Returning from a week off, Jon Stewart had plenty to say about last week's tussle between the Obama administration and religious leaders over birth control and health care.
The "Daily Show" host took issue with guests and commentators on MSNBC and Fox News who suggested there was a war on religion -- and compared the issue to Adolf Hitler's rise and the Holocaust.
"As for your slippery slope, Hitler did not start small," Stewart said. "His deliberate annihilation of a religion didn't kick off with insurance reform. He started by trying to take over all of Germany with a machine gun in a beer hall -- they saw him coming.
"In jail, he authored a little bestseller ("Mein Kampf"), writing, 'The personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew' … So in the early 1930s, when you're saying Hitler was making subtle and incremental changes to tax policy and health care was a slippery slope, he was actually focusing on more broad-based changes, like … those intimate little backroom gatherings the Nazis held every year at Nuremberg."
Stewart suggested the insurance reform brouhaha was about "not always getting everything you want" -- not the start of a genocide.
"You've confused a war on your religion with not always getting everything you want," he said. "It's called being part of a society … You know, I don't let my kids eat ice cream every night. They wish I did. But even they know that does not make me the Hitler of ice cream."
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