Holocaust Survivors and Remembrance Project

Dennis Prager
Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager, a Dogmatic Racist Religious Moralist,
Has Joined the Council of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

by K. K. Brattman
Managing Editor
Enlarged Edition
Dec. 20, 2006

Some Background

... about Mr. Prager

Dennis Prager was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1948 and was raised as an Orthodox Jew.

In August 1982, Mr. Prager started his radio career as the moderator of "Religion on the Line," a Sunday night program in the Los Angeles area. The program featured discussions between representatives of various religions on a number of topics. A typical format of the show would include a Catholic priest, a Protestant minister, and a Jewish rabbi.

Mr. Prager is an adherent moralist of the far Right political wing. His political views are almost always expressed in moral terms. He considers the "Judeo-Christian values" as uniquely American and central to the American culture. The term "moral clarity" that he defines as the ability to identify and combat evil, appears to be central in his arguments.

Mr. Prager is an activist, advocate, and a partisan of the conservative Republican party. He openly attacks the so-called leftist liberals that include universities, trial lawyers, labor unions, the ACLU, Civil Rights groups, large newspapers and television networks, and so on. He is also against all those that do not see the unique positive historical effect that the so-called Judeo-Christian tradition has had upon America and the world, of institutions like the Presbyterian Church (USA), the National Council of Churches, or the Anti-Defamation League.

Mr. Prager consider America as having some sort of "moral superiority" in the world (through the so-called "American exceptionalism" doctrine) which, according to him and others, entitles the United States not be constrained by international laws or by the United Nations in pursuit of its goals.



That view of "moral superiority" of one nation over the other or over the world as embraced by Mr. Prager, is an extremely dangerous view and no different in essence than the views promulgated by Adolph Hitler. The Holocaust and the World War II were a direct consequence of those superiority views.


Making no mistake: Mr. Prager appears to be "uniquely" unqualified to serve on the Board of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

Based on this rationale of America's "moral superiority," Mr. Prager is an enthusiastic supporter of the United States' initiative in the War in Iraq, which he characterizes as another example of the US nobility. [sic!].

It goes without saying that Mr. Prager is an adamant supporter of President George W. Bush whom he often describes him as "great." According to the Wikipedia biographical article, Mr. Prager went even further on his radio talk show declaring that our current President Bush "was chosen through the direct intervention of God"*** [sic!] --a belief expressed by Mr. Bush himself in a couple of occasions. [sic!]



We are fearful to ask Mr. Prager where was that God or the Christian morality during the Holocaust, but that presumably is an entirely different topic of debate which we, for sure, would not shy away from it.

Mr. Prager's comments and his expressed views did not go unnoticed by President Bush. This eventually was translated on August 2006 when Mr. Bush appointed Mr. Prager to the
United States Holocaust Memorial Council, a most unfortunate appointment for sure, that needs to be corrected. [See, this Announcement from USHMM.]


*** Editor's Note:
On December 20, 2006, we received this email from Dennis Prager that is posted in full herein below:

Editor's Reply:

.When did I ever say that George W. Bush was chosen president "through the direct intervention of God"?

 It is wrong for people to make up quotes. I never recall saying such a thing. All of my shows are recorded so it is easy to prove or refute.


The accuracy in presentation is indeed of paramount importance here.
In the Wikipedia biographical article on Dennis Prager <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Prager> this paragraph is to be found:

"He [Prager] is consistent supporter of President George W. Bush, whom he frequently describes as "great," and whom he claimed on his radio show had been specifically chosen President through the direct intervention of God."

Of course, the posting in Wikipedia could be erroneous, as we do not have any independent recordings of Mr. Prager's shows. We will do our best to continue researching this matter, which incidentally has no bearings to the substance of the issues presented herein.


... about the controversy and the recent furor
generated by Mr. Prager's comments

Upon learning that Keith Ellison --the newly elected Democrat from Minnesota (USA) and the first American-Muslim to be elected to the United States Congress, would use the Koran as oppose to the traditional Christian Bible in the swearing-in ceremonies, Dennis Prager wrote a small commentary entitled "America, Not Keith Ellison, Decides What Book a Congressman Takes His Oath On" that was posted in the TownHall.com website and reprinted by us as EXHIBIT-Prager Commentary, hereto.

The 2nd paragraph of that commentary reads:
"He [Ellison] should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization."

Then with a vengeance, Mr. Prager continue with magnifying his point noting in the next paragraph (¶3) that if Mr. Ellison would be allowed to depart from the current American tradition in the swearing in ceremonies that would be an assault to "America's culture" and to "his holiest book."

In next paragraph 4, the rhetoric is considerably being escalated as here Mr. Prager declares:
"Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the [Christian] Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress."

Then, Mr. Prager with considerable force, but not enough clarity, expands his viewpoint that allowing Mr. Ellison to get away with his plan of using the Koran in lieu of the traditional Christian Bible would undermine and not enhance America and its values.

As a result of the furor created over those views, Mr. Prager writes a clarification article entitled "A Response to My Many Critics -- And a Solution" that is posted on December 5, 2006, on the same TownHall.com website and reprinted by us as EXHIBIT-Prager_Response, hereto and addressed to
"those who do cherish dialogue, including those on the Left who have trained themselves to avoid thought by merely choosing from a list of epithets -- 'racist,' 'bigoted,' 'homophobic,' 'Islamophobic,' 'sexist,' 'xenophobic,' 'fascist.' "

Mr. Prager's ultimate solution was that Mr. Ellison to use both the Christian Bible and the Koran for his swearing-in ceremonies.


Our "Take" on the Prager Controversy


Mr. Prager, at best, appears to be a champion in defending the American culture and civilization and that is commendable, but unfortunately the American culture and civilization that he is defending is of the past and not of the present.

