From PBS' Newshour with Jim Lehrer:
A decision this past Saturday by Pope Benedict XVI to reinstate four bishops has sparked controversy in the Catholic Church and beyond.
One of the clergymen, Bishop Richard Williamson, is a Holocaust denier. Last week, he spoke to Swedish television.
BISHOP RICHARD WILLIAMSON: I believe that the historical evidence is hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler. I believe there were no gas chambers.
Well Bishop Williamson, no one ever said the Jews were "deliberately" gassed by Hitler. Everyone knows it was a terrible accident. That is why it is important to check your smoke detectors at least twice a year. Dude! We know that six million Jews died (along with millions of others), because the Nazis kept meticulous records (and would never have found humor in Dilbert). Okay, benefit of the doubt, I'll give you ten thousand heart attacks, a quarter million pneumonia due to the thin pajamas, a half mil for starvation, and maybe a mil being worked to death. That still undeniably leaves almost five million Jews being killed in camps. What's your theory? Bug zappers?
I think it's great that a bishop (or pawn) in the Catholic church, reinstated by no less than the Pope (deliberately reinstated), questions historical evidence instead of being a blind follower. Bravo! Despite living witnesses, both victims and liberators, despite actual film footage of the gas chambers, ovens, and corpses, despite a trillion books written by historians, victims, and eye witnesses, despite world trials in Nuremburg, despite admissions by Nazis themselves, despite Shelley Winters winning an Oscar for The Diary of Anne Frank, Bishop Williamson denies this happened. What would it take to convince you? Maybe we could check Germany's gas bill from 1939-45. There had to have been a spike. I wish you could have seen how few relatives were left to show up at our seders in Brooklyn when I was a child. Hey, maybe I could show you the actual photographs my father took and brought back from his two years in army hell, which culminated in his unit helping liberate Buchenvald. Remember, that was before Photoshop.
Say, why don't you go visit Auschwitz now? You can see the ovens, and Disney swears they had nothing to do with developing the attraction after the fact.
The bishop finds no "historical evidence" to prove the Holocaust happened, yet despite no film footage, living witnesses, or verifiable first hand accounts, Bishop Williamson has no trouble believing that god had a son on earth by immaculate conception, who could raise the dead, and then returned from the dead as well. So what does this say about the nature of belief? It says that Bishop Williamson hates the Jews. But hey, this Pope spreads a big tent, like the circus, so welcome back.
You know the joke about how we thought Iraq still had weapons of mass destruction because we had the receipt? Well it's kinda like that. We know the Holocaust happened, because the Pope at the time made the deal with Hitler to let it happen. Hey, here's a good joke for the Pope to open with the next time he appears at Yankee Stadium: "Forget the Holocaust, I can't believe the Red Sox winning the World Series happened!!" You're welcome.
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