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. Deanna, MS

    The truth is America made a grave mistake by selecting George Bush in 2004, and allowing him to steal the election in 2000. I hope that we don't make the same mistake again.

    Hillary is doing her best to pronounce that if Florida and Michigan aren't counted Barack will steal the election. When everyone knows she signed the agreement to the rules, and she said Michigan wouldn't count before her campaign was behind in the delegate count.

    I want an honest president who won't bend the rules, or lie to America when things don't go their way.

    Let's do the right thing and pick the best candidate for the job. That candidate is Barack Obama, no contest.

    May 23, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. robert

    I'm shocked–these are McBush's people..let them stay on board

    May 23, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Amy

    I agree with proud army and navy mom. Pastors are not running for President. Sen. Obama has the right and privilege to discern what is preached or ministered to him. That's why you should read the Bible for yourselves. When you go to church, you are there to worship and give praise to the almighty. You take what you think is best for you from the sermons that are preached. Pastors/Ministers and everybody else have to answer to God not man.

    With that said, you don't church hop. As I said you are there for worship.

    May 23, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Darth Vadik, CA

    Oh you bastard, you sought it out you jerk?

    May 23, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. Anthony

    It is amazing to me how people will vote for a candidate that does not have their best interest at heart. Obama has come from being of the low income sector to what he is now. Why would you vote for someone who has been rich all of their life and claim to know what the less fortunate need. I need someone who know about student loans, welfare, section 8, working for nothing, etc. and this man represents that for me.

    Obama 08/12

    May 23, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. Stop the Age Bias

    There are too many ignorant attacks on McCain because of his age.
    Please cease with the stereotypes.

    McCain is in good health and has a lot of energy. He has a sharp mind and deals with problems courageously and directly.

    Obama is the one who
    dismisses people (the "sweetie" reporter) and dodges issues.

    Think of McCain as being ten years younger. That's probably closer to his real age.

    As for the skin problems, lots of people have to be checked out and have had lesions. McCain will be fine because he gets checked every few months.

    The ozone is depleted and the peak UV rays, which used to be from 10-2 are now from 10-4. Everyone needs to be careful. Stay out of the sun! At least wear sunblock!

    May 23, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. DAYork

    This paster I believe is hate mongering by prior history and certainly is a federal crime. It clearly underscores the reason there must be a clear and unequivocal separation of church and state.

    May 23, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    "There is difference between listening to someone for 20 years plus calling them your Mentor and someone endorsing you because they are a Republican. Any Obamabots who think otherwise are racist. Period"


    Show me a preacher who NEVER says anything controversial or offensive, and I'll show you an unemployed preacher.

    Deep down, we all know that, but we don't want to admit it. You should read the Bible more often.

    Every single prophet, from Moses to Jesus himself, has said controversial and offensive statements to and about the powers that be. Why do you think they crucified him in the first place?

    Please, before you and others dump on either Rev. Wright or Pastor Hagee, or any other preacher, read the Gospels in their entirety, and you will find that these preachers are just doing their jobs.

    For instance, let's take the most offensive statement from Rev. Wright, where he said "God **** America". Well, there are many instances where God cursed the Israelites and Israel itself because they refused to worship only him, etc.

    Rev. Wright was just extrapolating that to USA. I know it's not politically correct to say that, but we as Americans don't always follow God the way we should, and it's possible that God may curse us.

    Think about it for a while.

    May 23, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Ken


    You comments and moniker reek of racism.

    Your dry cleaner just called and your sheet and hood are ready.

    May 23, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  10. sasha

    Obama 4 president... all the way Obama 08... This is worser than Reverend Wright's issue, can i hear Hannity or Oreilly or foxnews talk about this mccain pastor's issue ??? haters Obama will win this nomination .....

    May 23, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  11. Reality

    religious nut jobs and a crazzzy politition.

    What rev. Wright nothing compared to what came out of these stupid pastors mouths.

    OBAMA '08

    May 23, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  12. gfbrown2

    This is very good news. I am sure he was snickering behind the scenes during that whole Wright deal. I am just going to see how the media portrays this new development!!!! Let's see if this story manages to be seen on EVERY news outlet-24/7 as did the other story. Let's see if HAGEE's words can be construed as McCain's OWN words and beliefs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I'll answer that I VENTURE TO SAY NOT!!!!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  13. Jeff

    McCain is a two-faced idiot like Bush. He should be defeated by a 4-1 margin by the American people.

