John Hagee

John Charles Hagee (born April 12, 1940) is an American Protestant pastor and televangelist. The founder of John Hagee Ministries, his ministry is telecast to the United States and Canada. Hagee is also the founder and chairman of the Christian-Zionist organization Christians United for Israel. Hagee is active politically and is known for his activism on behalf of the State of Israel. He has also attracted controversy over his comments on Catholicism, Jews and Islam, and promotion of the blood moon prophecy.

Hagee founded a series of churches in San Antonio, Texas starting in 1966, and each church outgrew its previous building, leading to him founding the Cornerstone Church in 1987.[1]

Starting in 1981 in San Antonio, following Operation Opera, Hagee has organized "A Night to Honor Israel" events aiming to show support for the State of Israel.[2]

On February 7, 2006, Hagee and some 400 leaders from across the Christian and Jewish communities formed Christians United for Israel (CUFI). This lobbies members of the United States Congress, using a biblical stance for promoting Christian Zionism. Around that time he received death threats for his activism on behalf of the State of Israel and hired bodyguards for protection.[3]

Hagee was the primary funding source for the Israeli Zionist group Im Tirtzu, until he cut ties with the organization in 2013.[4]

Hagee has stated that he believes the Bible commands Christians to support the State of Israel.[5]

In 2007, Hagee stated that he does not believe in global warming, and he also said that he sees the Kyoto Protocol as a "conspiracy" aimed at manipulating the U.S. economy.[6]

Hagee is anti-abortion and stopped giving money to Israel's Hadassah Medical Center when it began offering the procedure.[7]

Hagee has been criticized for statements pertaining to Jewish people, the Catholic Church, and Islam. Some Jewish leaders, such as Reform Rabbi Eric Yoffie have criticized Hagee for being "extremist" on Israeli policy and for disparaging other faiths.[8]

After Hagee's 2008 endorsement of U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain, a furor arose over statements made by Hagee that were seen by some as anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic (despite Hagee's Christian Zionist and pro-Israel stance.)[9][10][3][11][12] Following Hagee's remarks, John McCain publicly distanced himself from Hagee.[13][14]

Hagee purported that Adolf Hitler's antisemitism was especially derived from his Catholic background, and he also purported that Hitler was "a spiritual leader in the Catholic Church,"[15] as well as purporting that the Catholic Church under Pope Pius XII encouraged Nazism.[16] Hagee also blamed the Catholic Church for instigating the Dark Ages, claiming that it allowed the Crusaders to rape and murder with impunity.[17] William Donohue, the president of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, rejected the comments and Hagee's explanations for them. On May 12, 2008, after discussions with Donohue and other Catholic leaders, Hagee issued a letter of apology, expressing regret for "any comments that Catholics have found hurtful."[18][11][12][19] The apology was accepted by William Donohue.[18]

Hagee has claimed that Adolf Hitler was born from a lineage of "accursed, genocidally murderous half-breed Jews."[20][20] Citing material from Jewish tradition [21][3], he claimed that the persecution of Jews throughout history, implicitly including the Holocaust, was due to the Jewish people's disobedience of God.[22][23][24][3]

In 2008, Hagee claimed that the anti-Christ will be "a homosexual" and "...partially Jewish, as was Adolph [sic] Hitler"[25] and he also claimed that a reference in Jeremiah 16:16 to "fishers" and "hunters" was symbolic of positive motivation (Herzl/Zionism) and negative motivation (Hitler/Nazism) respectively, both men were sent by God for the purpose of having Jews return to Israel, and he even suggested that the Holocaust was willed by God because most Jews "ignored" Herzl.[26][27][28][29][3]

Hagee has been described as making slanderous or demonizing comments about Islam.[30][31] Hagee has claimed that "Islam not only condones violence; it commands it."[32][33] He has also claimed that a contrast exists between Islam's "violent nature" and Christianity's "loving nature"[32][34] and the Quran teaches, and Muslims have a mandate, to kill Jews and Christians.[35][36]

Hagee, along with Mark Biltz, created the blood moon prophecy, which they promoted in a 2013 book. The two claimed that a tetrad which began with the April 2014 lunar eclipse was a sign of the end times as described in the Bible and the tetrad ended with the lunar eclipse on September 27–28, 2015. Hagee and Biltz's claims gained media attention.[37][38] The prediction was criticized by scientists and other Christians.[39][40][41]

In 2002, Hagee endorsed the conservative State Representative John Shields in the latter's unsuccessful bid for the Republican primary for the District 25 seat in the Texas Senate. Hagee dubbed Shields's opponent, incumbent Jeff Wentworth, "the most pro-abortion" of 181 legislators in both houses of the Texas legislature.[42]

In 1996, Hagee spoke on behalf of Republican presidential primary candidate Alan Keyes, who in 2004 lost the U.S. Senate election in Illinois to Barack Obama. In 2008, Hagee endorsed Senator John McCain in the presidential contest against Barack Obama.[43] In 2016, Hagee endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[44]