Sunday, August 07, 2005

Dobson (Surprise, Surprise) Won't Apologize For Comparing Embryonic Stem Cell Research With Nazi Science

On the Aug. 3 broadcast of the Focus on the Family radio show, James C. Dobson compared embryonic stem cell research with Nazi science experiments.

DOBSON: You know, the thing that means so much to me here on this this issue [embryonic stem cell research] is that people talk about the potential for good that can come from destroying these little embryos and how we might be able to solve the problem of juvenile diabetes. There's no indication yet that they're gonna do that, but people say that, or spinal cord injuries or such things. But I have to ask this question: In World War II, the Nazis experimented on human beings in horrible ways in the concentration camps, and I imagine, if you wanted to take the time to read about it, there would have been some discoveries there that benefited mankind. You know, if you take a utilitarian approach, that if something results in good, then it is good. But that's obviously not true. ... I will give our critics this: For the embryos that die, there is no suffering, there is just death. So there is a great difference between the two, but morally they are tantamount to each other because they both result in experimentation on human beings that leads somewhere."

It should be pointed out that Dobson brags about how he has advised the Bush Administration ...

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Dobson's "science" doesn't make any sense. It follows the religious right theory, supported by the president, that no taxpayer money should be used "to promote science that destroys life in order to save life."

But that's conservative spin, not science. Stem cells are extracted from embryos that would otherwise be discarded, from places such as in vitro fertilization clinics. There is zero chance that these embryos would have become babies. It's the equivalent of a person offering to donate organs after they die.

The embryos can be manipulated to create various human-blood and tissue cells. Stem cell lines are cell groups extracted from embryos and are capable of reproducing themselves. Advocates say that ultimately, embryonic stem cell research will lead to cures for a variety of diseases, most notably Parkinson's Disease.

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On his Aug. 5 show, Dobson said he wouldn't apologize to the Anti-Defamation League for his comments. "And to imply that I need to apologize to the Jewish people for my comments about that is just off the wall. And I reject it categorically," he said.

But that shouldn't come as a surprise. Last October, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) made similar comments. And he never apologized.

In truth, conservatives are funny people. They pick and choose when Nazi references are offensive. They decide which Nazi references demand apologies.

Sessions didn't apologize for his comments. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) didn't apologize after he said on May 19 that Democratic complaints about the "nuclear option" to ban judicial filibusters are "the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying: I'm in Paris, how dare you invade me, how dare you bomb my city. It's mine."

But conservatives were up in arms when on June 14 Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) quoted from an FBI agent's report on the deplorable conditions at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba, then said: "If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings."

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So, don't expect Dobson to apologize. In his mind and in the minds of his followers, he did nothing wrong and he said nothing insulting.

Had he not been a conservative leader, though, the rules would have changed dramatically.

6 Comments:

Anonymous potter said...

One would be hardpressed in the last 40 years to find a journalist that agreed with a Republican President. The very things that Democrats have done and were accepted are objectionable at best and at worst make them unfit for the office.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's an empty and meaningless sentiment, Potter.

On this blog, we like to support statements with actual facts. If you merely want to mindlessly smear people, go to Little Green Footballs or one of the other conservative sites.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we can agree that the criticism of Nazi comments from Democrats in recent months, i.e. from Durbin, received much more play in the media than criticisms from Democrats over Republican Nazi comparisons.
Here's proof no liberal-bias exists in the media. What we do have is a right-wing bias.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's easier for conservatives to pretend their Nazi references are ok, or maybe to deny they exist.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One is a media gadfly (Dobson) and one is the second ranking Democrat in the United States Senate, and somehow they are comparable ?!

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are discounting Dobson's importance, fine. The Bush Administration would disagree, as would Dobson's millions of supporters.

Maybe you're right. They aren't comparable. If anything, Dobson is better known and has more impact than Durbin.

12:17 PM  

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