During a recent sermon, Pastor John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in Texas decried our federal safety net programs by saying, “To those of you who are sick, to those of you who are elderly, to those of you who are disabled, we gladly support you. To the healthy who can work but won’t work, get your nasty self off the couch and go get a job! America has rewarded laziness and we’ve called it welfare.” (Hagee doesn’t have sympathy for the unemployed, single parents who can’t find jobs that pay more than the cost of daycare, and many others who are unable to support themselves and their families.)
Taking a Bible verse out of context, Hagee continued, “The Bible says, ‘The man who does not work, should not eat.’ I know liberals hate that verse, but read it and weep! It’s God’s position.” In other words, all devout “Christians” should allow people who rely on our social safety nets to starve.
Similarly, ”Christian” radio host Rick Wiles said, “Now this Ebola epidemic can become a global pandemic and that’s another name for plague. It may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming…Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion.”
And you thought only Muslim extremists preached hate?
Worse, these are only two of the hate-mongers who spew from many of our nation’s pulpits on any given Sunday. Is it any wonder that young people are rejecting religion? In truth, people like Hagee and Wiles do not represent Christianity. They don’t even represent humanity. Yet they have developed substantial followings and they’ve been provided a forum from which to spout their hatred. We even help pay for their inflated salaries, their investments, their sanctuaries and their airtime by making all of their profits and properties tax-exempt.
So, tell me, who are the real freeloaders? The poor, the downtrodden and the unemployed? Or the charlatans of modern religion? What would Jesus think?
UPDATE: After publishing this article, I learned of more examples of “Christian” hatemongers. American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer is outraged by US humanitarian aid to the Yazidi minority under fire from ISIS in Iraq, calling the Yazidis “devil worshipers.” And megachurch pastor, Mark Driscoll, has admitted to making crude comments about feminism, homosexuality and “sensitive emasculated” men.
Maybe it’s time the Southern Poverty Law Center listed such organizations as hate groups.