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. bill pike

    the news media is all into separation of church and state except if it sells newspapers and ratings. it should never be a minister said it should always be what the person themselves says. i am voting for obama and have been a republican all my life-but church and state is separate except for the news???? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. if it were mccain said or obama said then that is polictics–not what their minister said.

    i am a christian and know that i worship God not a minister, anyone who does worship a minister is in for trouble because we all fall short of the glory of God.

    May 23, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. Ricky

    If I were the DNC leadership, I would make Hillary sign an agreement on May 31st that she will abide by the rules. That may be hard, since she makes things up as she goes along, but someone has to hold her accountable for her actions. She is political poison and won't be good for any party. Oh, she could start the Clinton Party, that's the only party she would be good for.

    May 23, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. Will in Richmond, VA

    This situation is much worse. Obama never actively sought the endorsement of Rev. Wright for Political gain the way McCain did. McCain was looking to use the endorsements of Hagee and Parsely to gain inroads to right wing conservatives. It's completely transparent and disingenuous. McCain should have done his due diligence.

    May 23, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. Tim from Texas

    Hagee and Parseley think that by endorsing a Republican, the morality of this country will be turned around - entirely contrary to the teaching of the Bible. They want to change lives on the quick and not willing to do the hard work - winning souls one at a time. They are televangelists for a reason - taking the easy way.

    May 23, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. Mario

    One more reason to separate church and state! Leave all these nutcases out of the political process please!

    Proud to be atheist!!!

    May 23, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. Herman in LA

    Man what pastor Hagee said about Jews is worst than what Rev Wright could have ever said. That was a direct hit on the Jewish community.

    Also, Pastor Parsley hatred for the Islam world is down right despicable.

    What a shame and you wonder why America is not so liked around the world.

    Don't care what you say but Rev.Wright did not spew hate on Jewish community nor the Islam community.

    These pastors need to stop preaching and retire just like Rev.Wright they don't need to be preaching the word of God.

    Boy I tell you the republicans are not good for this country and how they have been running it.

    We need a president of Barack Obama who's DNA has a make up of many people there for he understands the needs of all American and those around the world.

    What a great! president he is going to be...

    Obama 08

    May 23, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. MainStream America

    This question goes to the "Southerner"

    Your comment...
    "There is a huge difference between receiving the endorsement of a pastor, and going to their church for 20 years."

    I hear you people complaining about the infamous Rev. Wright all the time. You say he preaches hate and is unpatriotic and then turn around and pledge allegiance to your Confederate flag.

    Isn't that being hypocritical?

    And don't tell me that you are just honoring your backwards southern heritage...

    May 23, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. LMad

    I find it interesting that this gets a teeny weenie blurb while the issues surrounding Pastor Jeremiah Wright got pages, days and news stories about him for weeks...

    May 23, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. James

    Someone tell me how the Government won`t hire anyone to work for them over 65 yrs of age but You can become president of the united states at 72 yrs old and be over the government, why don`t our country pay attention to the rules they make and abide by them.John McCain has paid his dues so let him sit down (retire ) and let someone else have at it.

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

    Hagees church is full of mindless dittoheads.

    May 23, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. Patty

    No one wants to believe that Obama never heard any of the "hateful" things Wright had to say while he was a member of his church, yet you believe that McCain didn't know about the views and comments of these two pastors before he actively saught out their endorsements?? Give me a break!!! DOUBLE STANDARD!!!

    May 23, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. Rebecca

    McCain went after both Parsely and Hagee. They didn't come to McCain, McCain went to them! Huge difference. McCain sought their endorsements and now is rejecting them. Hagee and Parsley didn't want to endorse McCain but McCain begged them for their endorsement. And now he acts like he never wanted them and these are horrible men. If that is not hypocricy and horrible judgment then I don't know what is.

    May 23, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. Eli

    ONCE AGAIN FOLKS, this is not his pastor, he has not sit under this mans teaching for the last 20 years actually he has never sit under this mans teaching at all. So why would CNN word this the way they OH I forgot CNN is an OBAMA kool-aid drinker. HILLARY CLINTON AS A INDEPENDENT THIS FALL. This is one of many LIFELONG DEMOCRATS that would switch for her any day. I will never have to apologize for voting for Obama.

    May 23, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  14. paul oregon

    one thing mcbush and billary seem to forget
    what goes around comes around amen

    May 23, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. Realistic

    I applaud John McCain for finally telling these evangelical "Money Is My Real God" wackos to buzz off, even if belatedly. These Lexus Christians are the real ones who are dragging down the morality of our nation through their open hypocrisy.

    May 23, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  16. Bob/NH

    Well, McCain can reject all the endorsements he wants but the simple truth is that he sought and asked for Hagee's endorsement. Thought it would get him the Bush base evangelicals. What a flip-flopper!

    May 23, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  17. Darth Vadik, CA

    I just want to say this here because there is no other blog open right now:

    To all you Hillary supporters that accuse Obama of lying or cheating or being a hypocrite:






    May 23, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  18. David O

    McCain is a hypocrite.

    Obama was not endorsed by Wright, Wright was his Pastor, his RELIGIOUS GUIDE. He was never Obama's political partner or guide.

    McCain called Ron Parsley his Spiritual guide, and a moral voice in America.

    McCain SOUGHT the POLITICAL endorsement of Pastor Hagee...a man who stated that Hurricain Katrina was God's wrath against New Orleans for allowing a Gay pride parade.

    Being a Hurricain Katrina survivor myself, I and a lot of people in Lousiana, are very upset at Hagee and the GOP who did NOTHING to help us, or fix our damaged city (Which God destroyed because of a Gay Pride Parade). Thousands of us are still displaced, living in cities all over the country unable to return home.

    So Hagee, Parsley, McCain, and George W Bush can go screw themselves!


    May 23, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  19. John, Catholic

    Everything you need to know about politics!!

    Quotes from Niccolo Machiavelli; Italian writer and statesman, Florentine patriot, author of 'The Prince', 1469-1527

    “A prince must imitate the fox and the lion, for the lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves. Those that wish to be only lions do not understand this. Therefore, a prudent ruler ought not to keep faith when by so doing it would be against his interest, and when the reasons which made him bind himself no longer exist. If men were all good, this precept would not be a good one; but as they are bad, and would not observe their faith with you, so you are not bound to keep faith with them.”

    “Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see, but only a few can test by feeling. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are, and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion.”

    “Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain.”

    “The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.”

    “Politics have no relation to morals.”

    “There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first kind is excellent, the second good, and the third kind useless.”

    May 23, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. Jeff

    To Julie,

    You are not a Democrat, because no Democrat would ever think of voting for McCain or any other perverted cult member [read Republican]. Throw your vote away and end up with a Bush clone for 4 years. This country can't afford someone like Bush for 4 more years.

    May 23, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. Bobby

    MCcain sought out Hagee's endorsement for a few years. MCcain knew that Hagee preached about hate. MCcain didn't care if his endorsement was from a hatemonger. All MCcain cares about is winning the election by any means necessary even if that means having hate groups like the KKK and the Nazis support him. MCcain is disgusting and should be ashamed of him self.

    May 23, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. huffmatyke

    the repubs and demo's are far from the truth.
    and we allways tried to find a king and thers only one
    seek, find, and ask!

    May 23, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. Good Grief

    Parsley's comments were pretty awful. I'm glad to see McCain doesn't think that way.

    May 23, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |




    May 23, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  25. TC

    Hate speech and church go together like peanut butter and jelly.

    Which is one of many good reasons to have a seperation of church and state.

    May 23, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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