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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Complaints About Dobson's Nazi Remark Prompt Threats

Nazi' Remark Prompts Wave of Threats
Rightist's Blast On Stem Cells Stirs Outrage
By E.B. Solomont in The Forward

After a leading religious conservative leader compared stem-cell research to Nazi medical experiments, several groups that condemned the analogy have reported a flood of messages from angry protesters, some of them threatening violence.

During his syndicated radio show August 3, James Dobson, one of the country's most influential religious conservatives and chairman of the conservative advocacy group Focus on the Family, criticized embryonic stem-cell research, saying its lack of ethics and morality was reminiscent of Nazi experiments on death-camp inmates. A message was later posted on the Focus on the Family Web site urging followers to e-mail complaints to two organizations that criticized Dobson's remarks, the Anti-Defamation League and the Denver-based think tank The Web site also named Rep. Diana DeGette, the Colorado Democrat who co-authored stem-cell research legislation.


Radical anti-abortion activists historically have invoked the Holocaust and trafficked in antisemitism, according to an ADL investigation conducted in the late 1990s. During that decade, four out of five abortion doctors killed in the United States and Canada were Jewish, including Barnett Slepian, who was shot in his Amherst, N.Y., home in October 1998 after returning from Friday night Sabbath services

"Dobson is doing the same thing that the anti-abortion fanatics have done for 30 years to inflame violence against abortion doctors and against women," said Dr. Warren Hern, director of the Boulder, Colo.'s Boulder Abortion Clinic.

Huttner expressed concern that "the people that are sending me violent e-mails may, in fact, be some of the people who are very extreme when it comes to the pro-life issue."

The FBI could not be reached for comment. Focus on the Family did not return calls seeking comment.