Nancy Gish wrote:
> Dear Carrol,
> Hitler seemed to have imagined himself standing for Christianity (to
> take an extreme example); does one "honor" that, or is there
> anything at all in what Jesus said and did that puts some limits on
> the term?
End all dispute; and fix the year precise
When British bards begin t'Immortalize?
"Who lasts a Century can have no flaw,
"I'll hold that Wit a Classick, good in law.
Suppose he wants a year, will you compound?
And shall we deem him Ancient, right and sound,
Or damn to all Eternity at once,
At ninety-nine, a Modern, and a Dunce?
"We shall not quarrel for a year or two;
"By courtesy of England, he may do.
Then, by the rule that made the Horse-tail bare,
I pluck out year by year, as hair by hair,
And melt down Ancients like a heap of Snow. . . .
Pope, Ep. II i, 53-65)
(Incidentally, Gould. Vrba & Elledge, with "punctuated equilibrium,"
have done for history as well as biology and physiology what calculus
did for mathematics.)
In every spectrum, there are always points off the radar screen as it
were, and Hitler is one such in several genera. His regime is not even a
'fair' exemplum of the various fascist movements around the world
between 1919 and 1940. Not that any of them, in power or out, were very
nice, but none projected anything to match the "Final Solution."
But the "off-the-radar-screen" description should be sparingly evoked,
or we are back in the realm of plucking off hair by hair. Do you want to
say that all abortion-opponents are not "real" xtians? Or . . . ?