Recently I read that Cologne Cardinal Joachim Meisner has apologized for comparing abortion to Nazi war crimes. He stated, "First there was Herod, who ordered the children of Bethlehem to be killed, then there was Hitler and Stalin among others, and today unborn children are being killed in their millions." Meisner said he intended no offense to the people of Jewish faith and would never have made the comparison if he thought it would have been taken as an offense or misunderstood. His original comments have drawn criticism from German Jewish leaders and some lawmakers. This whole situation both highlights the distortion of abortion arguments and reflects the spineless nature of many clergy in present circles.
Precise and Relevant Comparison
The comparison between the murder of the Bethlehem innocents, the Holocaust, and abortion is a very common point made by many Pro-life groups and writers, including myself. It is so obvious and relevant that making it merely implies a normal observation and perception of basic human decency and thought. In all three cases, innocents have been brutalized, tortured and murdered for barbaric, selfish, arrogant, and twisted reasons. In all three cases the victims were completely innocent of any wrong and obviously did not deserve such barbarism. In all three cases we hold up these victims as akin to blameless lambs sacrificed for evil purposes by immoral people. Medical research has clearly shown that the unborn child is indeed quite alive and can feel pain, so there is no difference between that child and the Bethlehem and Holocaust victims on that count. I will assume at this point, although I sometimes wonder, if Jewish leaders actually allow for other victims of mass murder to be considered and mentioned without immediately taking offense. After all, I do not think that this is some twisted form of "my victimization can beat yours" is it? Perhaps, as many sane Jewish leaders have stated, this is merely another example of extreme Jewish leaders taking offense at any attempt to compare the Holocaust to anything else while not even noticing any other barbaric acts? Meisner's comparison was correct, appropriate, relevant, and precise…period!
Unfortunately, Meisner followed his bold truth with wimpy retreat. It is tragic that clerics roughly fall into one of three groups. Either they unashamedly surrender their duty and authority at the feet of secularism, liberalism, and modernism, they boldly stand up for their faith and speak the truth, or they start out bold and then run away with their clerical tail between their legs. The further tragedy is that the bold group is nowhere near 1/3 of that breakdown.
It seems that the surrender and switch groups comprise 90% or more of clerics, with only 10% or less showing a spine upon a moral MRI. History shows us that truth always offends those in denial, distortion, deception, or wrong. It is the definition of courage of conviction and duty to speak the truth, stand up for one's position, admit one's own weakness, proclaim one's determination to overcome that weakness, and fight for what is right despite one's own humanity and ability to fail.
Meisner showed insight in his original comments, but he betrayed his duty when he apologized and backed down from that truth. If Meisner peers carefully ahead as he runs for cover, however, he will likely see masses of similarly surrendering and betraying clerics running away from their duty and far ahead of him in their sprint for political correctness!
Two of the most vocal critics of Meisner are Paul Spiegel, a key German Jewish leader and spokesperson, and Claudia Roth, a key and outspoken European Parliament leader. Both have expressed outrage and great offense at the cardinal's comments.
Spiegel states that he "cannot in any way understand" how anyone can compare abortion and Nazi crimes, calling this comparison "unspeakable and offensive". Roth had demanded an apology, stating that Mesiner must "apologize to those he has offended". The ecumenical movement Initiative Kirche stated, "Meisner has completely lost his authority as bishop and has publicly done a great wrong to the Catholic Church and to the dialogue between Jews and Christians."
Roth believes that the UN should have authority over the internal affairs of nations and that its directives and resolutions should have authority over national policies and legislation. I think that it is safe to say that Spiegel is the German version of Abe Foxman and that the Initiative Kirche can shake hands with any of those groups who equate ecumenism with betrayal and surrender of duty to the Catholic faith.
Basically, it is fair to say that Spiegel and his ilk think that anyone daring to compare the Holocaust to anything else should be burned in oil. Certainly these Nazi atrocities are among the worst examples of human barbarism ever, and should be condemned at every opportunity, but these people act as if other atrocities and barbaric acts are peanuts which should not be put in the same neighborhood as the Holocaust. Is this not itself offensive to those who suffered such torture? Is it acceptable to ignore or belittle torture against others but the height of insensitivity to even dare to compare such torture to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust? As for Roth, she can begin apologizing to those she has offended before she begins pointing fingers at others. The last time I checked, her ilk have no problem offending Catholics and other religious groups and somehow manage to overcome their great internal guilt and shame over trampling moral and spiritual sensitivities of religious people. She represents the disastrous moral present and future of European political leaders and is clear evidence of where the One World Government is coming from.
