Population Control: Pharaoh and Herod Are Alive and Well

Those who are biblically-literate will know that an Egyptian Pharaoh of 3,500 years ago and a Jewish King of 2000 years ago share at least one thing in common. They both sought to put to death a generation of innocents. Pharaoh ordered the death of all male babies (Exodus 1:16), while King Herod ordered the death of all male children under two years of age (Matt. 2:16).

Both were early examples of eugenicists and population controllers. We look back in horror at their genocidal plans, but things are not all that different today. There are still plenty of folk pushing radical population control and eugenics policies.

And the motivations may not be all that different either. Pharaoh wanted to cull the growing Israelite population in Egypt: they were a threat to his rule and reign. Herod did not want to see another contender to the throne arise (the promised Messiah), so he took radical steps to ensure this would not occur.

Today the motivations may not be dissimilar. Sure, any such human cull proposals are always dressed up in fancy rhetoric and humanitarian-sounding aims. ‘We must do something to save the planet’ we are told. But that often translates into something rather like this: ‘My Western lifestyle is cramped because there are too many of you (fill in the blank) around. My turf is being invaded by the swarming hordes, and I want them culled, so I can live a more comfortable life’.

A century ago the earlier eugenicists were much more forthright in their aims. They wanted ‘inferior’ races put down and only the ‘superior’ races preserved. Consider a number of quotes from the early promoters of eugenics (they all come from 1917-1920 issues of Birth Control Review):

“Birth control is the message of a new social philosophy dedicated primarily to the proposition of voluntary motherhood and racial betterment. By its advent a new epoch is dawning in the affairs of men. A new race shall arise, released from the dead weight of poverty, disease, almshouses, asylums, reformatories and prisons. It shall be a race more dynamic in its pro-social impulses, more keen and alert to digest ideas, a race arising from a finer mother- and father-hood, from firesides where children have been wanted and welcomed and reared in an environment of human tenderness and all that that implies.” (William Sanger)

“What is the average family of English intellectuals? About two and one-half. Of French physicians? One and one-half. Of married imbeciles? Six, or seven or eight, depending on the country. . . .  we need [birth control] voluntary or enforced, if necessary by celibacy or segregation, for the seriously defective. . . . Godspeed the day when the unwilling mother, with her weak, puny body, her sad, anaemic unlovely face, and her dependent whine, will be no more. In that day, we shall see a race of American thoroughbreds, if not the superman.” (Anna E. Blount, M.D.)

“[Woman’s] instincts are fundamentally creative, not destructive. But her sex-bondage has made the dumb instrument of the monster she detests. For centuries she has populated the earth in ignorance and without restraint, in vast numbers and with staggering rapidity. She has become not the mother of a nobler race, but a mere breeding machine grinding out a humanity which fills insane asylums, almshouses and sweat shops, and provides cannon fodder that tyrants may rise to power on the sacrifice of her offspring.” (Margaret Sanger)

“A portion of infant and child mortality represents, no doubt, the lingering and wasteful removal from this world of beings with inherent defects, beings who for the most part ought never to have been born and need not have been born under conditions of greater foresight. The plain and simple truth is that [these children] are born needlessly. There are still far too many births for our civilization to look after adequately; we are still unfit to be trusted with a rising birth rate. Our civilization at present has neither the courage to kill them outright quickly, cleanly and painlessly, nor the heart and courage and ability to give them what they need.” (H.G. Wells)

“The propagation of the unfit must be suppressed, and the accumulation of the debris which encumbers society must be prevented. Science has relieved us of famines and epidemics; science could rid us of the multiplication of degenerate types doomed to lives of wretchedness and incapacity. By what means? Malthus no doubt could show us the way.” (Henry De Variguy)

“Efficiency is the cry of the day. Let us employ eugenics in its highest form for the efficiency of the human race. We’d thus alleviate the suffering of the mothers of our race from too frequent child-bearing, a subject which men (who make the laws) could hardly seriously consider or have any conception of. We’d thus diminish the number of cripples and unfit, which are a burden to all of us, to whose upkeep every citizen, either directly or indirectly, contributes. We’d thus have children which mother, with the mother instinct, desired and wished for, and to which both parents were able to give proper attention and to bring up properly.” (Samuel Bernard)

