Eugenics is a combination of two Greek words meaning ‘good’ and ‘genes.’ The vision of “Eugenics,” a term coined in 1883 by Sir Francis Galton - cousin of Charles Darwin - is to create a superior and a flourishing human race, devoid of all genetic imperfections and hereditary diseases, by eliminating defective people.
Eugenics posits an increase of ‘socially good genes’ by eliminating the proliferation of ‘bad genes’ within a given gene pool. Briefly, positive eugenics advocates marriages among fit people and negative eugenics limits procreation through sterilization and euthanasia.
Eugenics destroys our society by disgracing those with hereditary diseases and other abnormal medical conditions to a status of being ‘defective.’ When a ‘defect’ is identified, elimination of the subject carrying that defect gains greater priority than healing of that defect. This is the damaging service caused by eugenics to our society.
In contrast, the Bible alludes to people with defects as sick and needy. The Bible also terms all human beings as sinners – with an innate propensity to sin. Some sinners, such as serial killers or rapists, violate their victims rather irreparably whereas others, in comparison, commit sins that do not violate others.
Whatever the case may be, the Bible offers a cure for both the sick and the sinner. The cure is in God and HIS Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, so that those who believe in Christ will be healed of their infirmities and delivered from their sins.
a. Forced sterilizations of defective people (between 1934-1939, 350,000 defective people were sterilized).
b. Killing the hospitalized (In 1934, Adolf Hitler’s national euthanasia programme was aimed to free up 800,000 beds for war causalities).
c. Promoting abortion to kill defective children (Margaret Sanger, a proponent of eugenics and a founder of “Planned Parenthood,” is probably America’s largest cause for abortion at almost a million abortions per year).1
d. Infanticide on defective children i.e. Stephen Hawking should have been killed.
e. Killing people with diseases or other abnormal medical conditions (e.g. those who are disease prone e.g. Ludwig Van Beethoven, and the one billion obese people should be killed).
One need not be an astrophysicist to affirm the evil of killing. Similarly, any average human being can understand the similarity between forced sterilizations and rape – both violate a person’s sanctity, and hence are evil.
If this be the case, why are we discussing eugenics? Shouldn’t eugenics have been eliminated from our dictionary?
Whether we like it or not, eugenics raises its ugly hood under the guise of scientific advancement. Thus eugenicists posit cleansing of the society of its innate defects through eugenic sterilization, which is achieved by the alteration of the genetic basis of societal defects such as poverty and criminality.
Eugenics manifests in various guises. If you wonder whether forced or illegal sterilizations happen today, then prepare to be shocked. 150 female inmates were illegally sterilized in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation between 2006-2010.2 At least 8 women died after undergoing government sponsored sterilization procedures in India, which was conducted to curtail overpopulation. These women were paid a measly $23 to have the surgery.3
The purpose of this short essay is to induce a Christian response to eugenics. I have offered my response to eugenics and you can formulate yours. Christians should either endorse or oppose eugenics, there is no middle ground. Having said this, eugenics has infiltrated into Christianity, for quite a few christian leaders support eugenics.
What does the Bible have to say about eugenics? In other words, would Christ have supported eugenics? No, not by any stretch of imagination.
The Bible does not warrant its believers to either kill or violate anyone’s sanctity. Historic Christianity is all about loving, healing and saving people who believe in Christ.
The Bible reveals a sovereign God who creates and determines the length of man’s life. As a sovereign creator, God alone has the power to take life off this earth. This is an entailment of God’s sovereignty.
But man is neither sovereign nor can he create life. Therefore, man, through the science of eugenics, cannot usurp God to determine who lives and who not. Nothing, not even science, provides man the authority to unjustly eliminate life.
The Bible does not discriminate people (cf. Matthew 22: 39; Galatians 3: 28), but eugenics judges and discriminates people based on their social fitness. Eugenics promotes the fit and eliminates the unfit. Life that God creates is precious in HIS sight (1 Peter 2: 4) and God is impartial (2 Chronicles 19: 7) to both the fit and the unfit.
God heals the sick. Although in certain instances, HE does not heal all the sick, but unlike eugenics, HE offers strength to those HE does not heal, to live through their sickness. God does not eliminate defective people.
God does not kill the sick to promote a flourishing human society devoid of all imperfections. Instead, God offers the imperfect man a means to eternally coexist with HIM – the only pure and perfect being, through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, so that those who believe in Christ will be saved.
The Bible mandates care for the needy (Exodus 22: 21-23). We ought to care for the needy so to uplift them and enable them to live a better life. Nowhere does the Bible state that the sick and the needy ought to be killed so to construct a flourishing human society.
The Lord Jesus Christ was a friend of sinners and downtrodden (Matthew 11: 19, 25: 34-36). In fact, Christ condemned those who ignored the needy (Matthew 25: 41-43). So the needy are not a burden upon our society; rather the needy ought to be cared and provided for.
Thus far we have refuted negative eugenics. Positive eugenics is no better.
Positive eugenics advocates marriage between fit people (man and a woman). So, two ‘non-defective’ people (free from all abnormal medical conditions) should get married.
Even among non-defective people, a man with high IQ ought to marry a woman with high IQ. This is the compatibility proposed by positive eugenics.
Are not grace, love, trust, sacrifice, humility, compassion necessary for the success and longevity of the marriage, than high IQ? High IQ does not necessarily presuppose grace, love, trust, sacrifice, humility, and compassion.
What if two christians, one with high IQ and the other with low IQ, but both loving the Lord dearly and possessing grace, love, trust, sacrifice, humility, compassion in growing measure, decide to get married? This couple will most likely enjoy a long and a prosperous marriage than the couple with high IQ and less grace, love, trust, sacrifice, humility, compassion.
Christians should oppose eugenics for it violates human sanctity and denigrates the weak. Instead we should love the weak and help them to live a better life and lead them to the Lord Jesus who alone can save and deliver them.