Alan Cooperman, Washington Post (free registration required)
"Holocaust history is not a field for academic sissies. It takes a certain sang-froid even to approach the topic. And never mind the crackpots and deniers; even among serious scholars there are epic clashes over who really could have derailed Hitler's Final Solution but did not: Pope Pius XII or Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Ordinary Germans or American Jews?I admit it. I'm a sissy. Read the entire article. Another quote from the article gives some perspective when trying to deal with the intersection of facts and ideology:
Now, a book defending FDR and a television documentary about Hitler's brand of Darwinism have thrown patriotism and evolution into the mix, and the debate is turning vicious. ..."
'...The whole episode, he [Rabbi Irving Greenberg] added, is a reminder of the "twin dangers" of Holocaust research. "There's the danger you become so objective that you grow cold, and there's the danger you become so full of emotion that you can't tolerate anybody disagreeing," he said. "It really shows the wound is still raw. It hasn't turned to ancient history." '
Skipping over this controversial issue, the second part of this article relates some questionable use of sources by Coral Ridge Ministries, a Florida organization founded by evangelist D. James Kennedy. They have produced a TV documentary, "Darwin's Deadly Legacy", that attempts to establish a causal relationship between Darwin's theories and Hitler's attempt to exterminate the Jews.
The point of view put forth by this documentary appears to be strict creationist, and in their initial release quoted Francis Collins, the author of The Language of God, which I reviewed in the three previous posts on this blog. Collins, a committed Christian, is by no means a creationist, and took quick and public exception to his words being used in such a way:
"I would not have agreed to participate if I had understood that the program would promote the concept of a direct connection between Darwin's theory of evolution and the evils of the Holocaust and the massacre at Columbine High School," Collins said in a written answer to questions from The Post. "My own views on evolution and faith are . . . strongly discordant with the perspective put forward by the producers of this documentary."
Coral Ridge Ministries has agreed to remove the segment involving Collins from any future broadcast of the documentary, and will cease using Collins' name to promote it and the views contained therein.
Technorati tags: holocaust, evolution, ideology