Various news outlets are reporting a story about the rather infamous John Hagee. For example the UK’s Daily Mail explains …
‘That is one of the filthiest, most derogatory and sinful uses of the Lord’s name I can think of’: Women who cry out God’s name during sex should be jailed, pastor says
- Dr John Hagee, founder and senior pastor at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, said blasphemy doesn’t get enough attention
- He pointed to sections of the Bible in which the book denounced the taking of God’s name in vain
- He said ‘there is no greater sin in terms of wrongly using God’s name’ than when a woman uses it while having sex
- Hagee did not explain what the punishment, if any, would be for men using the Lord’s name in the same situation
The story is all over the place and can also be found within the Mirror (cue image of young women having an orgasm), The Nation, and bizarrely enough, The Nigerian Bulletin. Even the UK’s independent ran with it for a few hours, but has now pulled the story.
OK, let’s cut to the chase, it is a fake story and has been completely made up. Snopes has the details …
On 15 June 2015, the entertainment web site Newslo published an article reporting that John Hagee, founder of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, has called for the prosecution of women who utter the Lord’s name during sexual intercourse:
Articles on Newslo typically include a mixture of truth and fiction. In fact, at the top of the article entitled “John Hagee Calls for Prosecuting Women Who Say God’s Name During Intercourse” are two buttons allowing readers to highlight the portions of text that include facts:
When the “Show Facts” button is pressed on this Newslo article, the portions of text referring to the taking of the Lord’s name in vain and the Ten Commandments are highlighted, while the above-displayed quote from John Hagee was not.
Yep, Newslo, the original source is not reporting News, but rather is a satire site that takes a few facts, and then makes the rest up and so other news outlets simply picked that up and ran with the satire as fact.
So what does this really tell us?
It tells us a great deal about the reliability of both the Mirror and also the Daily Mail, a paper that is often referenced as the Daily Fail with good reason. Any outlet that ran with this as “news” needs to be considered unreliable.
So Does this really discredit Pastor John Hagee?
Well … not really, he is not exactly a fan of non-believers and has suggested all atheists should leave the US. He has also expressed homophobic views and has publicly opposed the separation of church and state, so I’m not exactly sure that a fictitious story such as this asserting that he is a right-wing religious nut will in any way damage the reputation he currently has as a right-wing religious nut.
Does it matter?
Yes it does, the claim is pure fiction. If we are going to criticise right-wing Christian nuts for things they have not actually said or done, then those that follow them will know that such criticism is without foundation, and so would then doubt and also dismiss the valid fact-based criticism.
It might indeed be a story that confirms everything he is all about, but fiction is still fiction. The root cause of his problem is that he takes an entire book of fiction (the bible) and embraces it as fact, and from that flows the nonsense he propagates, so it really does matter that we stick to the facts and reality if we wish to deploy criticism of the absurd ideas that he does actually promote.