What happened to “eugenics?” I mean the word. The practice is clearly alive and well. But the word is gone.
In the beginning of the last century, eugenics was all the rage throughout Western civilization until Hitler came around and ruined all the fun by giving eugenics a bad name.
Don’t believe the lie that Hitler was an anomaly. He was a monstrous man. But he was a man of his time. In “Mein Kampf,” Hitler wrote: “People who are physically and mentally unhealthy or unworthy must not perpetuate the suffering on their children.” (See, even Hitler understood that to really create some massive evil you have to say you’re doing it for the children.)
But Hitler’s quote is not very far apart from Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holme’s pronouncement in the 1927 Buck v. Bell decision: “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
But let’s face it, after WWII nobody wanted to hear about the positive benefits of eugenics. But eugenics never really left. Just some quick shuffling of the nomenclature and they were right back in business. And boy oh boy is it a profitable business.(See Planned Parenthood)
But first, those who ascribed to the ideology needed to change how they approached the public with their thinking.
Michael Engor of the Discovery Institute wrote recently:
In the 1950’s, Fredrick Osborn, the president of the American Eugenics Society, advocated a shift away from the more explicit negative eugenics that had been discredited by the Nazi’s uncommonly skillful implementation of eugenic theory. In a 1956 speech, “Galton and Mid-Century Eugenics,” delivered to the Galton Society, Osborn stated:
“The very word eugenics is in disrepute in some quarters … We must ask ourselves, what have we done wrong? I think we have failed to take into account a trait which is almost universal and is very deep in human nature. People simply are not willing to accept the idea that the genetic base on which their character was formed is inferior and should not be repeated in the next generation. We have asked whole groups of people to accept this idea and we have asked individuals to accept it. They have constantly refused and we have all but killed the eugenic movement … they won’t accept the idea that they are in general second rate. We must rely on other motivation. … it is surely possible to build a system of voluntary unconscious selection. But the reasons advanced must be generally acceptable reasons. Let’s stop telling anyone that they have a generally inferior genetic quality, for they will never agree. Let’s base our proposals on the desirability of having children born in homes where they will get affectionate and responsible care, and perhaps our proposals will be accepted.”
Note Osborn’s invocation of “voluntary unconscious selection,” using explicit Darwinian terminology. Osborn’s recommendation was that the public be encouraged to practice eugenics without calling it such. The phrase Osborn endorsed may be familiar to you:
“Every Child a Wanted Child”
Now, as Egnor points out, that phrase should be at least a little familiar to you.
Planned Parenthood uses the phrase.
The National Organization for Women sells this bumper sticker on their website.
The Pro-Choice Resource Project sells buttons and refrigerator magnets like this:
The question of eugenics is simply not dealt with now because the word comes with some heavy moral baggage. The only people willing to utter it are pot-smoking tenured professors who live to show how radical they are.
The way most secularists talk about eugenics now is as a sort of Utilitarian pragmatism. But the word is never mentioned.
The word has been discarded and the history scrubbed. Kyle-Anne Shiver wrote in American Thinker:
In what may be regarded as the most triumphant propaganda victory of our time, fascism has been scrubbed of all its Marxist roots, while communism has been scrubbed of its millions of callous murders.
So now the Nazis and Communists are seen popularly as a right wing phenomenon when the truth is more accurately referred to with Jonah Goldberg’s coined phrase “Liberal Fascism.”
So while eugenicists have everyone looking one way they’re still promoting their agenda. And don’t think it’s a fringe movement. Remember 90% of Down’s Syndrome babies are aborted.
That is why you hear all this talk about keeping religion and science separate. Science without morality is destined for monstrousness.
President Obama said in his Inaugural speech:
We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.
That’s an alarming quote in feel good touchy language. What he means when he says restoring science to its rightful place is that conservatives don’t get to stop science with all their crazy Jesus talk.
But Christianity is not anti-science. We must employ morality when we advance science. And in the end, Christianity is the only bulwark against eugenics. And that is why the modern eugenicist movement is hellbent on marginalizing the Church and even destroying it.
Charles Krauthammer, no religious conservative, said:
President Bush had restricted federal funding for embryonic stem cell research to cells derived from embryos that had already been destroyed (as of his speech of Aug. 9, 2001). While I favor moving that moral line to additionally permit the use of spare fertility clinic embryos, President Obama replaced it with no line at all. He pointedly left open the creation of cloned — and noncloned sperm-and-egg-derived — human embryos solely for the purpose of dismemberment and use for parts.
Science without morality ends with a body count. Science without morality just improves man’s effectiveness in carrying out inhumanity.
In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King said:
“The richer we have become materially, the poorer we become morally and spiritually…We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers. Enlarged material powers spell enlarged peril if there is not proportionate growth of the soul. When the ‘without’ of man’s nature subjugates the ‘within,’ dark storm clouds begin to form in the world.”
We have been living in a dark storm for a while now. And the only saving light I see is Christianity. Our country has a choice to make. Darkness or light?