“One general principle which I believe to be indisputable is that if natural selection is inhibited, if nature is not allowed to take her own way of eliminating her failures, artificial selection must take its place. Otherwise, nothing can prevent the race from reverting to an inferior type. The need is more urgent when, as in our country, the constitution of society favors the multiplication of the unfit and the elimination of the higher types. My point is that there is nothing inconsistent with Christianity in imposing, as well as enduring, personal sacrifice where the highest welfare of the community is at stake.” (Rev. W.R. Inge)

There are plenty more such quotes which could be presented here. Suffice it to say, with doctors, academics, intellectuals and even religious leaders making these claims, no wonder the eugenics movement advanced so quickly and widely back then. Of course it was only the ultimate expression of eugenics (Hitler and his Final Solution) that really put a dent in all this.

But these population controllers and eugenicists have not gone away. Today their language has been toned down but they are still in the same business. The human-hating humanitarians are still very much with us. Let me focus on just one recent example.

One of the first things the new US President did was to lift the so-called “Mexico City Policy” which banned US foreign aid monies from going into organisations which perform or refer abortions. Now billions of dollars of US foreign aid funds may go to overseas abortion providers and “family planning” organisations that promote contraception and sterilisation.

Lest readers are slow on the uptake here, let me remind them that the largest abortion provider in the world, Planned Parenthood International, was started by eugenicist Margaret Sanger, whom I quoted earlier. The monthly periodical Birth Control Review was created and edited by Sanger. So all the disgusting quotes I cited earlier were made by the same sorts of people who will now get heaps of American funding.

And Australia wants to follow suit. The Howard Government sided with the US Bush Government in banning such funding. But now the new Labor government is reconsidering its position on this. The Australian Greens, as expected, quickly came out calling for the restrictions to be lifted. Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said, “Australia is now the only country that continues to enforce these draconian restrictions on our aid programs.”

And with typical Green hyperbole and disingenuousness, she said, “34,000 mothers die in our region alone per year because of a lack of maternal health support. Australia’s aid funding could be better used to reduce these alarming numbers. We need Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith to show compassion and to act now”.

It appears that the Green idea of compassion is to promote the killing of babies. They may talk a lot about life but they actively support death, be it in the form of contraceptives, abortions or other anti-life policies.

National Senator Ron Boswell was clearly nearer the truth when he said that removing the ban would drain funding from such life-saving services as clean water, medicine and food: “Which services would we have to cut in order to provide abortion services? Medicine, a village well, food, birthing kits?”

Other examples could be mentioned. I recently wrote of the UK government advisor who advocated population control in the form of abortions to cut global warming. Other commentators were quick to pick up the ludicrous and totalitarian implications of all this.

Writing in yesterday’s Australian, Frank Furedi made this observation: “Throughout history, different cultures have celebrated birth as a unique moment signifying the joy of life. The reinterpretation of birth as a form of greenhouse-unfriendly behaviour speaks to today’s degraded imagination, where carbon-reduction becomes the supreme moral imperative. Once every newborn baby is dehumanised in this way, represented as a professional polluter who is a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions, it becomes increasingly difficult to feel anything other than apprehension about the growth of the human race.”

His whole article is well worth reading. He concludes this way: “The idea that civilisation is responsible for the perils we face today assigns an undistinguished status to the human species. The most striking manifestation of the loathing for everything human can be seen in the idea that we need a significant reduction in the number of human beings. As Theodore Roszak wrote in the New Scientist in August 2002: ‘There isn’t a single ecological problem that won’t be ameliorated by a smaller population.’ Now we have Porritt [the UK advisor] demanding smaller families in order to save the planet. So maybe the solution is the extinction of the human race? The argument for limiting family sizes in Britain is the first hesitant step in that direction.”

History is replete with examples of rulers and elites engaging in eugenics and human population culls. It seems the lessons of history have not been learnt. Our “humanitarian” human-haters continue to promote their culture of death. The packaging may have been tidied up a bit, but the same hatred of humanity remains.


