A friend asked the following: “Question… Can you tell me what Liberal Christian means. In short form so Lisa can understand….”The Gospel Coalition defines it thus:
Liberal theology is rooted in modern, secular theories of knowledge and has moved towards participation in the work of the church as the priority for Christians at the expense of delineating theological belief, which has led to the abandonment of many orthodox beliefs in many mainline denominations.
Likewise, a friend noted, “I understand liberal theology as subscribing to the Enlightenment presuppositions concerning naturalism. Thus, liberal theology is skeptical concerning supernaturalism. Like Occam, they look for a logical/natural explanation for everything, including the 10 plagues of Egypt, the virgin birth, and the resurrection.”
But this seemingly short definition is followed by a larger article discussing it’s origins. The enlightenment and the differing forms it took were also heavily influential on liberalism both in religious and political reals, as well as “critical theory” stressed by Jacques Derrida:
Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) was the founder of “deconstruction,” a way of criticizing not only both literary and philosophical texts but also political institutions. Although Derrida at times expressed regret concerning the fate of the word “deconstruction,” its popularity indicates the wide-ranging influence of his thought, in philosophy, in literary criticism and theory, in art and, in particular, architectural theory, and in political theory. Indeed, Derrida’s fame nearly reached the status of a media star, with hundreds of people filling auditoriums to hear him speak, with films and televisions programs devoted to him, with countless books and articles devoted to his thinking. Beside critique, Derridean deconstruction consists in an attempt to re-conceive the difference that divides self-consciousnes (the difference of the “of” in consciousness of oneself). But even more than the re-conception of difference, and perhaps more importantly, deconstruction attempts to render justice. Indeed, deconstruction is relentless in this pursuit since justice is impossible to achieve.
The following quotes by the author who put a warning shot across the bow of the modern “liberal” attack of the church… J. Gresham Machen. However, these quotes can in some sense be applied to the Constitutionas well (more on this in a bit).
The chief modern rival of Christianity is “liberalism.” An examination of the teachings of liberalism in comparison with those of Christianity will show that at every point the two movements are in direct opposition.
Here is found the most fundamental difference between liberalism and Christianity–liberalism is altogether in the imperative mood, while Christianity begins with a triumphant indicative; liberalism appeals to man’s will, while Christianity announces, first, a gracious act of God.
It is no wonder, then, that liberalism is totally different from Christianity, for the foundation is different. Christianity is founded upon the Bible. It bases upon the Bible both its thinking and its life. Liberalism on the other hand is founded upon the shifting emotions of sinful men.
The movement designated as “liberalism” is regarded as “liberal” only by its friends; to its opponents it seems to involve a narrow ignoring of many relevant facts.
According to the Christian conception, a creed is not a mere expression of Christian experience, but on the contrary it is a setting forth of those facts upon which experience is based.
But if any one fact is clear, on the basis of this evidence, it is that the Christian movement at its inception was not just a way of life in the modern sense, but a way of life founded upon a message. It was based, not upon mere feeling, not upon a mere program of work, but upon an account of facts. In other words it was based upon doctrine.
Faith is essentially dogmatic. Despite all you can do, you cannot remove the element of intellectual assent from it.
So here is a “Basic” rundown… but a good definition comes from IMPACT 360 INSTITUTE (a long article):
Theology matters because beliefs are connected with behavior. In addition to this fact, one’s theology also reveals the true source of authority serving as the ultimate foundation. Am I going to be faithful to Scripture or conform to what is culturally comfortable? A recent example of this is the book, Untamed, by Glennon Doyle, which is #1 on Amazon’s “Christian self-help” category and currently #1 on the New York Times best-seller list. It is written from a loosely Christian perspective, utilizes Scripture, and speaks about God, faith, Christianity, and morality. It also teaches that you can find God within yourself, promotes moral relativism, teaches that sexuality and gender are fluid, and blames the Bible for creating a culture that oppresses women.
Blogger, speaker and apologist Alisa Childers (author of the IMPACT 360 article [linked] above) talks to us about a dangerous form of Christianity invading our churches. (Alicia has a YouTube Channel HERE)
Liberal Christianity does not mean a “politically leftist form” of the Christian Faith. Although, the same “sickness” applies that lead to similar outcomes, whether in religious beliefs or political beliefs.
That is, true conservatives conserve ideas born from natural rights, as immutable and objective — written in stone so-to-speak… the liberal progressive sees things not “in situ” (situated in the original, natural, or existing place or position) but in flux.
Changing in that, modern definitions and understandings supersedethe previous outdated ideas and definitions as applied by those earlier thinkers. Dennis Prager talks about a popular saying when he was going to college in the 60’s/70’s, it was, “don’t trust anyone over 35 [years old].”
What do I mean about the same sickness?
Here is a must read (a bit long) for the avid fan of Dr. Norman Geisler who enumerates the founding “in situ” nature of the political conservationist. He deals with our countries Founding ideas:
Take for instance Joe Biden’s saying that he won’t be “satisfied” until half of the U.S. Supreme Court is filled with women who hold a “living document” view of the Constitution. To wit, a poll taken by C-SPAN a few years back notes “that 48 percent of voters overall agree that ‘the Constitution is a living document which should evolve to recognize ‘new rights’ and changing circumstances.’ That includes 80 percent of liberals and 66 percent of Democrats — but only 22 percent of conservatives and 26 percent of Republicans. Another 42 percent of voters overall say that the Constitution “should be interpreted according to its original words and meaning.” The survey found that 15 percent of liberals and 23 percent of Democrats agree with this, compared to 68 percent of conservatives and 64 percent of Republicans.”
To read the Constitution through an originalist framework means we seek to interpret and apply it in the way people understood it at the time of ratification. Human nature was no different or advanced then as now. In other words, we look at what supporters said each provision meant as they were “selling” the Constitution to the people and trying to overcome intense opposition to ratification. The assertions of supporters served as the basis upon which the ratifiers – the elected representatives of the people – agreed to adopt the Constitution.
The U.S. Constitution is essentially a contract forming a union of states. In any contract, provisions have a fixed meaning. [One author notes that The U.S. Constitution is a Contract, Not a Rule Book] When you sign on the dotted line, you expect them to remain constant over time. When disputes arise, you always attempt to ascertain what the parties believed they were agreeing to. The ratifiers acted with this expectation.
James Wilson was a Pennsylvania lawyer and politician. He was a key member of the Philadelphia Convention that drafted the Constitution, and one of its most influential supporters during the ratification process. His State House Yard Speech laid the foundation for the ratification effort. In 1790 and 1791, Wilson delivered a series of lectures titled Of the Study of Law in the United States. In one of these lectures, he asserted this was the proper way to interpret legal documents.
