NICK EICHER, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: a preview of this week’s Listening In.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: This time Warren Smith speaks with Daniel Darling. He’s a vice president at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He’s also the author of a new book, The Dignity Revolution.
WARREN SMITH: Daniel Darling there’s a second story that I want you to talk about and that is the story of the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, the Yad Vashem there. Talk about that museum and what they commemorate there relative to what we’re talking about.
DANIEL DARLING: Yeah, going through there is such a moving experience. It’s hard to believe that this happened not that long ago—not that many decades ago, how a people group is systematically targeted for death.
And you know, you’re watching this grainy footage of, you know, innocent Jewish people being lined up in front of trenches and being killed just randomly because they’re Jewish, because they’re not considered human. And my family is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, and you know my family came over here to the United States, both sides, about the turn of the 20th century. But I think what if they had not come over at that time? What if they’d waited a generation? It might very well have been my grandparents being shot into those graves. And one of the things that really, really just haunted me about it was the museum does a good job of saying it how German society changed in their attitude toward the Jewish people. In other words, they didn’t get up one day and say, “Let’s exterminate kill off six million people.”
It was slowly—it was first this people group was scapegoated for the economic problems and loss of national pride. Then they were ghettoized and kind of treated as the other. And then if you look at pop culture and some of the ways that they were depicted as less than human, as sort of animals. And once you have a people group that you consider to be less than human, you can justify just about any atrocity to that people group.
And we like to say, well, today we would never do something like that. But when we look around, we have to say, OK, what people group are we doing that to. So, for instance, when we talk about the unborn, we talk about them in clinical terms like their fetuses or their clumps of tissue, and we deny them their humanity. Or even in the way—even though immigration is a very complex issue—sometimes the way we talk about immigrants as if they’re not people or less than human. Or the way we talk about the elderly when we use terms like euthanasia that sounds just so clinical and okay. But what we’re doing is we’re eliminating a people group. And so I think it’s a really important lesson and for me a powerful and personal one.
EICHER: That’s author Daniel Darling speaking with Warren Smith. To hear Warren’s full interview, just look for Listening In on your favorite podcast platform. It goes live tomorrow.