Over the weekend, Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas — founded by John Hagee — played host to the right-wing, QAnon-loving, conspiracy-minded “ReAwaken America Tour.”
It was a notable event in part because convicted felon and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn spoke about how, “if we are gonna have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion.” And partly because the crowd erupted in chants of “Let’s go, Brandon” (a euphemism for a more profane criticism of President Joe Biden). And partly because the Freedom From Religion Foundation asked the IRS to investigate whether the church had violated the Johnson Amendment and deserved to be stripped of its tax-exempt status.
Now the church’s lead pastor Matt Hagee (John’s son, below) has issued an apology, perhaps hoping to deflect from all the criticism:
Last week I allowed an event to be held at Cornerstone Church by an outside organization. Regrettably, the organization was not properly vetted. It was not appropriate to allow this event at our church. The Church is not associated with this organization and does not endorse their views.
I was invited to welcome the crowd where I thanked veterans for their service and thanked the crowd for their commitment to their faith.
I deeply regret, and ask forgiveness, for what took place in the Cornerstone sanctuary as a result of my oversight.
In the future, Cornerstone Church will ensure that organizations using our facility are an appropriate reflection of our mission and vision.
It sounds all well and good but it’s hard to believe Hagee didn’t know what was going to happen.
How do you not vet — or at least Google — the people giving you a boatload of cash to take over your church for a weekend? Did the names of the speakers not ring a bell? What did Hagee think was going to happen? He spoke on their stage!
And what exactly is an “appropriate reflection” of the church’s mission and vision given that the Hagees have routinely pushed GOP talking points from the stage? They’ve preached against atheists, vaccines, and civil rights. MAGA cultism is right up their alley.
Here’s how you know Matt Hagee is full of shit: He issued a vague statement on the church’s website — which I presume no one reads — but I’d bet he has no plans to denounce the event from the pulpit this weekend when all eyes are on him. Would he dare criticize MAGA cultists when a whole bunch of them are sitting right there in the pews?
He doesn’t have the guts to do it. (Probably because he agrees with everything that was said and is just trying to cover his own ass.)
I hope he proves me wrong. I doubt he will.