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LaBarbera Award Winner Hagee Meets With Gay Supportive Group

Timothy Kincaid

June 27th, 2009

NOTE: The original title of this commentary was “LaBarbera Award Winner Hagee Meets With Gay Christian Group”. At the request of the Jeff Lutes, we have revised the title to be more accurate. See update below.

John Hagee, pastor of the Austin San Antonio mega-church The Cornerstone, is well known for his nonsensical rants about gay people. For example, he announced that Hurricane Katrina was God’s judgment on New Orleans for a planned gay event (he failed to explain why God chose to spare the French Quarter – but maybe God just has bad aim).

It was nutcase hatery like that which won him our coveted LaBarbera Award for the “most outrageous, offensive, malevolent, crazy or excessive statement or claim.”

Well, proving that the best policy is to never confuse the unlikely with the impossible, gay groups have scheduled a sit-down discussion with Hagee this Sunday. (Statesman)

Members of [Austin-based advocacy groups Soulforce and Atticus Circle], which support equal rights for the LGBT — lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — community, wrote to the senior pastor of the church, the Rev. John Hagee , in early June to ask for a meeting.

Hagee invited them to services Sunday and agreed to sit down with organizers afterward.

I don’t think Soulforce or Atticus Circle are fooling themselves into believing that they will change Hagee’s theology. And Hagee seems mostly to be patting himself on the back for even meeting with them.

In an e-mail statement this month about his decision to meet with Austin advocates, Hagee said, “We gather in the spirit of Christ that commands us to ‘love our neighbors as ourselves.’ ”

But if this helps rachet down some of the hateful rhetoric then my hat is off to these groups.

Update: Jeff Lutes, the Executive Director of SoulForce, has provided clarification about my miscategorizing them as a gay Christian group:

One very important point of correction is that neither Soulforce or Atticus Circle identify as “Gay Christian” groups. Soulforce members include a diverse array of folks who simply believe in nonviolent direct action as a method to achieve social justice; Atticus Circle focuses on recruiting straight allies to join in the fight for equality. Because we challenge religion-based discrimination, we are frequently mistaken as religious organizations – which automatically excludes many LGBTQA people who don’t identify as people of faith. We want all those who seek justice to get involved in our efforts, so anything you can do to help us undo the “Gay Christian” misnomer would be greatly appreciated.



June 27th, 2009 | LINK

Alas, Cornerstone church is headquartered in my hometown of San Antonio. But we’ll be glad to send him to Austin!

Марко Фризия
June 27th, 2009 | LINK

I admire the folks who asked Mr. Hagee for a meeting. But I do not think they will change or moderate his views. And I fear he may try to use them for his own propaganda purposes. The ignorance and bigotry of folks like Hagee seems to be invincible.

June 27th, 2009 | LINK

One commandment, “thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain”, I was taught to not use curse words.

I think that people who use the name of our Lord for their own vision are breaking the commandment. I am also breaking the commandment by interpreting their words.

I guess some people just HATE gay people, or anyone who doesn’t fit their mold.

I ask, “Why would any church be anti-gay?” Would you want to be a part of that?

Rev. Loush
June 28th, 2009 | LINK

this man like so many others of his ilk really think that they are christian when they are not. most of what they claim that scriptures says just isn’t true when you read the origional languages that the bible was written in, and read them in proper historical context. this man is so busy talking about hate, hell, damnation, and what he is anti aginst; that he never takes time anymore to talk about the only thing he should be concerend with in his position. he should be talking about God, love, tolerance, peace, justice, mercy, holiness, heaven, joy, unity, and the word of God. this man doesn’t have a real church. he has a political organization that is anti-gay, and anti-everything for that matter. and this man is highly uneducated not only about the christian religion, but about life in general as well. if you can stand to listen to him talk and watch his show for more then two minutes you will get a laugh and half! however as a christian i am outraged by this man and his psudeo docterine and his general attitude of hate!

Christopher Waldrop
June 28th, 2009 | LINK

It’s significant that it was the groups Soulforce and Atticus Circle that asked for a meeting rather than the other way around.

While it’s nice to say that it would be a good thing if the hateful rhetoric could be toned down, let’s not lose sight of the fact that it’s Hagee who’s responsible for most of the hateful rhetoric. Is that going to stop? As far as I know Soulforce and Atticus Circle haven’t spouted any hateful rhetoric. If anything they’ve shown a willingness to reach out. Is Hagee going to make any change himself?

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