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Appearing August 8 on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes to discuss his controversial August 3 remarks regarding embryonic stem cell research, Focus on the Family founder and chairman James C. Dobson continued to describe a "relationship" between embryonic stem cell research and the Nazi experiments conducted on live human patients during and prior to the Holocaust, though he claimed that he didn't "equate" the two in his August 3 remarks. Host Sean Hannity defended Dobson, saying to him, "You said if any ethics or morality is removed, then you have Nazi Germany. You were very clear. You weren't making a comparison."
In his August 5 radio show dedicated to defending his August 3 comments, Dobson "categorically" rejected apologizing to "the Jewish people" and characterized suggestions that he should do so as "just off the wall." He also told listeners to tune in to his August 8 Hannity & Colmes appearance. Dobson noted that he had turned down NBC and "virtually every network" but would appear on Hannity & Colmes because the interview would be "live to tape" rather than "edited," adding that he "will not do edited work."
From the August 8 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
DOBSON: I didn't equate stem cell research, embryonic stem cell research, with what the Nazis did in the concentration camps, which was horrible -- the suffering, the agony, the surgeries without benefit of anesthetics, and so on. It's obviously very different than killing a cell, a single cell, or 100 of them. But it's still -- the philosophy behind it was to kill a human being for utilitarian purposes. And that's wrong. That's wrong.
DOBSON: Well, I was talking about the philosophy behind the two. Admittedly, you know -- and I've done a lot of studying of the concentration camps, and I just -- it boggles the mind to see what happened there. And there's no way that that was being minimized by what I talked about.
But what I was saying is that life is life, and you can't begin killing human beings at any age for a utilitarian purpose in order to use them for science or for other people. Once you start that, there's no place to stop.
I think it was wrong. It crossed an ethical line. And I don't back off a bit from saying that.
HANNITY: Dr. Dobson, welcome back. Sean Hannity here. I am pro-life. You are pro-life. We believe that life is precious, that it is God-given, that life begins at conception, correct?
DOBSON: Oh, without question. That's right. That's why this issue is so important to us.
HANNITY: And that's why -- you know, if we talk about this, we talk about it come from that vantage point. Because I read your comments. As a matter of fact, I read them a few times. I wanted to make sure we got it right, here.
But you were talking about ethics and morality. And science must be guided by that. You said if any ethics or morality is removed, then you have Nazi Germany. You were very clear. You weren't making a comparison.
DOBSON: Sean, it was only one paragraph that people have overreacted to and distorted, by the way. But the point is that you just cannot kill people in order -- let me put it this way: Science has always been guided by ethics and morality. There have always been things that we could have done and we didn't do because it was wrong to do them.
DOBSON: That's always been true, except in Nazi Germany. That was the exception, and that's where there was no morality, and there were no ethics. And so to that degree, there is a relationship.
Dobson's original statement, from the August 3 edition of the Focus on the Family radio show:
DOBSON: You know, the thing that means so much to me here on this issue [embryonic stem cell research] is that people talk about the potential for good that can come from destroying these little embryos and how we might be able to solve the problem of juvenile diabetes. There's no indication yet that they're gonna do that, but people say that, or spinal cord injuries or such things. But I have to ask this question: In World War II, the Nazis experimented on human beings in horrible ways in the concentration camps, and I imagine, if you wanted to take the time to read about it, there would have been some discoveries there that benefited mankind. You know, if you take a utilitarian approach, that if something results in good, then it is good. But that's obviously not true. We condemn what the Nazis did because there are some things that we always could do but we haven't done, because science always has to be guided by ethics and by morality. And you remove ethics and morality, and you get what happened in Nazi Germany.