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25 Replies to “Population Control: Pharaoh and Herod Are Alive and Well”

  1. The expression ‘Our “humanitarian” human-haters’ reminds me of the old joke:
    Vegetarians eat vegetables; beware of humanitarians!

    Sadly, it may not be a joke for too long.

    John Angelico

  2. As I have said in earlier posts this push by the Greens is really cultural imperialism. I remember Senator Peter Walsh excoriating Paul Keating when Labor was in government about a wrong economic decision based on appeasing the Greens. Senator Walsh labelled the Greens a bunch of basket weavers who want to put us back into the caves.

    I agree with Jonathan that Christians need to question their membership of the Greens and other ecology groups that are basically anti-humanity and anti-God. Let us also toss into that Amnesty International who have supported abortion rights in Nicaragua and have remained quiet about the persecution of Christians.

    Wayne Pelling

  3. One need only to look back a mere 500 years or so to the Mayan Empire where up to 20,000 people a day were sacrificed to appease the gods.

    John FG McMahon, Kolonga, Qld

  4. Thanks guys

    Of interest, in today’s Breakpoint commentary, Chuck Colson also speaks to this theme. He mentions James Lovelock who formulated the Gaia Theory. Evidently he thinks the battle to save humanity is over, and a major “cull” is needed. Says Colson:

    “According to Lovelock, humans can’t ‘react fast enough’ and aren’t ‘clever enough to handle what’s coming up,’ especially ‘since there are already too many people on Earth.’ He expects that ‘the cull during this century is going to be huge, up to 90 percent.’ That’s Gaia’s way of reducing human population to a level where they can finally contribute ‘to planetary welfare’.”

    See the whole Colson column here: http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=11056

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. It is all very dangerous and urgent. I’ve just read “Frida”, the story of a Rwandan girl who was caught up in the Rwandan massacre. The whole thing started with talk. The government began, through the schools, to assemble lists of people who were Tutsis and Hutu. People openly spoke of the Tutsis as cockroaches, vermin and a threat. The atmosphere built until the whole Hutu population erupted in murder against their neighbours, which lasted 100 days. But it all begins with words.
    Tas Walker

  6. “The master-builders of the Culture of Death collaborated – perhaps unwittingly – in creating an intricate game plan composed of half-truths, innuendo, and carefully placed academic fabrications craftily woven together and ensconced in a veneer of public relations finesse. Their individual salesmanship is second only to the gullibility of their audience and to the willing acceptance of their fare by mainstream media.”
    Part of the Forward written by Judie Brown – in the book “Architects of the Culture of Death” by De Marco & Wiker.
    Madge Fahy

  7. I really think the way to confront these people is to constantly ask them to lead by example.

    And then you just say, “Well, if you won’t do it, why should anybody else?”

    Mark Rabich

  8. The Exodus Pharoah and Herod the Great arguably had more justification for their actions (to remove a potential threat to their power base) than today’s advocates for planned parent-hood.
    Today’s advocates don’t even have that flimsy excuse, as the joy of childbirth, except just perhaps following cases of rape and incest, should be no threat to them. Truly though, the motives of planned parenthood are really the selfish convenience of enjoying the God-given gift of sex without the responsibility and joy of its consequences.
    Stephen White

  9. People,
    How do we respond to the argument that for a 2nd or 3rd world family an unwanted baby is destined to die a slow death of starvation? If they cant feed the mouths they have then another baby will mean starvation. They dont have the safety net that the 1st world does. Could the case not be made that on the lesser of 2 evils this is ( regretfully ) the way to go. Would it not be the case that we operate on the lesser evil principle to abort to save a mothers life from medical issues in the 1st world ?
    I dont feel too comfortable about the issue but it’s easy to finger wag from a 1st world society.
    I detest abortion as contraception/convenience in the 1st world for the record. Whats your thoughts people ? Is there a case for cultural relativism on this issue ?

    Doug Holland

  10. Thanks Doug

    But how is killing a baby ever a better option? It is certainly not a better option for the baby. And a main point of this article is about how the developed world wants to reduce foreign for worthwhile things (food, shelter) etc, so that this funding can be diverted to things like contraception, abortion, and the like.

