Land triples down

LAND TRIPLES DOWN…. Following up on a story I’ve been following, Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, doesn’t seem to recognize the wisdom of quitting when behind.

Land initially raised a few eyebrows when he condemned health care reform in unusually offensive terms. “What they are attempting to do in healthcare, particularly in treating the elderly, is not something like what the Nazis did. It is precisely what the Nazis did,” Land said. In the same remarks, Land compared Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel to Josef Mengele.

Asked to defend his comments, he refused to walk them back. Specifically on likening Emanuel to Nazis, Land insisted “the analogy is apt and I stand by it.”

After the Anti-Defamation League expressed some concerns, Land didn’t apologize for the substance of his remarks, but he at least showed some regret: “It was never my intention to equate the Obama administration’s healthcare reform proposals with anything related to the Holocaust…. Given the pain and suffering of so many Jewish and other victims of the Nazi regime, I will certainly seek to exercise far more care in my use of language in future discussions of the issues at stake in the healthcare debate.”

So, problem solved, right? Wrong. Reader J.C. flagged this story in which Land completed the 360-degree turn.

One week after apologizing for comparing Democratic leaders to the Nazis, [Land] has reneged on his promise to stop using such comparisons…. Land “still believes there are connections to be made between some underlying philosophies held by the Germans and others in the first half of the 20th century, and certain elements under discussion in the health care reform debate today.”

Land argued that the philosophies of some of those pushing health-care reform “bear a lethal similarity in their attitudes toward the elderly and the terminally ill and could ultimately lead to the kinds of things the Nazis did.” Land also attacked those who were attempting “to remove the Third Reich as a subject of discussion when it comes to the healthcare debate.”

Three things to keep in mind. First, Land’s promise about avoiding Nazi references seems to have lasted one whole week. Second, to argue that health care reform bears a “lethal similarity” to Nazi tactics is obviously crazy.

And third, Land is concerned that people might want to “remove the Third Reich as a subject of discussion when it comes to the healthcare debate”? Well, sure. They want to remove the subject as part of the debate because it’s completely insane.

Land’s rhetoric is despicable enough, but to express regret to the ADL, and then triple down on a disgusting comparison a week later is just humiliating.