May 23rd, 2008
10:01 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain rejects endorsement of a second controversial pastor

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. McCain is pictured in this file photo with Pastor John Hagee whose endorsement McCain also rejected Thursday."]
(CNN) - Hours after his rejection of Pastor John Hagee’s endorsement, John McCain rejected the backing of Pastor Rod Parsley, who said that Islam was a “conspiracy of spiritual evil.”

"I believe there is no place for that kind of dialogue in America,” he told the Associated Press. “And I believe that even though he endorsed me, and I didn't endorse him, the fact is that I repudiate such talk, and I reject his endorsement."

The decision to cut off Parsley could have the bigger impact on the presidential race: in 2004, the Ohio pastor was a major figure in an unprecedented evangelical turnout operation that helped an anti-gay marriage ballot initiative pass overwhelmingly, and which was widely believed to have helped President Bush carry the critical swing state state – and the presidency - by a slimmer one.

The leader of the World Harvest Church in Columbus also founded the Center for Moral Clarity - an organization which has held that adultery should be treated as a crime – during the last presidential cycle.

Related: McCain officially rejects Hagee endorsement

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (550 Responses)
  1. John

    Lets face it serious biblical scholars will agree that these pastors are actually telling the truth from a biblical stand point. Why reject the truth when it is "In God we trust". All for the sake of political correctness. Well I guess it is just politics after all. Good luck John McCain.

    May 23, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  2. Rev. Erma Willilams

    I know that the world is in a some what of a recess, it does not want to wake up to the smell of the coffee brewing for mankind. The good old boys are about to go to roof. PREDJUICE IS STILL THE GAME, dont try & cover it up with JESUS.

    May 23, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. DP

    I really don't understand those idiiots who vote democrat. BTW, the Dems don't understand themselves so how could they understand the Republicans? And as for McCain, I can't stand him, and I AM a Republican from the Great State of Arizona.

    May 23, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. RejectandDenounceRepublicans

    Correction This Would should be ruled by Democrats NOT by Repulican the False Christians.

    May 23, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. Tee

    What good for the gander is good for the goose. Don't judge Obama's
    affiliation with his pastor if your not going to judge mccains affliliations with these pastors. HATE IS HATE doesn't matter where it comes from.

    May 23, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  6. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Lastly, from a political perspective,

    Pennsylvania is now even more of a pretty sure thing because of the Hagee comment
    Michigan now looks more likely because of the Parsley comment
    Florida now looks more possible because of the Hagee comment

    If any two of these three happen, McCain has to steal Cali to win.

    May 23, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. Liam

    Wake up America and come to your senses.

    McBushCain's own medicalrecords reveal that
    he has to be kept on a permanent regime of

    Geriatric Medical Care.

    Those are the cold hard facts. Why on earth would you enter such a person in the world's most grueling eight year marathon. There comes a time when we have to put the needs of the country ahead of theabsurd desires of some one who is no longer fit to do the job.

    We do it all the time, in all other walks of life.The social security retirement age standard has been established for a very good reason. Beyond that age, most people are no longer up to the rigors of full time employment.

    Ask yourself this: Would you feel secure about going on long international jet flights, every day, for the next eight years, if John McCain was going to always fly the plane?

    If not, then why on earth would you let him pilot our future for the next eight years?

    Do not tell me that it is only for four years. Why would youi vote for someone to only have one term, because you feel that they would not be vigorous enough to go the distance.

    The Presidency of The United States of America ages persons much younger than John McCain. It is the most demanding job in the world. John McCain is too old to take on the world's most important role.

    You know that you would not put someone of his age in charge of even a small business. Then why on earth would you even be tempted to put him in charge of all our futures.

    The Presidency Is No Country For Old Men.

    May 23, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. John

    Good for McCain...glad to hear he is rejecting these divisive pastors who are intent on making the U.S. as dangerously religiously militant as some of our enemies. My only concern is that this news is getting only a fraction of the coverage in the media that Obama had to endure. Shameful.

    May 23, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  9. jake

    Casey, a pastor preaching about whitey inventing a disease to kill of the black man, IS NOT PREACHING ABOUT SOCIAL INJUSTICE. get your head out of the sand. He preached to rile people up, to get them to hate whites, browns, yellows, reds. If there are so many injusteices against the black community, how did Mr Obama and his wife become so well educated???? HMMMMMMMM. Probably becauce a lot of their schooling was paid for. That doesn't happen very often for a white student. You are equal, if you let yourself be and let the past be the past, but Wright won't let it go, he's like a dog with a bone. He should be trying to raise up his congregation not make them discontented with the world.

    May 23, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. Steve

    Separation of Church and State.

    May 23, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. FedUpDem

    Ron Larson May 23rd, 2008 10:13 am ET

    Actually Islam is not a conspiracy of evil, it's imply a false religion that rejects the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The history of Islam and the present conflicts in the world can be tied directly to this satanic heresy. ItMhammed advocated and promulgated violence acquiesence to it doctrines. Worship like we do, or we will not hesitate to rape, killtorture you. Now not all leaders or adherents follow that edict, but it's viloent adherents are icreasing, not because of the Bush Administrations policies, but because the most vocal of it's leadership beleives falsely that they are doing Allah's will by doing so.

    Sorry Ron but the Koran actually reveres Jesus as one of Allahs most important prophets, they don't even deny him as the Son of God, they just believe that the word of Allah as given to Mohammed supercedes what was brought to Gods people by Jesus.

