Nothing Funny about Sixty-Five Years Ago Today

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The entrance to Auschwitz-Birkenau

Today, 27 January 2010, marks the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Whilst the slaughter of the 1.1 million people who died there is sad enough, what’s perhaps even more tragic is that humanity has allowed genocide after genocide to be perpetrated since then.

Maybe we can all just spare a thought or two about this today … and perhaps take a moment to light a virtual candle to mark the occasion.

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  1. One listen to South Carolina’s Lt. Governor latest gaff is enough to convince me that humanity will never learn.

  2. The SC Lt. Gov might be an idiot for not selecting his words properly but his intention was meant to say that the govt should help people better themselves and not promote dependence on big government. Some can make an argument about that with the current political climate even in little ways such as tax credit for day care, etc. Why not give tax credit for families with only one parent earning a salary? Maybe that would foster more parent-child time for those who make that choice. Perhaps I am stretching this more than needed for this comment. I will agree that his words are flat out ugly and reveal something missing about him on some level. That being said, all this is hugely on a different page than what today’s post was about.

  3. @ Steve,

    Words are HUGELY important, especially when they come from the mouths of government leaders. The words of our governmental leaders can set a tone and create a culture of tolerance, acceptance and understanding – or one of mistrust, derision and hatred.

    Admittedly, we can’t equate Bauer’s comments with the extent of what happened under the Nazi regime, but we can see similarities in the use of language. (And I am certainly not suggesting that Bauer is suggesting anything as ghastly as concentration camps. My comments are on the topic of his choice of words.)

    Supporting struggling families to find meaningful and sustainable employment is a good thing. I totally agree. Calling those receiving ‘government handouts’ stray dogs who don’t deserve our scraps is a step toward dehumanizing them, which is wholly unacceptable.

    We need to use language in a way that does not dehumanize. We must be able to present, discuss and even argue about our political (and other) views on the many topics that divide us without attacking the humanity of those with whom we disagree.

  4. Actually I consider his words a slippery slope of thought that leads to the likes of Hitler’s Final Solution.

    Such a complete lack of regard for human life (or even animals for that matter) is a stepping stone to being a sociopath.

    And if we’re going to turn this towards socio-economic/political leanings, what is wrong with a society, through its government, taking care of those who are having difficulty taking care of themselves for whatever reason.

    Unemployment. Laziness. Mental issues. The reasons are irrelevant. What is supposed to separate us from the animals is compassion. The Lt. Gov.’s words clearly show a lack of compassion, which has been a hallmark and trademark of the Republican party in this nation.

    And if we extend this lack of regard for humanity in the form of monetary assistance, why then do Republicans always support tax breaks and direct benefits to corporations, who are, in the light of the law (and reaffirmed by the Supreme Court recently) considered to be individuals (if not actual “people”).

    And perhaps more on-point would be the complete lack of Christian vision as outlined by Jesus as evidenced by the four gospels by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Jesus frequently spoke of compassion, poverty and helping others. If the Republican party wishes to seize and claim the moral high-ground then they had better do a better job of reading the gospels (so says the devout atheist).

  5. @ Liam –
    I agree with your thoughts bro. But for discussion’s sake… you say, “create a culture of tolerance, acceptance and understanding.” Why aren’t you tolerating, accepting, and understanding the SC Lt. Gov, his words, and his message? To each his own? Or is there something more to it such as a culture of life or love instead of “tolerance?”

    @ forkboy1965 –
    Thank you for your thoughts on political philosophy and theology. This is not the forum for the discussion but I will say a few things anyway…
    1) Neither Democrat nor Republican platforms promote a true culture of life.
    2) Taxing the rich does not make poor people better off. It just gives the government more money which they in turn do not practice the best stewardship of Check the article broseph. Give that tax break to a rich person and they will probably buy a nice car or put some distant incompetent relative on the payroll. No win situation? I think so. Haha. But, I’m a business guy so I will go with free markets.
    3) From my experience, people who care about “life and family” vote Republican. People who care about “social justice” vote Democrat. Whatever that means.
    4) You both probably make more than I do. I’m just a regular guy. But, I think it’s hilarious that a person working long hours, 7 days a week, sacrificing time with family, not having as much fun, and not drinking as much as I do… and makes a lot of money… gets taxed more by the government. Haha. Is that fair? I’m not complaining. Haha. I enjoy my time and lack of that kind of insane drive make money. But, I do feel bad for them. Either way, it is everyone’s responsibility to eliminate poverty. There is just no excuse for it in our world. I am doing my best to help and I hope all of you out there will do so also.
    5) The principle of subsidiarity – We need more of this.
    6) For atheists, I would say you guys have more “faith” to be an atheist then it takes for a Theist. In that sense, I love Fr. Barron’s ways of articulating some points ––Barron-comments-on-Religion—Science.aspx.

    Yeah yeah… now I’m done.

  6. Steve,

    Actually CMD seems as good as any place for a discussion of such merit as anyplace else.

    The only thing I can say is that your reply was thoughtful, considerate and without typical political vitriole. A rare combination on any forum.

    And no, I don’t make more than you. I’m unemployed and have been such since moving to Ohio for my wife’s job.

  7. @ Forkboy1965,

    I think Steve’s comment about the suitability of as a discussion hub for politics was a polite nod to the Editors who repeatedly state that our blog is not a political one.

    We appreciate Steve’s deference to our wishes, but are glad that we are able, from time to time, to hold conversations about controversial topics whilst still respecting our individuality and dignity.

    @ Steve,

    The problem with Bauer’s comments was not that he wished to reduce government support of the indigent; the problem was that he phrased his view in such a way as to dehumanize those about whom he spoke. Bauer certainly should be encouraged to speak of his views and plans, but he should do so in a way that encourages respect of our human dignity.

  8. Liam:

    Not having seen any political-type discussions since coming to CMD, I wasn’t aware of the desire to keep CMD politics-free (not a bad idea).

    I’ll keep that in mind in the future.

  9. @ Forkboy1965

    We mostly keep ourselves free of political sloganeering as I tend to perch myself up rather high on my soapbox if allowed to talk politics.

    And perhaps my comment about the ‘editors repeatedly stating …’ is an overstatement. We do mention it from time to time, but not as much as my earlier comment suggested. Apologies for any confusion caused.

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