left biblioblography: Allegories Gone Wild - The Roots Of Racial Totentanz

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Allegories Gone Wild - The Roots Of Racial Totentanz

Cross posted @ God Is 4 Suckers!

pest_totentanz_workshop I stumbled across this recently - turns out that Ben Stein actually won some kind of award for that mindless movie dreck called 'Expelled'. Actually, he's won two.

In this day and age of everyone getting a gold star, a trophy, or even a 'certificate of achievement' (available for a few bucks at any WalMart, OfficeMax or OfficeDepot), this hardly qualifies as more than a yawn.

For those of you unfamiliar with this particular nonsense, Stein attempted to prove that evolution was a 'dogma' in academic circles, blamed 'Darwinism' for the Holocaust, and other risibly specious claims.

While Francis Galton can inherit some of the blame (Darwin's cousin) by trying to apply the measures Darwin codified on a social level, his attempts to 'purify' the 'races' were dubious on ethical and moral grounds.

I note that my favorite primary source, answers.com, actually bypasses a singularly ugly chapter in eugenics history when bracing the subject.

I'm talking about America here, people. Specifically, I'm talking about American evangelists.


The National Purity Evangelist for the WCTU served as a lecturer for the National Purity Association, and a lecturer of the Correspondence School of Gospel and Scientific Eugenics. Her 1906 marriage manual, The Way of God in Marriage, exemplified an effort to weave scientific and biblical authority together into a virtually seamless argument. For this author, whose name was Mary E. Teats, children in the womb could be permanently injured not only by alcohol, but also by sexual intercourse during gestation and even by the mother’s thought processes while carrying her child. Echoing the starkly elitist rhetoric of activists in the eugenical sterilization movement, she proclaimed:

The great and rapidly increasing army of idiots, insane, imbeciles, blind, deaf-mutes, epileptics, paralytics, the murderers, thieves, drunkards and moral perverts are very poor material with which to "subdue the world," and usher in the glad day when "all shall know the Lord, whom to know aright is life everlasting." There are hundreds and thousands of men and women today to whom in the interests of future generations, some rigid law should say, "Write this one childless." Men and women whose habits of life are such as to curse their offspring, should be prohibited from marrying.

In a later section, she connected such unfortunates with Malachi’s prophetic rebuke of postexilic Israel’s offering of blind, lame, and sick animals as sacrifices. She scoffed at the notion that "the lame, halt, deaf, blind, mutes, imbeciles, idiots, drunkards and moral perverts" could be properly called "God-given children," or considered a proper offering and gift to God.

How very...pleasant.

(Snip)One particularly virulent practitioner of a public rhetoric devaluating such persons was John Harvey Kellogg. Kellogg was a colorful character, wearing several hats including medical doctor, educator, theologian, health reformer and inventor of the cornflake. An excommunicated Seventh-Day Adventist, Kellogg used his magazine Good Health to reach a wide audience, and the guest list of his Battle Creek Sanitarium reads like a Who’s Who of American elites of the early twentieth century. Kellogg was convinced that poor dietary and moral habits were leading America down the path of "race degeneration." His solution was eugenics, not merely as a set of policies, but as a quasi-religious ideology.

Well, there goes another brand I'll have to boycott in the interests of social conscience.

To be fair, the author of the document in question is not only a Christian, but outlines religious detractors to the concept. But also to be accurate, it's a far cry from the idiocy Charles Colson tries to propagate when we hear about the 'erosion of Judeo-Christian values' (christlation: "Those folks that AREN'T LIKE US ARE FUCKING EVERYTHING UP!").

But, since the religious are big on beginning sources:

However, you are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people who belong to God. You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. - 1 Peter 2:9


Exodus 19:5,6 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then
ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people, for all the earth is
mine. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.

Yeah, we know who got the ball rolling.

'Nuff said./p>

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