Monday, September 27, 2010

Glen Urquhart's Apologies for his Nazi Remark

In a recent comment, a reader asked whether Glen Urquhart had even apologized for saying, "The next time your liberal friends talk about separation of church and state, ask them why they're Nazis." The comment, which was captured on YouTube, continues to dog Urquhart’s campaign. National media, including The Hill and CBS have covered the gaffe.

To review, here's what he said in the clip:
Do you know, where does this phrase separation of Church and State come from? Does anybody know?
At this point, an audience member mentions Thomas Jefferson’s famous Letter to the Danbury Baptists:
Actually it was not in Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists. He was reassuring that the federal government wouldn't trample on their religion. The exact phrase "separation of Church and State" came out of Adolph Hitler's mouth, that's where it comes from. Next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State ask them why they're Nazis.
As blogger Michael Stafford pointed out, in a post later expurgated from Delaware Tomorrow, Jefferson wrote of "building a wall of separation between church and State."

I have read three apologies from Urquhart, the first to reporter Beth Miller in the News Journal:
"It was an April mistake," he said Thursday. "In that segment, it was not as skillfully worded as I would like to have been. I'm a little more experienced campaigner today than I was in April."

What he was trying to say -- albeit unskillfully -- was that people must be careful about their words.
Good advice. Perhaps Urquhart himself intended to demonstrate the consequences of careless speech.
"Let's all be careful about what phrases we use without thinking them through," he said. "The Nazis used the same separation-of-church-and-state rhetoric for a very, very bad purpose. I didn't mean to suggest -- and I am not suggesting -- that people who are liberals are Nazis."
A second apology was reported in The Hill:
A spokesman for the Urquhart campaign, David Anderson, said the candidate has apologized repeatedly for the remark. Urquhart, he said, “believes 100 percent in religious freedom for all Americans.” Anderson said Urquhart was speaking out against the “oppression of religious freedom in the name of separation of church and state,” mentioning limits on school prayer and an attempt to force a veterans cemetery to remove a cross as examples. “The phrase he used was unfortunate, and he apologized for it,” Anderson said.
A a third apology, also relayed by Anderson, was published in the blog, Delaware Politics:
Mr. Urquhart explained to me where he was coming from on that score. He first offered an unqualified apology for giving the impression that he sees his opponents as Nazis. Upon reflection, he seemed to regret something he called a rookie mistake. He was passionate and in the moment. He does not wish to imply that liberals are Nazis.
No, but he said it out loud. Continuing with this explanation:
He wanted to illustrate the danger of the modern interpretation of the doctrine of Separation. Like myself, Urquhart has read a lot on the Nazi persecution of the Church. In fact when I mentioned a book which had the Hilter [sic] quotes (The Nazi Persecution of the Church 1933-1945), he mentioned that he was reading it at the time of the debate and it was on the forefront of his mind.
While David Anderson focused on the "modern interpretation," nowhere have I read Urquhart either supporting or retracting his assertion that today’s understanding of the separation of church and state is fundamentally different from Jefferson’s.


Anonymous LiberalGeek said...

Actually, here's another "apology"

12:47 PM, September 29, 2010  
Anonymous kavips said...

Well, I don't think he needs to apologize.

In politics you can say whatever you want.. If the people like it, they vote for you.. If they don't... they vote another person in.

If you really believe that Hitler was a Liberal.. then give Uri... your vote... If you think Conservatives are Nazi's, and there is a lot to be said in that.. just from comparing Dick Cheney with the Nazi dentist in Marathon Man, a 70's movie starring Dustin Hoffman.... In fact, since that movie is one that played world wide, and since Uri's comments were only said in a little podunk room,buried in the heart of Delaware, one effectively could argue, that in World opinion, Uri's view are more Nazi in scope, than those of Liberals...

I'm glad he brought that up.. one can make a very good argument that Uri's views line up more in line with Nazi values, than American one.

Hmmmm, someone should do a compare and contrast on that theme...

10:29 PM, October 02, 2010  

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