hailed Israel for doing God's work in a "war of good versus evil." Calls for Israel to show restraint violate "God's foreign-policy statement" toward Jews, he said, citing a verse from the Old Testament that promises to "bless those who bless you" and curse "the one who curses you." "Leave Israel alone. Let them do the job," Mr. Hagee told his supporters.
Yeah, there's a number of people in the evangelical movement who believe that Israel should only be criticized when it's being too soft on its neighbors. Let's accurately describe them as Zionist Christians rather than as evangelical Christians. As a subset, Hagee's views are no more representative of all evangelicals than they are of all Texans. Just how big is this group? One indication comes from Hagee himself. His San Antonio church claims 19,000 members (it has a weekly attendance of about 8,000), and yet he says that getting 3,500 Zionists to attend his rally in D.C. is a "miracle ...1