Specifically, what’s being promised is a world where those who are considered “unfit” never are born and, thus, never are a burden on the rest of us. Whether we admit or not, we still seek the improvement of the “race” by identifying those who carry “undesirable” traits and preventing their births.
What we are doing to babies with Down syndrome, who have been “targeted for elimination” by doctors, governments, and insurance companies, is only the beginning. The more we learn about the genetic basis of “undesirable” traits, the longer the list of those we “target.”
The only thing standing in the way of this are the same people who stood in the way of the old eugenics: Christians. As Bruinius tells us, it was Christians, people like Billy Sunday and William Jennings Bryan, who led the opposition to eugenics in the United States. And in Britain, it was G. K. Chesterton, the great writer.
If the “new eugenics” is to be stopped, it’s because today’s believers in “divine law” and the “sanctity of human life” are prepared to join this distinguished company.
Charles Colson and Nigel Cameron, eds., Human Dignity in the Biotech Century: A Christian Vision for Public Policy.
Harry Bruinius, Better for All the World: The Secret History of Forced Sterilization and America’s Quest for Racial Purity (Knopf, 2006). Read an excerpt.
BreakPoint Commentary No. 060406, “Better for All the World?: Apple-Pie Eugenics.”
BreakPoint Commentary No. 051205, “Scary Science: Disturbing Developments on the Down Syndrome Front.”
BreakPoint Commentary No. 051223, “The Truest Thing in the World: The Cry of a Tiny Babe.”
BreakPoint Commentary No. 061005, “Cutting It: Engineering Human Evolution.”
Peter Augustine Lawler, Stuck with Virtue: The American Individual and Our Biotechnological Future (ISI Books, 2005).
“Playing God?” is a worldview curriculum for churches on bioethics issues from stem cell research to in vitro fertilization.
See BreakPoint’s information page on stem cell research and other bioethics issues.