Why the Media Rejected John Hagee’s Apology

Deal W. Hudson
May 19, 2008

When Bill Donohue accused Rev. John Hagee of anti-Catholicism, the liberal media accepted his opinion as authoritative. After Donohue accepted Hagee’s letter of regret and announced “case closed,” the same media accused Donohue of lying to help John McCain’s candidacy.

Donohue’s veracity is unquestioned if it allows the media to bash a Christian leader aligned with the Republican Party. But his credibility evidently collapsed the moment he absolved Pastor Hagee.

First of all, let’s grant that the question of political motivation would naturally arise after such a turn of events. Did Donohue, in fact, make up with Hagee for political reasons? A moment of reflection on the history of the Hagee affair should be enough to lead any fair-minded person to a negative conclusion.

Why? As I heard Donohue tell a reporter from the San Antonio Express, “Why would I criticize Hagee in the first place if I was trying to help John McCain?” This is a complete refutation of the charge that Donohue was politically motivated, clear to anyone who understands the basic laws of cause and effect.

Donohue was fully aware that his criticism of Hagee would hurt the McCain campaign. Yet he did it anyway: For over a week, he released almost daily statements repeating his charges against Hagee and calling upon McCain to respond.

Fair-minded people will acknowledge Donohue’s acceptance of Hagee’s apology. But Obama supporters, anxious to keep the controversy alive, have already gone to absurd lengths to accuse Donohue and Hagee of hypocrisy.

Take the example of the Palm Beach Post, a newspaper with its own history of anti-Catholic statements. Calling Hagee’s apology “insincere” and “lame,” the editors offer the following unintentionally hilarious comment:

It frustrates the Obama campaign that the Rev. Wright has refused to back down from rhetoric that sounds so anti-American. At least that refusal displays a kind of integrity. The same can’t be said for the Rev. Hagee’s apology (emphasis added).

In the minds of the Palm Beach Post‘s editors, compared to Hagee, Rev. Jeremiah Wright possesses “a kind of integrity.” Hagee publicly expresses regret for offending Catholics, while Wright, at the National Press Club, repeats with apparent relish his racist, anti-American diatribe… and the Post pronounces Wright a man of character and virtue!

It’s one thing to read tortured logic in a liberal newspaper, but it’s quite another to find it in a column by an esteemed Catholic law professor like Doug Kmiec. Kmiec’s endorsement of Obama took the pro-life community by surprise, but next to calling Obama a “Catholic natural,” nothing he has said up to now surprised me more than his saying that Obama “is not pro-abortion, but of the view that the civil law best leaves this question to the mother in consultation with their own clergyman and doctor.”

Here Kmiec reveals how he has been able to justify for himself his support for a candidate who supports not only abortion-on-demand but infanticide. He has embraced the reasoning of pro-abortion Catholic politicians that being “pro-choice” is not the same as being “pro-abortion.”

Indeed, Kmiec is forced to accept this distinction, because a document from the bishops on “The Duties of Catholic Politicians and Voters,” which he had previously cited, reads: “A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals.”

Kmiec’s attempt to justify his endorsement and the arguments of the Palm Beach Post represent both sophisticated and clumsy attempts to fit Obama into a palatable moral universe. If Wright’s stubborn pride is a problem for Obama, it will be dubbed “integrity.” If Obama’s support for abortion and infanticide is a problem for Catholic voters, it will be declared somehow “not pro-abortion.”

Meanwhile, the plain-talking Donohue is not going to let Obama’s Catholic supporters get away with it. While on Fox & Friends last week to discuss the Hagee affair, Donohue “broke” the story about the media blackout on Obama’s support of infanticide – the practice of providing no medical care to babies born alive after failed attempts to abort them. Donohue told me privately that no one he talked to on the Fox staff was aware that Obama held this position. (Kmiec has not addressed infanticide in any of his Obama apologias.)

How can Senator Obama, who has made health care for all a central theme of his campaign, deny that care to a helpless newborn? Many voters, not just Catholics, will need an answer to that question before they can even consider voting Obama into the White House.

By Deal Hudson

Deal W. Hudson was born November 20, 1949 in Denver, CO, to Emmie and Jack Hudson, both native Texans. Dr. Hudson had an older sister Ruth, and eventually, a younger sister, Elizabeth. Emmie Hudson, Ruth Hudson and Elizabeth Hudson now live in Houston, TX; Jack Hudson passed away some years ago. The late Jack Hudson was a captain for Braniff Airlines in Denver at the time of Dr. Hudson’s birth. Later the family moved to Kansas City when his father joined the Federal Aviation Agency. From Kansas City, the Hudson family moved to Minneapolis, then to Massapequa, NY, and finally to Alexandria, VA, where they first occupied a home overlooking the Potomac River adjacent to the Mount Vernon estate. After a year, the family moved to a home on Tarpon Lane a few houses up the street from the Yacht Haven boat docks. Dr. Hudson attended Mt. Vernon Elementary School from grades 4 to 6 and has a special gratitude for the teaching of Mr. Hoppe who first told him was a ‘smart lad.’ Having moved with his family to Fort Worth, TX in 1960, Dr. Hudson attended William Monnig Junior High and Arlington Heights HS. In high school, Dr. Hudson was captain of the golf team, editor of the literary magazine (Guerdon), and performed the role of Peter in the ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ during his senior year. Dr. Hudson graduated cum laude with a major in philosophy from the University of Texas-Austin in 1971 where his undergraduate advisor was Prof. John Silber. His teachers at the University of Texas included Prof. Louis Mackey and Prof. Larry Caroline. Dr. Hudson minored in both classics and English literature. Dr. Hudson lived in Atlanta from 1974-1989, where he attended Emory University, receiving a Phd from the Graduate Institute for the LIberal Arts. He also taught philosophy at Mercer University in Atlanta from 1980-89. In 1989 Dr. Hudson and his family left Atlanta when he was hired to teach philosophy at Fordham University in the Bronx. Dr. Hudson taught at Fordham, and also part-time at New York University, from 1989 to 1994. Dr. Hudson first came to Atlanta in after graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) with an M.Div. While at PTS, Dr. Hudson managed the Baptist Student Union at Princeton University and became its first director. Dr. Hudson also was licensed at a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention at Madison Baptist Church in Madison, NJ. Dr. Hudson’s primary area of study at PTS was the history of Christian doctrine which he pursued with Dr. Karlfried Froelich. In 1984 Dr. Hudson was received in the Catholic Church by Msgr. Richard Lopez, with the special permission of Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan, at the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home in Atlanta. Dr. Hudson has been married twenty-five years to Theresa Carver Hudson and they have two children, Hannah Clare, 23, and Cyprian Joseph (Chip), 15, adopted from Romania when he was three years old. The Hudson family has lived in Fairfax, VA for more than fifteen years, after having lived five years in Bronxville, NY and a year in Atlanta, GA, where Theresa and Deal were married.

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