-Sanger’s letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, Dec. 19, 1939
To wit, 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America.
Before we start this topic, I must say that this treatise is not taking into account the emotional strain that many women encounter before and after an abortion. This is a political, philosophical, and historical dealing with the founding of Planned Parenthood, specifically, Margaret Sanger. I would be remiss and foolish however not to think once this hits “cyber-space” that a confused or hurting young woman might happen to come across this blog. To her I wish to leave behind some links where she can get information or counseling whether in question to “should I get an abortion,” or to look for help for the emotional pain of losing a child to choice. So here are some links to organizations that will help either before or after this “choice” is made:
AFTER ABORTION – This is the web’s most complete source of information on the aftereffects of abortion and post-abortion healing. We have over 500 hundred links to thousands of printed pages of original research, testimonies, articles, and resources. Most of these are drawn from articles and books published by the Elliot Institute, one of the nation’s leading authorities on post-abortion issues.
PATH (Healing After Abortion) – Few people anticipate the agony an individual may go through following an abortion. The physical and emotional stress can be devastating, and often surfaces months or even years after the event. PATH offers hope and healing. Our method is personal, compassionate and non-judgemental. If you are suffering, please be assured that our trained volunteer facilitators will help you find a peace of heart. We will help you face your guilt, anger, isolation and sadness, and help you reconnect with yourself, others, and God.
“How is this possible?” you may wonder. It is possible because we have been there. Eighty percent of our volunteer facilitators have experienced abortion too. But we have discovered that even this experience can be healed. We do not promise to wave a magic wand to take away all of your painful memories, but we do firmly believe that if you trust us and God to walk you through our program, healing will begin.
CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER – The mission of the CPC is to minister to women. Our ministry focuses on the woman and her needs, offering her acceptance, compassion, accurate information and assistance in bringing her baby to term. We are here to help our clients make an informed decision so that they will, hopefully, choose an alternative to abortion.
The CPC does not refer a client for abortion. (The client is informed of this on the Request for Services form that she signs when she first comes into the center.) We never try to intimidate or control clients. We do not show bloody videos or use scare tactics. Our staff is trained to offer documented information/education and to provide the services offered by the CPC.
There is a myth to the effect that pro-life people care only about the baby and not the woman. If the community views our message as focusing only on the baby, clients will not feel safe about coming to the CPC and talking, especially if they are considering an abortion or have already experienced one. Our goal is to break down that myth by educating the community to know that our client is the woman. We realize that in order to help a child, we must help the child’s mother. She is the only one who can nourish and care for her pre-born child. When we place our focus on helping the woman, she becomes able to reject the ideology that frames the abortion issue in terms of mother versus child. When we place our focus on loving the woman, God can touch her with hope and empower her to choose life.
The final decision about abortion belongs to the client; however, we want our client to know that our door is always open to her. The client needs to know that she can return to the Center in the future even if she should choose to abort. We are here to help her should she experience regret and need help with Post Abortion Stress.
For the guys – NATIONAL FATHERHOOD INITIATIVE– To improve the well-being of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with an involved, responsible, and committed father.
Through a few conversations and blogs that argued the peripheral of this subject (even the human trafficking aspect of it), I want to finally expand a bit on what I always reference. That is, the original goals of Planned Parenthood Founder, Margaret Sanger, and the provable continuation of this goal by the statistics of actual abortions and sterilizations. Her saying that “[w]e don’t want the word out that we want to exterminate the Negro population” is often times not enough to convince the liberal Democrats that they are truly not for the minority person outside of their political agenda. What was Planned Parenthoods goals? Did they have aims and agendas they wished to complete? Is Planned Parenthood following in those footsteps today? If so, would we be able to tell by looking at their outcomes based on their stated goals?
Many of the current and past presidents of the organization have mentioned that they are following in the footsteps of their founder, following the aims and goals of Margaret Sanger, their liberal heroin and founder. To make this point (and others), I will rely on two well written books, the first is Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change, by Jonah Goldberg. I think – however – before I mention the next book, I should allow the reader a chance to have that seemingly self-refuting term (“liberal fascism”) explained and defined. Jonah Goldberg documents that the term was the invention of H.G. Wells:
The introduction of a novel term like “liberal fascism” obviously requires an explanation. Many critics will undoubtedly regard it as a crass oxymoron. Actually, however, I am not the first to use the term. That honor falls to H. G. Wells, one of the greatest influences on the progressive mind in the twentieth century (and, it turns out, the inspiration for Huxley’s Brave New World). Nor did Wells coin the phrase as an indictment, but as a badge of honor. Progressives must become “liberal fascists” and “enlightened Nazis,” he told the Young Liberals at Oxford in a speech in July 1932. Wells was a leading voice in what I have called the fascist moment, when many Western elites were eager to replace Church and Crown with slide rules and industrial armies.
It will be noted more in-depth later, but I must now point out that Margaret Sanger was the mistress to H.G. Wells. There was no conflict of ideals betwixt these two “enlightened Nazis.” The other book is just an expose of Planned Parenthood (unlike Jonah Goldberg’s book which deals with a panoply of topics), it is entitled Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood, by George Grant. This book is the best I have found yet on this topic. Each chapter ends with a Biblical critique as well, so if you are non-religious person this book is set up so you can skip entirely any theology if wished. If one cannot consider any “religion” on a topic however, one must ask if they are “theophobic” (a term I like to think I coined in my post entitled, “Defending the Faith Over a Syrah“). These two books (Jonah’s chapter entitled, “Liberal Racism: The Eugenbic Ghost in the Fascist Machine,” and George Grants book) will give any amateur historian or studier of movements enough fodder to turn the tables on those who profess equality at all costs.
A third book that is worth a mention is by Edwin Black, entitled, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race. A thick history of how the eugenic movement that spurned the Third Reich in their “master race” found its scientific basis in the American Left. The theological roots for it are not the topic here, but they are rooted in the occultism found in Madam Blavatsky’s book The Secret Doctrine.
The racialist ideas that were developing independently in India and Europe fused in esoterica. In The Secret Doctrine , Helena Petrovna Blavatsky saw the “Aryans” as the fifth of her seven “Root Race.” This is where the term used by the Nazi’s came from.