    And we could develop your question a bit in another direction. In the West with the financial meltdown many people are without jobs and facing hard times. Some may not be starving to death but they are still really struggling. By the reasoning of some, we should put these people down because of the ‘poor’ quality of life they are living. That is the same sort of argument being offered.

    Plus there is always the adoption option for poorer families. Killing the baby never is any sort of solution.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  11. Doug,
    You superimpose Western amoral thinking onto the 3rd world. The 3rd world does not entertain such thoughts at all. They are glad for every new child, because it can add to the work force of the family and add to them more security of being taken care of in their old age. There is always sadness and regret if natural illness and malnutrition takes a child to an early grave.
    As I have said in another post, they regard any suggestion from the West towards birth control as a very definite attempt by the West to extinguish them as a people. They are already highly aware that aid from the West has stocked their villages clinics with death-control contraceptives rather than life-saving medicines. That makes a double-whammy attack on their population.
    Like Bill says, their culture has any number of childless people who the parents can depend on to raise the child and give it food and work to contribute to the household which has no child to help with the children’s jobs.

    Rebecca Field

  12. The thing that continues to come to mind when I read this article is how Hilter and his supporters stepped out and did what all these similar thinkers were thinking, then the world realized how drastic the outcome is, and rebuked them for it. But if we look around today we see that we are slowly heading in the same direction but instead of a leap into the pit we are climbing down instead. Trying the semi-slower approach to come to the same end.

    My question is why don’t all these people with their ‘brilliant’ ideas of exterminating the hindrances to mankind be the first to hop on the guillotine?

    I also agree with your comment Bill, that it is only when we devalue human life so much and start treating each other like animals that we can justify such atrocious ideas. We are all created equal in the image of God. And that’s a fact.

    Oliver Ins

  13. I think that the common thought coming forward today is one that getting rid of people is the answer. But in actual fact an increase in the population actually results in a healthier economy and stronger society. Those ideas are backwards.
    Oliver Ins

  14. The insensitivity of the advocates for population control to save the environment to me was embodied in the comments of Greens leader Bob Brown, who referred to the need for Australia to lead the way on climate change, as the fires were a “sobering reminder” of this problem. No expressions of sympathy for the victims in the light of the Victorian bushfire tragedy where 108 people – so far – have lost their lives.
    Wayne Pelling

  15. I have just come from a meeting where the speaker offered to pray for those who had a fear of MAN. To my amazement about 75% responded. This explains a lot of what goes on. We still have a lot of Herods among us who are afraid that others may upset their plans.
    Tom Wise

  16. I note that Bob Brown has said on a doorstep interview at parliament house that we need to put our arms around those who have suffered, but it has taken nearly 48 hours to get that response.
    Wayne Pelling

  17. Thanks Belinda

    I believe that for the moment the Rudd government has said it will not lift the ban. But the pressure will be on them to make the change. So you are right, we must keep up the pressure as well to maintain the ban.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  18. Bill,

    Recently you published a blog entry regarding calls by an EU Homosexual lobby to withdraw aid from Nigeria due to the government there not supporting gay marriage. In that entry you stated

    “So there you have it – a clash of worldviews. In the one corner are the “enlightened” Europeans who are still into colonialism and imperialism it seems. They want poor ignorant savages in the Third World to bow to their wisdom and their “ethics”.”

    Do you not see a level of hypocrisy here – you seemingly suppor the ‘Mexico City Policy’ and are happy that money is withheld from those agencies in third-world countries because it suits yours wisdom and ethics, but cry foul when the same tactic is applied in the Nigerian situation because it doesn’t suit your wisdom and ethics.

    Kathryn Burr, Byron, NSW

  19. Thanks Kathryn

    But of course it is the left that is guilty of hypocrisy here. They have always criticised the West for “imperialism” and interfering in the Third World. They have always argued what a bad thing colonialism has been.

    But I have never said Western involvement in the developing world is wrong. Indeed, I think much of it has been overwhelmingly beneficial. Thus while colonialism may have been a mixed bag, on the whole, it did a lot of good in bringing the helpful elements of Western civilisation to the developing world.

