Public Opinion: McCain, Hagee, and Parsley vs. Obama and Wright—Whose Reverend Problem Is More Serious?

McCain and Obama have rejected the support of controversial preachers. Whose relationship was worse?


Among other pronouncements, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor, has said that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States were an example of "chickens...coming home to roost." In a later sermon, he rejected the song "God Bless America" saying, "No, no, no, God damn America."

The Rev. John Hagee, whose political support Sen. John McCain sought, has said that the Catholic Church is a "great whore" and that Nazi Germany "operated on God's behalf" as part of a divine plan to drive the Jews to Israel. The Rev. Rod Parsley, whose political support McCain also sought, has described Islam as "the mouthpiece of a conspiracy of spiritual evil" and an "anti-Christ religion that intends through violence to conquer the world."

Obama has rejected and denounced Wright. McCain has now rebuffed Hagee's and Parsley's endorsements.

McCain backers say that Obama's relationship with his former pastor is more significant and disturbing, while Obama supporters argue that McCain's having sought the political support of such controversial figures is more significant and disturbing. Which relationship—if either—is more critical? Post your thoughts below.