The question remains however, do recent Planned Parenthood (PP from here on out) leaders want what Sanger wanted? Some history and input on this is in order:
Margaret Sanger, whose American Birth Control League became Planned Parenthood, was the founding mother of the birth control movement. She is today considered a liberal saint, a founder of modern feminism, and one of the leading lights of the progressive pantheon. Gloria Feldt of Planned Parenthood proclaims, “I stand by Margaret Sanger’s side,” leading “the organization that carries on Sanger’s legacy.” Planned Parenthood’s first black president, Faye Wattleton—Ms. magazine’s Woman of the Year in 1989—said that she was “proud” to be “walking in the footsteps of Margaret Sanger.” Planned Parenthood gives out annual Maggie Awards to individuals and organizations who advance Sanger’s cause. Recipients are a Who’s Who of liberal icons, from the novelist John Irving to the producers of NBC’s West Wing. What Sanger’s liberal admirers are eager to downplay is that she was a thoroughgoing racist who subscribed completely to the views of E. A. Ross and other “raceologists.” Indeed, she made many of them seem tame.
Planned Parenthood is a paradigmatical illustration of this principle. Margaret Sanger’s character and vision are perfectly mirrored in the organization that she wrought. She intended it that way. And the leaders that have come after her have not attempted to have it another way. Dr. Alan Guttmacher, the man who immediately succeeded her as president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, once said, “We are merely walking down the path that Mrs. Sanger carved out for us.” Faye Wattleton, president of the organization during the decade of the eighties, has claimed that she is “proud” to be “walking in the footsteps” of Margaret Sanger. And the president of the New York affiliate is Alexander Sanger, her grandson.
Now that we know these PP leaders are “walking in Margaret’s footsteps,” let us see where these imprints lead us in history. Edwin Black makes it known that Maragret Sanger was no “saint.”
…Sanger was an ardent, self-confessed eugenicist, and she would turn her… birth control organizations into a tool for eugenics, which advocated for mass sterilization of so-called defectives, mass incarceration of the unfit and draconian immigration restrictions. Like other staunch eugenicists, Sanger vigorously opposed charitable efforts to uplift the downtrodden and deprived, and argued extensively that it was better that the cold and hungry be left without help, so that the eugenically superior strains could multiply without competition from “the unfit.” She repeatedly referred to the lower classes and the unfit as “human waste” not worthy of assistance, and proudly quoted the extreme eugenic view that human “weeds” should be “exterminated.” Moreover, for both political and genuine ideological reasons, Sanger associated closely with some of America’s most fanatical eugenic racists. Both through her publication, Birth Control Review, and her public oratory, Sanger helped legitimize and widen the appeal of eugenic pseudoscience.
In one passage, she followed the Malthusian party-line advocating the abandonment of all forms of charity and compassion. She wrote:
Even if we accept organized charity at its own valuation, and grant it does the best it can, it is exposed to a more profound criticism. It reveals a fundamental and irremediable defect. Its very success, its very efficiency, its very necessity to the social order are the most unanswerable indictment. Organized charity is the symptom of a malignant social disease. Those vast, complex, interrelated organizations aiming to control and to diminish the spread of misery and destitution and all the menacing evils that spring out of this sinisterly fertile soil, are the surest sign that our civilization has bred, is breeding, and is perpetuating constantly increasing numbers of defectives, delinquents, and dependents. My criticism, therefore, is not directed at the failure of philanthropy, but rather at its success. These dangers are inherent in the very idea of humanitarianism and altruism, dangers which have today produced their full harvest of human waste.”
Again, she wrote:
The most serious charge that can be brought against modern benevolence is that it encourages the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents, and dependents. These are the most dangerous elements in the world community, the most devastating curse on human progress and expression. Philanthropy is a gesture characteristic of modernf business lavishing upon the unfit the profits extorted from the community at large. Looked at impartially, this compensatory generosity is in its final effect probably more dangerous, more dysgenic, more blighting than the initial practice of profiteering.”
You may be asking how someone could think in terms like the above? Well, the simple answer is, radicalism. Political, and moral:
In the first issue of The Woman Rebel, Margaret Sanger admitted that “Birth control appeals to the advanced radical because it is calculated to undermine the authority of the Christian churches. I look forward to seeing humanity free someday of the tyranny of Christianity no less than Capitalism.”
“I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality… we will train young people before whom the world will tremble. I want young people capable of violence – imperious, relentless and cruel.”
George Grant runs down a quick list of whom Margaret “hung” with:
Her bed became a veritable meeting place for the Fabian (socialist) upper crust: H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Arnold Bennett, Arbthnot Lane, and Norman Haire. And of course, it was then that she began her unusual and temptuouse affaire with Havelock Ellis…. virtually all of her Socialist friends, lovers, and comrades were committed Eugenicists as well—from the followers of Lenin in Revolutionary Socialism, like H. G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, and Julius Hammer,” to the followers of Hitler in National Socialism, like Ernest Rudin, Leon Whitney, and Harry Laughlin.” But it wasn’t simply sentiment or politics that drew Margaret into the Eugenic fold. She was thoroughly convinced that the “inferior races” were in fact “human weeds” and a “menace to civilization.”
Isn’t Sanger a hero of the Left though? How could she truly believe the above… isn’t there some kind of mistake? I wish there was. Here we start to go deeper into her relationships (personal and business) and views on race relations. Dinesh D’Souza points out in his wonderful book, The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society, that Sanger coined the term, “More children from the fit, less from the unfit,” used by the Third Reich.
Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, coined the slogan “More children from the fit, less from the unfit.” In language that many of her contemporary admirers would probably like to forget, she described blacks and Eastern European immigrants as “a menace to civilization” and “human weeds.” Concerned that American blacks might protest Planned Parenthood’s special “Negro Project” aimed at promoting sterilization, Sanger wrote to an associate, “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”
Not only did she “widen the appeal” of eugenic thinking, she was in the mix of the whole movement, and even gave page space to Nazi monsters in her news letter. For instance, in the following excerpts, we see some very disturbing relationships. In her autobiography, for instance, she said that “[o]ur living-room, became a gathering place where liberals, anarchists, Socialists and I.W.W.’s [Industrial Workers of the World, a socialist organization] could meet.” Jonah Goldberg continues:
A member of the Women’s Committee of the New York Socialist Party, she participated in all the usual protests and demonstrations…. A disciple of the anarchist Emma Goldman—another eugenicist—Sanger became the nation’s first “birth control martyr” when she was arrested for handing out condoms in 1917. In order to escape a subsequent arrest for violating obscenity laws, she went to England, where she fell under the thrall of Havelock Ellis, a sex theorist and ardent advocate of forced sterilization. She also had an affair with H. G. Wells, the self-avowed champion of “liberal fascism.”….
