Beliefnet
God-O-Meter

hagee5.jpgGod-o-Meter was just paging through Sarah Posner’s new book God’s Profits and noticed that the very first chapter opens with a quote from John Hagee’s endorsement of George W. Bush for president in 2000. God-o-Meter proceeded to enter the words “Hagee,” “Bush,” and “Catholic” in a Nexis search of all news sources from 1999 thru 2000. Given the avalanche of coverage attending Hagee’s recent endorsement of John McCain–mostly over Hagee’s allegedly anti-Catholic views–God-o-Meter was fairly shocked to find nary a sidebar about said views during W’s first run for the White House. There were several stories that mentioned Hagee’s support for Bush. An April 1999 Washington Post piece was typical:

“George Bush is going to help Americans rediscover our moral foundation,” said John Hagee, who is pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio and has a national broadcast ministry.

But that was it. Not a whisper over what Hagee’s critics allege is virulent anti-Catholicism. (Not to mention what the Democratic National Committee calls his insensitivity toward blacks, women, and gays.) What gives? Have all Hagee’s controversial Catholic statements come just in the last eight years? Given that he recently marked his 50th year in ministry, God-o-Meter doubts it (GOM promises to do more digging on this front, however). Has the news media just grown that much more willing to cover all facets of religion in politics? Have various religious groups grown more apt to cry foul over perceived offenses?


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