Beliefnet News

Beliefnet News


Southern Baptist Leader Apologizes for Holocaust Reference

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) A top Southern Baptist official has apologized to Jews for saying Democrats’ proposals to reform health care are “precisely what the Nazis did.”
“It was never my intention to equate the Obama administration’s health care reform proposals with anything related to the Holocaust,” Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission wrote in a letter on Wednesday (Oct. 14) to the Anti-Defamation League. “My concern, which is clear when the remarks are reviewed in context, was about the potential denial of health care to the elderly, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn.”
According to the Florida Baptist Witness, Land referred to Nazis as he criticized the health care reform plans of President Obama and congressional Democrats in a Sept. 26 speech to the Christian Coalition of Florida.
“I want to put it to you bluntly,” Land said in the speech. “What they are attempting to do in health care, particularly in treating the elderly, is not something like what the Nazis did. It is precisely what the Nazis did.”
In an Oct. 9 letter, Foxman told Land that he was particularly offended by the remarks as a Holocaust survivor.
“While we understand there are deep convictions and passions regarding the health care reform, whatever one’s views are, the Nazi comparison is inappropriate, insensitive and unjustified,” Foxman wrote.
“Such comparisons diminish the history and the memory of the 6 million Jews and 5 million others who died at the hands of the Nazis and insults those who fought bravely against (Nazi dictator Adolf) Hitler.”
Land told Foxman that he would choose his words more carefully in the future.
“Given the pain and suffering of so many Jewish and other victims of the Nazi regime, I will certainly seek to exercise far more care in my use of language in future discussions of the issues at stake in the health care debate,” he wrote.
By Adelle M. Banks
Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.



  • cknuck

    I see no fault in what he said, unless I missed something he never mentioned Jews in the statement.

  • pagansister

    cknuck, you see no connections to the Jews when Land mentioned the Nazi’s in connection to President Obama’s health plan? Hello? Nazi…holocaust…that is an automatic connection for a lot of people.

  • Scott R.

    Of course he wouldn’t see a problem with it.
    But the people it was done to…we know.
    What a jacka$$.

  • Henrietta22

    It was not only insulting to the Jewish people, the whole idea of the Democrats Health Plan doing away with the elderly was insulting to the Democrats, and the elderly that voted and trust Obama. Well, really, when will these extreme religious people keep their dark thoughts to themselves? Perhaps he should apologize to all Americans.

  • MY Name

    Hmmm so once again ck knows better. Even though this man believes he made an error and apologized, ck thinks he shouldn’t have. Oh that we could all have the insight and mental fortitude of ck.
    Personally I think his apology is even a little patronizing to thinking people. He didn’t want to equate Obama reforms to anything related to the Holocaust? Okay so when did Nazis stop being related to the Holocaust? Weren’t the Nazis directly responsible for the Holocaust?

  • cknuck

    pagan the Jews were not the only people group harmed by the Nazi nor were they their only offensive activity. So no unless he made reference directly to the Jews I find no fault in his statement.

  • cknuck

    scott he who dies a thousand deaths.

  • Scott R.

    Anything you say Chuck. You are truly vile. And no Christian.

  • Agape123

    If the words – a direct quote, apparently: “precisely what the Nazis did” somehow not “anything related to the Holocaust”, then Mr. Land is either a lying buffoon, an insensitive, cold-hearted ignoramus, or your standard issue asshat (to borrow a Dreherism.
    I vote for all three.
    And, that cknuck can say, all Pilate-like “I find no fault in” what Land said shows that ck is of the same ilk.
    You bring shame to the name “Christian”.

  • cknuck

    Agape you are just silly it is not of the proportion you describe. In other words every time someone makes a Klan or a white people comparison then I have a case and they owe me an apology? the Jews are the only people that should be angry at the Nazi and every mention of that group need to be approved by a Jewish council or something? I don’t think that a group should have the power of controlling our free speech rights.

  • Bart Vincelette

    To describe ideas to reform healthcare to a state wherein it would be available to all , to the actions of the Third Reich is so far over the line , an apology is nothing more than a public relations patching up. In reality , if the apology were sincere , it would be extended to all Americans and followed up with action.

