I am not a Jew. Nor am I a historical scholar. I’ve never been to Israel or Germany. I’ve never eaten Gefilte Fish or Sauerkraut. I wasn’t even alive during World War II to the best of my knowledge.
Still, I have to take issue with a guy when he compares the battle over California’s Proposition 8 – you know, the gay marriage one – to the fight against Adolf Hitler. More specifically, a guy who warns that not voting for the Proposition, which would take marriage rights away from gay couples, is akin to not defeating Hitler.
On Oct. 28, during a pro-Prop 8 rally in Sacramento, Brad Dacus of the religiously conservative Pacific Justice Institute, spewed this incredible comparison into a microphone while standing before a throng holding “Yes on 8” signs. The crowd is totally with him at the beginning of his remarks, but even they clam up a bit when he starts in with the Hitler stuff. I guess that whole thing is a touchy subject. Or maybe they’re just moved by Dacus’s eloquent storytelling abilities.
“There was another time in history when people, when the bell tolled. And the question was whether or not they were going to hear it,” Dacus says. “The time was during Nazi Germany with Adolf Hitler. You see he brought crowds of clergy together to assure them that he was going to look after the church. And one of the members, bold and courageous, Rev. Niemoller, made his way to the front and boldly said, ‘Hitler, we are not concerned about the church. Jesus Christ will take care of the church. We are concerned about the soul of Germany.’ Embarrassed and chagrined, his peers quickly shuffled him to the back. And as they did Adolf Hitler said, ‘The soul of Germany, you can leave that to me.’ And they did, and because they did bombs did not only fall upon the nation of Germany, but also upon the church and their testimony to this very day. Let us not make that mistake folks. Let us hear the bell! Vote on Proposition 8!”
The crowd cheers wildly at this point, perhaps happy that they’re no longer listening to a story about a time when a country’s majority put minorities in ovens and instead are back to talking about a time when the majority just took away minority rights via ballot initiatives like the ones they are holding signs in honor of.
I can’t help but wonder if the fact that Hitler rounded up homosexuals and sent them to camps is lost on Dacus and his Prop. 8 following. Then again, Dacus is probably one of those guys who don’t believe that homos were a persecuted group during the Holocaust – an odd stance, I have to point out. It’s like saying, “Hey, the Jews I understand, but what would Hitler want with queers?”
Then again, the audience probably isn’t thinking about the fate of the gays during the Holocaust. After all, they’ve essentially just been told that if Prop. 8 doesn’t pass then allied troops are going to bomb California and all its churches. And they’ll have only themselves to blame.
And gays. They’ll definitely find a way to blame the gays.