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By Leila Marie Lawler (articles ) | Mar 27, 2006

Good analysis by Wesley J. Smith In today’s Weekly Standard of the expansion of infant euthanasia in the Netherlands.

People call each other Nazis all the time. As Smith points out, those so accused can rightly reply that they are not Nazis. The argument doesn’t advance much.

The thing that proponents of euthanasia have to remember, though, is that the Nazis (members of the National Socialist party in Germany before the war, many in the medical profession of whom acted out of a real sense of tenderness towards those whose lives seemed hopeless) weren’t “Nazis” (incarnations of evil, perpetrators of atrocities rightly deplored today) at first either, if you follow.

So when defenders of the weak liken someone to a Nazi they are not so much identifying them with membership in a party as warning them of what they will become if they follow the logic of their position.

As Walker Percy commented: Tenderness leads to the gallows.

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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Mar. 29, 2006 1:25 PM ET USA

    It also leads to the Resurrection. JP

  • Posted by: leila - Mar. 28, 2006 8:00 AM ET USA

    Thanks, Scott! Short of rereading all of Percy (not a bad pastime, but one I can't manage at the moment) I didn't know how I was going to verify that quote! I had a suspicion, however, that our great cwnews readers would come through.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Mar. 27, 2006 11:36 PM ET USA

    Quibble on, Scott of Thomas.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 27, 2006 4:31 PM ET USA

    Good item. One quibble: Percy, in The Thanatos Syndrome, said tenderless leads to "the gas chamber." He took it from Flannery O'Connor, who said, in An Introduction to a Memoir of Mary Ann, "[when] tenderness is detached from the source of tenderness, its logical outcome is terror. It ends in forced labor camps and the fumes of the gas chamber." And she took it from Russell Kirk, who said in The Conservative Mind, "Abstract sentimentality ends in real brutality."