John Hagee, a prominent Christian Zionist, heavily influences U.S. foreign policy with his extreme views and scriptural interpretations

Gerry Chidiac: Has John Hagee hijacked U.S. foreign policy?One point I gather from listening to experienced diplomats like Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served in the American State Department with Colin Powell, or academics like international relations specialist John Mearsheimer from the University of Chicago and economist Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia University is that they view those currently serving in Joe Biden’s State Department as incompetent amateurs.

Evidence of the Biden Administration’s failure is demonstrated by its inability to effectively negotiate peace settlements for current conflicts or achieve mutually beneficial financial agreements. Other countries are negotiating their own deals, leaving America and its allies, including Canada, behind. A largely unreported decision that will significantly impact our future is Saudi Arabia’s decision not to renew the Petrodollar agreement with the United States.

Who are American policymakers listening to if they ignore experienced diplomats and academics?

John Hagee is one of several very influential Christian Zionist preachers and the founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI). He is a frequent speaker at events in Washington, DC, and an advisor to many high-ranking politicians.

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Hagee’s sermons are posted on YouTube. I watched several and was amazed by how his views are clearly reflected in current American foreign policy. Watching Hagee is not a pleasant experience, but it is enlightening. I encourage those questioning the parallels I’ve drawn in this column to do the same.

What I noticed most is that Hagee’s sermons have no message of love or compassion. He speaks emphatically and draws bizarre conclusions. Generally, he will quote the Bible and then express a nonsensical interpretation of the scripture verse. For example, he draws parallels between the United Nations and Hitler’s Nazi regime. He insists that Iran and Russia are Gog and Magog, the enemies of God mentioned in the Bible. He says that huge opposing armies will march on Israel/Palestine and that a timely earthquake will swallow up those supported by Iran and Russia. Hagee’s son Matt chimes in, saying, “While the State of Israel has many enemies, there is a God up in heaven who diligently watches over the nation. We must unite in our support until the day of victory comes.”

John Hagee has been criticized for holding an extreme colonial mindset, disregarding the historical genocide of Indigenous peoples in the United States and seemingly supporting genocide in the Middle East and elsewhere. His unwavering support for the Israeli government is evident in his statement, “The day America stops defending Israel will be the day God stops defending the United States of America.” But despite his staunch defence of Israel, Hagee shows little concern for the well-being of all Semitic people, including Jews, who may suffer and die as a result of his aggressive policies and rhetoric.

While many seem convinced of the legitimacy of John Hagee’s prophecy, it is essential to question whether this is a solid foundation for the foreign policy of the country with the most powerful military in the world. One also needs to look at the potential dangers of placing unquestioning trust in the message of a charismatic preacher, whether among congregations or political leaders. For example, although he was not solely responsible for the downfall of Tsarist Russia, spiritual advisor Grigori Rasputin certainly contributed to the collapse of the Romanov Empire.

Even though the United Nations is not a perfect institution, it has thus far kept us out of World War III. According to Hagee, World War III has already begun, and his unwavering support for arms shipments to Israel reflects his belief in fulfilling biblical prophecy. This stance raises questions about whether John Hagee perceives the deaths of innocents in Gaza as part of God’s plan.

I am a Middle Eastern Christian. My family members were among the earliest followers to embrace the teachings of Jesus, recognizing the sacredness of every human life. To me, any other message, including the Christian Zionist prophecy, is absolute heresy.

Gerry Chidiac specializes in languages and genocide studies and works with at-risk students. He received an award from the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre for excellence in teaching about the Holocaust.

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