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GOP must condemn ‘indecent, disgusting’ tea party signs

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National Jewish Democratic Council to GOP: Condemn those Nov. 5 Capitol Hill “Tea Party” Holocaust imagery/anti-Semitism signs:

Today’s G.O.P. “Tea Party” on Capitol Hill opposing health insurance reform invoked disgusting Holocaust imagery and outright anti-Semitism. Top Republican Party leaders including House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), and House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN) stood before a crowd that included a banner protesting health care reform and displaying corpses from the Holocaust. Yet another sign charged that “Obama takes his orders from the Rothchilds” [sic].

On his twitter feed Friday afternoon, Elie Wiesel said: “This kind of political hatred is indecent and disgusting.”

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told Politico: “Leader Boehner did not see any such sign. Obviously, it would be grossly inappropriate.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center also decried the signs as “a cheap and disgusting abuse of history.” Mark Weitzman, the Wiesenthal Center’s Director of Government Affairs, said “It reflects only the ignorance and callousness of those who cannot debate an issue on its merits and should be immediately repudiated by all responsible parties. Both the memory of the victims of the Nazis and the American public deserve better.”

Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) attacked the same issues in a video he posted on YouTube, calling out the rally’s organizer, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN):

November 6, 2009 Posted by | anti-Semitism | , , , | Comments Off on GOP must condemn ‘indecent, disgusting’ tea party signs

Richard Land declares himself ethical; critics of his Nazi-baiting ‘delusional’

In a sly self-exculpation, reiterated by Baptist Press, Richard Land explained away his apology to the Anti-Defamation League and laid down the law:

He will continue to compare the Obama administration to the Nazis. He not only refuses be held accountable, having excused himself, he attacks his critics as “delusional.”

Land’s illogic is as shameless as it is unpersuasive, very much like his earlier pseudo-apology. BP reports:

“There were very lethal and deadly philosophies loose in 20th century Germany prior to the Nazis’ ascendancy to power that called for devaluing some human beings as less worthy of life than other human beings,” he said, recalling there were arguments for euthanizing those who were perceived to be “useless eaters” and those who had “lives unworthy of life,” lebensunvertes Leben, in the 1930s and beyond.

“These poisonous philosophies became ever more deadly as the Nazis applied them to ever wider categories of people, such as Jews and Gypsies,” he continued.

Land said there are some involved in the health care debate who appear to believe some lives are less valuable and less worthy of medical treatment than others.

In noting he had previously used “imprecise language,” Land said he should have said some of the philosophies that are being espoused “bear a lethal similarity in their attitudes toward the elderly and the terminally ill and could ultimately lead to the kinds of things the Nazis did.”

Land said there are some involved in the health care debate who appear to believe some lives are less valuable and less worthy of medical treatment than others.

In noting he had previously used “imprecise language,” Land said he should have said some of the philosophies that are being espoused “bear a lethal similarity in their attitudes toward the elderly and the terminally ill and could ultimately lead to the kinds of things the Nazis did.”

“To equate expressing concerns that such a mindset could be carried to such an extreme at some time in the future as the equivalent of saying the Obama administration is like the Nazis or that Barack Obama is Hitler is either delusional or deliberately misleading,” Land said.

He has not merely “expressed concerns.” In his Sept. 26 speech to the Christian Coalition of Fla., Land made it clear that he does believe “the Obama administration is like the Nazis.” Specifically, he said:

I want to put it to you bluntly. What they are attempting to do in healthcare, particularly in treating the elderly, is not something like what the Nazis did. It is precisely what the Nazis did.

Having asserted he was merely “expressing concerns,” Land proceeds with slippery dishonesty to attack his critics, in particular Indiana State University professor Richard Pierard. Land first says Pierard “attempts to remove the Third Reich as a subject of discussion when it comes to the healthcare debate.” From there, establishing a patter for his other rebuttals, Land bridges to ad hominem, asserting:

The last time I checked, Dr. Pierard had not been made speech czar.

Although Land is correct in asserting that it is his First Amendment right to employ Third Reich imagery alongside the massive factual inaccuracies with which he assaults Democratic health reform efforts, there is nothing exhaustively ethical about his behavior. It does violence to the first half of the name of the Southern Baptist entity of which he is president: The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

October 23, 2009 Posted by | Religion, SBC | , , , | Comments Off on Richard Land declares himself ethical; critics of his Nazi-baiting ‘delusional’

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 | , , | 2 Comments

‘Final solution’ began with bullets

The systematic slaughter of the Jews began with gunfire after Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. It was the first phase of the Nazi “Final Solution.”

Father Patrick Desbois documents in his book The Holocaust by Bullets how more than 2 million Jews were gunned down in towns and villages across Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.

Read more here.

February 1, 2009 Posted by | anti-Semitism, Crime | , , , , | Comments Off on ‘Final solution’ began with bullets