Father George W. Rutler of St. Michael’s Church in New York City really should know better. In a verbose and wandering polemic essentially defending Confederate statuary from an historical perspective, Rutler opines:
Some have proposed that the Capitol receive a bust of Justice Harry Blackmun whose opinion in the Roe v. Wade decision was the American equivalent of the protocol of the Wannsee Conference.
Comparing things to the Holocaust is a form of hyperbole that is extremely offensive. It is also intellectually lazy. From a logical perspective Rutler requires one to uncritically accept a false equivalence between an embryo dependent upon its mother for survival and the mass murder of individuals who happen to have the wrong heritage or religion according to the ideology of the dictator.
One cannot begin to understand the sheer terror of people in gas chambers as the doors were sealed and the poison gas dropped through the mesh columns. And they might have been the luckier ones among the dead. Many were tortured to death through slave labor without sufficient nutrition or protection from the elements. Day-after-day they were whipped and beaten to perform tasks that their bodies were incapable of accomplishing.
More importantly these endless comparisons (Third Reich imagery is a staple of anti-choice zealots) desensitize us to the horrors of the Holocaust which should remain a repugnant event, incomparable to any other thing that some people disapprove of.
The Wansee conference was a meeting of senior-level Nazi bureaucrats chaired by SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich. The purpose of the meeting was to coordinate the necessary cooperation of various government departments to facilitate the transfer of all Jews to Poland where they would be murdered.
To compare the deliberations of the United States Supreme Court to the machinery of the Nazis is outrageous. It should be rejected for its intellectual dishonesty. Father George W. Rutler should be ashamed of himself.