When it comes to Pastor John Hagee, John McCain and Joe Lieberman have a lot in common. Both men addressed the 2007 convention of Hagee's organization, Christians United for Israel (CUFI). McCain and Lieberman each voiced support for a pre-emptive strike against Iran. But while John McCain aggressively sought Hagee's endorsement, only Joe Lieberman compared the Texas pastor to Moses. And judging by his agreement to speak at CUFI's upcoming 2008 conference, Joe Lieberman still believes it.
As Huffington Post reports this morning:
Senator Joseph Lieberman is scheduled to headline Pastor John Hagee's 2008 Christians United For Israel Washington-Israel Summit this July 22. In accepting Hagee's invitation, Lieberman became the most senior elected representative confirmed to appear at the annual gala.
It was at last year's CUFI conference that Lieberman offered his glowing tribute to the End Times Pastor Hagee:
"He is a Ish Elokim, a man of God and those words really fit him...like Moses he's become a leader of a mighty multitude, even greater than the multitude that Moses led from Egypt to the promised land."
"Then god sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter. And the Bible says -- Jeremiah writing -- 'They shall hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and from the holes of the rocks,' meaning there's no place to hide. And that might be offensive to some people but don't let your heart be offended. I didn't write it, Jeremiah wrote it. It was the truth and it is the truth. How did it happen? Because God allowed it to happen. Why did it happen? Because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel."
For Hagee, of course, the return of the Jews to Israel is a biblical necessity, a requirement for the Second Coming of Christ and the final battle of Armageddon with, you guessed it, Iran:
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"The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West...a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ."
Then and then only then, can the Jews be converted - or massacred - in what Keith Olbermann described as "biblical collateral damage." As part of his cynical effort to court the religious right, John McCain aggressively sought Pastor Hagee's endorsement. And to date, Mr. Straight Talk has yet to answer the question: does John McCain agree with Pastor John Hagee that war with Iran is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy? The questions about McCain "spiritual guide" Rod Parsley also remained unanswered. Ultimately, of course, McCain completed his retreat from what Jon Stewart deemed "crazy base world" and rejected both.
But Joe Lieberman's embrace of Hagee seems more heartfelt and less opportunistic than McCain's. Only two weeks ago, Lieberman said Hagee "represents a lot of people in this country, particularly Christians who care about the state of Israel." Of course, Lieberman also vouched for McCain's fitness, mental and otherwise:
"I just want to report that this morning I personally checked John McCain's bearings. He has not lost any of them. They are all in really great shape."
That may or not be the case, but increasingly it appears that it is Joe Lieberman who has lost his bearings. No doubt, generations of political science, history - and psychology - graduate students yet unborn will author dissertations asking of Al Gore's 2000 running mate, "what happened to Joe Lieberman?" As Lieberman said last week in response to that same question posed about Al Gore, "damned if I know."
In the meantime, only Joe Lieberman himself can answer the simple yes/no question: do you still believe John Hagee is Moses? Apparently, the answer is yes.
(h/t Silent Patriot)