America, in its short time of existence, has transformed and evolved considerably.

The American civilization that once embraced slavery is no longer there...

The American civilization that once was predominant from the European "stock" has changed dramatically...

The Christian Religion imported from the European "stock" that once was without any serious competition is now, in the new American culture and civilization, forced to coexist side by side with other religions including of course the Muslim Religion...

As a result of all these and many more profound transformations that were possible because of the tremendous wisdom of our Founding Fathers that created a Constitution flexible enough to allow the growing of the country, we have now a remarkable evolved American civilization and culture.

The "holiest book" of America is no longer the one considered by Mr. Prager of the Christian Bible, but it is a book of our Founding Fathers --the Constitution of the United States that is being worshiped by almost all Americans regarding of their particular religious beliefs or creeds.

It is that book, the Constitution of the United States that needs to be the only book for all political swearing-in ceremonies. The separation of God and Religion from Government and Politics must be absolute as envisioned by our Founding Fathers.

One's religious private beliefs should stay private as this is the core of our entire American culture and civilization of the present.



Unexpectedly, Mr. Prager's dogmatic moralistic stand has forced this editor to realize that perhaps the time has come that all State and Federal public swearing-in functions be done with one and only one book that we all respect regardless of our particular faith or creed --The Constitution of the United States.

Maybe this is the solution to Mr. Prager's swearing-in quandary.

As for Mr. Prager's association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Council --that, as noted, is most unfortunate, as his presence on that Board is a blatant afront to the memory of the Holocaust.

Maybe Mr. Prager's moral compass would be able to guide him quickly finding an exit.

Respectfully submitted,

K. K. Brattman
Managing Editor
December 20, 2006


Addendum: Additional Argument and Reflection

On December 21, 2006, the Executive Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council posted a Resolution disassociating completely from, and we quote, "certain statements which have been widely interpreted as being intolerant."

Arguably this step taken by the Executive Committee is a good step as long as it will be followed by some clarification identifying those "certain statements" and followed further by deeds reflective to its stand.

You see, "intolerance" per se is not necessarily a bad thing. For instance intolerance towards bigotry, racism, different creeds or faiths are in fact good and commendable things. So, at the minimum, the Executive Committee must clearly identify the "certain statements" of Mr. Prager that is objecting to. The clarity in presentation is essential in any meaningful resolution.


"Judeo-Christian values are the greatest single protection against another Holocaust." [sic!]

Dennis Prager, The New York Times,
p. A26, Dec 22, 2006. 

Mr. Prager is not a bigot.

His views of upholding the Christian Bible as the ultimate and most sacred document in the possession of America steams from his moral convictions, and nothing else. The norms of morality out of which America was born can be traced unmistakably to the Christian Bible and arguably to the shaping of the United States Constitution.

Thus, according to the subtle argument advanced by Mr. Prager, any religion that was not part of the Christian Bible was not part of the creation of America and its morality and thus, par excellence, is un-American. And looking through that angle, Mr. Prager is correct.

Thus, the Koran that is viewed as being anti-Christian and having no part in the religious beliefs of our Founding Fathers is being viewed by Mr. Pager as a "foreign" religion, an un-American religion. And that argument of Mr. Prager, that is based on indisputable historic evidence, is also correct.

But the embryonal America has evolved and grown considerably both in its diversity and its morality. During this process of growth and evolution, "foreign" elements have been continuously added. Those "foreign" elements slowly but surely were able to find their way and be fermented into the new mainstream America that helped creating the today's new and "grown-up" America, vastly different from its embryonal origins. The "foreign" religions that were accompanying the "foreign" elements entering America eventually were able to find a place for their own individual development and growth, thanks to the wisdom of our Founding Fathers of allowing for unlimited diversity.

This lack of recognition of the new, evolved America is were Mr. Prager erred with his arguments. This makes Mr. Prager a dogmatic thinker but not a bigoted thinker.

The embryonal America and the today's America are two very different entities. The Koran that did not exist in the embryonal America, is well implanted in today's America. The "right" of existence of the Koran or of any other religion is guaranteed by the principles set by our Founding Fathers who had the fortitude and the wisdom of recognizing that their own Christian upbringings need not be imposed on others.

It is a blessing in disguise that Mr. Prager's controversy over his views on the Ellison matter have surfaced so early in Mr. Prager's tenure at the United States Holocaust Memorial Council since his incompatibility with that Council is now most apparent. What is not apparent at this writing is whether Mr. Prager's moral compass would be able to guide him finding an exit as the Executive Council, through its current existing charters, does not have the power to remove him.

Mr. Prager that appears to be an expert on the so-called "moral clarity" should be able to see of the tremendous liability that he presents to the Holocaust Museum that he was appointed to. Mr. Prager has now a golden opportunity to apply the moral principles that he is preaching to this unfortunate situation that he is in. As Mr. Prager undoubtedly must realize, his voluntary departure from the Holocaust Museum would be a tremendous relief for that institution. And that should be reason enough for Mr. Prager's departure.

Our fundamental opposition to Mr. Prager in representing the American teachings and remembrance of the Holocaust stems, as noted in our presentation above, from his embrace of the so-called "American exceptionalism" doctrine that is a racial superiority doctrine and no different from Hitler's doctrine of superior and inferior races that was Nazi's foundation for justifying the Holocaust.

And that "exceptionalism" view embraced by Mr. Prager makes him a first-class racist.

Respectfully added,

K. K. Brattman
Managing Editor
December 22, 2006


Special Selected Links:

Who Believes in American Exceptionalism?
by Dennis Prager

Thank God for Moral Violence
by Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager Alert: Why Are Jews Liberal?
by Dennis Prager