Finally, Initiative Kirche is certainly in no position to judge who has lost his authority in the Catholic Church and merely represents the twisted logic that respect between Jews and Christians means that Christians must avoid offending any Jewish person, no matter how radical or extreme. As for harming the Catholic Church, I propose that offending Initiative Kirche might actually be a litmus test for doing what is in the best interest of the Catholic Church since most, if not all of its positions, are contrary and destructive to true Catholic doctrine, beliefs, and positions! This group and all like it should keep out of judging the Catholic Church or anyone in it. In short, much of this whole problem could be solved with muzzles to eliminate mindless, imbecilic wailing by clueless fools.
I do not fail to get a headache when I hear of situations such as these. Can someone please explain how comparing the Holocaust against other horrible, despicable, detestable mass crimes is so offensive to Jews? I assume that Jews do allow for the possibility that others have suffered. Nobody is saying that the Holocaust did not occur or was trivial with no victims. Nobody is claiming that the Holocaust was a joke or should not be remembered and used as a model of inhumanity to be prevented in the future. We all should honor and feel compassion for those victims and their families. How is placing these victims side by side with innocent children slaughtered in Bethlehem or their mother's womb an insult to their memory? Are we saying that these murdered innocents do not deserve recognition or compassion? Perhaps we are placing the Jewish Holocaust suffering on such a pedestal of pain that we argue that no other pain or suffering should dare to be held at such a level? Is this not itself offensive, arrogant, intolerant, and wrong?
What if Catholics were to say that the Crucifixion of Our Lord were exclusive to them and no one had a right to complain about their own suffering or persecution since no one shed more blood than Christ? Though He did shed every drop of His precious blood, He did so for all men at all times. Not that all men have taken the opportunity, thus the pro multis - "for many" in the Divinely-ordained words of
the Consecration of the Holy Mass. Yet for Catholics to claim they had a monopoly on suffering would be ridiculous and bring down upon them the most vociferous accusations of prideful boasts. Thus, the same for Jewish lobbyists today who claim the exclusivity of the Holocaust, yet practically every Jewish legislator in Congress has upheld the Holocaust in the Womb by voting pro-abort. Not very logical is it?
Spiegel finds Meisner's correct comparison as "unspeakable and offensive." Why? Does he not consider the tearing apart of innocent unborn children "unspeakable and offensive"?
He says that he cannot in any way understand how anyone can compare abortion with Nazi war crimes. Well, let me help you Mr. Spiegel. Innocent people gassed, burned, torn apart, tortured, torn apart, heaped in mass corpse mounds like trash, having their body parts used for research and other uses, all because they belong to a particular group, be it Jews or unborn, unwanted children.
Do you get it now, Mr. Spiegel? Are things getting a little clearer for you, or is your extremist, fanatical position still blinding you to common suffering and pain and to the possibility that yes, there have been other examples of barbaric, despicable atrocity? I recall reading the account of a former Chula Vista abortion clinic worker who described seeing pieces of tiny hands smaller than those of a Barbie doll, perfectly formed intestines, ribs, faces, tiny feet, and their tiny squashed heads. She also noted how large "terminations" often resulted in whole fetuses removed still breathing who were left to die. Are you offended yet, Spiegel, or are you only disgusted when these descriptions involve Holocaust victims? It is difficult to take someone's disgust seriously when he only feels offended in certain cases. I recall a certain movie called Schindler's List in which the director, producer Steven Spielberg held nothing back visually in showing the horror. Few complained of that, yet they get all riled over photos of what happens to a baby not yet fully formed. Doesn't compute does it? Do you see a double standard here? I do, especially with those who complained about the violence in Mel Gibson's masterpiece The Passion of The Christ. Those shouting the loudest are the most avid pro-aborts. We are all deeply offended and disgusted by The Holocaust horrors and should be, despite the pathetic hypocrisy of people such as Spiegel who are completely unnecessary to appreciate the horror of that atrocity.
Frankly, I find people such as Spiegel offensive, for they perfectly demonstrate Rabbi Daniel Lapin's cogent and perceptive assertion that many Jewish leaders are steeped in hypocrisy when they are offended where there is no offense while not offended when other groups are involved. I am sure that Spiegel's position on Mel Gibson's masterpiece is similar to his ilk in this country.
Likewise, Roth represents those anti-faith legislators who conceal their wish to eradicate Catholic and Christian influence from daily life with pompous political platitudes and pontifications which they should have never spewed unto the ears of any sane human being. Lastly, Initiative Kirche defines Christian-Jewish relations as continual Christian subservience to radical Jewish positions and pathetically sees itself in any way qualified to comment on what is or is not good for the Catholic Church or who is or is not qualified to speak for that church. To concede to this pack of fools is a crime unto itself!