✦ “The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it.”
Think about it. Would you sign a living, breathing mortgage? Would you enter into a living, breathing employment contract? Would you sign a living, breathing agreement with a builder to build an addition on your house?
Of course not! Because you would have no idea what that contract really means. And you certainly wouldn’t agree that the other party to the contract gets to decide how it will be interpreted.
Progressives want a living, breathing Constitution because they want to mold society into their own image. They crave power. Originalism constrains power. And despite their lip-service to constitutional fidelity, conservatives want the same thing – power.
But the rule of law requires consistency. Otherwise, government becomes arbitrary. When the limits on government power become subject to reinterpretation by the government itself, it becomes limitless in power and authority…..
Essential Christian doctrines are open for re-interpretation….
Historic terms are re-defined….
The heart of the gospel message shifts from sin and redemption to social justice.
We are living in a day when liberal theology has made deep inroads in the church. Many professing Christians and even ordained ministers no longer believe in the authority of Scripture or the resurrection of Jesus Christ. How can people deny these essential doctrines and still call themselves Christians? In this message, Dr. Sproul explains that liberal Christianity is not Christianity at all. It is nothing more than unbelief.
In this in-person interview, I sit down with Alisa Childers to discuss “Progressive Christianity.” Is this new movement dangerous to Christianity?
What was the infectious inroad into Democrats thinking about the Constitution being alive and breathing? Darwinism and his evolutionary view of biology, via Woodrow Wilson’s impact on progressivism. This is a large excerpt from Gary Demar’s article, Charles Darwin, Woodrow Wilson, And The Evolving Constitution
“In Wilson’s book, Constitutional Government (1908), he came out in favor of implementing a Darwinian view of evolution to civil government.
“Constitutional Government praised the presidency as the central political office: head of the party. This was a self-conscious break from the Constitution’s view of the office. The Constitution does not mention political parties, and the Framers had hated political factions in 1787. Wilson, having switched to Progressivism, had to undermine this older political faith. He turned to Darwin as the solution.
“The framers had been Whigs because they had been Newtonians, he correctly argued. This Newtonian Whig worldview is incorrect, he insisted, and so is the Constitutional order that assumes it. ‘The government of the United States was constructed upon the Whig theory of political dynamics, which was a sort of unconscious copy of the Newtonian theory of the universe. In our own day, whenever we discuss the structure or development of anything, whether in nature or in society, we consciously or unconsciously follow Mr. Darwin; but before Mr. Darwin, they followed Newton.
Some single law, like the law of gravitation, swung each system of thought and gave it its principle of unity’ (pp. 54-55). The checks and balances built into the Federal government by the Constitution are now a hindrance to effective political action, he said. This language of balances reflects mechanism. We need to overcome this mechanical way of thinking, Wilson wrote.
“The trouble with the theory is that government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. No living thing can have its organs offset against each other as checks, and live. On the contrary, its life is dependent upon their quick cooperation, their ready response to the commands of instinct or intelligence, their amicable community of purpose. Government is not a body of blind forces; it is a body of men, with highly differentiated functions, no doubt, in our modern day of specialization, but with a common task and purpose. Their cooperation is indispensable, their warfare fatal. There can be no successful government without leadership or without the intimate, almost instinctive, coordination of the organs of life and action” (pp. 56-57).
Does any of this sound familiar? The Constitution is a “living, evolving document” to be directed in its evolutionary development by leaders who believe that government is the divine force for change.
So the next time you hear someone talk about how the Constitution is a living document, think of Woodrow Wilson, but more specifically, think of Charles Darwin.
(School is in!) Mark Levin shares his study of the U.S. Constitution and it’s Founding. The American Founding. Levin discusses the miracle of the death of the two men key to the Declaration’s appearance (Jefferson and Adams) on the Fourth of July. He then treads into progressive waters and the current dislike of our American Founding as compared to history. He reads from Woodrow Wilson (our first Ph.D. President) and his disdain for the Founding document and Principles. Then a reading from — really a counter point — Calvin Coolidge to cement the idea that these are eternal principles. Levin wonders aloud how Leftists can even celebrate the 4th in good conscience.
About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers. — Calvin Coolidge (POWERLINE)
BTW, if one does not know the history of the fourth in regard to Jefferson and Adams, or the eternal principles BEHIND the Declaration, here are some decent videos:
If you listen closely, Dr. Williams refuses to use the term “African American” in a simple discussion of the issues facing Americans:
In fact, in an old article, Dr. Williams spells out his thinking clearly… one post sums up Walter Williams main points well:
First it devalues the diversity within Africa – Africa is filled with nations and regions with diverse histories, peoples, ethnicities and leaders. Second, it perpetuates the whole trend that Americans and Europeans need to help them poor AFRICANS. So we devise buy a water bottle and feed a African child campaign – or consumeristic ploys that convince you to buy products to that .00000001% goes to some African AID/HIV fund where the marketing costs more than what is donated. Third – using the term African American is retarded b.c it takes away from the concept that Blacks ARE Americans – they are more American than anyone else who claims to be American because they built this country – they built up our profits, our surplus – they literally built Wall Street in NYC! They gave America culture – and all along dominant America stole their bodies, their labor, their minds and their rhythms – so this time around can we at least not try to steal their identities? If Blacks are telling us the term “african-American” doesn’t make sense -we should listen! Wouldn’t it sound retarded to call white Ameircans “European Americans”? It non-sensical to add a pre-fix to their “Americaness” because doing so takes away their Americaness. Fourth – Blacks whose ancestry date back to slavery are not from all over the African continent – mostly they were captured and sold from African’s gold coast – Western Africa fight – the label “African-American” is very inappropriate because many blacks trace their ancestory to the Carribeans – or to Brazil – or to Mexico.
While I am not a fan of Woodrow Wilson at all, he makes a great point in this WIKI article:
The term “hyphenated American” was published by 1889, and was common as a derogatory term by 1904. During World War I the issue arose of the primary political loyalty of ethnic groups with close ties to Europe, especially German Americans and also Irish Americans. Former President Theodore Roosevelt in speaking to the largely Irish Catholic Knights of Columbus at Carnegie Hall on Columbus Day 1915, asserted that,
There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all … The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic … There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.
President Woodrow Wilson regarded “hyphenated Americans” with suspicion, saying, “Any man who carries a hyphen about with him carries a dagger that he is ready to plunge into the vitals of this Republic whenever he gets ready.”