Her marriage fell apart early, and one of her children—whom she admitted to neglecting—died of pneumonia at age four. Indeed, she always acknowledged that she wasn’t right for family life, admitting she was not a “fit person for love or home or children or anything which needs attention or consideration.”
I must let Jonah continue (pp. 272-273) with his referencing the history and aims of the organization, it is jaw dropping:
She sought to ban fit. “More children from the fit, less from the unfit—that is the chief issue of birth control,” she frankly wrote in her 1922 book The Pivot of Civilization. (The book featured an introduction by Wells, in which he proclaimed, “We want fewer and better children … and we cannot make the social life and the world-peace we are determined to make, with the ill-bred, ill-trained swarms of inferior citizens that you inflict on us.” Two civilizations were at war: that of progress and that which sought a world “swamped by an indiscriminate torrent of progeny.”)
A fair-minded person cannot read Sanger’s books, articles, and pamphlets today without finding similarities not only to Nazi eugenics but to the dark dystopias of the feminist imagination found in such allegories as Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale.” As editor of the Birth Control Review, Sanger regularly published the sort of hard racism we normally associate with Goebbels or Himmler. Indeed, after she resigned as editor, the Birth Control Review ran articles by people who worked for Goebbels and Himmler. For example, when the Nazi eugenics program was first getting wide attention, the Birth Control Review was quick to cast the Nazis in a positive light, giving over its pages for an article titled “Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need,” by Ernst Rudin, Hitler’s director of sterilization and a founder of the Nazi Society for Racial Hygiene. In 1926 Sanger proudly gave a speech to a KKK rally in Silver Lake, New Jersey.
One of Sanger’s closest friends and influential colleagues was the white supremacist Lothrop Stoddard, author of The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy. In the book he offered his solution for the threat posed by the darker races: “Just as we isolate bacterial invasions, and starve out the bacteria, by limiting the area and amount of their food supply, so we can compel an inferior race to remain in its native habitat.”When the book came out, Sanger was sufficiently impressed to invite him to join the board of directors of the American Birth Control League.
Sanger’s genius was to advance Ross’s campaign for social control by hitching the racist-eugenic campaign to sexual pleasure and female liberation. In her “Code to Stop Overproduction of Children,” published in 1934,. she 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. But Sanger couched this fascistic agenda in the argument that “liberated” women wouldn’t mind such measures because they don’t really want large families in the first place. In a trope that would be echoed by later feminists such as Betty Friedan, she argued that motherhood itself was a socially imposed constraint on the liberty of women. It was a form of what Marxists called false consciousness to want a large family.
Sanger believed—prophetically enough—that if women conceived of sex as first and foremost a pleasurable experience rather than a procreative act, they would embrace birth control as a necessary tool for their own personal gratification. She brilliantly used the language of liberation to convince women they weren’t going along with a collectivist scheme but were in fact “speaking truth to power,” as it were.” This was the identical trick the Nazis pulled off. They took a radical Nietzschean doctrine of individual will and made it into a trendy dogma of middle-class conformity. This trick remains the core of much faddish “individualism” among rebellious conformists on the American cultural left today. Nonetheless, Sanger’s analysis was surely correct, and led directly to the widespread feminist association of sex with political rebellion. Sanger in effect “bought off” women (and grateful men) by offering tolerance for promiscuity in return for compliance with her eugenic schemes.
In 1939 Sanger created the previously mentioned “Negro Project,” which aimed to get blacks to adopt birth control. Through the Birth Control Federation, she hired black ministers (including the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell Sr.), doctors, and other leaders to help pare down the supposedly surplus black population. The project’s racist intent is beyond doubt. “The mass of significant Negroes,” read the project’s report, “still breed carelessly and disastrously, with the result that the increase among Negroes … is [in] that portion of the population least intelligent and fit.” Sanger’s intent is shocking today, but she recognized its extreme radicalism even then. “We do not want word to go out,” she wrote to a colleague, “that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
The question is this, how can a graduate student make it through a 4-year university and not know about this history. They can denounce, after this four-year indoctrination, how the settlers mistreated the Native-American’s, but will lift up a racist Nazi as a hero? The logic with this thinking baffles the mind. Even the history of the Democrats and their continual choice to be on the wrong side of history is seemingly forgot.
This radical movement and its continual harming of history, minorities, and women does not fly on blogs like this. Feminism has turned for the worse because of it (at least modern, New Left feminism). The following excerpted from a post/paper I did entitled, “Gnostic Feminism: Empowered to Fail:”
What’s Going On?
While Concerned Women for America have about 600,000 members, the National Organization of Women (NOW) has dwindled to less than 56,000 members. One of the reasons, I believe, for the resultant loss of a nationally known organization such as NOW, is to be found in the current movements direction. As an example, in the January 1988 National NOW Times, the newsletter for the organization, said: “The simple fact is that every woman must be willing to be identified as a lesbian to be fully feminist.” This may sound extreme, but in fact, this type of radical thinking has more to do with politics than with civil rights and equality. This political movement looks forward to the overthrow of the family unit as well as capitalism. Well-known feminist author and co-founder/editor of Ms. Magazine, Gloria Steinem, said the following about feminisms “end game” (if you will): “Overthrowing capitalism is too small for us. We must overthrow the whole… patriarch!”
How, though, can a civil rights movement be interested in capitalism? According to Tammy Bruce, who was the former president of the Los Angeles chapter of NOW as well as being a former member of NOW’s national board of directors puts it: “What Gloria Steinem, Molly Yard, Patricia Ireland and all the rest have presented to you over the last 15 years (at least) has not been feminist theory.”
Ms. Bruce goes on to show that Betty Friedan and Patricia Ireland, ex-president of NOW, (and others) are members of the Communist Party. In fact, Gloria Steinem is honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, which boasts of being the largest socialist organization in the United States and is the principle U. S. affiliate of the Socialist International. Now the political goals become clearer as we understand the intent of these “posers,” as Tammy Bruce calls them. One of the signs of an over oppressive movement is well illustrated in The Animal Farm, by George Orwell. Napoleon, one of the main characters, concerns himself with the education of the young, and forcefully takes two litters of puppies away as soon as they’re weaned, saying he’ll educate them. In effect, the “State,” or those who are in charge raise them.
