‘Hooray for eugenics!’ How American Bible-rejecting churches supported Nazi-like policies

by Russell Grigg

Many people have said or thought this since Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, invented the term ‘eugenics’ in 1883.[1] Since then, the cheerleaders for this offspring of evolution have included racists of many different nationalities, such as Hitler’s Nazis, as well as enthusiasts for the ‘right’ to abortion, euthanasia, and now in the 21st century, human destruction for embryonic stem-cell research. This is of course consistent with the belief they all share, namely that people are all just evolved animals.

The many violations of human rights, and the killings and genocides which are the result of eugenicist beliefs are well documented and so are well known.[2] What is not so well known is that, in the early 20th century, eugenics was promoted with almost evangelistic fervour in American élite circles, leading to the forced sterilization of over 60,000 US citizens[3] and even euthanasia.[4,5] Even worse, it was ardently promoted by many of the liberal ‘mainline’ churches in America.[6,7]

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