The War on the Weak
Terri Schindler-Schiavo, Baby William, and the Anniversary of Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Vision
This afternoon the Florida Senate voted 23-15 to approve a measure which formally authorized Governor Jeb Bush to issue a one-time order reinstating Terri Schindler-Schiavo’s feeding tube. It is expected that the Governor will sign the bill and order the tube replaced. If this happens, America will heave a sigh of relief — at least for the time being.
But when you sit down for dinner tonight and enjoy a nice meal with your family, please remember that Terri Schindler-Schiavo is still starving to death.
Please remember that at this precise moment, her body hungers terribly and she is suffering from gross dehydration. Remember that she is starving to death by court order. Remember that the court ordered her to die even though she breathes freely without life support and smiles and responds to human interaction. Remember that Governor Jeb Bush had the authority to stop this execution even without an act of the Florida legislature, but refused to do so, a mistake that he may remedy tonight by signing the Senate bill. Please remember, too, that the same American court system which once ordered the involuntary sterilization of undesirable people, and has now ordered the execution of a weak person, may under similar circumstances someday order the execution of you or your daughter.
Remember also that while she was never allowed to stand trial for her life, and was denied the due process of laws promised under the United States and Florida constitutions, Terri Schindler-Schiavo is clearly guilty of the one crime that many twenty-first century ethicists agree is grounds for execution without trial.
Her crime: She is weak, inconvenient, and expensive.
Terri Schindler-Schiavo is what Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood and mastermind of modern birth control, abortion, and eugenics policy, described as “human waste.” As Edwin Black comments in his revealing new book, War Against the Weak:
Sanger was an ardent, self confessed Eugenicist and she would turn her organization into a tool for eugenics which advocated for mass sterilization of so-called defectives, mass incarceration of the unfit and draconian immigration restrictions. Like other staunch eugenicists, Sanger vigorously opposed charitable efforts to uplift the downtrodden and deprived, and argued extensively that it was better that the cold and hungry be left without help so that the eugenically superior could multiply without competition from the unfit. She repeatedly referred to the lower classes and the unfit as human waste not worthy of assistance, and proudly quoted the extreme eugenics view that human “weeds” should be “exterminated.”
Margaret Sanger It is appropriate to mention Sanger for two reasons: First, in many ways she is the American most responsible for masterminding the widespread acceptance of various forms of eugenics policies which are at the heart and soul of the court’s decision to kill Terri. Second, the court ordered the forced starvation of Terri to occur on the eightieth anniversary of the opening of the first Planned Parenthood clinic in America. What began as one clinic would fester into thousands, and a global movement which has earned Planned Parenthood the status of being the only organization in recorded world history which has surpassed both Hitler and Stalin for the sheer volume of weak and helpless human beings which have been brutally killed as a result of its influence. Sanger’s biggest victory, however, was not merely the gradual acceptance of her radical eugenics mindset by the courts, but the gradual wearing down of the resolve of the Christian community to oppose the birth control mindset, embrace all life, and care for the weak and those in distress. While few Christians would embrace Sanger in her most radical form, many have accepted her basic premises that we should manipulate the womb to accommodate economic “realities,” that some disadvantaged people would be better off dead, and that it is a mercy to “pull the plug” on the old, the weak, and the comatose.In her 1922 book, Pivot of Civilization, Sanger dedicated an entire chapter to the “Cruelty of Charity.” She wrote, quoting the great social Darwinist Herbert Spencer, “Fostering the good for nothing at the expense of the good is an extreme cruelty.” She pulled no punches when castigating those who would help the weak:
Organized charity itself is the symptom of a malignant social disease. Those vast, complex, interrelated organizations aiming to control and to diminish the spread of misery and destitution and all the menacing evils that spring of this sinisterly fertile soil are the surest sign that our civilization has bred, is breeding and is perpetuating constantly increasing numbers of defectives, delinquents, and dependants. My criticism is not directed at the failure of philanthropy, but rather at its success. The most serious charge that can be brought against modern benevolence is that it encourages the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents, and dependents. These are the most dangerous elements in the world community, the most devastating curse on human progress and expression.
Baby Goforth Prospers
The forced starvation of Terri Schindler-Schiavo on the anniversary of the opening of Planned Parenthood strikes home to all of us at Vision Forum. It has been less than two years since we watched some within the medical community, and even some Christians, argue that one-time Vision Forum staff member Joshua Goforth and wife Noelle should simply allow their twenty-three-week-old preemie William to die through starvation.