Now compare this to a statement made by feminist Mary Jo Bane (assistant professor of education at Wellesley College and associate director of the school’s Center for Research on Woman) and the lesson taught in Animal Farm, “In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them.” Alternatively, In The Saturday Review of Education, Gloria Steinem declared: “By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God.” NEA president/feminist Catherine Barrett wrote in the same issue:
“Dramatic changes in the way we will raise our children in the year 2000 are indicated, particularly in terms of schooling…We will need to recognize that the so-called basic skills, which currently represent nearly the total effort in elementary schools, will be taught in one-quarter of the present school day…When this happens- and it’s near- the teacher can rise to his true calling. More than a dispenser of information, the teacher will be a conveyor of values…We will be agents of change.”
A true feminist is a woman who fulfills her potential, like Brenda Feigen, co-founder of Ms. Magazine, who exemplifies what the movement had been, with all its promise and enthusiasm. She became the kind of woman the modern feminist couldn’t keep up with! A lawyer, wife and mother, civil-rights activist, politician, Hollywood movie producer, and author… she is a feminist in the true sense of the word. This feminist sounds surprisingly like the one in Proverbs 31:10-31. These sayings are likely a woman writing what the woman’s role is (Lemuel’s mother). The New King James Version opens up verse 10 with, “Who can find a virtuous wife?” A better rendering of this verse is “the truly capable woman.” It portrays her exercising responsibility for the provision of food and clothing for the household, and also being involved in managing financial and business affairs outside the house itself. She also cares for the needy, and fulfils a wise teaching ministry. This element of the portrait suggests that, as an authoritative teacher at the end of Proverbs (like Lemuel’s mother in v. 1), she parallels Ms. Wisdom in the opening chapters (i.e., corresponding expressions in 3:13-18; 9:1-6). Woman’s teaching role in the book alongside man’s (e.g., 1:8; 6:20) fulfils part of the vision in Genesis 1-2 of man and woman together representing the image of God and called to exercise authority in the world on God’s behalf.
This is in stark contrast to A Feminist Dictionary, whose definitions are self-explanatory:
Male: “… represents a variant of or deviation from the category of female. The first males were mutants… the male sex represents a degeneration and deformity of the female.”
Man: “… an obsolete life form… an ordinary creature who needs to be watched … a contradictory baby-man.”
Testosterone Poisoning: “Until now it has been thought that the level of testosterone in men is normal simply because they have it. But if you consider how abnormal their behavior is, then you are led to the hypothesis that almost all men are suffering from ‘testosterone poisoning.’”
Feminist author Ti-Grace Atkinson shows her true autonomy when stating, “the institution of sexual intercourse is anti-feminist.” Marilyn French, feminist author calls all men rapists: “All men are rapists and that’s all they are. They rape us with their eyes, their laws, and their codes.” Gloria Steinen, feminist extraordinaire, wrote the following about Andrea Dwarkin, a contemporary, “Every century, there are a handful of writers who help the human race to evolve. Andrea is one of them.” Wow, such high accolades from one of the most well-known activists in the feminist movement, so what does this Andrea Dworkin have to say about us men? “Heterosexual intercourse is the pure, formalized expression of contempt for women’s bodies.”
One must keep in mind that when studying comparative theologies through the lenses (e.g., worldview) of modern feminism, that time honored hermeneutics will be subjugated by gender influenced politics. This revisionist goal will not only affect the Bible, and hence Christianity, but also other holy books and religious beliefs. Other presuppositions that drive the modern feminist movement include philosophical naturalism (atheism), and what I call metaphysical naturalism (neo-paganism). Metaphysical naturalism is merely the spiritual movement based partly on the reawakening of “goddess consciousness,” and its real goal is matriarchy, not equality!
The Christian tradition is rich with examples of feminism. The feminism that truly empowers women, not the feminism that makes victicratsout of well meaning woman that wish to make a difference. Christina Hoff Sommers, a liberal feminist and formerly professor of philosophy at Clark University, comments on the current condition of modern feminism:
“The orthodox feminists are so carried away with victimology, with a rhetoric of male-bashing that it’s full of female chauvinists, if you will. Also, women are quite eager to censor, to silence. And what concerns me most as a philosopher is it’s become very anti-intellectual, and I think it poses a serious risk to young women in the universities. Women’s studies classes are increasingly a kind of initiation into the most radical wing, the most intolerant wing, of the feminist movement.”
Many true feminists, like Christina, do away with the many myths that are meant to “scare” woman into becoming radicals.Books by feminist Christina Hoff Sommers are good books to refute such myths. Alternatively, the Independent Women’s Forum can be accessed via the Internet. This “backlash” by women against modern feminism is well summed up in a review of the book Feminism Is Not the Story of My Life: How Today’s Feminist Elite Has Lost Touch With the Real Concerns of Women, by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese:
According to historian Elizabeth Fox-Genovese (who describes herself as a feminist), is that most women perceive “official” feminism as indifferent to their deepest concerns. In particular, they are put off by the movement’s negative attitude toward marriage and motherhood, its intolerance for dissent from its most controversial positions, its attacks on men, and its inattention to the practical problems of balancing work and family on a day-to-day basis. Hence the title, echoing a refrain running through the author’s conversations with a diverse sample of women: “Feminism is not the story of my life.”
William D. Gairdner, The War Against the Family: A Parent Speaks Out on the Political, Economic, and Social Policies That Threaten Us All (Toronto, Canada: BPS Books, 2007), 295.
 Tammy Bruce, The New Thought Police: Inside the Left’s Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds, Random House Inc, New York: NY , p. 123.
 Ibid., p. 142.
 Edited by Cheris Kramarae & Paula A. Treichler. Feminist Dictionary, University of Illinois Press, Champaign: IL .
Daniel Dervin, Enactments: American Modes and Psychohistorical Models (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1996), 244; another telling quote comes directly from Atkinson’s own biography, Amazon Odyssey:
The price of clinging to the enemy [a man] is your life. To enter into a relationship with a man who has divested himself as completely and publicly from the male role as much as possible would still be a risk. But to relate to a man who has done any less is suicide…. I, personally, have taken the position that I will not appear with any man publicly, where it could possibly be interpreted that we were friends.