    Setting up hospitals, helping the poor and needy, establishing schools, teaching literacy, working with women and children, etc, were all valuable goods. Thus I have never said the West should have just minded its own business and stayed out of the developing world. It is the left that has argued for this. I am glad the West did reach out to the rest of the world, as are millions of people from these nations who have greatly benefited from such contact.

    All that I have argued – and most consistently – is that if and when Western influence is brought to bear upon a Third World nation, it should be for that nation’s good. Killing a nation’s babies is not for its good. So as long as the West is really helping another nation, then by all means, let it continue.

    Thus the only charge of hypocrisy that sticks is that directed to your side – the left.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  20. Hi Kathryn,

    One thing I would add to Bill’s response that might also be considered. Abortion is anti-life, and so is homosexual behaviour. (Never mind what God has to say about it – which is very clear.) It may not quite be so obvious in the latter, but it is still true. Consider this – no person who says he or she is homosexual, were themselves begotten by homosexual behaviour. Every ‘gay’, even the most rabid activist, relies on men & women doing what comes naturally as two halves to even draw breath themselves! (I’ll leave aside the small percentage of artificial methods for now, seeing as they are still combining an egg with sperm, does it really need to be mentioned?) How much credibility is left here when the subject is a nation’s prosperity and future? Not much.

    Foreign aid shouldn’t just feed people in the short term, but enable them to feed and care for themselves for the future. Otherwise it is throwing good money after bad. (And people are still any nation’s greatest resource, no matter what the new generation of eugenicists say.) All this is pretty hard to do when babies are routinely killed or behaviour that by definition cannot reproduce for the next generation effectively gets promoted.

    The issue, as Bill has pointed out, is not really foreign “involvement” per se, but what aid actually helps. I think life is a good thing, surely we can agree about that?

    Mark Rabich

  21. Bill,

    Tell me – what charge of hypocrisy have you so confidently identified against the left?

    You’re pretty tough on straw man arguments – you’ve set up a pretty big one yourself – by implying that the left has argued against setting up hospitals, helping the poor and needy etc.

    What the left have being arguing against is the imposing of one culture over another – can you find me a good example of where a colonised indigneous culture has survived successfully?

    You’ve missed my point about hypocrisy – you’re more than happy for your “enlightened” world view to be imposed on third world countries, but not so happy when somebody else’s “enlightened” world view is imposed.

    Kathryn Burr, Byron, NSW

  22. Thanks again Kathryn

    But the duplicity of the left is evident. Since you seem a bit slow to grasp this, let me state it one more time. The left has constantly argued against Western involvement, arguing that is it imperialism and worse. Yet at the same time it is quite happy to have all sorts of coercive involvement in the Third World, be it pushing Western contraceptives and abortion on these people, or seeking for the withdrawal of Western foreign aid for those with politically incorrect beliefs, like the Nigerians.

    And there is nothing hypercritical about anything I have said. Just how am I imposing my worldview on anyone in the Third World? I am not flooding African villages with contraceptives. Nor am I demanding that the EU stop foreign aid to Nigeria. It is the secular left that is doing all the actual imposition of their worldview.

    And your knowledge of history seems greatly blinkered. There are thousands of Third World cultures which have benefitted greatly from Western “imperialism”. These peoples are living longer, healthier, safer and more prosperous lives than before, thanks to contact with the West.

    If reality worked like you lefties would have us believe, we would see masses of people pouring out of the West into the underdeveloped countries. Strange, but the only movement I have seen is all one-way traffic – from impoverished, technologically backward nations to the prosperous and free West.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  23. If someone asked me what was the single most important social issue for Christians to address today, I would say the issue of population control. It encompasses most of if not all the social/moral concerns raised by Bill Muehlenberg and others in Christian activist circles – abortion, euthanasia, IVF, feminism, gay rights, the family, economic freedom, environmentalism etc, can all be related to the idea that population must be controlled. And as shown in the documentary End Game by Alex Jones, at the highest levels of the population control movement is the eugenics movement.
    Brent Melville

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