A rabbi has launched a defense of D. James Kennedy, whose new television special this weekend will raise an alarm about the bloodshed credited to the influence of Darwin’s theories of evolution, and has been attacked because of its message.

Did Hitler practice Darwinism?

The program is “Darwin’s Deadly Legacy”, a Coral Ridge Ministries production featuring more than a dozen experts in various fields talking about the connections between Darwin’s theories, eugenics, Hitler and abortion.

Its premise is that Darwin’s thinking changed the world’s perception of people, so instead of considering them made in God’s image, they became just another organism. Bloggers Internet-wide as well as the Anti-Defamation League launched their criticism in pointed phrases when the airing was announced.

But Rabbi Daniel Lapin, founder of Toward Tradition, suggested reining in the words just a little.

“Some American Jews may believe that Christian conservatives pose the biggest threat to Judaism. Therefore Jews should insult and attack Christians and suppress dissent by constantly evoking the Holocaust while darkly implying anti-Semitism,” he wrote in a column addressing the dispute. “God help Jews if America ever becomes a post-Christian society. Just think of Europe.”

The program is to air nationwide on Aug. 26-27 on “The Coral Ridge Hour.”

“This dazzling production shows how ideas always have consequences, often unintended, and how Darwinism has impacted American culture,” Lapin wrote. “It discusses how the philosophy of evolution can dehumanize people and how Adolf Hitler, on his own admission, was influenced by Darwinian thought.”

Kennedy, the Coral Ridge founder, acts as host for the program, and suggests, “No Darwin, no Hitler.” The program goes even further, linking the two men with the concept of eugenics, formulated after Darwin wrote his theories and before Hitler came to power, with the contemporary abortion industry which does not recognize the value of all unborn human life.

A statement earlier this week from ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman condemned the ideas.

“This is an outrageous and shoddy attempt by D. James Kennedy to trivialize the horrors of the Holocaust. Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people. Trivializing the Holocaust comes from either ignorance at best or, at worst, a mendacious attempt to score political points in the culture war on the backs of six million Jewish victims and others who died at the hands of the Nazis,” he said.

That came after bloggers had offered stinging criticism about the level of intelligence exhibited by those appearing in the program.

Rabbi Lapin, whose organization works to advance the nation toward “the traditional Judeo-Christian values that defined America’s creation and became the blueprint for her greatness,” had a different perspective.

“I believe it appropriate for thoughtful Jews to support the Coral Ridge documentary and perhaps even for it to be shown in Jewish schools because there really are only two ways to account for human presence on our planet. One is that God created us in His image. The other is that by a lengthy and random process of totally unaided materialistic evolution, primitive protoplasm evolved into Bach, Brahms, and Beethoven. This approach, ruling out any role for God, is simply incompatible with Jewish values,” he said.

Coral Ridge officials also dealt with the claim that Francis Collins, the director of the Human Genome Project, was deceived when he was interviewed for the program.

“A producer told Dr. Collins in person before the interview began that he was being interviewed for a program that would address the adverse social consequences of Darwin,” the Coral Ridge statement said. “In addition, he was asked specifically, during the interview, about the Darwin-Hitler connection and responded on tape that he did not agree with that view.”

Coral Ridge considers Collins, whose book, “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief” was published only months ago, “a highly esteemed scientist and theistic evolutionist,” but has agreed to leave his name off promotions and remove him from future airings.

“We consider him a fellow Christian and have reached a friendly understanding with him about this matter,” the statement said.

Producer Jerry Newcomb said the show includes WND columnist Ann Coulter, who also wrote the bestselling “Godless: The Church of Liberalism.”

She said Hitler simply was taking Darwinism from the theoretical to the practical.

“He thought the Aryans were the fittest and he was just hurrying natural selection along,” she said.

Get Ann’s latest and hottest book, “Godless: The Church of Liberalism”

Related stories:

Related commentary:

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.