04 August 2010

"I don't see any connection to [the Holocaust], Walter." / "Well, there isn't a literal connection, Dude." / "Walter, face it, there isn't any connection."

I didn't think it was possible, but I just lost even more respect for the ADL's treatment of this WTC mosque business. How authoritarian do you need to be to make Michael Bloomberg look good?
Reason: Hit & Run | Jacob Sullum | In Praise of Michael Bloomberg

By contrast, the Anti-Defamation League, which is supposed to stand against unreasoning bigotry, is following the lead of jingoistic dimwits like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich by opposing the mosque. "It's the wrong place," says ADL National Director Abe Foxman. "Find another place." Why? Here is Foxman's explanation:
Asked why the opposition of the families [of 9/11 victims] was so pivotal in the decision, Mr. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, said they were entitled to their emotions.

"Survivors of the Holocaust are entitled to feelings that are irrational," he said. Referring to the loved ones of Sept. 11 victims, he said, "Their anguish entitles them to positions that others would categorize as irrational or bigoted."
"Entitled to their emotions"?  Sure.  Even irrational ones.  We're all entitled to respond to the world with whatever mix of emotions and thoughts and states of mind we choose.  In fact our ability to choose out response to the world is the last, greatest, most inviolable freedom we have.  Nobody can ever take that away from us.

You know who figured that out?  Viktor Frankl.  He came to that conclusion IN A NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMP.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.
—  Man's Search for Meaning
If Foxman and others are perfectly entitled to respond to a mosque with hatred and bullying and anger —that's their prerogative. You can always, always choose your response, be it emotional or rational or in between. But you do not get to choose the stimulus. You can not control other people's actions in the name of making it easier for you to choose the response you want.

Shame on Foxman for hiding behind the Holocaust.  It was a terrible event in human history, and it only demeans the tragedy and its survivors to use it to deflect criticism and to use it as an excuse to tell others what to do.  Using it as a Get Out of Jail Free card to excuse foolishness is a disgusting and callous thing to do.

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God chooses what we go through. We choose how we go through it. The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose ones attitude in any given circumstance.

—  Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

1 comment:

  1. Like Life Savers makes round sweets or McDonald's makes uniform, quick food, hiding behind the Holocaust is the ADL's brand.