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The New Frontier of Freedom

2/16/2003 - 1:30 PM PST

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By Deacon Keith A. Fournier
© Third Millennium, L.L.C.

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"To claim the right to abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, and to recognize that right in law, means to attribute to human freedom a perverse and evil significance: that of an absolute power over others and against others. This is the death of true freedom..."

Pope John Paul II ("The Gospel of Life," No. 20)


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Several years ago, a University of Chicago economist and a Stanford University law professor released the results of a study entitled "Legalized Abortion and Crime." It made the front page of a number of national newspapers. Its claim was that legal abortion had lowered the crime rate by eliminating many of the potential criminals.

This allegedly "scientific" research with the attendant "statistics" it relied upon, was accompanied by a feigned “neutrality” claimed by its authors in reference to the most important human rights issue of our age, our continued abuse of children in their first home, their mothers womb. They purported to have no position regarding legalized abortion on demand, which is the current public policy of our nation.

This kind of anti-human thinking has continually reared its ugly head throughout our common history on this planet. For example, Thomas Robert Malthus, a British intellectual, opined over two hundred years ago in his infamous “An Essay on the Principle of Population” that we would all be starving by now and that “population control” was the only “solution” to avoid some global cataclysm.

This newer study from Chicago and Stanford, “esteemed” citadels of “learning” in the current academic culture, was heralded by new “Malthusians” and the various social engineers of our age as a “scientific” framework for social planning. The truth of the matter is that they are simply carrying on another form of anti-human utilitarianism in the name of “progress.”

The claim of Malthus has been proven to be absolutely wrong. In our day, entire nations and cultures actually face the opposite problem. They face potential extinction if their declining birth rates continue. We are actually living in a negative population phase of human history. Tragically, hunger still continues in our midst. However, it is not now, nor has it ever been, because there are too many of us.

Rather, the very existence of hunger is one more horrible evidence of the reality of something we Christians call sin. It is the wrong choice, the wrong exercise of our human freedom. In fact, we have redefined freedom. We have detached freedom from its moral constitution and have become slaves to our own excess. Truth must always govern our exercise of freedom if it is to be authentic.

The current global hunger problem is actually a distribution problem - not a people problem! With our extraordinary technological advances and advanced transportation capabilities, we actually have within our means the potential to alleviate much suffering! However, in our idolatry of self and our misunderstood notions of freedom, we have lost the bedrock civilizing principle of solidarity in our national and international relations. We have forgotten that we are “our brother’s keeper.”

This academic study was not the first time in the name of “science” (while using the language of verbal engineering) that intellectual elites have laid the groundwork for a eugenics movement. In pre-World War II Germany, Dr. Karl Binding, a law professor and one of Europe's foremost authorities on criminal law, and Dr. Alfred Hoche, a distinguished psychiatrist and professor of medicine, laid out the results of their "study" in two companion essays entitled "Permitting the Destruction of Unworthy Life."

Hoche proclaimed that ".....a new age will arrive --- operating with a higher morality and with great sacrifice --- which will give up the requirement of an exaggerated humanism and overvaluation of mere human existence."

Most now agree that this team of intellectual elites laid the framework for the eugenics program of the National Socialist regime before the arrogant megalomania of a Fuhrer even arrived on the scene. It was this “scientific” study that coined the term “useless eaters” and ascribed some human beings to the status of property.

Several years after reading of this study from Chicago and Stanford, as I again reflect on its audacity, I am struck by its profanely consistent logic. "Come now," some would say, "we have learned the lessons of history. After all, this is only a study and it was certainly not being proposed as a justification for eugenic abortion."

Have we? The rationale of this study it is cut from the very same root as the “logic” of Hoche and Binding.

It is ...

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