  • cknuck

    It hilarious that at least twice I was judged as a non-Christian because I don’t believe this guy is a anti-Semite. I do believe it was over descriptive but certainly not a malicious shot at a people group. It was about a proposal for heavens sakes.

  • Heretic_for_Christ

    I have no reason to think Land is an actual anti-Semite, nor do I think his comment was insensitive, which would imply that he had not realized how offensive it would be. Indeed, I think it was very carefully designed to be as provocative and outrageous as possible in denouncing the proposed program. His target was not Jews; it was anything the President and anything the President does. In terms of actual content, his comment has no more meaning than the comments of some Republican politicians and conservative commentators who have called the President a communist, a socialist, and an Islamic terrorist. Which means that in apologizing and denying that he meant to equate the President’s proposals to Naziism, Land is simply lying–that was precisely his intent.
    A dismaying number of other prominent conservatives have descended to fascistic demagogy, the politics of hate-mongering. But in the case the target of their hatred is not Jews but the President. And if Jews got sprayed with their venom, well, just call it collateral damage.

  • Husband

    “Agape you are just silly it is not of the proportion you describe.”
    Tell that to any jew.
    “In other words every time someone makes a Klan or a white people comparison then I have a case and they owe me an apology?”
    That’s entirely up to you, being black. But I know what the phrase “Uncle Tom” means.
    “I don’t think that a group should have the power of controlling our free speech rights.”
    Both Mr. Land and you have the right to free speech. But when either of you says something stupid, as Mr. Land does with this egregious comment, you do not have the right to expect not to be called out on it. His comment was outrageous, and he deserves to be lambasted for it.

  • cknuck

    Husband your ignorance is epic, thanks for proving my point with your Uncle Tom comment of which you know obviously know little about because if you did you would know why you failed to insult me.
    Back to the topic, I guess if one was to make reference to Hogan’s Heroes’ Stalag 13 that would be off limits. I think I know that is not what he meant but it cannot be totally eliminated in that the remark was not directed at the Jews. It is true republicans have been using some powerful language directed at the proposal (I don’t believe directed at Obama they would have to incredibly stupid). I think in this case this Jewish fellow is overly sensitive to take this personally and of course the democrats are going to take advantage both sides are showing some amazing lows.

  • nnmns

    Richard Land: “I want to put it to you bluntly, what they are attempting to do in health care, particularly in treating the elderly, is not something like what the Nazis did. It is precisely what the Nazis did.”
    Richard Land: “It was never my intention to equate the Obama administration’s health care reform proposals with anything related to the Holocaust”
    Obviously Richard Land will say naything he thinks is in his own interest. I don’t see why anyone would ever believe him again.

  • Mordred08

    cknuck: “I don’t think that a group should have the power of controlling our free speech rights.”
    Land had the right to say it. Foxman had the right to call him on it. What do you have against Foxman’s free speech rights?

  • cknuck

    Mordred only the matching stupidity neither sould get any press.

  • David

    Is it egregious? If one looks at it as an historic reference. The nazis first determined that people were only worth what they could benefit society, then they decided that the mentally “deficient” were to be eradicated. Then the mentally ill etc.. It wasn’t until later that the focus became primarily on ethnic groups ( Jews and Gypsies)

  • Scott R.

    The Jews were the primary target of the Holocaust. It was laid out in Mein Kampf very well. Hitler lost the war to Russia because he pulled troops from the eastern front to help in the extermination of the Jewish people.
    You are a tool CK. A useful idiot.

  • Kauko

    Anyone who belongs to a group that had a fourth of their total number systematically wiped out in genocide has a right to be a little sensitive about it when people misuse it in an analogy to support their rhetoric. For Jews the Shoah is not just some long dead history, it exists in living memory.

  • cknuck

    Scott, wear your holocaust proudly some day you may realize it’s not a medal you go about displaying, a we suffered more point chart. People are allowed to mention the Nazi without being anti-Semitic or asking Jewish permission. It is world history, people talk about the white man all of the time Native Americans and or African Americans don’t demand apologizes for the mere mention of white people. Get over it!

