Jaffe Memo: Part 7, Religion, Politics, Scientism, Climate Change, and Secular Humanism
|January 1, 2012||Posted by Anthony under abortion, Blog, eugenics, General, Global Warming, Obama, politics, science, scientism, Secular Humanism|
This series began as a reflection of the contents of the Jaffe Memo, a Planned Parenthood document from 1969 that discussed ideas for handling the ‘population’ crisis. This memo succinctly lays bear an agenda that has been in play since before the Civil War, and as I have demonstrated in previous parts of this series (and elsewhere), is still very much with us today. The problem, as I have argued, is that many issues that are in front of us today for consideration were actually put forward by the liberal progressives at the turn of the century, who hoped at the time that measures such as a minimum wage, compulsory sterlization, etc, could reduce the number of ‘undesirables’ in society. They usually meant: black people.
It has been the point of this series to argue that ‘religion’ and ‘politics’ must mix. That is, our values must inform our politics. This would go without saying- after all, if our values aren’t informing our politics, what is informing our politics? However, there is a prevailing notion that religious people are not allowed to have their values inform their politics, because that would be ‘forcing your religious views’ on another. Christians themselves have accepted this premise. The point of this series has been to show that this is an extremely dangerous premise to accept, as the Jaffe memo illustrates; if those measures were to be enacted, America would be under a tyranny that goes beyond the horrors of the Nazis and beyond the oppression seen in 20th century communism. Apparently, though, such notions are allowed public expression because they are ‘secular.’ If you were to object to them, allegedly you need a ‘secular’ argument against them. You would not be allowed to oppose them because the policies are, well, evil.
At any rate, as I have shown and will continue to show in this series, secularists are informed by values just as ‘religious’ as those they wish to exclude from the public sphere. Unless this be understood- by Christians in particular- we risk being dupes, helping to usher in laws and policies that further an agenda that we would never support, if only we knew what that agenda really was. This idea that secularism is ‘neutral’ is ridiculously absurd, and the idea that politics is value neutral equally so.
To carry on the defense of these assertions, let me call to the reader’s attention my conclusion to the last part, which invoked ‘climate change.’ Please keep that in mind while I take what may seem to be a detour.
Let me re-ask this question: “If we are not to allow our ‘religious’ values to inform our actions, and must always have ‘secular’ reasonings, what is left to motivate us?”
There aren’t very many options. One example that I think you could say is not ‘religious’ in nature would be whatever gives us pleasure. Why help the poor? Because it makes us feel happy! If we say, “Because it is right to help the less fortunate” this is making a moral judgement, and morality is the domain of religion, and we’re trying to exclude religion, as you recall. Another option would be to invoke brute instinct. No one would find this a particularly satisfying reason (“I object to the death penalty for no reason at all- its an instinctive reaction”) and I cannot say that I have ever heard anyone invoke it. (I have, however, heard a liberal say that the reason why they do ‘good’ things is merely because it gives them happiness.) The truth, of course, is that everyone pushing agendas in the public sphere believes they have a moral justification for doing so, and they clothe their actions in moral language (ala Saul Alinsky). But if we’ve eliminated religion from the public sphere, where can this moral justification come from?
By far, the most common rationale offered is to say that it is scientifically demonstrated, justified, or proved, or whatever. But is this really ‘value neutral’? Since the ‘evidence’ being invoked is in the public domain, given to us by extremely smart people who have no agendas of their own, with impeccable scientific credentials- who cannot be challenged- surely here we have something that is as ‘secular’ and a-religious as one can get, right?
To show that this is not the case, let me use the example of embryonic stem cell research and Barack Obama. When he reversed the Bush era ban on creating new lines of stem cells for Federally sponsored researched, Obama said:
“Promoting science isn’t just about providing resources, it is also about protecting free and open inquiry,” Obama said. “It is about letting scientists like those here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it’s inconvenient especially when it’s inconvenient. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.”
I certainly don’t mind objecting to the distorting or concealing scientific data to serve agendas. If only the ‘climate change’ crowd agreed! I’m a little nervous about the idea of ‘promoting science’ as ‘protecting free and open inquiry.’ Obama’s statement here flatly contradicts what he says later in the article about human cloning, which he says has ‘no place in our society.’ But isn’t that standing in the way of free and open inquiry? And why stop there? Imagine what we could learn if we restarted Nazi era research using live humans? They learned quite a bit. What could we learn today with modern advancements? Hmmmm…. what explains Obama’s refusal to allow human cloning after embracing embryonic stem cell research? It’s almost as if there is a MORAL objection somewhere… Hold that thought.
Of further interest is the statement, “we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.” ‘Ideology’ here no doubt would include religion and such. If you’re like me, you are curious about what constitutes a ‘scientific decision.’ Science refers to a methodology, a manner in which carries out an examination. The best case reading of this would suggest that a ‘scientific decision’ refers to decisions regarding what should be studied, or perhaps what kind of glass you want to make your test tubes out of. The worst case reading is that there is no such thing as a ‘scientific decision’ that is not driven- or limited- by an ‘ideology.’
If one sits down to scientifically address the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, one only does so because one is driven by an ideological perspective: one is interested in its effectiveness only because if it is or isn’t, human lives will be improved or not improved, and we prefer that they be improved. The whole goal of the ‘scientific decision’ to investigate the vaccine’s effectiveness is to further the ideological objective of helping people, which, we are to imagine, is a GOOD thing. But ‘goodness’ brings us back to morality! But if we really wanted to help people, there is no question that doing experiments on living humans would give us a great deal of useful information. Many people don’t know just how good the information is that was given to us by the Nazis engaged in vivisection! But decent people (and ‘decent’ brings us back to morality!) could never go along with that, even if it did give us loads of useful information, because it would be WRONG. And we’re back to morality and ideology. Using embryonic stem cells for research IS a ‘scientific’ decision that is driven by ideology, and NOT pursuing human cloning is also driven by ideology!
