Abortion And Saddleback Church- part 2
The issue which most energizes white evangelical voters is abortion, and so it is that Reverend Rick Warren, fresh off his forum at his Saddleback Church, was asked four (4) questions about abortion in the interview he granted with beliefnet.com on July 17, 2008. The very first question posed was
Before last night, McCain had been widely criticized by Christian activists for keeping mum about his faith and about values issues like abortion and marriage Last night seemed to change that. How much headway did McCain make among skeptical evangelicals?
And he responded in part
If they (i.e., evangelicals) think that life begins at conception, then that means that there are 40 million Americans who are not here [because they were aborted] that could have voted. They would call that a holocaust and for them it would like if I'm Jewish and a Holocaust denier is running for office. I don't care how right he is on everything else, it's a deal breaker for me. I'm not going to vote for a Holocaust denier...
Posting on the same site on which the Warren interview appears, Orthodox rabbi Brad Hirschfield notes
to suggest that the debate about when life begins is the same as a debate about whether or not 12 million human beings were murdered by the Nazis is just nuts. Not because one would be nuts to assume that life begins at conception though. It would be nuts because the question of when life begins is a real debate not only among people in America generally, but among Christians who share a commitment to scripture. Does Reverend Warren believe that there is room to debate the factuality of those 12 million dead?
Warren tries to pull a fast one. In asserting abortion is a "holocaust" and then claiming he would not vote for a "Holocaust denier," he a)equates genocide directed against European Jews and the legal option of abortion in a democratic society; and b)implies that those opposed to the present "holocaust" are morally equivalent to the anti-semites who form the core of those denying the WWII-era Holocaust.
One should not use language carelessly. There are a few- very few- words which have a special meaning within the context of American society. These include slavery, which characterized a particular period in U.S. history, ramifications which still plague our society. And it includes holocaust, an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to exterminate the people of a religion which predated, and gave rise to, the dominant religion (Christianity) of this country. Reverend Warren practices a kind of linguistic carelessness that is politically motivated, and vile.