Auschwitz redefined.

Roger L. Simon recently shed some new light (for me, anyway) on the Bush-as-Hitler smear. Citing a dreadful piece which compares the Bush administration to Hitler's Nazi regime (which I'll also refrain from linking directly), Roger makes it clear that these ostensible attacks on Bush are more insidious than what they appear to be. They do far more than smear Bush; they diminish the Holocaust and cheapen the memory of those who died.

The left hurls around the Nazi label and comparisons to the Holocaust far too freely. (I have, for example, been called a Nazi for owning guns and believing in self defense.)

Unfortunately, the right does the same thing all too often. And I am not merely referring to the far right practice of linking homosexuals to Nazis by claiming that Hitler and all the top Nazis were gay.

I can't tell you how many times I have heard abortion equated with Auschwitz.

This is not to say that abortion is good. It is not. I think it is inherently immoral, especially in cases of late-term abortion. But the moral purists call all abortion murder, and they don't stop there. They call RU-486 (the "morning after" pill) murder (why, it's no different than Zyklon-B!). They call it murder to destroy a fertilized human ovum even when that has never been implanted in the uterine wall.

Is a seed a tree? If so, then why isn't putting seeds in your bird-feeder the moral equivalent of clear cutting?

And if you're a bleeding heart like me who, while recognizing the immorality of abortion, nevertheless simply could not stand sentencing a woman to prison for early termination of a pregnancy, why, then you are guilty of a Holocaust!

If that does not cheapen the memories of those who were machine-gunned by the millions into killing pits, or lined up and marched into the gas chambers, then what does?

Typical example here.

And that was only the first link that came up under Google. I hope readers will see my simple point.

Once again, I am NOT defending abortion.

Nor do I have any relatives who perished in the Holocaust. But if I did, I might get more than a little ticked off by being told that their terrible suffering and deaths were the moral equivalent of a woman preventing her fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall.

Call me a Nazi for saying this, but I think such moral absolutism ill serves the cause of morality.

posted by Eric on 02.02.04 at 12:12 AM







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» Carnival of the Vanities #72 from A Perfectly Cromulent Blog
Smiles, everyone smiles...My dear guests, I am Mr. Pete, your host. Welcome to Carnival of the Vanities #72. Putting together this edition of the Carnival has been an interesting experience. I've been exposed to a number of blogs I don't... [Read More]
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» Carnival of the Vanities #72 from A Perfectly Cromulent Blog
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» Carnival of the Vanities #72 from A Perfectly Cromulent Blog
Smiles, everyone smiles...My dear guests, I am Mr. Pete, your host. Welcome to Carnival of the Vanities #72. Putting together this edition of the Carnival has been an interesting experience. I've been exposed to a number of blogs I don't... [Read More]
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Comments

"Moral absolutism?" It strikes me as the opposite: moral relativism, albeit of a different kind than is usually discussed. Which is what is making you angry (and me, too). How dare anyone equate Auschwitz with a woman exercising sole ownership over her own body?

And the line about seeds in the birdfeeder is classic.

Ian   ·  February 2, 2004 3:16 AM

As to abortion: I used to be an absolute pro-abortionist, seeing the whole issue solely in terms of a woman exercising sole ownership over her own body, in those exact words. I still feel that way, but come the third trimester, another body, another person, gets involved, and not a consenting adult. It was the dishonesty of the pro-abortionists in denying that other body, particularly regarding the partial-birth abortion issue, that has swayed me more and more over to the anti-abortion side, at least as far as late abortions are concerned. There's dishonesty and hypocrisy on both sides, and I could go into that, but there's no way I'm going to equate the killing of a fully developed infant (which is what partial-birth abortion is, by definition) with RU-486 or an IUD, both of which are forms of contraception rather than abortion except in a trivial sense.

As to the Nazis: I share your feeling toward the hysterics who scream "Nazi!" at whoever disagrees with them on anything, who equate Bush (or any President of the United States, past or present) with Hitler, who equate America with Nazi Germany. If you cry "wolf!" too many times, the real wolf will eventually eat you.

But there is a real wolf... There is a certain minority who have been hated and persecuted for centuries by both church and state, who have been forced to hide their identities, to "pass" as other than what they are, who have, in the face of persecution, managed to achieve a measure of success and affluence, are, in general, highly educated, intelligent, and creative, tend to be disproportionately represented in fields of literature, arts, and entertainment, and are all the more hated, envied, precisely because their success.
And there is a rather large, well-organized, influential movement centered on scapegoating, persecuting, stigmatizing, outlawing that minority, at its most seemingly benign aiming to totally assimilate them, at its most overtly malevolen aimingt to physically exterminate them, in either case, to eradicate them.
The parallels are indeed ominous...
No, America is not nor ever has been Nazi Germany or anything like it, but we are, I believe, all too like Weimar Germany. Neither Bush nor anyone likely to succeed him is like Hitler. But he may become a Hindenberg. Those who will not heed the lessons of history are doomed to repeat its least happy moments... Sorry to end this on such an ominous note but that's the way I see it.

Steven Malcolm Anderson   ·  February 3, 2004 1:08 AM

So are you Eric, or "another Bill?"

Interesting observations about the Holocaust comparisons. I was once labelled a "Jack-booted Nazi" by some friends in law school when I suggested that it might be appropriate for law enforcement officials to think that finding $300K (in small bills) in the trunk of a car might be reason to suspect the driver of some sort of criminal activity.

As for comparisons between Bush and Hitler; well, I noted Simon's post as well (and drew my own conclusions). My final thought: comparisons between Germany in the 1930s and America today remind me of the types of "similarities" often noted between the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy. They may exist, but they're completely unrelated, and it takes a whole lot of effort to find any meaning in them.

Bill Wallo   ·  February 4, 2004 3:58 PM

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