Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Discovery: In Holocaust Denial?

Last week, we noted in passing a glaring omission from speeches delivered recently by Discovery fellow John West which attempt, quite cynically, to link Darwin and evolution with the crimes of Hitler and the Nazis.

In speeches delivered in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, West spoke of "the extermination of hundreds of thousands of supposed social undesirables by the Nazis in Germany" according to Bruce Chapman, president of the Discovery Institute.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum notes that although the Jews were the Nazis primary targets, they also persecuted other groups for racial or ideological reasons. Among them political opponents such as Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, and trade union leaders. Also targeted were Gypsies, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, anti-Nazi Christian church leaders, homosexuals, and individuals with mental or physical disabilities.

"Nazi ideology identified a multitude of enemies and led to the systematic persecution and murder of many millions of people," notes the Holocaust Museum, "both Jews and non-Jews."

Estimates vary widely, some going as high as 17 million, but most observers put the total number of Holocaust victims at between nine and 11 million.

So why does West place the number only in the hundreds of thousands and what, exactly does he mean by social undesirables?

Of course it's possible that there's an entirely innocent explanation for West's exclusion of millions of Holocaust victims from his count. Perhaps he only holds Darwin and evolution accountable only for some small subset of the total number of victims.

But, if he meant only to include those victims with mental or physical disabilities, why does he use the term "social undesirables?" Surely the Nazis would have included both Gypsies and homosexuals among that class. And, wouldn't Jews and members of other "inferior races" have also met the Nazi definition of social undesirable?

Could West have a more sinister motive to keep the numbers low? Perhaps.

Rousas Rushdoony, the Christian Reconstructionist theologian who was a mentor and father figure to Discovery's Daddy Big Bucks, Howard Ahmanson, is on record as saying the estimates of Holocaust victims is "exagerated."

In fact, Rushdoony, whose reading of the Bible led him to call for the stoning of gays and disobedient children, viewed the "exaggeration" of the number of Holocaust victims "as a violation of the Ninth Commandment that forbid bearing false witness."

Could it be that around Discovery counting up all the victims of the Nazis -- like the age of the earth -- is a subject best avoided?


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