Outrage: Christianity Today Mag Wants to Reconsider Margaret Sanger By Ignoring History
Christianity Today, founded by none other than Billy Graham, is not only the name of a popular magazine/global ministry source for Evangelicals, it’s a phrase that makes one wonder: “What is Christianity today?” I would suggest, in too many ways, it’s largely disconnected from the Christ that inspired it.
This week’s published article on the “social good” of contraception reinforces this in a piece, “Contraception Saves Lives”, praising eugenicist and Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger. Author Rachel Marie Stone, guest writer for “Thin Places: A Blog by Amy Julia Becker on Faith, Family and Disability”, reveals the disability of willful blindness toward Sanger’s reprehensible worldview.
“I do not mean to excuse Sanger for holding these views, but I do want to give the charge of ‘eugenicist’ a more complete background,” writes Stone as she chooses to give a selective background of the inarguably racist, elitist and anti-Christian worldview of one of the leading members of the American Eugenics Society. (If she wanted a more complete background, she could easily have watched Maafa21 and gotten a thorough perspective on the mother of Planned Parenthood.) Instead, she proudly tweeted: “I am @amyjuliabecker’s blog today, defending #MargaretSanger and talking about how #birthcontrol saves lives.” (Thanks to SaynSumthn blog for screen grabbing the tweet!) Stone has since removed the tweet and later claimed defending Sanger was not her “primary concern”. She listed it first in her tweet and the subtitle to the article is: “Reconsidering Margaret Sanger as one who was opposed to abortion but emphatic about the personal and social good of contraception.” That seems quite primary to me.
Her twitter responses further illuminated a cluelessness about the central figure in her article, stating in several different tweets that: “I believe I did not accurately estimate how great a distraction the Sanger example would be. In her early days, she was motivated by compassion for the least of these.”
Yeah, not so much. From Sanger’s early days (she established her first “clinic” in NYC in 1916) to her dying days (in 1966), her eugenic views about birth control and human life were despicable. Here are just a few Sanger quotes (from her own writings) that span the entire spectrum of her public activism:
- “Organized charity itself is the symptom of a malignant social disease…Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks [of people] that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant.” (Pivot of Civilization, 1917, Chapter 5, “Cruelty of Charity”)
- “Birth control itself, often denounced as a violation of natural law, is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defective.” (Women And The New Race, 1920, Chapter 18)
- “We who advocate Birth Control, on the other hand, lay all our emphasis upon stopping not only the reproduction of the unfit but upon stopping all reproduction when there is not economic means of providing proper care…We hold that the world is already overpopulated.” (Birth Control and Racial Betterment, Birth Control Review, February 1919, page 11)
- “…apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted…to apportion farm lands and homesteads for these segregated persons where they would be…for the period of their entire lives…the whole dysgenic population would have its choice of segregation or sterilization.” (Plan For Peace, Birth Control Review, April 1932, Vol 26, Number 4)
- “I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children in the world—that have disease from their parents that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically. Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things just marked when they’re born. That to me is the greatest sin.” (1957 video interview with Mike Wallace)
Granted, Stone somewhat alludes to Sanger’s eugenic views, but then excuses them because other “medical professionals” held the same ones. Well, they were just as wrong. From Sanger’s first public moments to the end of her life, her repugnant views never changed…just the semantics. After World War II, for instance, it wasn’t as popular to talk about forced sterilizations in light of the American Eugenics export of “racial hygiene theory” and the Holocaust that was based and implemented on its pseudoscientific lies. So Sanger suggested “voluntary” sterilizations of humans who were “unfit” to reproduce.
I find that certain liberals love their anecdotes but have such an aversion to history. It seems to be all about feelings. It’s all about the emotional devoid of the evidential.
I just returned from speaking on a panel at the United Nations, “Living Cooperation: Sexual Rights and Religious Rights at the UN”, which was part of a 2-week long conference for the Commission on the Status of Women (#CSW59). The panel consisted of 6 speakers. I joined 2 others from C-Fam (Center for Family and Human Rights) who shared a pro-life/pro-family worldview. Three other speakers (SisterSong, Muslims for Progressive Values, and International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission), and the moderator shared a pro-abortion, pro-redefined-family/LGBT worldview. The conversation was wonderfully respectful and allowed some great dialogue. The interesting commonality among those who advocated for abortion and LGBT “rights” was that feelings were the basis of truth…not biological facts, not history, not statistics…just the emotional.
Monica Simpson, the ever-affable Executive Director of SisterSong, made the common claim about abortion reducing maternal mortality using Georgia as an example (giving rates but not actual numbers). Just to clarify, in 2007, 548 women sadly died throughout the entire United States from pregnancy complications; there were over 1.2 million abortions. I responded to Simpson that the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in America plummeted from 574.3 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1917 to 26.1 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1970 all without legalizing abortion (see infographic). It was medical advances like penicillin and sterilized medical equipment and environments and better healthcare that led to this drastic decline in deaths—not abortion and not contraception.