Ti-Grace Atkinson, Amazon Odyssey (New York, NY: Links Books, 1976), 90, 91.
 “Traditionally the sub-discipline of theology concerned with the proper interpretation of scriptural texts” C. Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove: IL .
Helen Kooiman Hosier, 100 Christian Woman Who Changed the 20th Century, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids: MI ; and Rebecca Price Janney, Great Woman in American History, Horizon Books, Camp Hill: PA .
“A victicrat is one who blames all ills, problems, concerns, and unhappiness on others,” Larry Elder, Ten Things You Can’t Say in America, St. Martins, New York: NY , p. 22-33.
Unpublished paper from Clark University.
These include some of the following: 1) Myth of the Extent of Anorexia Nervosa; 2) Myth of Amount of Domestic Violence; 3) Myth of Increased Domestic Battery on Super Bowl Sunday; 4) Myth Concerning Percent of Women Raped; 5) Myth Concerning Female Self-esteem; 6) Myth of Discrimination Against Females in School; 7) Myth of Huge Gender Wage Gap, Etc.
Who Stole Feminism: How Woman Have Betrayed Woman, Simon & Schuster, New York: NY ; The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism is Harming Our Young Men.
George Grant documents this radicalism, where, like Goldberg, he points out some of these connections Sanger had with racists and eugenists. PP’s founding aims and its founder’s radicalism is all too commonly ignored or swept under the carpet of history’s tide. Let us pick up from Grand Illusions (pp. 41-42), some of which was already pointed out by Goldberg:
Not surprisingly, Planned Parenthood officials have always tried to deflect any criticism of their founder’s B-movie worldview of weird science and ideological compulsion. Though they have managed all manner of intellectual gymnastics and historical revisionism in a feeble attempt to deny it, hide it, and belie it, Sanger was undeniably mesmerized by the fashionable elitism of Malthusian Eugenics.”
She was thoroughly convinced that the “inferior races” were in fact a “menace to civilization.” She really believed that “social regeneration” would only be possible as the “sinister forces of the hordes of irresponsibility and imbecility” were repulsed. She had come to regard organized charity to ethnic minorities and the poor as a “symptom of a malignant social disease” because it encouraged the prolificacy of those “defectives, delinquents, and dependents” she so obviously abhorred. She yearned for the end of the Christian “reign of benevolence” that the Eugenic Socialists promised, when the “choking human undergrowth” of “morons and imbeciles” would be “segregated” and ultimately “sterilized.” Her greatest aspiration was “to create a race of thoroughbreds” by encouraging “more children from the fit, and less from the unfit.” And the only way to achieve that dystopic goal, she realized, was through the harsh and coercive tyranny of Malthusian Eugenics.”
In other words, she was a true believer not simply someone who assimilated the Flash Gordon jargon of the times—as Planned Parenthood officials would have us believe. She was a committed elitist bent on undermining the familial bonds of the poor and disenfranchised.”
Thus, as she began to build the work of the American Birth Control League, and ultimately, of Planned Parenthood, Margaret relied heavily on the men, women, ideas, and resources of the Eugenics movement. Virtually all of the organization’s board members were Eugenicists. Financing for the early projects—from the opening of the first birth control clinics to the publishing of the revolutionary literature—came from Eugenicists. The speakers at the conferences, the authors of the propaganda and the providers of the services were almost without exception avid Eugenicists.
The Birth Control Review — Sanger’s magazine and the immediate predecessor to the Planned Parenthood Review regularly and openly published the racist articles of Malthusian Eugenicists. In 1920 — for instance, it published a favorable review of Lothrop Stoddard’s frightening book of Fascist diatribe, The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy.” In 1923, the Review editorialized in favor of restricting immigration on a racial basis.” In 1932, it outlined Sanger’s own “Plan for Peace,” which called for coercive sterilization, mandatory segregation, and at rehabilitative concentration camps for all “dysgenic stocks.” In 1933, the Review published a shocking article entitled “Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need.” It was written by Sanger’s close friend and advisor, Ernst Rudin, who was then serving as Hitler’s director of genetic sterilization and had earlier taken a prominent role in the establishment of the Nazi Society for Racial Hygiene. Later that same year, it published an article by Leon Whitney entitled, “Selective Sterilization,” which adamantly praised and defended the Third Reich’s pre-holocaust “race purification” programs.”
The bottom line is that Sanger self-consciously organized the Birth Control League—and its progeny, Planned Parenthood—in part, to promote and enforce the scientifically elitist notions of racial purification and perfection. Thus, like the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party, and the Mensheviks, Sanger’s enterprise was from its inception implicitly and explicitly racist. And this racist orientation was all too evident in its various programs and initiatives: government control over family decisions, nonmedicinal health-care experimentations, the rabid abortion crusade, and the coercive sterilization initiatives.
Okay, the proof of the racist goals and ideals of PP from its inception has been shown. Can this early start be shown to still be in operation? Here I want to defer to the site, BlackGenocide.org (see video below), and Abort73.com (attached article below). I think their work shows ample proof of this racist underpinning.
[Martin Luther King, Jr.] once said, “The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety.” How can the “Dream” survive if we murder the children? Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother. The mother decides his or her fate.
Lest you feel these claims are an exaggeration, consider the numbers. According to the most recent census data, black women make up 12.3% of the female population in America, but account for 35% of all U.S. abortions – that according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The Guttmacher Institute (AGI) puts the percentage of black abortions at 37% of the U.S. total.
Similarly, AGI tells us that Hispanic women account for 22% of all U.S. abortions, though they make up just 12.5% of the female population. Compare those numbers to non-Hispanic, white women, who make up 62.6% of America’s female population(1), but account for only 34% of all U.S. abortions.
Abortion is eliminating minority children in the United States at a staggering rate.
Every day in America, an average of 3,315 human beings lose their lives to abortion. Based on the percentages above, 729 of those babies are Hispanic, 1,127 are white, and 1,227 are black. Not only are black children being killed at a far greater percentage than white children, they’re being killed in greater numbers, period. Is that not shocking?! Though the white population in the U.S. outnumbers the black population five to one, abortion kills more black children than white children, every day. John Piper, a white pastor with a heart for racial justice, remarks on the disparity of abortion this way:
The de facto effect (I don’t call it the main cause, but net effect) of putting abortion clinics in the urban centers is that the abortion of Hispanic and Black babies is more than double their percentage of the population. Every day 1,300 black babies are killed in America. Seven hundred Hispanic babies die every day from abortion. Call this what you will—when the slaughter has an ethnic face and the percentages are double that of the white community and the killers are almost all white, something is going on here that ought to make the lovers of racial equality and racial harmony wake up.
