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Southern Religion

‘Stop with Holocaust Comparisons’

One horrific detail at a time, North Carolina Biblical Recorder Editor Norman Jameson shows that Southern Baptist Convention ethics chief Richard Land was wrong to apply holocaust metaphors to the health care debate.

For example, Jameson writes:

I refer to the holocaust, the one in which German Nazis created and documented the stone cold slaughter of 11 million to 17 million people, including six million Jews. Inured to their victims’ pain or their own emotions they experimented on people, including children and especially twins as if they were lab rats. They tested the rate of death under an assortment of circumstances; the ability to survive poisonous chemicals smeared into wounds; whether it was possible to change eye color with injections into the eyeball.

. . .

It was explained to me in the somber halls of Yad Vashem, the premier memorial in the world to the Shoah, that “holocaust” is too broadly and casually utilized to any longer reflect the singular horror of the Nazi actions.

After Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, compared aspects of nascent health care reform bills to the holocaust, other religious leaders said, “enough.”

Land’s disingenuous failure to acknowledge real error in his apology is overlooked. Similarly, Jameson is focused on Land’s abuse of the facts and Nazi imagery in a Sept. 26 speech to the Christian Coalition in Florida, and overlooks the October barrage of counterfactual claims which attended Land’s Louisiana references to Nazi practices.

Fair to a fault, Jameson gives Land credit for having said health care reform is needed, and for supporting the state of Israel before concluding that “the holocaust are so unimaginably horrible, it is not appropriate to compare them with anything since.” And for that he draws immediate dissent a pro-life commenters who suggests that it is appropriate to compare abortion to the Nazi industrialized program of eradication of entire cultures.

Land and his peers are resistant to logical/historical persuasion such as Jameson offers, possibility because their goals are not logical. They may seek to reignite the culture-war hysteria whose fade toward calm has drained away much of their political power.

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December 5, 2009 - Posted by | SBC | , , ,

1 Comment

  1. Norman Jameson, in his usual intelligent analysis, hits the nail on the head. .

    My first comment was that I nominate Richard Land for the 2009 “foot in mouth award.” We have just begun to recover from the “God doesn’t hear the prayers of Jews” fiasco, but Land continues the monkey climb in the tree so more people can see our Baptist tails!

    The simple saying of my grandfather was: “The higher the monkey climbs the tree, the more you see his tail.”

    Comment by Gene Scarborough | December 5, 2009


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