Last week we looked at a few of the objections which were sent to Harry, a friend of the ministry. How much time should we spend on such an individual? That would seem to depend on whether they are serious about discovering truth or not. Those who seem to specialize in attacking the faith without any real desire to seek whether it is actually true or not often simply make assertions without actually providing evidence for their assertions. In other words, no evidence or documentation. The truth of a claim is more easily ascertained if we provide documentation to substantiate what we have asserted. For example on the question the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, and her belief and promotion of eugenics, Harry’s email acquaintance claims:
But it is clear that Veinot knows little about Margaret Sanger, who was resolutely opposed to Hitler and the Nazi programs, and said so publicly (which is more than what Veinot has done regarding fundamentalist Bush’s killing in Iraq). It’s interesting to see Veinot improperly imputing the most base motives to Sanger’s advocacy of birth control, thus perverting her larger view of women’s rights in this area.
I am not sure what the writer means by “most base motives” but Sanger was committed to Social Darwinism and cleansing of the inferior races and other less evolved humans through eugenics. Abortion being a key method of weeding out and breeding out those less desirable in the “human garden.” Was she in agreement with or opposed to Hitler and the Nazi programs? The answer is yes to both at different times. Social Darwinism was very prevalent among “progressives” at this time in history. In Germany Hitler achieved the political clout to officially implement eugenics to perfect the race. Sanger held the same fundamental views on Social Darwinism. Michael Flaherty, in his review of Ellen Chesler’s book, Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America, notes:
What the book leaves out is Margaret Sanger’s interest in eugenics. Miss Chesler fails to mention many of the most haunting phrases in Mrs. Sanger’s landmark book, The Pivot of Civilization. Perhaps her most popular work, it addressed what she saw as troubling demographic trends, notably the growing number of “nonAryan people” in the United States, who constituted “a great biological menace to the future of civilization.”A mix of racism and class snobbery, the book admonishes readers to beware of “inferior races,” whose members “deserve to be treated like criminals,” and urges the “segregat[ion of] morons who are increasing and multiplying.” Miss Chesler ignores most of this, though she quotes some of Mrs. Sanger’s more sanitized utterances, such as “More from the fit, less from the unfit–that is the chief aim of birth control.”
In the May 5, 1997 Wall Street Journal article, “The Repackaging of Margaret Sanger ,” Steve W. Mosher writes:
For Sanger had little but contempt for the “Asiatic races,” as she and her eugenicist friends called them. During her lifetime, she proposed that their numbers be drastically reduced. But Sanger’s preferences went beyond race. In her 1922 book “Pivot of Civilization” she unabashedly called for the extirpation of “weeds … overrunning the human garden;” for the segregation of “morons, misfits, and the maladjusted;” and for the sterilization of “genetically inferior races.”
There can be no doubt that Sanger would have been wildly enthusiastic over China’s one-child policy, for her “Code to Stop Overproduction of Children,” published in 1934, decreed that “no woman shall have a legal right to bear a child without a permit … no permit shall be valid for more than one child.”
Sanger frequently featured racists and eugenicists in her magazine, the Birth Control Review. Contributor Lothrop Stoddard, who also served on Sanger’s board of directors, wrote in “The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy” that “We must resolutely oppose both Asiatic permeation of white race-areas and Asiatic inundation of those non-white, but equally non-Asiatic regions inhabited by the really inferior races.”
Sanger’s own racist views were scarcely less opprobrious. In 1939 she and Clarence Gamble made an infamous proposal called “Birth Control and the Negro,” which asserted that “the poorer areas, particularly in the South … are producing alarmingly more than their share of future generations.” Her “religion of birth control” would, she wrote, “ease the financial load of caring for with public funds … children destined to become a burden to themselves, to their family, and ultimately to the nation.”
So, Sanger was very much in agreement at least with the thinking, beliefs and practices, at least on abortion, which guided Hitler’s eugenics policies. But what of the claim that Sanger was opposed to Hitler’s policies? Mosher also addresses this:
War with Germany, combined with lurid tales of how the Nazis were putting her theories about “human weeds” and “genetically inferior races” into practice, panicked Sanger into changing her organization’s name and rhetoric. “Birth control,” with its undertone of coercion, became “family planning.” The “unfit” and the “dysgenic” became merely “the poor.” The American Birth Control League became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Margaret Sanger was a socialist, was married to a socialist and was a strong adherent to and advocate of Social Darwinism. These views came directly from Darwinism which viewed humans as five phases of human evolution with blacks being the least evolved and more inferior and whites or “Aryan” as the most evolved no differently than did Hitler. Abortion and Euthanasia were viewed and advocated as a means to weed out and breed out the “inferior races” who “deserve to be treated like criminals” because they constitute “a great biological menace to the future of civilization.” If Darwinism is true, I am not sure why this would be viewed as wrong in any case. The strong survive, the weak don’t and that’s it.
Let me say also that fundamentalism, the I-know-I’m-right-and-all-those-who-disagree-with-me-will-suffer-horrible-consequences version, would in my judgement, behave much like Stalin or Saddam Hussein if it had the kind of political power those monsters had. Religions with this attitude have typically done so in the past when they could get away with it, and I see no reason to think that things have changed in that regard. Veinot is wrong to suggest that fundamentalism does not support massive killing of people.
The situation described here has less to do with the Christian faith and more to do with the nature of the human condition which the Bible describes as utterly sinful and selfish. When one group of people of a particular worldview gains near total control of a population, generally evil is perpetrated on that population. It matters little if they are Christian, Socialist, Communist or whatever. In their zeal to create utopia through human endeavor they become more than willing to destroy naysayers. There are groups within orthodox Christianity who hold to Dominion or Kingdom Now theology and advocate for attempting to try to take control of the government and create a theocracy. This would scare me as well for the reasons already stated. This really only demonstrates what I call “mobacracy.” What that means is that the mob which is in power makes the rules for everyone else. Whenever any particular mob is in power everyone else is in jeopardy. However, the individual who wrote the email never actually points to instances of Evangelicals or Fundamentalist involved with or advocating mass killings. That the writer claims to “know” that they would do this if given the opportunity is really no different than if I claimed to know that the writer would molest my grandchildren if given the opportunity. Imaging this would happen is not evidence and assumes things that may or may not be true. The evidence that those in power assert their worldview to the detriment of those who are less able to defend themselves can be seen in the following:
-Hitler killed about 11 million people
-Stalin killed about 20 million people
-over 50 million babies have been aborted in the USA
It seems to me that Margaret Sanger and other socialist and liberals have brought about far more death and destruction with their views but the email writer appears to defend their carnage as right and honorable. Of course, the answer to that question revolves around whether or not there are transcended moral values or whether cultures and civilizations simply make them up. This is a question which the email author moves on to and which we will look at next week.