In a chummy, self-aggrandizing letter to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Richard Land expressed some regret for accusing the Obama administration and congressional Democratic leaders of attempting to do with health-care reform "precisely what the Nazis did."
In the paragraph devoted to apology, Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission czar Land wrote:
. . . I deeply regret the reference to Dr. Josef Mengele. I was using hyperbole for effect and never intended to actually equate anyone in the Obama administration with Dr. Mengele. I will certainly refrain from making such references in the future. I apologize to everyone who found such references hurtful. 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 healthcare debate.
Thus Land disingenuously fails to acknowledge real error, instead offering bloodless amends for hurt feelings.
We dealt yesterday with the barrage of other counterfactual claims which attended Land's Louisiana misuse of Holocaust images and references to Nazi practices. That piece was a followup to a review of Land's abuse of the facts and Nazi imagery in a Sept. 26 speech to the Christian Coalition in Florida.
Land's disregard for the facts and use of Nazi imagery are of one piece. His summary intentions were well-explained by professor of history emeritus at Indiana State University Richard V. Pierard, who wrote in response:
To evoke images of Hitler or the Holocaust to thwart health-care reform is a brutal insult both to the victims and survivors of that Holocaust. We must proclaim as widely as possible that the term 'Nazism' and images of the swastika have nothing to do with the issues at hand. Any such comparisons are false and are intended only to frighten and confuse people.
Pierard's warning is as important as Land's pseudo-apology is vacant.
Addendum: Land's just another echo
As a member in good standing of the Religious Right, Land is just another echo of the Religious Right Party Line.
For another party-line variation on Land's Obama = "end of Christian civilization" line to the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Founders' Day audience, watch Pat Robertson and Bill Donohue discuss how liberals are trying to "tear down society:"