  • Kauko

    CK, I think you’re completely misrepresenting the issue here. The issue is not that some person arbitrarily mentioned the Nazis and therefore Jews were offended. The issue here is that this specific person, as well as countless other health care reform opponents, have invoked the atrocities which the Nazis commited in order to scare people into thinking that the result of the current attempt at health care reform will be similar. Jews get offended at this sort of comparison because it cheapens and belittles the very real suffering of the Jewish people at the hands of the Nazis.

  • nnmns

    The statement can also be attacked on the basis of the utter falsity of the comparison and the don’t-give-a-damn attitude toward our citizens this shows. Anything goes if it prevents President Obama from being successful at helping the US.
    Republicans have shown themselves to be as useless as t*ts on a boar. (That’s m*mmery glands on a male hog for you non-agriculturists.)

  • 007

    As a member of the southern baptist convention, while Land is apologizing maybe he could with apologizing to the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints for what we have said about them over the years, or to President Carter for how he was treated by the SBC, for just disagreeing with the big boys in nashville. Or to those who are freemasons the list could go on.
    Between Land and Mohler who seems to have appointed themsselves the arbitors of truth, need to take a look at our church first, and we fret over everyone else, we should clean up our house first, and trust me it needs it!!!

  • Heretic_for_Christ

    007,
    A very constructive observation! I have often said that criticism from outside means little; it is up to the rational people of faith to deal with the liars and fanatics among them–to marginalize them and nullify their influence.

  • Your Name

    “wear your holocaust proud”
    What a smarmy thing for a black person to say to a jew. ck, you wear your color, your heterosexuality, your homophobia and your “Christianity” so proudly too. (Yes, it’s “proudly” not “proud”. For someone who ‘runs’ companies, you’re pretty illiterate.)

  • cknuck

    YN quote, ” For someone who ‘runs’ companies, you’re pretty illiterate”
    Yeah pretty amazing huh?

  • cknuck

    nnmns quote, “Republicans have shown themselves to be as useless as t*ts on a boar”
    thank you for making my point that both sides make such idiotic remarks. nnmns as much as I dislike you I would never think of you as useless.
    Kauko I agree with your statement to mew for the most part, but I do think that some Jews are overly sensitive they use the anti-Semitic club way too often, and that level of sensitively keeps any people group either at war or on the brink of war.

  • Scott R.

    I lost my family CK. Real, live people. About 50. And you tell me to get over it.
    Go to hell, and go **** yourself.

  • cknuck

    Scott, seriously, yes let it go, it’s poison pure and simple.

  • Scott R.

    Let my family go? Never. I will take it the grave. I have already taught my son who was responsible and he accepts it completely.

  • pagansister

    Family history is always important to pass down, Scott R. It would be lost otherwise.

  • cknuck

    pagan that is only true if you leave the fear and hate out.

  • Heretic_for_Christ

    There is a difference between remembering and learning from the past, and being consumed by the past. Hatred is a powerful but exhausting emotion. Letting go of hatred does not mean forgetting the past or pretending that it didn’t happen or that it doesn’t matter. It did happen and it does matter.
    But the knowledge and memory of what happened should be used as lessons to be learned, not as a rationale for ongoing hatred. The problem with ongoing hatred is that it mainly harms the holder of that hatred, not the object of hatred. Holding onto hatred means remaining a victim of what was done in the past; letting go of hatred means refusing to remain victimized. It is not about being magnanimous to those who have committed evil; it is about refusing to keep on being harmed by what they did.
    Hatred is one of the things that cloaks the light of God within us (within all of us, I believe, most certainly including atheists). When that light is cloaked, we are less alive, less awake. Thus, holding onto hatred is a form of slow spiritual self-destruction. Letting go of it does not demonstrate “forgiveness” but self-interest.
    That said, I repeat my impression of Mr. Land–a posturing demagogue and a shameless liar.

