Senator John McCain

Senator John McCain is inducted into our Hall of Shame for refusing to denounce John Hagee, one of the leading anti-Catholic bigots in America. Hagee has endorsed McCain’s bid for President. When criticism arose Senator McCain’s response was, Pastor Hagee endorsed me. That does not mean I endorse everything Pastor Hagee said. All I can say is lots and lots of people endorse me. That means they embrace my ideas and positions. It does not mean I endorse them. As William Donohue, director of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, pointed out, that McCain’s statement is true but there are some problems which Donohue outlined: What makes the Hagee matter different is threefold: (a) McCain actively solicited the endorsement, appearing with the minister to accept it (b) Hagee is not simply guilty of a few throw-away lineshe has a long history of demonizing Catholicism, and (c) McCain blasted then presidential candidate George W. Bush in 2000 for not condemning Bob Jones University because of the school's anti-Catholicism (Bush eventually did), thus he has already dropped anchor on this issue. Donohue reports that several groups and individuals have have joined the criticism of McCain’s mis-judgment including the Catholic League, several Catholic organizations, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Party of Georgia, various columnists, bloggers, and religious websites. Bill Moyers will air a show tonight (3.7.2008) about the controversy. Donohue concluded in saying, It is one thing for a candidate to disagree with the Catholic position on certain public policy issues, quite another to break bread with an anti-Catholic bigot. We agree.

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