It is difficult to imagine any kind of ‘scientific’ inquiry that is not driven by someone’s values, ethics, or world view. After all, no one carries out scientific research by instinct. We may put forward some kind of experiment regarding pure physics, such as an experiment measuring the acceleration of an object… say, a bullet, and if we determine that the answer is 2,500 feet per second, how do we ask that result to make a decision for us? “Dear Mr. 2,500 feet per second, do you think we should fire you off into someone’s skull?” Of course not. Whether or not we go around shooting people in the head is a moral calculation, not a scientific one. Scientists gave us the atomic bomb, but it was not the ‘facts’ of the bomb that drove their concerns about its use; those concerns emerged from their moral outlook, that is, their religious perspectives.
Likewise, the fact that we can do tests on embryonic stem cells does not tell us anything about whether or not we should do tests on embryonic stem cells. It is not a ‘scientific’ decision at all. ‘Science’ is just the bludgeon used against those with a different perspective, telling them to keep their ‘religion’ to themselves, whilst all the while acting on their own ‘religious’ perspectives. [More on this tactic]
I am not here delving into the different moral perspectives that would lead someone to believe we should or should not engage in such research. You may very well think we should, but you will likely frame it in terms like “we’re doing it because of the cures it offers and the people it will help,” just as Obama did. In short, you will offer a moral justification. Now, why should your moral outlook be allowed in the debate, but not mine? Why did Obama feel compelled to label objections to embryonic stem cell research as ‘ideological’ in nature and the decision to engage in the research as ‘scientific’?
I bite my tongue; the long and short of it is that he is most likely your standard liberal atheistic secular humanist progressive. We can’t really control how those people think or behave, but once we come to grips with the fact that they have a world view and that they, like everyone else, tries to implement it in public society, we will be compelled to view their proposals with heightened scrutiny. We don’t want to be their ‘splendid dupes.’ We must be ready to act on our world view, even if they would like to relegate us to second-class citizens while they implement their own. But what exactly is their worldview? What are they trying to accomplish? How can we tell when a proposal reflects a subversive agenda and distinguish from the thoughtless ‘feel-good’ initiatives that liberalism often promotes, regardless of whether or not the initiatives actually help, rather than hurt?
In my studies of the ‘culture of death’ I believe I can identify several common and enduring characteristics. For example, since deference to God is not allowed in the public square, the question of who and what is human is reduced to the opinion of the secularists; that is, humans themselves decide what humanity consists of and who has value and who does not. In the 1850s, they believed that black people were evolutionarily inferior, and so could be treated as such. The Nazis felt the same way about the Jews. The liberals do not believe a human is a human until it exits the birth canal (with some exceptions- Peter Singer thinks the matter in doubt even until the child reaches two years of age), and behave accordingly. Obama, as already indicated, believes human embryos are not human persons, and likewise behaves accordingly. Every single one of these groups felt that they had ‘Science’ on their side and that ‘religion’ has no bearing on the question.
To put it bluntly, liberalism-turned-malignant always engages in population control, because they believe that they, and they alone- since THEY rely on science, and not ideology- are the final arbiters on how the species is to be managed. Since they believe that religion has no place in public policy, do not believe they themselves are religious, they naturally believe that whatever they do is acceptable and valid, and believe religionists should just shut up and go away.
There is no modern example of this malignancy at work than the issue of ‘climate change.’
I will discuss this in more detail in the next part, but note now the similarities in method and behavior. First of all, we have the notion that it is ‘scientifically proved’ that the earth is warming and that it is the fault of humans. For the purposes of what follows, let us grant these as actual empirical facts. Now, how do we get from these facts to “We must reduce the earth’s population”? The former may be facts, but the latter is not a ‘scientific decision’ but a value judgement. In typical liberal fashion, the value judgement is cloaked as ‘science.’ And we shouldn’t let our ‘ideology’ stand in the way of science, right?
Should Christians engage in population control? We may quibble over whether or not the minimum wage (which was originally designed to reduce the number of black people, believe it or not [see previous parts]) can be supported on its own merits, despite the fact that it was promoted by black-hearted progressives of the early 1900s, and imagine that it is possible to separate that fact out in our modern consideration. But what about a ‘one-child’ policy, such as the one that China has, and VP Biden recently refused to ‘second guess’? Can a Christian in good conscience accept the premise that we must ‘mind the herd’ that undergirds many liberal programs?
Could it be possible that in jumping onto the ‘Save the earth’ bandwagon, we are not being ‘good stewards’ of the earth at all, but rather useful idiots, helping to empowering power-hungry population control freaks and furthering their objectives?
The question is complicated by the fact that the people implementing these agendas are dishonest, and lie endlessly about their real purposes and objectives. But you can still sometimes catch them revealing their real intent. Frankly, though, it may not be important to know with certainty whether or not a secret agenda is in play. It may be more important to simply look at the net effects. If, for example, the minimum wage does harm black people, and you think that is bad, then you must chalk it up as, at best, a feel good measure that does not actually help people in the real world. At worst, you must consider it a real possibility that you are complicit in a ‘racial purification’ effort. If in pursuit of being kind to the environment (would that be a moral or amoral goal?) you suddenly discover you will be required to enact a global ‘one child’ policy, you should immediately suspect that there is more involved than concern for the environment.
It would be a shame if, unwilling to ‘force our religious values on others,’ we delivered the world into the hands of tyrants.