Each year, almost a half a million black babies are lost to abortion. The Life Education and Resource Network (LEARN), the largest African-American pro-life group in the country has produced a chart which shows that from 1973-2001, abortion has claimed more than two and a half times as many African-American lives as the next five leading causes combined. In 2005, a total of 292,808 blacks died in the U.S. That same year, almost twice as many blacks (roughly 447,700) were killed by abortion. In 2004, the black population in the U.S. stood at 36 million. Between 1973 and 2004, roughly 15 million blacks were aborted, which means that, as of 2004, nearly 30% of the black population has been lost to abortion! And that doesn’t even factor in all the children that would have been born to those aborted a generation ago. Population estimates show that blacks will soon lose their status as the nation’s largest minority group. To put it bluntly, abortion has thinned the black community in ways the Ku Klux Klan could have only dreamed of.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include the sterilization stats as well… which, with the culmination of what we have see already is a nail in the PP coffin. This comes from pages 117-188 of Grand Illusions. Just a side-note, in just the part below, in the book there are 11-footnotes that one would have to get the book to follow up on themselves to be more methodical.
Racism and Sterilization
In order to realize Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic ideal of eliminating the “masses of degenerate” and “good-for-nothing” races, Planned Parenthood has not only emphasized contraception and abortion, it has also carried the banner of sterilization. And, of course, that sterilization vendetta has been primarily leveled against minorities.
The sterilization rate among African Americans is 45 percent higher than among Whites. Among Hispanics the rate is 30 percent higher. As many as 42 percent of all American women and 35 percent of all Puerto Rican women have been sterilized.
As was the case with Carrie and Doris Buck, many of these sterilizations have been performed coercively. “Women in the United States are often pressured to accept sterilization in order to keep getting welfare payments,” says feminist writer Linda Gordon. And non-White welfare recipients are apparently pressured at a significantly higher level than Whites, resulting in a disproportionate number of sterilizations.
The Association for Voluntary Sterilization has estimated that Between one and two million Americans a year are surgically sterilized. But there may be another 250,000 coercive sterilizations disguised in hospital records as hysterectomies.
A hysterectomy—the removal of the female reproductive system—should only be performed when organs and tissues become severely damaged, diseased, or malignant. Never should it be performed to achieve sexual sterilization, says Dr. Charles McLaughlin, president of the American College of Surgeons. That would be “like killing a mouse with a cannon.” It is also much more lethal than simple tubal ligation sterilization operations. Currently, some twelve thousand women a year die having hysterectomies.
Nevertheless, since Planned Parenthood’s Eugenic hysteria was unleashed, the annual number of hysterectomies has skyrocketed, so that the operation now ranks with abortion, appendectomy, and tonsillectomy as one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in the land.
Predictably, the chief victims of these medically needless hysterectomies are poor and minority women. Over a decade ago, the New York Times reported that:
A hysterectomy which renders a patient sterile costs up to eight hundred dollars, while a tubal ligation, which does the same thing, pays only two hundred fifty dollars to the surgeon, increasing the motivation to do the more expensive operation. Medicare, Medicaid, and other health plans—for the poor and the affluent both—will reimburse a surgeon up to 90 percent for the costs of any sterilization procedure, and sometimes will allow nothing for abortion. As a consequence, hyster-sterilizations—so common among some groups of indigent Blacks that they are referred to as Mississippi Appendectomies—are increasingly popular among surgeons, despite the risks.
Lydia Jones, a Title X and Medicaid-eligible welfare mother of four, went to the Planned Parenthood clinic near her home and discovered that “free” government programs can be a good news/bad news proposition. “They told me that if I wanted to take advantage of their medical services, I would have to undergo sterilization,” she said. “The counselor just kept lecturing me about how I needed to do this, and that I should have done it a long time ago. She told me that my children were a burden to society. Well, let me tell you, I love my children. And they’re a burden to no one. My two oldest are in college, working their way through. The other two are straight-A students and bound for scholarships. I may be poor, and I may be Black, but I’m not gonna be bullied by these people into despising the heritage God has given me.”
Lydia walked out—a rare exception.
Some have tried to compare Luther’s anti-Semitism to the problem presented here. I have been told that since Luther had racist views doesn’t that mean that the Lutheran church is a racists organization (using my logic). Here I will get somewhat technical, however, quickly, there are two worldviews at work here. A secular worldview (Sanger’s and PP) versus a Christian-theistic worldview. I will point out some of the failings of the secular view that excludes the Judeo-Christian worldview. The person seems to be saying, “anti-Semitism is most definitely an immoral viewpoint.” If they aren’t saying this then their position is vacuous. They are attempting to show that by using one moral position, the other is shown to be false, or at least contradictory, if the proposed logic doesn’t follow equally in both cases… because we all know that Lutherans are not anti-Semites! (Although the people this usually comes from think all Republicans are generally racists, which I just showed above in this post and links that the evidence weighs heavily on the other-side.) I will post an excerpt from a longer debate I had with a secular history teacher at a winery:
The Bible does not teach the horrible practices that some have committed in its name. It is true that it’s possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the details it produces evil because the individual people [Christians] are actually living in rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it [religion] can produce evil, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism (non-religious practices) actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We’re talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God. For example: the Inquisitions, Crusades, Salem Witch Trials killed about anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 persons combined (World Book Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Americana), and the church is liable for the unjustified murder of about (taking the high number here) 300,000-women over about a 300 year period. A blight on Christianity? Certainty. Something wrong? Dismally wrong. A tragedy? Of course. Millions and millions of people killed? No. The numbers are tragic, but pale in comparison to the statistics of what non-religious criminals have committed); the Chinese regime of Mao Tse Tung, 60 million [+] dead (1945-1965), Stalin and Khrushchev, 66 million dead (USSR 1917-1959), Khmer Rouge (Cambodia 1975-1979) and Pol Pot, one-third of the populations dead, etc, etc. The difference here is that these non-God movements are merely living out their worldview, the struggle for power, survival of the fittest and all that, no evolutionary/naturalistic natural law is being violated in other words (as non-theists reduce everything to natural law — materialism). However, and this is key, when people have misused the Christian religion for personal gain, they are in direct violation to what Christ taught, as well as Natural Law.