The modern Left is all about division. Separating people. And by separating [dividing], a culture is conquered:
….Most black families in the United States today have been here longer than most white families. No one except the American Indians can claim to have been on American soil longer. Why then call blacks in the United States “African-Americans” when not even their great-great-great-grandparents ever laid eyes on Africa?
It is certainly understandable that activists, politicians and others who wish to divide Americans for their own purposes would push the notion of “African-Americans.” They also push such things as the “African” holiday Kwanzaa – which originated in Los Angeles – and “black English” or “ebonics,” which originated centuries ago in particular localities in Britain, and is wholly unknown in Africa.
It is certainly understandable that activists, politicians and others who wish to divide Americans for their own purposes would push the notion of “African-Americans.” They also push such things as the “African” holiday Kwanzaa – which originated in Los Angeles – and “black English” or “ebonics,” which originated centuries ago in particular localities in Britain, and is wholly unknown in Africa.
Names are just part of the process of creating wholesale frauds about the past in order to advance special agendas in the present. Personal names are also part of that fraud.
Of all the reactions against the supposed “slave names” among blacks, the most painfully ironic has been the taking of Arab names instead. The Arabs engaged in massive enslavement of Africans before the Europeans began to and continued long after the Europeans stopped.
One of the many reasons for studying history is to prevent history from being misused for current hidden agendas. Names are just one of the things being misused in this way.
What prompted this post was a fellow I know — J. Giordano — excerpting a bit from the following book by Theodore Roosevelt. I excerpt more of it here for those who love history:
Theodore Roosevelt, Fear God and Take Your Own Part (New York, NY: George H. Doran, 1916), 17-28; the book is online for reading HERE.
But in addition to fearing God, it is necessary that we should be able and ready to take our own part. The man who cannot take his own part is a nuisance in the community, a source of weakness, an encouragement to wrongdoers and an added burden to the men who wish to do what is right. If he cannot take his own part, then somebody else has to take it for him; and this means that his weakness and cowardice and inefficiency place an added burden on some other man and make that other man’s strength by just so much of less avail to the community as a whole. No man can take the part of any one else unless he is able to take his own part. This is just as true of nations as of men. A nation that cannot take its own part is at times almost as fertile a source of mischief in the world at large as is a nation which does wrong to others, for its very existence puts a premium on such wrongdoing. Therefore, a nation must fit itself to defend its honor and interest against outside aggression; and this necessarily means that in a free democracy every man fit for citizenship must be trained so that he can do his full duty to the nation in war no less than in peace.
Unless we are thorough-going Americans and unless our patriotism is part of the very fiber of our being, we can neither serve God nor take our own part. Whatever may be the case in an infinitely remote future, at present no people can render any service to humanity unless as a people they feel an intense sense of national cohesion and solidarity. The man who loves other nations as much as he does his own, stands on a par with the man who loves other women as much as he does his own wife. The United States can accomplish little for mankind, save in so far as within its borders it develops an intense spirit of Americanism. A flabby cosmopolitanism, especially if it expresses itself through a flabby pacifism, is not only silly, but degrading. It represents national emasculation. The professors of every form of hyphenated Americanism are as truly the foes of this country as if they dwelled outside its borders and made active war against it. This is not a figure of speech, or a hyperbolic statement. The leaders of the hyphenated-American movement in this country (who during the last eighteen months have been the professional German-Americans and Austro-Americans) are also leaders in the movement against preparedness. I have before me a little pamphlet, circulated by a “German-American” organization, consisting of articles written by a German-American for a paper which claims to be the leading German paper in Illinois. This pamphlet is a bitter attack upon the policy of preparedness for the United States, and a slanderous assault on those advocating this American policy. It is, therefore, an effort in the interest of Germany to turn the United States into a larger Belgium—an easy prey for Germany whenever Germany desires to seize it. These professional German-Americans and Pro-Germans are Anti-American to the core. They play the part of traitors, pure and simple. Once it was true that this country could not endure half free and half slave. Today it is true that it can not endure half American and half foreign. The hyphen is incompatible with patriotism.
Patriotism should be an integral part of our every feeling at all times, for it is merely another name for those qualities of soul which make a man in peace or in war, by day or by night, think of his duty to his fellows, and of his duty to the nation through which their and his loftiest aspirations must find their fitting expression. After the Lusitania was sunk, Mr. Wilson stated in effect that such a time was not the right time to stir up patriotism. This statement is entirely incompatible with having a feeling of deep patriotism at any time. It might just as appropriately have been made by George Washington immediately after his defeat at the Brandywine, or by Abraham Lincoln immediately after the surrender of Fort Sumter; and if in either of these crises our leaders had acted on any such principle we would not now have any country at all. Patriotism is as much a duty in time of war as in time of peace, and it is most of all a duty in any and every great crisis. To commit folly or do evil, to act inconsiderately and hastily or wantonly and viciously, in the name of patriotism, represents not patriotism at all, but a use of the name to cloak an attack upon the thing. Such baseness or folly is wrong, at every time and on every occasion. But patriotism itself is not only in place on every occasion and at every time, but is peculiarly the feeling which should be stirred to its deepest depths at every serious crisis. The duty of a leader is to lead; and it is a dreadful thing that any man chosen to lead his fellow-countrymen should himself show, not merely so profound a lack of patriotism, but such misunderstanding of patriotism, as to be willing to say in a great crisis what President Wilson thus said at the time of the sinking of the Lusitania. This statement, coupled with his statement made about the same time as to being “too proud to fight,” furnishes the clue to the Administration’s policy both before and since. This policy made our great democratic commonwealth false to its duties and its ideals in a tremendous world crisis, at the very time when, if properly led, it could have rendered an inestimable service to all mankind, and could have placed itself on a higher pinnacle of worthy achievement than ever before.
Patriotism, so far from being incompatible with performance of duty to other nations, is an indispensable prerequisite to doing one’s duty toward other nations. Fear God; and take your own part! If this nation had feared God it would have stood up for the Belgians and Armenians; if it had been able and willing to take its own part there would have been no murderous assault on the Lusitania, no outrages on our men and women in Mexico. True patriotism carries with it not hostility to other nations but a quickened sense of responsible good-will towards other nations, a good-will of acts and not merely of words. I stand for a nationalism of duty, to oneself and to others; and, therefore, for a nationalism which is a means to internationalism. World peace must rest on the willingness of nations with courage, cool foresight, and readiness for self-sacrifice to defend the fabric of international law. No nation can help in securing an organized, peaceful and justice-doing world community until it is willing to run risks and make efforts in order to secure and maintain such a community.
