The cold logic of blue-bloods: Egypt revisited...
Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them.
Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. "Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, (and will) fight against us...." ...so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites. (Exodus 1:8-10a,12b)
The Egyptians were afraid of the Israelite's fecundity and their leader, Pharaoh, came up with an idea which he thought would solve the problem. This solution was intended to protect the wealth and privilege of his subjects from what he perceived to be the serious threat of the burgeoning population of Hebrew slaves. Though, like Herod's slaughter of the innocents, Pharoah's final solution has since become a symbol throughout Judeo-Christian culture of pagan cruelty and oppression, today his solution bears a striking resemblance to the strategies International Planned Parenthood Federation (I.P.P.F.) and the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (R.C.A.R.) propose to hold off what they refer to as "the population crisis."
What was Pharaoh's solution?
He ordered all male children born to the poor Hebrew slave women to be killed immediately. At first this was to be the duty of their midwives but when the godly midwives subverted his strategy, Pharaoh proclaimed that this responsibility was now on the shoulders of all Egyptians.
The connection between our world and the world of Pharaoh, the Egyptians, and the Hebrews of Old Testament times is obvious when we take a look at the attitudes and political solutions put forward by our own ruling elite...
Isn't it a curious thing that today one hears the most about overpopulation from those who are best able to provide for their own needs, as well as the needs of their families? Is this due to their being better informed on matters of global ecology and demography, or is it due to some other factor which has yet to be clearly stated?
Some charities are peculiarly the darlings of the privileged classes. We know, for instance, that the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Metropolitan Opera (or the Chicago Lyric) don't live off gifts from janitors and cabbies. I.P.P.F., R.C.A.R., and similar charities have what we can refer to as a "class-specific" appeal, also, and it's been evident from their inception.
David M. Kennedy provides an historical note on the support of birth-control charities by the wealthy in his biography of Margaret Sanger titled, Birth Control in America, published by Yale University Press. (footnote 1) Noting that even in the worst years of the depression (1932-36) Sanger was able to raise more than $150,000 to carry on the work of her National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control (predecessor to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, P.P.F.A.), Kennedy writes: "[Sanger's] career over the past fifteen years had brought her friendships with some of the nation's wealthiest men and women...Mrs. Sanger...listed such philanthropists as George Eastman and the Rockefellers among her special benefactors." (footnote 2)
What was true of wealthy individuals also held true for the social and religious groups which those people belonged to. Again, Kennedy writes, "Perhaps predictably, birth control won approval among those churches that boasted the most affluent congregations." (footnote 3)
What Kennedy says concerning the initial days of the birth control movement still holds true today. The only difference is that today the control of fertility prior to conception is not the issue; rather, the violent slaughter of the baby present in the mother's womb as a result of conception is the issue. A million and a half abortions per year in the United States show us that Margaret Sanger has lost her battle for birth control to be the vehicle which limits the population; today abortion has taken its place
Yet, though the battleground has shifted, the allies and the arguments have stayed the same.
During seminary I worked as a houseboy/gardener for a blue-blood Boston family on their private estate. The estate perched on top of rocky ledges framing a beautiful view of the Atlantic. Both the husband and wife came from old money and were deeply involved in the progressive political scene of New England. John Anderson's candidacy for the presidency got their complete support and, in general, they could be counted on to support politically correct benevolences.
One day the husband came home from work early and, having occasional flashes of extreme democracy, wandered outside to the part of the yard I was working in and volunteered to help. A rather large section of grass had become diseased and I was in the midst of digging it out and replacing the dead sod with new soil in which I would plant grass seed. It was a very hot summer day and, as we worked, a camaraderie developed which triggered a man to man sharing of minds.
I don't remember most of the conversation but the end of it won't leave me. With a note of deepest conviction, leaning on his shovel this wealthy gentleman looked me in the eye and said: "The greatest problem in the world today is overpopulation. We've got too many people. We've got to do something about it. That's why we need abortion."
Although I don't often get to see things so clearly, at that moment I felt as if I had been granted a tunnel of light straight into my employer's heart, and through him, into the hearts of other men and women of means. At that instant it all became very clear: The teeming masses of the inner-city and the third-world scared him to death. He wasn't ultimately concerned about the needs of the poor; rather, he was concerned about how much longer the family's wealth would last in a world where, as he had been led to believe, the resources available to support us on our planet were under greater and greater pressure with every passing generation. So, his support of abortion as a solution to overpopulation was anything but altruistic. It was raw fear, not just for himself, but also for his descendants.
For hundreds of years the privileged have been using "over-population" as an excuse to harden their hearts against the cries of the poor for relief. The ultimate solution back in the days of the Irish Potato Famine was to let nature run its course and prune the hordes of poor, ignorant, Irish. At the beginning of this century, Margaret Sanger suggested a similar solution to this same "over-population:"
More children from the fit, less from the unfit-that is the chief issue of birth control. (footnote 4)
Speaking of the welfare bums who drain our society of all its resources Sanger said:
In a democracy it is the representatives of this grade of intelligence who may destroy our liberties, and who may thus be the most far reaching peril to the future of civilization. (footnote 5)
The well-known historian, Will Durant, speaking at the :Sixth International Neo-Malthusian and Birth Control Conference" in 1925 echoed Sanger's concerns but took them to a far broader scope:
...to offset the so called 'yellow-peril'" the United States should "spread Birth Control knowledge abroad so as to decrease the quantity of peoples whose unchecked reproduction threatens international peace." (footnote 6)
Today there are many other doomsayers crying "Wolf!" To alleviate their fears, the ladies and gentlemen of our day give money and time to organizations such as Planned Parenthood, and the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights in the hope that somehow the yellow, red, black, or white peril will be stopped.
Really, though; the issue is not how many people the world's resources can support. For instance, most academics now realize that the global potential for food production far exceeds the demand in the foreseeable future. Rather, those who are wealthy ask how long it will be before the teeming masses who have less than we have will come storming into our land, forever ending our years of economic supremacy.
Let's be honest. Abortion is no solution to the needs of the poor-it's the last fortress for the embattled first world elites who would rather turn to the violent technological fix of death than to service and compassion.
Footnote 1: David M. Kennedy, Birth Control in America (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1970).
Footnote 2: Ibid, p. 227.
Footnote 3: Ibid, p. 169.
Footnote 4: Birth Control Review, May 1919, p. 12 as quoted in Kennedy, p. 115.
Footnote 5: Ibid, p. 117.
Footnote 6: Will Durant as quoted in Kennedy, p. 122.