William Goforth — Two Years Ago The young couple was told that their child would be brain dead, blind, and miserable, and that the care of such a baby would significantly disrupt their lives. They were even told that, if the child could talk to them, he would tell them he wanted to die. The couple experienced tremendous harassment and persecution from people in the system, not only because they refused to withhold life support from the baby, but also because they insisted that the payment for their child’s care would come through private funds, rather than government subsidies. Two great things happened: First, the parents would not be budged from their commitment to life. God blessed this at every step of the way, by confounding the experts as baby William experienced victory after victory. Brain waves eventually emerged from the little boy who was deemed to have no brain waves. Today, he responds with smiles to his mother and father, has limited vision, and appears to be making small, step-by-step progress toward greater motor control. There is much work ahead for Baby William “the conqueror,” but the future is bright. To those eugenicists like Margaret Sanger who continue to influence our courts, a baby with special needs may be a “human weed,” but to parents like Joshua and Noelle, and the entire Christian community around them, a child like William is an angel of light and love who brightens our lives and brings joy to all.
William Goforth — Today Second, God raised up thousands of Christians to support the Goforth family with prayer and financial aid. Over time, the Lord providentially eliminated almost three quarters of a million dollars in medical fees. Vision Forum Ministries’ Baby William Fund was one of the tools used to raise a significant amount of money on behalf of Baby William. Today, there is less than $80,000 remaining in medical bills. We are grateful to the generosity of so many and are pleased to announce that next week Vision Forum Ministries will be presenting a charitable donation check for $5,000 to help further reduce these bills. Baby William will be two years old in January.
A Case of Murder
If Terri dies, this will be a case of murder. The clear culprits are the husband who sought the forced starvation, the lawyers who made the case for it, the federal judges who ordered it, and the actual physicians and nurses who are wrongfully carrying out the order. All of these individuals are party to a murder. It is no different than if a mother locked her dependent infant in a room for two weeks without food or water. If she lives, they are still accessories to attempted murder.And when it comes to murder, no one can claim “I was just following orders.” This defense did not work for the Nazi eugenicists at Nuremburg, and it will not fly for the American eugenicists in Florida. All who have participated are responsible.Remarkably, videotaped evidence has surfaced that Terri has actually responded to information that she will be killed. Her grief-stricken father, Robert Schindler, distributed a video which showed that Terri tried to get out of her chair when told that she might be killed. By releasing the video, her father violated a court order.
The Bottom Line
As we press into the twenty-first century, we need to recognize that the ethical issues will become more difficult, not less. We will fight for the foundational principles now, or we will simply be forced to live within Margaret Sanger’s satanically-inspired paradigm of death in the future. A few of these foundational principles are simply stated below:First, life is from God. There are no mistakes with God. All human life is precious and worthy of protection. Absent a clear, biblically delineated jurisdiction to do so, we may never take life.Second, we do not have the authority, let alone the ability, to determine the quality of another person’s life, no matter how weak they are and how miserable their condition may seem to us. Nor do we know what God will do with that “weak” person. Doctors are frequently wrong in their evaluations. Preemie babies can survive despite what doctors say. People come out of comas, even after a decade. But even if such “weak” people don’t survive, or never “awake,” man may not play God. Third, a biblical and common law murder may be committed by inaction as well as by action. Where a person has an affirmative jurisdictional duty to protect the life of another, but knowingly and willfully fails to perform a duty that would have preserved life, that person may be guilty of murder. Mothers must care for helpless and dependant infants who can not survive on their own. No mother can lock an infant in a room without food and water for two weeks and claim to be innocent of that child’s death. Similarly, adult sons and daughters must care for helpless and dependent spouses or parents in their old age. Any man who deliberately deprives his helpless wife or elderly mother of food and water so that she starves to death should be tried for murder.Fourth, the duty to protect the life of a person in distress remains until the actual point of that person’s death where the soul leaves the body. Despite the ever-changing medical definitions of brain death, we Christians must recognize that, as long as the soul remains in the body, a person is alive and must be protected from harm, regardless of how desperate their condition. We have an affirmative duty to take all normal measures necessary for the preservation of life, the most obvious of which are the provision of food and water, and basic life support where needed.The greatest weapon in our arsenal in the war against the weak is the power of a God-blessed, uncompromising, principled stand. This stand is communicated publicly through our open advocacy for those who stand with life, and our complete political intolerance of those who reject it, regardless of partisan affiliation. This stand is demonstrated privately through a passionate life ethic which drives and defines the life of the family and the Church as we aggressively advance the command to be fruitful and multiply, as we minister to the fatherless and the widow in their distress, and as we love the unlovely.