The nation that in actual practice fears God is the nation which does not wrong its neighbors, which does so far as possible help its neighbors, and which never promises what it cannot or will not or ought not to perform. The professional pacifists in and out of office who at peace congresses pass silly resolutions which cannot be, and ought not to be, lived up to, and enter into silly treaties which ought not to be, and cannot be, kept, are not serving God, but Baal. They are not doing anything for anybody. If in addition these people, when the concrete case arises, as in Belgium or Armenia, fear concretely to denounce and antagonize the wrongdoer, they become not merely passive, but active agents of the devil. The professional pacifists who applauded universal arbitration treaties and disarmament proposals prior to the war, since the war have held meetings and parades in this country on behalf of peace, and have gone on silly missions to Europe on behalf of peace—and the peace they sought to impose on heroes who were battling against infamy was a peace conceived in the interest of the authors of the infamy. They did not dare to say that they stood only for a peace that should right the wrongs of Belgium. They did not dare to denounce the war of aggression by Germany against Belgium. Their souls were too small, their timidity too great. They were even afraid to applaud the war waged by Belgium in its own defence. These pacifists have served morality, have shown that they feared God, exactly as the Pharisees did, when they made broad their philacteries and uttered long prayers in public, but did not lift a finger to lighten the load of the oppressed. When Mr. Wilson and Mr. Bryan made this nation shirk its duty towards Belgium, they made us false to all our high ideals; for they acted and caused this government to act in that spirit of commercial opportunism which refuses to do duty to others unless there is in it pecuniary profit for one‑self. This combination of mean timidity and mean commercial opportunism is peculiarly odious because those practising it have sought to hide it by profuse outbursts of wordy sentimentality and loud professions of attachment to impossible and undesirable ideals. One of the besetting sins of many of our public servants (and of not a few of our professional moralists, lay and clerical) is to cloak weakness or baseness of action behind insincere oratory on behalf of impractical ideals. The true servant of the people is the man who preaches realizable ideals; and who then practises what he has preached.
Moreover, even as regards the pacifists who genuinely desire that this nation should fear God, it is to be remembered that if the nation cannot take its own part, the fact that it fears God will be of no practical consequence to any one. Nobody cares whether or not the feeling of the Chinese people is against international wrongdoing; for, as China is helplessly unable to take her own part, she is in practise even more helpless to take the part of any one else and to secure justice and mercy for any one else. The pacifists who are seeking to Chinafy the United States are not only seeking to bring the United States to ruin, but are also seeking to render it absolutely impotent to help upright and well-behaved nations which are oppressed by the military power of unscrupulous neighbors of greater strength.
The professional pacifists, the leaders in the pacifist movement in the United States, do particular harm by giving well-meaning but uninformed people who do not think deeply what seems to them a convincing excuse for failure to show courage and resolution. Those who preach sloth and cowardice under the high-sounding name of “peace” give people a word with which to cloak, even to themselves, their failure to perform unpleasant duty. For a man to stand up for his own rights, or especially for the rights of somebody else, means that he must have virile qualities: courage, foresight, willingness to face risk and undergo effort. It is much easier to be timid and lazy. The average man does not like to face death and endure hardship and labor. He can be roused to do so if a leader of the right type, a Washington or Lincoln, appeals to the higher qualities, including the stern qualities, of his soul. But a leader, or at least a man who holds a leader’s place, earns praise and profit unworthily if he uses his gift of words to lull well-meaning men to sleep, if he assures them that it is their duty to do the easy and selfish thing, and furnishes them high-sounding phrases with which to cover ignoble failure to perform hard and disagreeable duties.
Peace is not the end. Righteousness is the end. When the Saviour saw the money-changers in the Temple he broke the peace by driving them out. At that moment peace could have been obtained readily enough by the simple process of keeping quiet in the presence of wrong. But instead of preserving peace at the expense of righteousness, the Saviour armed himself with a scourge of cords and drove the moneychangers from the Temple. Righteousness is the end, and peace a means to the end, and sometimes it is not peace, but war which is the proper means to achieve the end. Righteousness should breed valor and strength. When it does breed them, it is triumphant; and when triumphant, it necessarily brings peace. But peace does not necessarily bring righteousness.
As for neutrality, it is well to remember that it is never moral, and may be a particularly mean and hideous form of immorality. It is in itself merely unmoral ; that is, neither moral nor immoral ; and at times it may be wise and expedient. But it is never anything of which to be proud; and it may be something of which to be heartily ashamed. It is a wicked thing to be neutral between right and wrong. Impartiality does not mean neutrality. Impartial justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but in finding out the right and uphold ing it, wherever found, against the wrong. Moreover, submission to an initial wrong means that all protests against subsequent and lesser wrongs are hypocritical and ineffective. Had we protested, in such fashion that our protest was effective, against what was done in Belgium by Germany, and against the sinking of the Lusitania by Germany, we could have (and in such case we ought to have) protested against all subsequent and minor infractions of international law and morals, including those which interfered with our commerce or with any other neutral rights. But failure to protest against the first and worst offences of the strongest wrongdoer made it contemptible, and an act of bad faith, to protest against subsequent and smaller misdeeds; and failure to act (not merely speak or write notes) when our women and children were murdered made protests against interference with American business profits both offensive and ludicrous.
The pacifists have used all kinds of arguments in favor of peaceful submission to, or refusal to prepare against, international violence and wrongdoing, and among others the very ancient arguments based upon the supposed teaching of the New Testament against war. In the first place, as I have already pointed out, this argument is quite incompatible with accepting the lesson taught by the action of the Saviour in driving the money-changers from the Temple; not to mention, incidentally, that the duty of preparedness has rarely been put in stronger form than by St. Luke in the direction that “He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.”
 See the excellent little book called “Is War Diminishing?” by Woods and Baltzly. The authors deal, as they necessarily must if truthful deal, with the mischievous activities of those professional pacifists among whom Mr. Andrew Carnegie has attained an unhappy prominence: activities which in this country for the last five years have worked nothing but evil, and very serious evil, to our nation and to humanity at large, and to all genuine movements for the promotion of the peace of righteousness. The writers instance Mr. Nicholas Murray Butler as presenting in typical manner the shams and perversions of fact upon which the professional pacifists rely for their propaganda, and remark that these pacifists, “who pride themselves on having the superior moral point of view, openly disregard the truth,” and ask “these professors of ethics, law and justice, these presidents of colleges, these moral educators, if morality is not necessarily bound up with truth.” The pacifist movement in this country has not only been one of extreme folly and immorality, but has been bolstered by consistent and unwearied falsification of the fads, laudation of shallow and unprincipled demagogues, and condemnation of the upright public servants who fearlessly tell the truth.
