This is a comment from Fr. Joseph on the Inside Catholic article “Obama Flunks Rick Warren’s Abortion Question” by Deal Hudson:
I think it’s about time we, as a culture, stop bad-mouthing people who have the humility to know that ONLY GOD knows the answer to some questions. Thank you for stating the case for pluralism, tolerance, and civility so well.
For instance, it’s about time we recognize the humility displayed by Mr. Hitler and all those good Christians in the S.S. who run the gas ovens. NOBODY (except God) can know when Jews REALLY have human rights. Only the most arrogant, shallow people would dare to step in and IMPOSE ONE THEOLOGICAL OPINION regarding this question. In a modern, pluralistic society, we have separation of Church and State. It would be arrogant in the extreme for the Catholic Church, for instance, to insist that its own FAITH-BASED position on the question of gassing Jews should be IMPOSED on people who don’t share the Catholic belief system.
Anyone who would arrogantly shut down the gas ovens in the name of a sectarian, theological viewpoint is breaking the social compact by which ALL religious viewpoints are welcome in our society. If you try to shut down the gas ovens, people will STILL kill Jews in back-alleys and basements, under dangerous, unsanitary conditions.
Gassing Jews is not a decision that Mr. Hitler and his Party ever take lightly. It is demeaning and insulting to suggest that they ever gas Jews CASUALLY. Although some people think the gas ovens ought to be BOMBED, violence is NOT the answer. Trying to force a ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL Jew-gassing policy on people who do not share our faith tradition, and who never take this decision frivolously, assumes that some BUREAUCRAT IN WASHINGTON knows best when Jew-gassing is appropriate and when it isn’t. I thought Americans stood for LESS government, LESS bureaucracy, not more.
Surely, we can find COMMON GROUND on this issue. We should stop the sectarian bickering, and work together on reducing the NEED to gas Jews. If we put Catholic Social Teaching into practice, we can accomplish a lot more toward reducing the poverty, hunger, and lack of education that LEAD to Jew-gassing. Greater access to modern methods of preventing the BIRTH of Jews would greatly reduce the NEED to gas adult Jews.
There are good people on both sides of this issue–people of many faiths, or of no faith–but ALL points of view on Jew-gassing should be welcome in the American Tapestry. Once we start down the road of forcing our own religious tenets on those who do not share them, we put our society on the road to a Taliban-style theocracy!
Finger-pointing, scape-goating, demonizing our opponents–these strategies have never worked, and they never will.
Written by Fr. Joseph