Southern Religion

Interfaith Alliance call for ‘restoration of civility’

Responding to Nazi- and Holocaust-baiting by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land and others, a group of prominent faith leaders led by Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance called in an open letter for restoration of civility to public debate.

The letter gave four examples of “divisive and ill-spirited rhetoric:”

  • Land, SBC ethics & religious liberty chief, “compared some of the proposed health care reforms to ”what the Nazis did.” Actually, Land bestowed a “Joseph Mengele Award” on Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the president’s chief health care adviser. After strong criticism, Dr. Land apologized for his comments, though he offered no apology to Dr. Emanuel.”
  • The Republican National Committee was asked to take down a link to a YouTube video parody whose subtitles were doctored to suggest Hitler was criticizing Democratic health care proposals.
  • “Fox News host Glenn Beck comparedv Obama Administration treatment of Fox News to the fate of the Jews during the Holocaust.”
  • Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) calling the current health care crisis “a holocaust,” although he later apologized in a letter to the Anti-Defamation League.

It said:

The Holocaust was a tragic event in which the Nazis systematically murdered six million Jews. The Nazi regime that perpetrated this mass genocide was one of the most horrific in world history. There is no place in civil debate for the use of these types of metaphors. Perpetrators of such language harm rather than help both the integrity of the democratic process and the credibility of religious commentary.

We, the undersigned faith leaders, call on our colleagues in all religious communities as well as elected leaders, commentators, pundits and others engaged in public debate to refrain specifically from using inappropriate Nazi and Holocaust references and, generally, to help restore civility to our national dialogue.

Signing the letter were:


October 22, 2009 - Posted by | Religion | , ,


  1. Kudos to the civility alliance, hopefully they can bring back reasonable discourse to the debate!

    Comment by Keli | October 22, 2009

  2. Here is another fine example of far from civil language spouted by Lexington Kentucky U*U minister Rev. Cynthia P. Cain as it was posted to her Isten Aldjon blog just over a year ago. . . It seems that Rev. Cain “memory holed” the evidence recently. It used to be at this URL –

    but that blog post has been deleted. To my knowledge Rev. Cynthia Cain never received so much as a reprimand from the UUA and/or its Ministerial Fellowship Committee.

    OMG! Mean people DO suck.

    And I just heard from a whole bunch of really mean people.


    I can not believe that woman (yes, I said that woman) stood up there and trash-mouthed Barack Obama after he stuck up for her when people attacked her pregnant daughter.

    I can not believe they are still selling this line about keeping America safe… using fear to sell their agenda. Pretending we can go along finding more oil indefinitely. Acting as if America is so holier than thou, not just the “best” country.. but the only country.

    And Mitt Romney! Egads.. he sounded like a facist.

    Back to Sarah Palin. I would like to like something about her, but I don’t. She’s very, very nasty and she will be loved for it, because she is charming (in a phony way) and attractive (in a creepy beauty-queen way). I was horrified by her politics but now I am repelled by her ugly soul.

    And, most surreal of all… these people really believe they are the Christians!

    Comment by Robin Edgar | October 25, 2009

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