John Hagee, the controversial pastor who has endorsed John McCain, argued in a late 1990s sermon that God sent Hitler to help the Jews get to the promised land (Israel, not Auschwitz).

Why did God allow the Holocaust to happen? According to a report in the Huffington Post by Sam Stein, Hagee’s answer was: "Because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel."

The report raises several questions. Did God have to be so rough in his methods? Instead of putting the Jews on trains to Auschwitz, couldn’t he have gotten them bus tickets to Tel Aviv?

Hagee made the news earlier when he told Terry Gross on NPR’s "Fresh Air" that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for the people of New Orleans who allowed a Gay Pride parade to be scheduled. According to that theory, the Holocaust should be seen as God’s punishment for the Jews allowing those Gay Pride parades in Warsaw, Odessa and Lodz.

Alternatively, Hurricane Katrina could be viewed as God’s method of getting the people of New Orleans to move to Houston.

Hagee got in trouble earlier for a sermon in which he called the Catholic church "the Great Whore." He would never say that about Golda Meier.

Hagee is one of the organizers of Christians United for Israel, which lobbies Congress on behalf of the Jewish state. He has received many awards from right-wing Jewish organizations, incudling the Israel Award of the Zionist Organization of America, presented in a ceremony in Dallas by former UN Ambassador Jean Kirkpatrick.

Hagee’s sermon on Hitler as God’s agent, delivered in the late 1990s, was first posted by Bruce Wilson on his site, Talk To Action.

Next question: why does John McCain think God sent us Hitler?