In discussing the Christian-Jewish divide over the Mel Gibson film "The Passion of the Christ," I explained that Jews and Christians were watching two distinct films. Christians were watching Christ suffer for their sins, and Jews were watching Jews kill Christ. Jews were wrong to assume Christians would leave the theater with hostility toward Jews, and Christians needed to appreciate how many Jews had been murdered because of the charge of "Christ-killer."
We now have another example of unfounded Jewish (and liberal) fear of conservative Christians -- and another example where Christians need to try to understand, not just react defensively toward, these fears.
Dr. James Dobson, head of the conservative religious group Focus on the Family, has been widely quoted -- and condemned -- for comparing embryonic stem cell research to Nazi death-camp experiments.
But he did not do so.
On the Aug. 3 broadcast of his Focus on the Family radio show, Dobson said:
" . . . 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. . . . 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. We condemn what the Nazis did because there are some things that we always could do but we haven't done, because science always has to be guided by ethics and by morality. And you remove ethics and morality, and you get what happened in Nazi Germany."
It should be clear to any honest reader that Dobson was not morally equating embryonic stem cell research to the hideous Nazi medical experiments on human beings (mostly, but not only, Jews). If he did, I would join the chorus of protesters. Only a moral fool would compare what Nazi doctors did -- such as exposing men and women to prolonged radiation of their genitals, slowly freezing naked men and women to death, or putting a person into a decompression chamber to watch his eardrums burst -- to medically experimenting on embryonic cells that have no self-awareness, no feeling, no capacity to suffer, and no loved ones who suffer. As Dobson himself put it to me on my radio show: "In the case of killing embryos there is no suffering, no grieving victims, and so they're not the same, obviously."