Hang in here with me… here comes the philosophical part of my argument/critique.
So the founder and subsequent directors are doing what? Living out their worldview, the Lutheran’s are not living and being corrected by a Lutheran worldview. They are living and being corrected when they get off course by a Judeo-Christian. There is nothing inherent to Sanger’s worldview or those that adhere to its founding philosophy that can say anti-Semitism is wrong, morally, it is just currently taboo by our culture’s temporary mores — by the edict of the majority. It likens the abortion and Semitism question to the level of one saying they like vanilla ice-cream over chocolate. If our cultures temporary mores were, by an edict from the majority, to wade into the ice-cream debate. That would be just as moral as the life and racism question… according to the secular worldview followed to its logical end. Here is a question asked by a Harvard student of Ravi Zacharias during the Q&A, he asked it in order to trip up Ravi… which isn’t so easy:
“The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law [natural selection] did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all…. If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.”
In other words, do Objective Morals truly exist without God?
Let us start this [extended] jolly good time with a most interesting thought from Stephen Hawkings (who holds the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Isaac Newton’s chair) at a lecture given to a university crowd in England entitled “Determinism – Is Man a Slave or the Master of His Fate.” He discussed whether we are the random products of chance, and hence, not free, or whether God had designed these laws within which we are free. In other words, do we have the ability to make choices, or do we simply follow a chemical reaction induced by millions of mutational collisions of free atoms?
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s maxim rings just as true today as it did in his day, “If there is no God, all things are permissible.” Without an absolute ethical norm, morality is reduced to mere preference and the world is a jungle where might makes right. This same strain of thought caused Mussolini to comment,
“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition…. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity…. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.”
Mussolini, Diuturna (1924) pp. 374-77, quoted in A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist (Ignatius Press; 1999), by Peter Kreeft, p. 18.
Notice that Mussolini agrees that might makes right. There was another bad boy on the block in those days, his name was Hitler, who agreed when he said, “I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality… we will train young people before whom the world will tremble. I want young people capable of violence – imperious, relentless and cruel.” Again, the rejection of moral absolutes creates what? Young people who will scare the bejesus out of the world. (Take note of the rise in youth violence in our school system.)
But what is this “absolute” that Mussolini referred to as “theimmortal truth?” What is the “stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality” that Hitler removed in order to created a nation of hate mongers? Heidegger, In Being and Time, discussed the problems facing men living in a post-Enlightenment secular society – a world without God in other words. Heidegger called this situation “the dark night of the world,” a world which the light of God had been eclipsed and in which men were left to grope around as best they could, searching in the darkness for any scraps of meaning that might be found. This man of course, Heidegger, backed the National Socialists (Nazis) for most of the 1930’s.
The third article in the Humanist Manifesto begins:
“We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience. Ethics is autonomous and situational, needing no theological or ideological sanction. Ethics stems from human need and interest.”
For the secular person, man himself is the only standard by which his own behavior is to be assessed, “man is the measure of all things.” Man is to be the sole arbiter in all matters of justice and law, right and wrong. In the words of the Encyclopedia Americana, “Since there is no God, man is the creator of his own values.” The British author John Hick bluntly asserts, “There is no God; therefore no absolute values and no absolute laws.” Joseph Lewis in, The Bible Unmasked, say, “There is in reality no absolute standard by which we can judge… In the final analysis our guide in moral affairs should be what gives to the individual the greatest possible happiness.”
Anthony Freeman comes to the same conclusion: “Not only the absolute existing-out-there God has gone. So have the absolute existing-out-there values such as peace, joy, goodness, beauty, love, etc….” Friedrich Nietzsche agreed: “…the advantage of our times, nothing is true, everything is permitted.” The American scholar David Wells says of our nation, “This is the first time that civilization has existed that, to a significant extent, does not believe in objective right and wrong. We are traveling blind, stripped of our own moral compass.” Paul Kurtz believes that, “The moral principles that govern our behavior are rooted in habit and custom, feeling and fashion,” how can anything be commended as being right, or condemned as being wrong?
Bertrand Russell vehemently opposed war, yet denounced restrictions on sexual freedom. In a letter to the Observer in 1957, Bertrand admitted that he could not live as though ethical values were a matter of personal taste, that he therefore found his own views “incredible” (because he espoused moral relativism) and that “I do not know the solution.” C. S. Lewis talked about this “privatized morality” and showed some of its weaknesses, two of which he identified with his usual clarity:
In the first place, how do ethical standards come into being? In Lewis’s words, “The human mind has no more power of inventing a new value than of planting a new sun in the sky or a new color in the spectrum.”
Secondly, in the absence of absolutes, how can we talk of moral progress? As Lewis puts it, “if things can improve, this means that there must be some absolute standard of good above and outside the cosmic process towards which that process can approximate. There is no sense in talking of ‘becoming better’ if better means simply ‘what we are becoming’ – it is like congratulating yourself on reaching your destination and defining destination as ‘ the place you have reached.’”
Allan Bloom, in his book, The Closing of the American Mind, said that, “There is one thing a professor can be certain of. Almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.” How did the college student get this way? Let us allow the Father of modern educational philosophy answer that, John Dewey: “There is no God and no soul. Hence, there are no needs for props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable [i.e. unchangeable] truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or permanent moral absolutes.”
In light of all this, I find it funny when an atheist says that he is so because there is evil in this world (innocent children die, and the such). Again, C. S. Lewis makes my point for me when he was an atheist:
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it?… Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless – namely my idea of justice – was full of sense. Consequently, atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning.”
Lewis hit the nail on the head. In the absence of transcendent values, we are left floundering about as best we can… or, as Heidegger put it, “searching in the darkness for any scraps of meaning that might be found.” Ravi Zacharius rightly concludes, if atheism is true, “Thinking atoms discussing morality is absurd.” All this leads to what Jean-Paul Sartre called a “baseless base of values.” In other words, the person who takes this route finds himself in a world with particulars but no universals, relatives but no absolutes, valuations but no values.
