"Edward Kaplan, the rabbi's biographer, later told me: "Heschel saw the Hebrew prophets as being in sympathy with God's point of view, what he called the divine pathos. Heschel's judgments about American racism, economic inequality and the unjust Vietnam war were passionate and extreme." Still, Mr. Kaplan emphasizes, that the rabbi "was suspicious of politics as representing the perspective of expediency, which often includes lying."
"The problem is that to win votes and to tell the truth presents an inherent conflict," said Mel Scult, a professor of Judaic studies at Brooklyn College, in an interview. "The prophet is a social critic who speaks out and disregards the consequences." Which might be a little hard to do if he's the one in power. Still, Prof. Scult argues that, in Heschel's interpretation, a political figure "could be prophetic if he had the courage." "
The issue at the moment, though, is not that any political figure is trying to be "prophetic". The problem is that preachers who are trying to preach in the "prophetic tradition" and, accordingly, deliver fiery and controversial sermons -- are getting themselves and their preferred candidates into deep trouble.
The Founding Fathers were very wise to create freedom of religion, so that the preachers of every denomination can preach in their own way. As long as their preachings are not inspiring their congregants to do bad things in the surrounding community, there should be no problem. In the case of Wright, Pflegler and Hagee, they and their churches have done many good things for the outside community, and no bad things that I'm aware of. Let each church and its congregants judge what its preacher is saying and how he says it -- not outsiders. Outsiders only need to be concerned with what effect these sermons are having on the outside community. If that is the test, then these three preachers pass with flying colors.