  • pagansister

    Perhaps the history is being passed down by Scott R. without the hatred. Obviously I can’t speak for him. The holocaust should be remembered by everyone, not just the Jews. No news that simular occurances have continued and are still going on in the world. They may not be as organized as Hitler’s horror was, but are as horrible.

  • cknuck

    Actually I am not sure of the scale or even if the scale matters as long as this sort of thing is in existence. Recently in Africa it happened and no one did anything as a matter of fact the French pulled out knowing a slaughter would pursue.

  • David

    So let me get this right if I see something I think is wrong and say that is as bad as……………………. I am not making a statement about how I see both as bad but an attack against those the wrong is and has been done too? Is this thinking a symptom of an insanity that we have been overtaken with?

  • Heretic_for_Christ

    No, David, you don’t get it at all. The point is not that Land was attacking Jews, but that in comparing the proposed health reform plan to Nazi atrocities, he was trivializing the Holocaust.

  • cknuck

    The comment was inappropriate, yes but anti-Semitic, no. Was he a jerk for saying it yes, but from my viewpoint he did not owe Jewish an apology so much as the American public and himself for being such a dillweed. He never mentioned the Jewish people and even as horrible as that was for them that was not all the Nazi movement was about nor the only atrocity the Nazi committed remember we fought them.

  • Henrietta22

    Whatver Land meant he managed to turn off most of the American population by using the Nazi’s bad deeds to compare to the Democrats Health Proposal. People are tired of extremism by Church leaders, actually extremeism by anyone. Too many years of it!

  • David Hume

    The Southern Baptist leader was wrong to apologize. He didn’t go far enough. President Obama’s Health care proposals are nothing but a holocaust for the elderly. Obama is very open about putting the elderly on pain pills and letting them die rather than perform “expensive” medical procedures. Obama wants to pay for his trillion dollar health care plan with cuts to medicare, and death to the elderly.
    If Republicans had ever proposed what Obama has proposed, we’d laugh at them, as Neanderthals. Instead, we have this “civil” argument that we should be nice to Hitler, Obama, and people like them. Let’s call a spade a spade. It’s cowardice to deny that Obama is not a Nazi

  • pagansister

    Whoa! D. Hume. You seem to have strong feelings about the proposed health plan. As much as I disagree with you, you do have the right in this country to say what you did. But the arguement here that I see is you don’t like the fact that President Obama happens to be a black man, not that you don’t like the health care plan. As much as I truly disliked everything about Bush….I wouldn’t have called him the hated name…Nazi. There are other countries that have real dictators….you have the mistaken idea that the USA is one of them.

  • Heretic for Christ

    David Hume:
    Your pharmacist called. Your haloperidol prescription is ready for you to pick up.

  • GodsCountry

    “”…putting the elderly on pain pills and letting them die…””
    Democrats in Oregon have already institutionalized this. States being “the laboratories of democracy”, now that we have a US president with the same goals as Oregon Democrats, I would expect BHO to take up the cause on a national level. As taxpayers, we will then have to pay for “mercy killings”, including simply “letting people die”.
    It would be heresy to believe otherwise.
    The audacity of heretics.

  • pagansister

    Sounds like you and DH have been reading the same fairy tales, GC.

Previous Posts

Hispanics turning evangelical, Jews secular
Worship service attendance is up in New York City, but down among young adult Jews, according to recent studies. On the other hand, fewer Spanish-speaking teens are attending Catholic mass, but more are showing up at Evangelical churches. [caption id="attachment_12343" align="alignleft" width="48

posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, that he would live to see the beginning of a Christian re

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought Out, Murdered in the Kenyan Mall Massacre,” “Judicial

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption id="attachment_12246" align="alignleft" width="480"] Ant

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »

Does Sunday Morning Church Really Need All This Glitter, Showmanship and Gimmickry?
What’s wrong with church today? Are we in danger of turning worship into a flashy concert? Of watering down the message so nobody is offended? Of forgetting the simplicity of the Gospel? I grew up with a preacher’s kid. He was a fake following in the footsteps of his flimflamming father who d

posted 11:26:20am Sep. 20, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.