Joel Kotkin writes about the spread of “debate is over” syndrome. It’s a good article, but marred by the author’s surprise that this “embrace homogeneity of viewpoint” finds expression by the American left, “the same people who historically have identified themselves with open-mindedness and the defense of free speech.”
Actually, “debate is over” syndrome expresses a core tenet of American progressivism, and one that has been present from the beginning. It stems from the historicism of the German philosopher Hegel.
Hegel maintained that history unfolds through a “dialectical” process, in which each stage is the product of the contradictions inherent in the ideas that defined the preceding one. Within these tensions and contradictions, Hegel believed, the philosopher can discern a comprehensive, evolving, rational unity. He called that unity “the absolute idea.”
History consists of an inevitable and progressive march to that idea. The modern State is the final fruit of that progressive march.
It is natural for a Hegelian to pronounce a debate “over” even as it continues to rage. Having discerned the comprehensive rational unity — the absolute idea — positions contrary to that idea can be written off as things of the past.
Hegel’s place in Marxist thought is well known. But if anything, the German holds an even more central position in American Progressive thought, thanks mainly to Woodrow Wilson, the intellectual father of American Progressivism. (Theodore Roosevelt was also influenced by the German philosophy of Hegel’s day, as Jean Yarbrough has shown).
Wilson took Hegel so much to heart that, in a love letter to his future wife, he observed that “Hegel used to search for–and in most cases find, it seems to me–the fundamental psychological facts of society.” And Wilson’s writing about the State, about administration, and about the U.S. Constitution all are founded in Hegel’s historicism.
As Scott and I argued, one can draw a straight line from Wilson’s Hegelianism to liberal constitutional theory. Wilson endorsed the emerging, Darwinian-inspired theory of a “living Constitution” under which that document’s original meaning must take a back seat whenever it stands in the way of the march of History.
This most recent installment of Concepts is a great example of how history can often times be distorted. And while this critique will be a bit more in-depth in its unpacking of the issues above, it will still only be a partial (if that) excoriation of some of the above. But it is a great way to see how Progressivism infected the American political landscape, and not for the better. For lack of time, let us dive right in.
What has Progressivism brought us from its founding on women’s issues? Is it good or bad? One assumes, for instance, that the popular feminist personalities and organizations of our day truly are for protecting women from unfair treatment, right? The question is, is this “protection” apolitical or deeply rooted in a worldview set to harm a large portion of femininity? We will see in the posting below. How did the American Progressive movement influence the eugenics movement here and abroad (Nazi Germany)? Does it matter that Hitler, while in jail, read the many eugenicist experiments and forced sterilizations here in the states? Looking at this subject will demand a look into the past and racist beliefs of a Progressive heroin. These two inconvenient components of the Progressive party (radical gender politics and racist/eugenics) intertwined into their history since the early 1900’s should get one to reject this movement and maybe, in the least, consider an alternative viewpoint on the many issues above. Like, as an example, how subsidizing farmers and making a minimum wage, not just for women, but for everyone hurts the poor and the farmers.
Before looking into the claims that Progressives were a big help to women, we should first understand that Progressivism believes in a radical form of humanism.
Humanism is a philosophy, worldview, and religion that places humanity and the material at the center of philosophical inquiry. It rejects God and theistic religions, instead seeing man as the measure of all things. (Conservepedia)
In the early palpitations of the Progressive movement, they referred to themselves as “Liberal Fascists” [No Joke!], here is Jonah Goldberg’s interesting history of the term:
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 movement, when many Western elites were eager to replace Church and Crown with slide rules and industrial armies.
One of authors that influenced heavily both Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt was Herbert Croly, who was himself obsessed with Auguste Comte who “argued that humanity progressed in three stages and that in the final stage mankind would throw off Christianity and replace it with a new “religion of humanity,” which married religious fervor to science…”.They were the Social Darwinists of their day, and today they continue on in the positivists views of ethics, science, and radical environmentalist fervor that seem religious in their dogmatism and “crucifying” of fellow academics and political opponents. A large portion of the Democratic Party are ideologically Progressive in this regard.
Jonah Goldberg mentions in his chapter entitled, “Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of Liberal Fascism,” the major players and authors who influenced Roosevelt and Wilson [Progressives], noting that “Nietzsche was in the air,” and that Teddy Roosevelt was an avid reader of the German thinkers. (As a side note, it was during this intellectual time in Germany that Historical Biblical Criticism was born, late in the 18th century and early 19th century.) Which leads us back to Croly who asked “who would be the prophets and pilots of the Good Society?,” noting that “for a generation progressive liberals believed that a better future would derive from the beneficent activities of expert social engineers who would bring to the service of social ideals all the technical resources which research could discover and ingenuity could devise.” Five years earlier, Croly noted in the New Republic (the magazine he founded and that defended fascism and communism throughout the 1920’s) that the practitioners of the scientific method need to “plan and effect a redeeming transformation” of society whereby men would look for “deliverance from choice between unredeemed capitalism and revolutionary salvation.” Of course “revolutionary salvation” in social engineering is the go-to Liberal/Democratic position.
For instance, in feminism we see this radicalism embedded in a movement said to be concerned about rights of women:
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 is extreme to say the least, and it is this type of radical thinking that has made many women see the emperor with no clothes on, and she is not pretty. This radically political movement likewise looks forward not only to the overthrow of the nuclear family but of capitalism as well. Well-known feminist author and co-founder/editor of Ms. magazine, Gloria Steinem, said the following about feminisms end game: “Overthrowing capitalism is too small for us. We must overthrow the whole #@*! patriarch!”
How can a civil rights movement be interested in capitalism? As if chauvinism and patriarchal over expressiveness suddenly vanish with Marxist forms of government. As if Stalin wasn’t a womanizer. Obviously then, it isn’t the system of markets that create patriarchal attitudes.It is, however, free markets and government that afforded women the opportunity to create equal rights under the law. Here of course what these ladies are talking about are not equal rights under the law but using “special rights” to propose a whole new system of government, which drove Tammy Bruce, former president of the Los Angeles chapter of NOW as well as being a former member of NOW’s national board of directors, to say: “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-presidents of NOW, (and others) are involved with socialist or communist political parties or organizations.
So according to this view of [progressive] feminism by its recent founders one should be both a Marxist economically and a lesbian sexually in order to be a true feminist or believer in women’s rights. Women’s issues shouldn’t be political — we tell ourselves this at least. It is worth stating here that the women at the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum would disagree that feminism as popularly known today would be for all women’s rights due to the fact that they are routinely derided for their political and religious views. With this in mind we should define progressivism so we can better digest what lies herein, delineating where progressives and Democrats go astray from conservative thinking in their respective conflicting visions.
