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Ricky Gervais and the Gathering Storm of Eugenics

Deacon Keith Fournier

February 03, 2010

CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) – Ricky Gervais is all over the television and the Movie Screen these days. He hosted the Golden Globes and is in one film after another. He is a recognizable figure in the contemporary popular culture.

Ricky Gervais is also a eugenicist. He promotes mandatory sterilization. This was evident in an interview he gave to the London Sunday Times over the weekend. He called for the mandatory sterilization of those whom he called “irresponsible parents.”

This was not an off handed comment by a controversialist comic. The interview makes that clear. He told the reporter there were “too many unwanted children, too many people who are poor and struggling…. If they all had a good quality of life, no one would complain. What there is, is too many useless people. Too many people who shouldn’t have children.”

The Reporter asked Gervais how limitations on having children should be applied. He responded “…..Yes, based on… stupid, fat faces. If there’s a woman in leggings, eating chips with a fag in her mouth, sterilize her.’ Not only is this not funny, it is dangerous. Some will dismiss his comments because he is a "comedian". However, popular culture is a barometer of the attitudes of the broader culture - and often helps to shape them.

“Comedians” such as Gervais are indicators of a culture in rapid decline. The phrase “useless people” jumped off the page as I read the interview. I had read a variation of it before. In pre-World War II Germany, Dr. Karl Binding, a law professor and one of Europe’s foremost authorities on criminal law, and Dr. Alfred Hoche, a distinguished psychiatrist and professor of medicine, laid out the results of a "study" they had done in two companion essays entitled "Permitting the Destruction of Unworthy Life."

In that deadly work they used the phrase “useless eaters” to refer to people in much the same way as Gervais did this weekend. They called for mandatory sterilization and laid the groundwork for the evil inflicted by the National Socialists.

Right before the turn of the Third Millennium, a University of Chicago economist and a Stanford University law professor released the results of a study entitled "Legalized Abortion and Crime." It made the front page of a number of national newspapers.

They argued that legal abortion had lowered the crime rate by eliminating many of the potential criminals. This was accompanied by a feigned claim of "neutrality" on the matter of legalized abortion - but the implications of the study were clear.

Eugenics has reared its ugly head throughout our recent history. Thomas Robert Malthus, a British intellectual, opined over two hundred years ago in his infamous "An Essay on the Principle of Population" that we would all be starving by now. He insisted that "population control" was the only "solution" to avoid a global cataclysm.

It was a lie then and it is a lie now. In our day, entire nations and cultures face the opposite problem of what he predicted. They now face extinction if their declining birth rates continue. We are living in a negative population phase of human history.

In Germany, Hoche and Binding argued that through their proposed eugenics ".....a new age will arrive --- operating with a higher morality and with great sacrifice --- which will give up the requirement of an exaggerated humanism and overvaluation of mere human existence."

Their term "useless eaters" relegated human persons to the status of property to be disposed of. So does the use of the phrase “useless people” by Ricky Gervais in this Times interview. It reveals a gathering storm, the acceptance of an evil idea, eugenics, which undergirds a growing culture of death.

Eugenic abortion has already been secured in our current positive law even though it violates the Natural Law Right to Life. It is called a "right", even though it is always wrong. The Stanford study noted the disproportionate number of abortions in poor and minority communities. It provided fodder for the new eugenicists, such as the Guttmacher Institute, which heralded its findings.

Margaret Sanger, foundress of Planned Parenthood was a convinced eugenicist and racist. She would have welcomed Gervais comment to the London Times. Her written record and speeches on forced sterilization make the comment pale in comparison. Her contemporary followers such as Planned Parenthood use words such as "freedom" and "choice" to hide a new barbarism behind a veneer of civility. However, their practices and profits promote eugenics.

In his prophetic encyclical, "The Gospel of Life," the Venerable John Paul II exposed what he called a "perverse idea of freedom" and reaffirmed the "essential link" between freedom and truth. In "The Splendor of Truth," another of his prophetic encyclicals, he encouraged all who truly cherish authentic human freedom to effective action by reminding us that "freedom itself needs to be set free."

In this age which trumpets an unfettered "freedom of choice" to take the lives of our first neighbors in the womb at will as the highest value, we must reassert the essential connection between freedom, truth and responsibility. The substitution of license for liberty is killing millions of people and destroying our culture along with it.

John Paul warned of "a notion of freedom, which exalts the isolated individual in an absolute way, and gives no place to solidarity, to openness to others and service of them." This state of affairs has, as the prophet in the chair of Peter warned, resulted from the "eclipse of the sense of God and of man typical of a social and cultural climate dominated by secularism."

The assertion by Ricky Gervais that there are “useless people” in our midst reveals a Gathering Storm of Eugenics in Western Culture. It is time for a public outcry and denunciation. The comments by this "comedian" are a deadly poison which will, if left unchecked, threaten our future as a truly free and civilized people.

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