So from Cristina Odone (Melrose Place) saying in the June 97’ Daily Telegraph that, “What’s right is what you feel,” to Ernest Hemingway’s creed: “What is moral is what you feel good after, and what is immoral is what you feel bad after,” all this does as a philosophy of evolutionary naturalism is create people who will try to enforce their “will and way” above others.
This is why the “Hitlers” and “Stalins” will always exist! When the moral imperatives of God are thrown to the wayside, it creates a power vacuum. This is why the atheist has no real way to say what is good or bad for any individual besides himself – objectively. This, I believe, drove Bertrand Russell to a solemn grave, and Nietzsche insane. In fact, it was Nietzsche who said that the consequences of the death of God would penetrate every avenue of life, and that this, in-and-of-itself, would be unbearable. Nietzsche went on to say, because God had died in the nineteenth century, there would be two direct results in the twentieth century. First, he prognosticated that the twentieth century would become the bloodiest century in history; and second, that a universal madness would break out.
He has been right on both counts. More people have been killed because of ideological differences, and destroyed on the battlefields of geo-political maneuvering in the name of naturalism and might in this century than the previous nineteen centuries before it. Did you catch that; non-God movements have killed more people in one century than religion did in the first nineteen. Unfortunately we see this madness seeping into other areas of our society as well:
Newspapers in 1996-1997 reported two particularly shocking cases of infanticide. In one, a pair of eighteen-year-old college sweethearts delivered their baby in a hotel room, killed him, and left the body in a dumpster. In the other, an eighteen-year-old briefly left her high school prom to deliver her baby in a bathroom stall, left the infant dead in a garbage can and returned to the dance floor. Both events led to convictions for homicide.
Although these crimes were attributed to either a moral failure (personal or social) or to some form of mental pathology, Steven Pinker had a different explanation. Steven Pinker, professor of psychology at the Massachusetts Institute of Psychology and a leading popularizer of evolutionary psychology, says it is a genetic imperative. Writing in the New York Times, Pinker argued that what he termed neonaticide is not attributable to mental illness because “it has been practiced and acceptable in most cultures throughout history.” Rather, he went on to say, a capacity for neonaticide is hard-wired into the maternal genes by our evolutionary history.
AHHhh! Naturalistic morals (relativism) have struck again! And the only individual to strike at the core of these horrors that materialists have inflicted on the twentieth century is the theist (the Jew and Christian). This is why the non-theist will always have the “Hitlers,” “Stalins,” and “Maos” in their worldview as acceptable to their moral theorizing. They cannot assert objectively – beyond themselves – that those persons are wrong, it would only be their personal preference speaking. Sorta’ like chocolate or vanilla ice cream, or, brownies with or without nuts, Hitler… or Mother Teresa. They (the relativist) are neutered in the political and moral spectrum, or, if they do choose to take a value-laden stance, they are doing so in direct violation of their own doctrines and dogmas, thus, self-refuting their own claims.
One last item to point out before I call it quits, and then I will let the reader’s enjoy this small book of a post, this is from a debate that I and a graduate student had that went to California State University, San Francisco. If the secular view is the correct one, then the following must be a correct summation of the moral authority of such a view:
If Society, the will of all or the will of the majority [society says], is the final measure of morality, then all its judgments are moral by definition. Such a concept is an oxymoron – a contradiction in terms. An attorney once called a radio talk show with a challenge. “When are you going to accept the fact that abortion is the law of the land?” she asked. “You may not like it, but it’s the law.” Her point was simple. The Supreme Court has spoken, so there is nothing left to discuss. Since there is no higher law, there are no further grounds for rebuttal. This lawyer’s tacit acceptance of conventionalism suffers because it confuses what is right with what is legal.
When reflecting on any law, it seems sensible to ask, “it’s legal, but is it moral? It’s law , but is the law good; is it just?” There appears to be a difference between what a person has the liberty to do under the law and what a person should do. Conventionalism renders this distinction meaningless. There is no “majority of one” to take the higher moral ground. As Pojman puts it, “Truth is with the crowd and error with the individual” (much like Rousseau). This is tyranny of the majority.
When any human court is the highest authority, then morality is reduced to mere power – either power of the government or power of the majority. If the courts and laws define what is moral, then neither laws nor governments can ever be immoral, even in principle.
Another absurd consequence follows from the society says line of thought. This view makes it impossible to reform the morals of a society. There are actually two problems here; the first is called the reformer’s dilemma. Moral reformers typically judge society from the inside. They challenge their culture’s standard of behavior and then campaign for change. But when morality is defined by the present society’s standard, then challenging the standard would be an act of immorality. Social reformers would be made moral outcasts precisely because they oppose the status quo.
Corrie ten Boom and other “righteous gentiles” risked their own lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. William Wilberforce sought the abolition of slavery in the late eighteenth century in the United Kingdom. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for civil rights in the United States in the 50’s and 60’s. in Germany during World War II, Martin Niemoller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer challenged Christians to oppose Hitler.
We count these people as moral heroes precisely because they had the courage to fight for freedom. According to Society Says thought, however, they are the worst kind of moral criminals because they challenged the moral consensus of their own society. This view faces another difficulty with moral improvement of society. If society’s laws and cultural values are the ultimate standards of behavior, then the notion of moral improvement on a legal or cultural level is nonsense. A social code can never be improved; it can only be changed.
Think of what it means to improve something. Improvement means an increase in excellence by raising to a better quality or condition. How do we know if we have increased the quality of something? Only by noting that some change has brought it closer to an external standard of improvement. A bowler improves when she raises her average closer to 300, the perfect game. A baseball pitcher increases his skill by decreasing the number of batters he allows on base. If he strikes out every batter, he’s attained perfection. In either case, an outside standard is used as the measure of improvement.
To improve a society’s moral code means that the society changes its laws and values to more closely approximate an external moral ideal. If no such standard exists, if cultural values are the highest possible law, then there is no way for those standards to be better than what they are at any given moment. They can only be different. A society can abolish apartheid in favor of equality. It can adopt policies of habeas corpus protecting citizens against unjustified imprisonment; it can guarantee freedom of speech and the press. But according to this view, no one could ever claim that these are moral improvements but only that society changed its tastes. There is no moral ideal to emulate. Moral change is possible, but not moral improvement. Improvement means getting better, and there’s nothing better – in this view – than any society’s current assessment of morality. And moral reformers actually turn out to be unethical.