Progressivism is an ideology based on the idea that historical and social progress are inevitable. The idea of progress assumes movement toward some ideal or end that usually includes the perfectibility of human, nature and human society. Progressives conceive of this end in various ways: history may culminate in an era of absolute freedom, social and economic equality, or some form of utopia. Given the predilection to progress, the past is viewed as an inferior state of existence with various afflictions that wither away over time. While some progressives consider progress inevitable, others believe that political, economic, and social reforms are necessary to achieve it…. Progressivism is intimately tied to modern liberalism and the politics of the welfare state, which holds that the transformation of society can only be achieved by a centralized government that has sufficient power to remake society. In this vein, progressives take up causes that conservatives consider misguided. Examples of progressive reforms would include the Great Society’s war on poverty, the abolition of private gun ownership, and the Eighteenth Amendment. Conservatives criticize progressive reforms because they believe these reforms do not account for unintended consequences, are based on a misunderstanding of the human condition, and fail to accept a degree of evil in the world. Consequently, conservatives often conclude that progressive reforms end up doing more harm than good. For example, abortion, which has been a central reform in the progressive cause of liberating women from traditional sex roles, has helped achieve liberation at the cost of infanticide and the depreciation of human life. Thus, in many ways progressiveness is an inclination diametrically opposed to that of conservatism.
These “others” mentioned above are who we are talking about and who started the Progressive party in the early 1900’s. Which was the distinct separation of one political party from a free-market to one guided by the government via “enlightened” individuals. (I am thinking here of the messianic adherence and adulation given to Obama as a representative of the Progressive Democrats.) Here is a larger excerpt from my chapter on feminism from my book that deals directly with the radicalism in this Progressive vision and its foundations.
One author makes the point that gender feminists try and “force us all to conform to their agenda based on the unnatural ideology that there is no difference between men and women…. As feminist author Robin Morgan told a Phil Donahue audience, ‘We are becoming the men we once wanted to marry’.” This may explain the continued growth of the religiously conservative Concerned Women for America (CWA), and the continued decline of the National Organization of Women (NOW).
Keep in mind that “secular” feminism can be religious as well, Louis Frankel in an article that appeared in the humanist magazine Free Inquiry, suggests that women worship goddess – a female god. “Goddess religion celebrates the body,” Miss Frankel says, “including its sexual and reproductive functions. Rituals celebrate menstruation, birth, and the joy of sexuality.” Miss Frankel contends that “the values of Goddess religion are largely humanistic.” The move to goddess religion, however, is merely a halfway house to full Humanist theology – atheism. Says Frankel, “If we ‘need the Goddess’ to break the shackles of the patriarchal God, then once we are, we can thank her for her assistance and forge our own path toward freedom and independence.” Freedom and independence mean freedom from belief in God or Goddesses, i.e., atheism.
Now that we have discussed the religious aspects of the Gnostic writings within the context of a Women Studies class, we must come to grips with the setting in which feminism currently views its role in political and social life. As we will come to find, it is this political force that drives this re-interpreting of history and theology. Understanding that modern feminism is not necessarily monolithic is very important; however, at the university level it has become, or is becoming, institutionalized. So institutionalized, that many have asserted that it is simply impossible to oppose gender feminism and to be hired to teach Women’s Studies. Forinstance, the Committee on the Status of Women at the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) maintains that criticism of feminism or Women’s Studies is impermissible because it has a “disparate impact on woman faculty and chills the intellectual climate for academic women.“ According to Bell Hooks, a feminist writer and teacher, “feminist education has become institutionalized in universities via Women’s Studies programs.” The question is what has become institutionalized?
To better understand what modern, or gender feminism means, we must understand what liberal feminism represents.
The gender feminist believes that women constitute an oppressed class within an oppressive system: what ails women cannot be cured by merely achieving equal opportunity. As a class women are seen to be politically at odds with the patriarchy that oppresses them. Consequently, the gender feminist will never accept the testimonies of ordinary women, since the gender feminist believes that ordinary women have unconsciously bought into a system that oppresses them. Thus, without marshaling an argument… the gender feminist simply presupposes her worldview and reinterprets all contrary facts as examples of false consciousness.
This worldview permeates all that the modern feminist comes into contact with, including such things as history and religion. The gender feminist, then, has a radical perspective. As Professor Sommers continues her thought, “She [the gender feminist] views social realit[ies] in terms of patriarchal ‘sex/gender system’ that, in the words of Sandra Harding, ‘organizes social life throughout most of recorded history and in every culture today’.” Of course the history of this movement has been this radical for quite some time, as one liberal professor explains in his book The Dark Side of the Left:
Among the most important legacies of the 1960s and the New Left is the contemporary feminist movement.(a) Of course, feminism, even its more radical variants, long predates the 1960s. In the decades before the Civil War, radical abolitionists such as Stephen Foster and Abigail Kelley assailed the patriarchal family structure and the “slavery of sex,”(b) while nineteenth-century utopian communities strove to construct alternatives to the conventional bourgeois family, in some cases forbidding marriage in favor of “free love,” in others separating children from their Parents so the young could be raised by the collective rather than the “isolated household.”(c) The term “feminism” itself came into widespread Usage in the United States during the early 1960s, at the height of Progressive ferment.(d) Those who identified themselves as “feminists” in the 1910s sharply distinguished the new “feminism” from the old “suffragism.” For these new self-described feminists, the vote was seen not as an end in itself but as a means to achieve what one activist described as a “complete social revolution” in gender relationships.(e) Their aim was not only the political inclusion of women but a radical restructuring of private relationships between the sexes. For these early-twentieth-century feminists, the personal was political.(f)
Feminism, then, was not born moderate and then radicalized by the 1960s. From its inception, the term “feminism,” in the minds of both its proponents and its opponents, has been linked with radicalism and even socialism.(g) “Feminism,” as Nancy Cott explains, “was born ideologically on the left of the political spectrum, first espoused by women who were familiar with advocacy of socialism and who, advantaged by bourgeois backgrounds, nonetheless identified more with labor than with capital.”(h) Max Eastman and Floyd Dell, both self-proclaimed feminists and socialists, frequently used the pages of the Masses to plead the case for the emancipation of women, and Randolph Bourne saw Greenwich Village feminism as a leading edge in the radical assault on deadening bourgeois conventions.(i)
The liberal feminist, on the other hand, merely seeks legal equality for women and equality of opportunity in education and in the work place. It is this type of woman who wants what any classical liberal wants for anyone who suffers bias: fair treatment under the law. Unfortunately this is not what has been institutionalized in most of the Women’s Studies programs at the university level.