    I still won't vote for obama.

    May 23, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. Environment

    There you have it.

    Both have that problem of past pastors. So stop jumping on Obama. Bottom line: Religion should have no place when it comes to REAL decisions. Leave superstitions in your home. Honestly, religion should have no say anymore.....barbaric idea to believe in such things in the year 2008. We are smarter than that.

    May 23, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. Tom

    It is not possible to please everyone. These candidates are trying to be everyone's friend., and that is not possible. This crap is nonsense. All trees produce fruit of its own kind. An Islamic tree produces good fruit or evil truit? What are the facts people? The fact is that there is evil in the world and there are evil people born out of evil roots. Islam is a flawed ideology. Why? Because it is anti-Christ.
    McCain should not have rejected this man because of a word. There is no comparison between this and Obama.

    May 23, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. NO more GOP

    for: ALL THE WAY TO DENVER and Julie




    Democrates for 08

    May 23, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. Adam

    I find be extremely insulting insinuating Jewish mistrust of Obama is a merely a petty “churlish whisper campaign” as described by Thomas Friedman in the NY Times. The fact is there is real solid evidence about Obama’s past affiliations and actions that legitimately bring Obama’s credibility, morals, judgment and leadership into question. Its unfortunate the reason why we don’t read or hear more about the deficiencies in Obama’s judgment is the fact that he is the darling of the media establishment who has hyped him to mythical proportions.

    May 23, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. JB

    McCain is a joker.

    Deal with it, Obama is going to win this election in November, and I'm not sure whom I voting for yet, honestly, I dislike both Obama and McCain as my choices... but I am sharp enough to see the writing on the wall here... people want change, McCain isn't any different than "W". People are seeing this. Glad to see the Clinton machine dying though.

    May 23, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. wow

    Obama 1 McCain 2

    Wright = (McCain Pastor 1 + Pastor 2)

    Obama 1 McCain 1
    Now that things are even, let the games begin. People stop playing this childish mathematics. Time to move on and see what happens in November. Wright nor John Hagee nor Rod Parsley (notice I did not call them Pastor cause they are way off the Pastor scale) are running for president of the USA. You Americans need to stop ranting and raving trying to keep the pastoral score. Next is what? Cancer cell count score? Please stop, this is ridiculous, utterly childish!! Get down to the substance of these people. And you claim to be the beacon of democracy to the World?!?! Shame on you! People around the world look up to you for your democratic system but this is really disappointing! After you have gone at each other's throat, come November you will have no strength left to be leaders of the World.

    May 23, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. Jane

    The only candidate who doesn't have ties to such extreme religious leaders is Sen. Clinton. And on top of that, she's the most capable candidate.
    So I am still hoping the superdelegates will do the right thing. They can vote for whomever they want, of course, as evidenced by the fact that Sen. Byrd chose to vote for Obama despite the fact that the people of W. Va. voted overwhelmingly for Clinton. But I have to have faith that most superdelegates are true patriots and will not use their sacred vote to soothe their conscience for past mistakes or to advance their career or legacy and certainly not to cave to pressure from the news shows and chattering pundits. We ;have serious problems, and our wounded country needs a well-prepared and competent president.

    May 23, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. Mike

    These politicians are getting what they deserve for trying to pander to to organized religions. McCain sought Hagee's and Parsley's endorsement to pander to the Christian Republican Church Party.

    These candidates pretend to be religious and then they get bitten when they latch on to the wrong wacko.

    We don't care what form of magic a politician believes in. They should keep it to themselves. We care about true values and ideas.

    May 23, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. Il voter

    I dont understand why we care so much for these preachers paster , ayers and even for that matter gay marriage.

    Discuss Economy, Healthcare, Education reforms, iraq war. These are the things we should care about.

    May 23, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. Brendan H.

    I'm still waiting for the Republican Party to comment on Falwell's and Robertson's comments that 9/11 happened due to God's wrath against liberals, abortionists and gays, et al.

    It'll never happen.

    You all should live, and better yet worship, near Hagge's shrine to himself. This self-promoting, "Zionist Christian" is the most two-faced person around. He constantly rails against our parish, just up the street from his "shrine."

    I witnessed this train wreck in person one Sunday when I showed up to hear the "pastor" preach. It was pure hate and garbage, and that's where his congregation gets their "speaking points" for their week's entertainment.

    Reverend Wright was wrong, but he's a rank amateur compared to Falwell, Robertson and Hagee!

    May 23, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. Phil-Little Rock

    Hagee endorsed Sen. Mc(Walking)Cain months ago, but there was no need to distance himself because at that time, it was politically convenient to have him on board. Now that there's no Jeremiah Wright, and the Obama/Hillary confusion is starting to wind down, he's trying to clean his own house to get a jump on the news media.

    It won't work, McCain. Now, who gets to shtup your wife when you can't get Albert out of bed? Me first, me first!!

    GO OBAMA '08!!

    May 23, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  23. WIll

    Politics and religion should never mix. Disasters abound

    May 23, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. Tom

    The media has virtually ignored McCain's clergy problems, which are far worse than anything Jeremiah Wright has said. In addition, McCain sought out these men not as clergy on a personal basis but as political supporters. It's about time this spotlight turned on McCain.

    May 23, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. Rave

    You need to first reject Rush Limbaugh.
    Then you are done.
    Either way you loose.. loose Gracefully.
    OBAMA / AL GORE 2008

    May 23, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
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