Better healthcare for women before, during and after pregnancy is the solution–not cancer-causing oral contraceptives, bone-density reducing Depo Provera, and billion-dollar population-control organizations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (promoted in her article) which believes in achieving a very eugenic “zero population growth” (because humans, in the pseudoscience of eugenics, are the scourge upon the earth…well, at least those deemed “less fit” to live). In this alarmist TED presentation that addresses the need to stop population growth to “save the planet” (see video here starting at 2:28), Bill Gates says: “First we got population. The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.” How do vaccinations reduce population growth? How does better healthcare reduce population growth? Only efforts like sterilization, birth control and abortion prevent and/or eliminate reproduction. This may explain why the Gates Foundation gives millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood.
Perhaps Stone, like many other liberal evangelicals, is naïve about global “family planning” funding and that it is inseparable from abortion. Perhaps Stone would rather ignore the 320% risk increase of Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) that women who use oral contraceptives (OC) face over those who don’t use OC (Louise Brinton, Ph.D., Branch Chief and Senior Investigator of the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute, was one of the lead researchers in this study that is ignored by her own employer). Perhaps Stone knows nothing of the clandestine and immoral Depo-Provera human experiments and how the injectable drug is aimed at primarily African countries. It is, by the way, the “birth control” choice of Melinda Gates’ efforts.
Stone uses old disputed data that, if one spent any time researching, would realize is a conjured stat from the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization (WHO). She promotes the false narrative of 68,000 women dying from “unsafe” abortions, globally, as proof for the need for contraception. Guttmacher has revised this “stat” to 47,000 several years ago, although it doesn’t change the fact that the Planned Parenthood-funded organization cites the WHO as the source of the data, who then cites Guttmacher as the source of the data. Nice circular citation. She does realize, I hope, that abortion is always unsafe for at least one of the human beings involved and often for both mother and child (whether in a legal or an illegal abortion).
In fact, Stone then plugs a “study” done by Guttmacher (although her link goes nowhere, this is the study she’s regurgitating) that extols all of the alleged “benefits” of contraception with the typical unsubstantiated “stats” that the pro-abortion think tank is known for. The study is jointly done, by the way, by the UNFPA (formerly known as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities but now with the acronym-challenged name of United Nations Population Fund) which has been instrumentally involved in supporting and enabling China’s barbaric One-Child Policy. Contraception, here in the U.S., has not reduced our national unintended pregnancy rate. In 1995, according to the CDC, that rate was 49%. Twenty years later, even Guttmacher admits that the rate has only increased; it is 51% today. So with more access to contraception than ever before, we face more unintended pregnancies. And Guttmacher declared: “The truth is that behind virtually every abortion is an unintended pregnancy.” So, if there seems to be a correlation between higher contraceptive use and “unintended” pregnancy (which leads to abortion), shouldn’t there be a more honest conversation about all of this?
One would think that Stone, as a professing Christian, would do more to discover truth since it’s Truth that truly saves people lives, not birth control.
[…] did not take long before educated pro-lifers online fired […]
Absolutely wonderful response! This refusal to whitewash Sanger is how every Christian should have responded to that execrable piece.
Just one further comment from me. Anyone who was surprised that this appeared at CT hasn’t been paying attention. I know the rot started long ago, but it reached full bloom six years ago when they debuted The new women’s blog, her.menuetics
From post one that blog has seemed to have a central goal of sticking it to orthodox Cheustian morality and has presented morally muddy views on everything from 50 Shades to IVF with PGD to cull defective embryos. So, the appearance of this column on the CT hosted blog of one contributor to her.menuetics that was authored by another contributor is not surprising at all.
Ack! *Christian morality
Wonderful response to the CT fiasco.
I read a wide variety of print & online media, but remain extremely pleased with what World Magazine puts out. Would that more people read what World offers.
I saw a comment on the article when I posted my original comment that said: “…all of you complaining about this have not commented with a better alternative!…” It really resonated with me and I finally decided to come back and say what I would do different….Instead of telling these women who’s husbands see them as property(basically it sounds like they force their wives to have sex…) and will not try Natural Family Planning they need ‘the pill’.
If I went to my annual check up and said I need birth control because my husband makes me have sex with him even if I say “no” I sure hope the Dr. would not shrug and say “yes for sure you need to be on birth control then.” I hope she would say “We can get you help to get out of this situation”
As a Christian group there should be training for these men to respect their wives bodies, for the women they should be taught how to defend themselves. Nowhere does the Bible say a woman is required to allow herself to be raped by anyone-husband included.
I know it is saying a lot but the heart of the matter and the people involved NEEDS to change – throwing pills at them is a band-aid to a much deeper problem. As I am sure many have mentioned there are a LOT of bad side effects of pills too.