As I wrote in my larger post about the history of Planned Parenthood and a Progressive icon, Margaret Sanger, this history that is often forgotten by people like John Van Huizum, continently mentioning only the positives, not mentioning motives and never mentioning the negatives (the least of which is the inheritance tax):
Today, liberals remember the progressives as do-gooders who cleaned up the food supply and agitated for a more generous social welfare state and better working conditions. Fine, the progressives did that. But so did the Nazis and the Italian Fascists. And they did it for the same reasons and in loyalty to roughly the same principles. Historically, fascism is the product of democracy gone mad. In America we’ve chosen not to discuss the madness our Republic endured at Wilson’s hands—even though we live with the consequences of it to this day. Like a family that pretends the father never drank too much and the mother never had a nervous breakdown, we’ve moved on as if it were all a bad dream we don’t really remember, even as we carry around the baggage of that dysfunction to this day. The motivation for this selective amnesia is equal parts shame, laziness, and ideology.
Here is some of the Eugenic history I compiled in my post on Margaret Sanger, one of the enlightened leaders Croly mentions leading Progressive ideals:
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.
Going back to the defining parts of this essay, one of the major differences is how conservatives and progressives view “the perfectibility of human, nature and human society.” The left comes from a Rousseau’lian background where they believe the first man who, “having fenced in a piece of land, said ‘This is mine,’ and found people naive enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society” (Adpated from my paper — opening debate — with an SFU student, “Locke vs. Rousseau“).
Christianity is closely tied to the success of capitalism, as it is the only possible ethic behind such an enterprise. How can such a thing be said? The famed economist/sociologist/historian of our day, Thomas Sowell, speaks to this in his book A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. He whittles down the many economic views into just two categories, the constrained view and the unconstrained view.
The constrained vision is a tragic vision of the human condition. The unconstrained vision is a moral vision of human intentions, which are viewed as ultimately decisive. The unconstrained vision promotes pursuit of the highest ideals and the best solutions. By contrast, the constrained vision sees the best as the enemy of the good— a vain attempt to reach the unattainable being seen as not only futile but often counterproductive, while the same efforts could have produced a more viable and beneficial trade-off. Adam Smith applied this reasoning not only to economics but also to morality and politics: The prudent reformer, according to Smith, will respect “the confirmed habits and prejudices of the people,” and when he cannot establish what is right, “he will not disdain to ameliorate the wrong.” His goal is not to create the ideal but to “establish the best that the people can bear.”
Dr. Sowell goes on to point out that while not “all social thinkers fit this schematic dichotomy…. the conflict of visions is no less real because everyone has not chosen sides or irrevocably committed themselves.” Continuing he points out:
Despite necessary caveats, it remains an important and remarkable phenomenon that how human nature is conceived at the outset is highly correlated with the whole conception of knowledge, morality, power, time, rationality, war, freedom, and law which defines a social vision…. The dichotomy between constrained and unconstrained visions is based on whether or not inherent limitations of man are among the key elements included in the vision.
The contribution of the nature of man by the Judeo-Christian ethic is key in this respect. One can almost say, then, that the Christian worldview demands a particular position to be taken in the socio-economic realm.* You can almost liken the constrained view of man in economics and conservatism as the Calvinist position. Pulitzer prize winning political commentator, Walter Lippmann (1889-1974), makes the above point well:
At the core of every moral code there is a picture of human nature, a map of the universe, and a version of history. To human nature (of the sort conceived), in a universe (of the kind imagined), after a history (so understood), the rules of the code apply.
A free market, then, is typically viewed through the lenses of the Christian worldview with its concrete view of the reality of man balanced with love for your neighbor. Keeping the chasm between the two views and the beliefs of Progressivism in their utopian views there is this nasty idea of man being able to own something. The tenth commandment makes this more explicit when it prohibits not just stealing but also desiring to steal what belongs to my neighbor:
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exod. 20:17).
The reason I should not “covet” my neighbor’s house or anything else is that these things belong to my neighbor, not to me and not to the community or the nation. This assumption of private ownership of property, found in this fundamental moral code of the Bible, puts the Bible in direct opposition to the communist system advocated by Karl Marx. Marx said:
The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: abolition of private property.
One reason why communism is so incredibly dehumanizing is that when private property is abolished, government controls all economic activity. And when government controls all economic activity, it controls what you can buy, where you will live, and what job you will have (and therefore what job you are allowed to train for, and where you go to school), and how much you will earn. It essentially controls all of life, and human liberty is destroyed. Communism enslaves people and destroys human freedom of choice.
There is much more to be said about this in a paper I wrote for one of my seminary classes:
 Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (New York, NY: Doubleday, 2007), 21.  Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (New York, NY: Doubleday, 2007), 97.  Ibid., 100.  Ibid.  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.  Ibid., 300.  “Stalin was attracted to strong women, but ultimately preferred submissive housekeepers or teenagers. He undoubtedly enjoyed adolescent and teenage girls, a taste that later was to get him into serious trouble with the police.” Simon Sebag Montefiore, Young Stalin (New York, NY: Vintage Books, 2007), 235.  I am not here saying that the patriarchy is intrinsically bad either.  Tammy Bruce, The New Thought Police: Inside the Left’s Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds (Roseville, CA: Prima Publishing, 2001), 123. Ibid (footnote 103), 123-124:
Do not be mistaken: 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. Betty Friedan, a former Communist Party member, was only the precursor of the hijacking of feminism to serve other political interests. Some consider Gloria Steinem, the founder of Ms. magazine and probably the second most influential feminist leader, after Friedan, of the last 30 years, to be the one who began blurring the lines between gender and race issues. This might be surprising to those who are unaware of Steinem’s involvement in socialist politics. In fact, she serves as an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, which boasts of being the largest socialist organization in the United States and is the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. Good for her, but we should know this as we explore what factors influence those who are considered feminist leaders. Steinem’s influence, combined with the socialist sympathies of NOW’s immediate past-president, Patricia Ireland, explain the co-opting of NOW by leftist ideologues. A 1996 article in Ms. quoted Ireland as saying that NOW “must offer a clear understanding of what it means to be a feminist organization concerned with ending discrimination based on race, class, and other issues of oppression [emphasis mine] that come from a patriarchal structure.” Steinem then commented, “To be feminist, we have to take on the entire caste system.” Ireland details her support of the Communist Party in her autobiography, What Women Want. She admits that her socialist sympathies and participation in pro-Communist rallies in Miami (of all places!) were due in part to the fact that her friend and future lover, Pat Silverthorn, was an activist in the Socialist Worker’s Party. There were problems, Ireland explains, with Silverthorn and her friends being Communists in Miami. “Later, after we’d become close,” Ireland writes, “[Pat Silverthorn] would confide that she, too, had wondered how much more dangerous she’d made her life by openly professing communist convictions in that volatile, violent, commie-hating city… Working closely with Pat opened my eyes about the reality of living as a political leftist in this country.”
