The Catholic Thing
Obamascience Print E-mail
By George J. Marlin   
Wednesday, 26 August 2009

First President Obama appointed Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who supports limitations on end-of-life care, as his top medical advisor. Now he has named John Holdren, another culture-of-death stalwart, as his top science advisor.

This newest Obama czar openly stated his support for mandatory abortions in Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment, a book Holdren co-authored with Paul and Anne Ehrlich some years ago:

There exists ample authority under which population growth could be regulated. It has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe ...

Ecoscience also casually mentions sterilants in drinking water or staple foods of those who “contribute to social deterioration,” the implantation of long-term birth control devices in women who have already given birth to two or three children, and an international monitor empowered to enforce population limits on any nation under scrutiny. (The Ehrlichs and Holdren have claimed, quite implausibly, that they were just listing possibilities then under discussion.)

Grilled by Senator David Vitter about these and other disturbing views last month, Holdren stated that it was “no longer productive” to think about optimal population size – but conceded little else. The media, as has become their custom when some Obama appointee is revealed to have an outrageously radical past, merely noted the hysteria of Holdren’s opponents but did not explore his positions.

The Obama Administration’s social planners stand in a long tradition of progressives who reject the Judeo-Christian belief in the sanctity of human life. Many people still doubt that liberal-minded people actually hold such beliefs, but, as history shows, American progressives have often endorsed eugenics and other morally repugnant practices. Eliminating inferiors, they argued, is permissible in the name of preserving society as a whole. Holdren and his allies wouldn’t put it that way, because it plays badly – even to an adoring media. But they don’t hesitate to talk about restraining population in the name of preventing climate change – one of Dr. Holdren’s recent preoccupations.

And media acquiescence in progressive eugenics has its own long and “distinguished” past. E.L. Godkin, founder of the Nation, Herbert Croly, founder of the New Republic, and William Allen White, editor of the Emporia (Kansas) Gazette, endorsed population-control programs, because, they believed, America should be governed and populated by its “superior classes.”

In local politics, however, they faced formidable political machines dominated by Catholics, so progressives looked to Washington for national solutions. They demanded quota legislation to end immigration from eastern and southern Europe. A U.S. government-funded forty-two-volume Immigration Commission Report, presented to Congress in 1910 by Senator William Dillingham of Vermont, provided a pseudo-biological foundation for the restrictive immigration acts of 1921 and 1924.

Those Commission findings, described by historian Oscar Handlin as “neither impartial nor scientific,” gave credence to anthropologist Madison Grant’s belief that people from the Mediterranean basin, the Balkans, and Polish ghettos were vulgarizing America. Many distinguished Americans –Theodore Roosevelt included – endorsed the findings of the Dillingham report and its enabling legislation, which effectively cut off immigration of this “human flotsam.”

By 1940, thirty states had enacted laws calling for compulsory sterilization of poor and mentally disabled citizens. The majority of these laws were based on the Model Eugenical Sterilization Law, which called for the sterilization – “regardless of etiology or prognosis” – of criminals, mental patients, the feeble-minded, inebriates, the blind, the diseased and included those with physical impairments (the deaf, the deformed, and the “dependent,” which meant the homeless, orphans, and paupers).

Today’s progressives prefer more vagueness in the categories for elimination: “unwanted pregnancies,” fetuses with “birth defects,” and, in developed countries especially, any children because of their large “carbon footprint.” But the result for those never born is the same.

The strongest voice against all such schemes was and is the Catholic Church. In 1920 the Catholic World summed up the Church’s position when it declared that she “uncompromisingly sets her face against all materialistic social experiments that outrage human dignity, go counter to elemental ethics…and lead to callous disregard of the weak elements of the community.”

In his 1930 encyclical, Casti Connubii, Pope Pius XI wrote: “[W]here no crime has taken place and there is no cause present for grave punishment, [public magistrates] can never directly harm, or tamper with the integrity of the body, either for the reasons of eugenics, or for any other reason.”

Prior to World War II, the eugenics movement was based on population genetics (i.e. that Anglo-Saxons are genetically superior to, say, the Irish). In our time, the movement is focused on individual genetics. French historian André Pichot explains the new approach this way: “Freedom of artificial selection [replaces] the dictatorship of natural selection. . . .The threat is to the individual not to the population; so likewise is the remedy.”

