In Reply to: Re: forgiveness, accountability and responsibility posted by ethicist on December 09, 2002 at 14:20:49:
I agree with everything you say except for one point. Very well put by the way, my sentiments exactly. My only disagreement is that while comparing the Family to the Nazis has its usefulness, it has its limitations as well. I would not state that the FGAs are the Nazis and the SGAs the Jews.
When I first heard comparing the Family to the Nazis a few years ago, someone told me that yes, in a sense all Germans in the army were guilty since they were card-carrying nations, but the Allies really only went after the most guilty of all, the SS and upper-level officers.
I think a useful comparison would be to compare us in the Family to Nazi-occupied Norway, and the FGAs to the Quislings and collaborators, and the SGAs and other harmless old fart SGAs to the regular Norwegians. Anyone who was ever sent to a Victor camp (and this would be mostly SGAs) would be a Jew.
Or think of Vichy France. I think we were all "occupied" by the Nazi troops of Berg's teachings and leaders who bought into it and enforced it. Some of us collaborated and informed on others, others of us were more just victims.
Obviously my parallel falls apart at a certain point which brings up the question of the usefulness of comparisons. While they may be helpful when seeking historical precedents to help us understand who bears the most blame, responsibility, they do tend to "label" into black and white too neatly, unlike real life which can be messy and confusing at times.