 Bruce Frohnen, Jeremy Beer, and Jeffrey Nelson, eds., American Conservative: An Encyclopedia (Wilmington, DW: ISIS Books, 2006), 679, cf. Progressivism.  Phyllis Schlafly, Feminist Fantasies (Dallas, TX: Spence Publishing, 2003), 133. “Feminist Spirituality as a Path to Humanism,” Fall 1990, 31.  Ibid., 35  David A. Noebel, Understanding the Times: The Religious Worldviews of Our Day and the Search for Truth (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1991), 437.  I would have to say what we find taught on our campuses is what is sometimes referred to as second wave feminism. The APA Dictionary makes clear the differences between first and second wave feminism. We will soon see when second wave feminism started.
feminism n. — any of a number of perspectives that take as their subject matter the problems and perspectives of women, or the nature of biological and social phenomena related to GENDER. Feminism has evolved from a largely political movement in the 19th century, focused (in the United States) on women’s suffrage and political and economic opportunities, into broader and more comprehensive academic, philosophical, and social movements. Although some feminist perspectives continue to focus on issues of fairness and equal rights, other approaches emphasize what are taken to be inherent and systematic gender inequities in Western society (see PATRIARCHY). In psychology, feminism has focused attention on the nature and origin of gender differences in psychological processes.
APA Dictionary of Psychology (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2007), cf. Feminism, 372-373.
 As David Horowitz points out:
On what basis should political activists in women’s studies departments be granted tenure and lifetime jobs? Professors of women’s studies at the University of Kansas are not elected. They are appointed, and in fact they are self-appointed, since new hires in the Department of Women’s Studies will be determined by the votes of the tenured members of the department. This means that not only is there no intellectual diversity in women’s studies programs now, but as long as ideological departments continue to exist there never will be. The tenured members of these departments know the ideology they want in a hire, and will always hire someone who believes politically as they do. An analogy would be if the Republican majority in the Kansas Legislature had lifetime jobs and were entrusted with electing their Republican successors. This is a prescription for authoritarian rule, not the kind of principle that should govern the educational institutions of a democracy.
Indoctrinate U: The Left’s War Against Academic Freedom (New York, NY: Encounter Books, 2007), 66; see also, Evan Coyne Maloney, Indoctrinate U: Our Education, Their Politics (DVD, On The Fence Films, 2007); also:
Women’s studies programs are notorious for misusing statistics and repeating misleading information on topics ranging from rape and domestic violence to the prevalence of eating disorders and the size of the wage gap. The rejection of academic rigor suggests that women’s studies programs have another purpose. It’s not simply a field of study for college students—an alternative to English literature, history, or politics. Women’s studies is a recruitment device for a political movement. As Shelia Ruth details in her women’s studies 101 textbook, “Today, as in the past, if we lose our rootedness in the women’s movement, in concrete social action, we will lose not only our passion but our heart, our meaning, and our whole point.”
Carrie L. Lukas, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2006), 177.
Academe, July-August , p. 38  Nancy Naples, Teaching Feminist Activism: Strategies from the Field (New York, NY: Routledge Publishing, 2002), 112; Bell Hooks, Feminist Theory (London: Pluto Press, 2000), 111.  Christina Hoff Sommers, “Do These Feminists Like Women? A Reply to Friedman’s Response,” Francis J. Beckwith, ed., Do the Right Thing: A Philosophical Dialogue on the Moral and Social Issues of Our Time (Boston, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 1996), 587.  Ibid.  In his second paragraph, Ellis quickly points out that he is a lifelong Democrat, a card-carrying member of the ACLU, an environmentalist, a supporter of women’s rights and a federalist. Richard J. Ellis, The Dark Side of the Left: Illiberal Egalitarianism in America (Lawrence, KA: University Press of Kansas, 1998), 193-194:
(a) See Stephen Macedo, ed., Reassessing the Sixties: Debating the Political and Cultural Legacy (New York: Norton, 1997), especially the chapters by Harvey C. Mansfield, Jeremy Rabkin, and Martha Nussbaum. (b) See Blanche Glassman Hersh, The Slavery of Sex: Feminist-Abolitionists in America (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1978). (c) Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Commitment and Community: Communes and Utopias in Sociological Perspective (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972), especially 86-91. Carl J. Guarneri, The Utopian Alternative: Fourierism in Nineteenth-Century America (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press), especially 197-211, 35363; “isolated household” quotation on 19q. John Humphrey Noyes, History of American Socialisms (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1870 John L. Thomas, “Antislavery and Utopia,” in Martin Duberman, ed., The Antislavery Vanguard: New Essays on the Abolitionists (Princeton, NJ.: Princeton University Press, 1965), 257. Robert F. Fogarty, All Things New: American Communes and Utopian Movements, 1860-1914 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), 106, 199, 215; also see 66-72 for a description of the Women’s Commonwealth, or the Sanctified Sisters of Belton, which Fogarty characterizes as “the first feminist collective in the United States” (66). (d) Nancy Cott, The Grounding of Modern Feminism (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1987), 3, 13-15. (e) Ibid., 15. (f) Christopher Lasch, The New Radicalism in America, 1889-1863: The Intellectual as a Social Type (New York: Vintage, 1965), 90. (g) Cott, Grounding of Modern Feminism, 15, 35. Ludwig Von Mises, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis (1922; reprint ed., Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1981), 74-92. Lasch, New Radicalism in America, 91. (h) Cott, Grounding of Modern Feminism, 35. (i) June Sochen, ed., The New Feminism in Twentieth-Century America (Lexington, Mass.: Heath, 1971), viii–ix, 33-36, 45-46. Lasch, New Radicalism in America, 91.
Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (New York, NY: Doubleday, 2007),, 81. [Refrence Notation] The following footnotes/section is from Thomas Sowell’s “A Conflict of Visions“
 See for instance: R.H. Tawney, Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2000 [originally 1926]); Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2003 [originally 1904]); Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (New York, NY: Random House, 2005); Thomas E. Woods, Jr., How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2005).  Thomas Sowell, A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles (New York, NY: basic Books, 2007), 27.  Ibid., 33, 34.  Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion (New York, NY: Freee Press, 1965), 80.  Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 261-263.