On September 18, 2006, Pastor John Hagee — whose endorsement Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said this past Sunday he was “glad to have” — told NPR’s Terry Gross that “Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.” “New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God,” Hagee said, because “there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came.”
On his radio show yesterday, right-wing talker Dennis Prager asked Hagee to respond to “the various charges made against him” in a fact sheet put out by the Democratic National Committee. Asked about his comments on Hurricane Katrina, Hagee said “the topic of that day was cursing and blessing”:
HAGEE: Yes. The topic of that day was cursing and blessing. … What happened in New Orleans looked like the curse of God, in time if New Orleans recovers and becomes the pristine city it can become it may in time be called a blessing. But at this time it’s called a curse.
Prager followed up by asking if all natural disasters are a result of “the divine hand” and if there is “any natural disaster that is not the result of sin?” Hagee responded by saying “it’s a result of God’s permissible will” and “that there was going to be a massive homosexual rally there the following Monday,” which he said “was sin”:
PRAGER: Right, but in the case, did NPR get, is this quote correct though that in the case of New Orleans you do feel it was sin?
HAGEE: In the case of New Orleans, their plan to have that homosexual rally was sin. But it never happened. The rally never happened.
PRAGER: No, I understand.
HAGEE: It was scheduled that Monday.
PRAGER: No, I’m only trying to understand that in the case of New Orleans, you do feel that God’s hand was in it because of a sinful city?
HAGEE: That it was a city that was planning a sinful conduct, yes.
Unconvinced by Hagee’s explanation, Prager said “frankly” that critics “can get you” for those comments “because people don’t like to hear that sort of thing.”
In February, after working hard to gain Hagee’s endorsement, McCain said he was “very honored” to receive it. Since then, he has both “repudiate[d]” and defended Hagee’s anti-Catholic and “anti-anything” remarks. But as Think Progress has noted, McCain has never specifically commented on Hagee’s offensive beliefs about Hurricane Katrina or his anti-gay comments.
Given the fact that McCain will be in New Orleans tomorrow, will reporters ask whether he agrees with Hagee’s belief that the devastated city was cursed because of a gay pride parade? We’ll be watching.
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