According to McCain, By Choosing John Hagee, He's Choosing the 16th Century
In the 2000 Presidential election primaries, Senator John McCain accused Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson of being "agents of intolerance", and McCain called George W. Bush anti-Catholic for courting the political support of evangelist Bob Jones and for visiting Bob Jones University - which up until Bush's visit had prohibited interracial dating. Bob Jones called the pope the "anti-Christ" and the Catholic Church a satanic cult.
Senator McCain said that if he were invited to Bob Jones University he would have told Jones to "get out of the Sixteenth Century and into the 21st Century. What you're doing is racist and cruel." Now, in the 2008 presidential election, John McCain has aggressively courted, and enthusiastically accepted, the political support of John Hagee, who calls the Catholic Church "the great whore" and a "false cult system" and McCain's accusation, in the 2000 election, has come back to haunt him ; by his own measure, John McCain has chosen the Sixteenth Century.
Also see, McCain Reneges on Pledge To Never Seek anti-Catholic Support and, for general Hagee Background, McCain-backer Hagee's CUFI Worldview: "Thrilling" Rapture, Then "Holocaust"
UPDATE: Pelosi speaks out against McCain's embrace of McCain (from Steve Benen @ The Carpetbagger Report)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the highest ranking Roman Catholic official in the federal government, and not surprisingly, she finds John Hagee's anti-Catholic rhetoric offensive. Yesterday, to her credit, she pressed John McCain on why he refuses to denounce Hagee's bigotry. Nico Pitney has the story.
"That behavior is outside the circle of civilized debate in our democracy," Pelosi said during a Thursday conference call. "I certainly think John McCain should reject his endorsement and I'm sure it won't be long before he does."
McCain has come under heavy fire from Catholic groups across the political spectrum for appearing with Hagee last week and declaring he was "proud" of the endorsement. Subsequently, McCain told reporters that Hagee's backing "does not mean that I embrace everything that he stands for and believes," but added, "I am very proud of the Pastor John Hagee's spiritual leadership to thousands of people."
But several Catholic groups insist that McCain should specifically condemn Hagee's "hate speech" about Catholicism. Bill Donohue, president of the conservative Catholic League, charged in a statement that McCain "has shown horrendous judgment in buddying up to this bigot and spin doctor." The progressive group Catholics United yesterday circulated remarks from McCain in 2000 condemning the "strong anti-Catholic statements" of Bob Jones.Pelosi apparently didn't realize that McCain had actively sought out Hagee's support, and when told about his on the conference call, Pelosi was surprised. She said that she "certainly" thinks that McCain should reject Hagee's support, and then added, "I can't imagine that he wouldn't reject it."