At a conference about eugenics last month, Pope Benedict XVI warned that confidence in science “may not overshadow the primacy of ethics when human life is at stake.”

John Holdren and many others who are joining the Obama administration are committed to state planning of reproductive and life-extending procedures, though they know it is impolitic to say so openly. If they are to be stopped, Catholics must once again uncompromisingly oppose this New Eugenics. If we don’t, no one will be safe.

George J. Marlin is the author of The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact.

(c) 2009 The Catholic Thing. All right reserved. For reprint rights write to: info at thecatholicthing dot org

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Comments (9)Add Comment
Dark Days Ahead?
written by Willie, August 27, 2009
Informative piece, requiring thorough mastication and digestion on this lazy summer morn. I guess I should feel comfortable since I can see and comment this morning; I am probably safe from being included in the flotsam of society.If one puts credence in this article and I for one do. Wake up! The Catholic Church is the only entity left to confront the mindset of the ilk now in power. It is apparent that 52% of Catholics last November did not do their homework.The concept of eugenics is not new
Obama agenda
written by Roger Hoffman, August 27, 2009
Obama is a scary president, who is leading us into a socialistic government.
I'm waiting now for the US Constitution to be removed as now relivent for his agenda. I'm very concerned the direction we are headed. Our representitives in
Washington don.t feel they need to answer to us once there elected into office.
Granted we don't have to be reelected, but look at the damage they cause in the mean while. We have been so desensatised over the last 50 years, many Americans feel helpless.
written by Bradley, August 27, 2009
A companion piece to Mr. Marlin's misleading Ezekiel Emanuel article. At the same Senate hearing, Holdren explained how his views have evolved in the 32 years since the book was published, leading to the following: Vitter: "Do you think determining optimal population is a proper role of government?" Holdren: "No, Senator, I do not." The result? Holdren was approved in committee and by the full Senate with unanimous consent.
Eugenics 2.0
written by Tjw, August 27, 2009
The most insidious aspect of the new eugenics is the linguistic spin and drift that renders a collectivist "communitarianism" as the ideal we should aspire to achieve. Guilt and condescension are the weapons used by the "elite and informed" to correct the "unethical or unenlightened". Whether it be climate change, racial hygiene, or overpopulation - there is always a reason to reduce the dignity of life to secondary importance. What a casualty for the cause of health care.
Stop Obama
written by James Mason, August 27, 2009
Obama must be stopped at all cost. We as Christians can not allow his agenda to go any further. He not only doesn't support Christian values but is attempting to bring America to it's knees. What better way for a terroist to bring America down than through his economic and social policies. We must not forget what our founding fathers wanted for the United States of America and what our constitution stands for. God Bless America.
Beware the conspiracy
written by Achilles, August 27, 2009
I am relieved to hear that we can all take Mr. Holdren at his word. I guess we just have to assume that Mr. Marlin and those that are bound to the absolute Truths are going to try to manipulate us with semantic games and double speak. Thank gosh we can trust the Obama admin to tell us the truth, they really have our best interest at heart.
written by Pio, August 28, 2009
A terrorist? Cannot allow his agenda to go any further? To be stopped "at all cost"?

What, Mr. Mason, would you specifically suggest as a Catholic course of action under these circumstances? Details please.

I implore both columnists and readers to reflect on the power of their words, and the potential that they have for stirring up emotion that is neither civil nor Catholic.
Thank God
written by Carol, August 30, 2009
Thank God for 'a' Pope. As an ex Episcopalian, I have seen moral and spiritual authority become non existent. Now, it is being tossed overboard at an alarming rate throughout America. Modesty, dignity, respect for human life went out the window with abortion. People are just realizing how lost they are having a president in the US such as we have. Our Nation has sunk to its lowest with Obamascience and his other enslaving ideas. Thanks for saying it -writing it - 'fight back'. We will.
What\'s a football?
written by Greenpoint Willie, August 31, 2009
So here we have a group of Monday morning quarterbacks who really have no idea how to play football. So what is the ingenious answer to all of this manure. Who would you like in the Whitehouse? As a youth growing up in Greenpoint I could remember one of my closest friends idolizing Adolph Hitler. Is that what we want in the White House? Does anybody have any idea who or what we want in the White House? Talk is cheap but then again I guess everyone has their own opinion.

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