    May 23, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. Gaby, in TX

    Thank you Rudy NYC, maybe some HRC voters will better understand why she should play by the rules and not try to change them as the game is played, in her favor. I can see a woman for president, just not this woman, she has lacks in experience and runs a campaign on divisiveness. Now the race card she can played very well ,in her favor of course, in KY and West VA. She knew exactly what she was doing and saying. This was no misspeak there. This also speaks volumes of her character.

    May 23, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. Amused

    McCain is walking a fine line; sucking up to all the right chosen people while still appearing palatable to the rest of society. AIPAC (the Israeli group who pretty well dictates American foreign policy) loves Parsley and Hagee, though. Funny stuff.

    Almost as funny as Hagee, a Protestant, calling the original Church "apostate".

    May 23, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. Cathy from Baltimore, MD

    There is no place for that kind of dialogue in the WORLD, not just America.

    “All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.” – Albert Einstein

    May 23, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. nannie bouroughs, Kenosha, WI

    John's PASTOR PROBLEMS pale to insignificance when you compare them to Senator Obama's 20 YEAR BROTHERHOOD with the ANTI-AMERICAN and WHITE-HATING Rev. Wright.

    Just another GOOD reason to KEEP RELIGION OUT OF POLITICS!

    May 23, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  18. CB

    How prepared is he to seek these pastors endorsement and not know their back ground. He knew months ago of these two pastor statements. Now that it's more on the news he has to reject their endorsement. How out of touch is he!

    On another note.

    Even with FL and MI Sen. Clinton will not receive all of the Delegates, which mean she still can not over take Obama. Sen. Clinton should have care about the little state when it matter. Now she wants to pretend she care. Give us a break and stop being so phooooony.

    I don’t want to support a president who do not have a plan B in the event that plan A don’t work. But if Sen. Clinton manage to get the nominee I will vote for her, because I am a true democrat. My loyalty lies with the DEMOCRAT PARTY NOT WITH AN INDIVIDUAL. I have routed for the democrat nominee who ever they were for years whether I like them or not, which leads me to believe you who say because Sen. Clinton don’t get the nominee are not true democrats as simple as that and just plan crazy.

    Obama to reach 2026 minus 1965 needs 61 more votes for the nominee.

    Clinton to reach 2026 minus 1779 needs 247 more votes for the nominee.

    Who do you think will get there first?

    We have DEMOCRATS who say they won’t vote for OBAMA, but we have just as many REPUBLICANS who say they will. Just something to think about for you CLINTON SUPPORTS who won’t support OBAMA.

    It sounds like an EVEN TRADE TO ME, except the cross over REPUBLICANS is getting the better part of the deal. Just my 2 cents or 1.

    Now is the time to SHANK HANDS, KISS and make up to get ahead of the game.

    Just my view as an under educated voter against the well educated voter.

    Obama 08!

    May 23, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Heidi

    Distract the people and they won't pay attention to the real problems at hand such as gas prices, the economy, health care, the state of the united states.

    Somebody, please keep this type of non-sense going and the people won't remember when they last read a product that said "Made in the USA"

    Yeah, thanks for the distraction...but know I'm more intelligent than the MEDIA is willing to give me credit for.

    Now back to the candidates...Obama 08"

    May 23, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Dang

    I heard the speech that Hagee made about Hitler. He wasn't making Hitler out to be good and Jews bad. He was explaining that in the bible it said how Jews would be persecuted by being hunted down. Hitler was "the hunter", that was his role in the story. The event of the holocaust led to many Jews returning to their homeland.

    I guess you aren't supposed to talk about it anymore.

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


    Democrates for 08

    May 23, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. Charles

    These 2 characters are McCain's pastors. They are just two lugnuts trying to get attention. Wright was Obama's pastor for 20 years. That's a big difference!

    May 23, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. Tee

    Margaret- you know nothing about Rev Wright church. You only go by what the media has told you. The church is mostly white and hate was not preached every sunday. Please do some reseach on the church. Then come to your own conclusion instead of letting other people decide for you

    May 23, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. Paul

    If you support Clinton, then vote McCain, you're stupid. Listen to Hillary: McCain has lost his bearings, and will make things worse.

    May 23, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  25. Glen,

    What has happened to Rev Wright. After his little self parody which gave Obambi-Carter an opportunity to reject him, he disappeared off the face of the media. How convenient for the Democratic Party. It took Obambi-Carter twenty years to catch on.

    May 23, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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