Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Depends what you mean by "stretch," I guess.

"It is not a stretch to compare the San Francisco board's actions to that of the Nazi Germany policy of Gleichschaltung, vilifying Jews as an auxiliary to and laying the groundwork for more repressive policies, including the final solution of extermination."
So says Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center. The Center is representing Catholics pissed off at the SF board of supervisors.

The Vatican ordered Catholic Charities not to place orphans with same sex parents, saying to do so "would actually mean doing violence to these children." The board said the order's "hateful and discriminatory rhetoric is both insulting and callous" and that the agencies should still place kids with same sex parents.

The Catholics sued under 1983 but a District Court dismissed and a 9th Circuit panel just affirmed the dismissal. So the Thomas More people are speaking out, and they're bringing Hitler to the party.

The San Francisco Chronicle's reporters must have thought this a bit over the top, because they got the More people to walk the quote back a bit. Thomas More spokesman Brian Rooney says:
"We're not saying that the resolution is going to lead toward extermination of Catholics" .... "The problem with having governments vilifying religions and their tenets is that it's a slippery slope to instigate acts of violence."
Which is funny, because the original quote kinda went out of its way to suggest that the SF Board's "shame on you" resolution was the first step to mass Catholic slaughter.

Richard Thompson did say 'this is like when Hitler laid the groundwork for genocide.' He didn't just give you the "Hitler" setup, he delivered the "extermination" punchline. But the best part of Thompson's original quote is that he said "It is not a stretch," like it's a natural conclusion. A city council passes a finger-wagging resolution, of course the first thing on my mind is the Holocaust. Similarly, when somebody takes up two parking spots, I immediately think "Anschluss!"

Setting that ridiculousness aside, apparently Gleichschaltung has less to do with vilifying Jews and more to do with the consolidation of political power and establishing totalitarianism in Germany.

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