What happens when an end-of-times pastor meets a CNN bobble-head? One thing is for certain both science and rationality will be chucked out the window. John Hagee, head of a Texas mega-church had some truly crazy things to say on Glenn Beck's Friday evening show (October 12, 2007). You can get the complete transcript here. A few select outtakes can be found below the fold.
Hagee is one of that (fortunately) small number of Christians who seem both sure, and in a perverse way, delighted, that Armageddon is upon us. His proof is based solely on his interpretation of Revelations coupled with his observations of history and current events. In other words, it'd be a comedy of errors if it was an off-Broadway play, but seeing that it's being pushed and apparently believed by supposedly rational, intelligent adults, it's enough to make you nauseous. At points, even Beck was apparently taken back. Consider this exchange regarding global warming as a possible sign of the apocalypse:
BECK: Do you believe that global warming is a possible sign?
HAGEE: I don't believe in global warming.
BECK: You don't believe the earth is getting warmer?
BECK: No changes?
Clearly, Hagee knows his climate science. Apparently, he's also fond of geology:
HAGEE: Earthquakes are -- have been something in the Bible that God has used from time to time to communicate with people who are spiritually deaf. Moses had a pastoral problem. About 20,000 people didn't like him as the leader. God said, "Get those people in front of the tent of meetings, and I want to talk to them." And they got in front of the tent of meetings, and God opened the ground and buried them. The message was Moses is my man...
BECK: OK. We haven't really seen an increase in earthquakes, though.
HAGEE: I believe that the specific record of the number of earthquakes has dramatically increased every century from the 15th century. I do have those numbers, and they have virtually doubled in the 20th century from the 19th century.
Shifting gears, I found this exchange rather humorous:
BECK: Why is America not in the Bible? Then it can't be the End Times. How could we possibly not play a role in the End Days?
HAGEE: America's not in the Bible, because of these things. One, we are a brand new country. When the Bible was written, God knew that we would be and only refers to us as the young lions of Sheba and Dedan. Now, we came out of England. England has the symbol of the lion. We also -- we came from England. So, therefore, we, by stretch, could say that's referring to us.
Yeow. If it was any more stretchy we could say that 'Sheba' was referring to female sheep. But wait, it gets better.
HAGEE: Then -- then the disciples said, "Tell us what the signs will be." The first one that Jesus gave was the sign of deception. Said that you will be living in a time when you should not allow any man to deceive you. Take heed that no man deceive you. And we are living in a world of deception.
BECK: I have -- you know, we were just talking about this today in the office with a couple of my producers. I said, look how the darkness doesn't understand the light. Look how people can't even agree on the truth anymore.
HAGEE: Exactly right.
BECK: You don't -- you don't see anything the same anymore. There -- we don't even understand each other. And I have never seen that in my life. It's an amazing phenomenon. Is that what -- you believe that's what he was talking about?
HAGEE: Exactly right. We have come to a point in our existence where we refuse to take responsibility, we refuse to be accountable for our actions, we don't have the courage to say this is good and this is evil, this is right, this is wrong. And therefore, we live in this fog of political correctness, where everything is perpetual deception.
While it's mildly amusing to hear Beck comment on how folks "can't even agree on the truth anymore", certainly perpetual deception is something Hagee is expert on. There's a lot of craziness in this interview but this is the jewel:
HAGEE: And the last one is the sign of the scoffer. Second Peter says, "There will come in the last days scoffers saying where's the sign of his coming, the coming of Christ?"
The very fact that there's skepticism, so much skepticism, saying you people are crazy, believing in this, is a literal sign that Christ is going to appear.
He can't lose. The fact that people call him crazy only feeds his delusion and verifies it. In the final analysis,
HAGEE: No. There's no doubt in my mind that we are living the End of Days. None.
Nope. There's no doubt in my mind that John Hagee is a certifiable loon. None.
BECK: I have -- you know, we were just talking about this today in the office with a couple of my producers. I said, look how the darkness doesn't understand the light. And the producer said, aye verily, your words ring of truth. Surely, you are a man of God. And I said, your wisdom cannot be denied; you shall sit at my right hand when the Christmas bonuses are passed out. Then the other producer said something to his peer about being an ass-kissing suck-up, but I didn't catch all of it.
Ah yes, Hagee. I recall listening to this idiot on Sunday mornings more than a decade ago; my father was a big fan. If you ever wanted to learn how to hate, condemn, ridicule, deride, or judge, the man is an expert on all topics.
In Ontario Canada, we used to get the Headline News Channel on basic cable. I used to shake my head everytime I surfed past Glen Beck's or Nancy Grace's shows. Finally, the cable company came to its senses and removed it. We are similarly spared the Fox Noise Channel. I guess the drawback is that I won't be able to monitor the countdown to the End Times, so please keep me posted. If my local fundies are about to rapture, I'd like to throw them a going away party.
Hagee should be the poster boy for Fundie Gluttony. I've watched him grow fatter and richer for almost 20 years. My 9 year old son nicknamed him the Cabbage Patch Preacher. He heads Christians United for Israel, a group that needs the country of Israel to exist so they can start Armageddon. When that happens he wants half the Jews to be converted and half destroyed. Nice. He calls himself Dr. Hagee but, like Dr. Stephen Colbert, does not have an earned doctorate. Both of his are honorary. He is on the board of regents of Oral Roberts University. He is now leading the investigation into the irregularities at ORU.
I recently saw a video of Beck talking about his conversion to Mormonism. You can see it at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKtAPT9KEfM.
Most people believe we are living in the end of days. The Bible only confirms what we see going on in the world today.
Go out on the street and ask 50 people if they believe we are living in the end of time. You may be surprised at what you find.
Kevin Kelley. League City Texas.