Genocide is Genocide
In a recent PBS television series entitled Auschwitz: Inside The Nazi State marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, reporter Linda Ellerbee interviewed Claudia Koonz, Professor of History at Duke, and Edward Kissi, Professor of Africana Studies at The University of South Flordia, who is an expert on international relations and human rights. The discussion centered on the antecedents to genocide and how such barbaric acts could be prevented. Kissi defined genocide as the systematic mass murder of members of a given group precisely because they were members of such a group which those in power sought to eliminate. He added that the pattern of genocide includes seeing members of the hated group as less than human, as obstacles, as undesirables, as something to eliminate. Both Koonz and Kissi noted how those who murder genocide victims often refer to those people as animals or even something sub-human. Both scholars added that often this view of that group is inculcated through the schools, the culture, the society, and the media of a society. They cited examples from Nazi Germany and the Sudan to demonstrate the ingredients which lead to genocide. Kissi discounted religion or democracy as effective preventions to genocide, citing examples where religious and democratic societies still inflicted genocide on a chosen group. In the end, Ellerbee wondered if simply developing a greater respect and awareness for the sanctity of life would be an effective deterrent to genocide. Everyone seemed to agree that this kind of thinking would be a start. The apparent theme emerging by the end of this discussion was that any society which allows any disrespect for the sanctity of human life to creep in, has embarked on the path to genocide.
As I watched this series, I was again appalled by the despicable and barbaric atrocity of The Holocaust and the excuses used to perpetrate this evil on innocent people. I agree that this dark event must never be forgotten or downplayed. However, I cannot conceive how any thinking, feeling person can ignore the reality that abortion has every characteristic of such genocide as well. Are not unborn children members of a distinct group? Are their lives not taken precisely because they are seen as an obstacle, a mistake, something less than human, and something to be eliminated? Is their killing not done in a systematic way? Are not numerous reasons given attempting to justify these vile acts? Are not noble causes and beliefs put forth as fronts to naked murder? The Nazis and other vile groups justified their atrocity by seeing their victims as mere trash to be eliminated in the name of some noble cause such as freedom, independence, protection from harm, etc. Their media, society, and culture slowly bought into this lie and eventually perpetuated it to the point of simple acceptance by the society. As I pondered the silent testimony of Auschwitz to the pain of countless innocent lives sacrificed for despicable treachery, radical arrogance, and unbound selfishness, I could not help but ponder the same silent testimony of countless unborn lives ended for similar reasons under twisted nobility and warped rights.
Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne, Germany has shown us both the highs and lows of present Catholic clerics. On one hand he made a true, relevant, and appropriate comment and observation regarding the similarities between abortion, the Bethlehem murder of the innocents, and Nazi war crimes. On the other hand, however, once confronted by clueless fools with an agenda, he backed down and apologized, demonstrating that the spine of many Catholic clergy can form and disintegrate at the drop of a politically correct claim. What we have here is half of a victory, for the truth was spoken but then retracted under threats from idiots. Cardinal Meisner raised the sword he had a duty to raise against all inhumanity, but once faced with a three-headed beast, the good cardinal lowered and gave up his sword amid pathetic mea culpas.
Instead of reasserting his comments and explaining that they in no way should offend Jews, the cleric surrendered to idiotic imbeciles, be they radical Jewish fanatics, pompous ignorant politicians, or clueless ecumenical fools, in order to avoid trouble. It is the duty of any true Catholic, especially any genuine Catholic cleric, to state the truth, defend that truth, and stand up to the ignorant critics who rise from the crevices. If the importance of one's battles is judged by the significance of one's claim and the destructive potential of one's opponents, Cardinal Meisner has dropped the ball. One should never apologize for stating the truth or making an appropriate observation consistent with one's faith, and certainly not to fools hiding agendas of their own beneath absurd, illogical, hypocritical, and imbecilic claims of offense!
The fact that three anniversaries are observed during this time of year and their intrinsic link of the murder of the innocents in Bethlehem, the Roe v. Wade decision, and the liberation of Auschwitz on January 27th should strike home to all. To me it strikes with such an obvious power that I remain and forever shall remain mystified how anyone can be offended by grouping these atrocities together. Genocide is genocide and there is no such thing as coincidence in this case. I reach out to those Bethlehem innocents, to those Holocaust innocents, and to those unborn innocents with the same hand, the same heart.