Father Ted Colleton
December 28th is the Feast of the Holy Innocents when we reverently remember the innocent babies who were murdered by the Herod of long ago. Every child who has reached grade five knows who Herod was for just one reason – he killed babies.
Most young people today could tell you about Adolf Hitler – that he killed people because he didn’t like their race, they didn’t come up to his standards of what a human being should be. So, he had the handicapped killed in order to produce a master race of Germans who would conquer the world.
In much more recent times, Idi Amin of Uganda has hit the headlines because of his penchant for getting rid of anyone he disliked or those opposed to his political views.
We regard these people, the Herods, the Hitlers, and the Amins as not really “human” themselves. They were “savages” who were not quite civilized. They are “blots” on the face of humanity.
More than Holy Innocents
But if you think that was all in the past, it couldn’t happen today, you are not keeping up with the news. Whether by coincidence of by chance on this Feast of the Holy Innocents, a friend handed me a report in the Toronto Sun of two days ago. Here is the heading, “Mercy kill call for disabled babies. France in uproar over proposed Bill.” The bill, if passed, would allow parents to withhold life support measures from handicapped newborns under three days old. I must say that the logic escapes me. Why three days? Why not three weeks, three months, thirty years? In principle I can’t see the difference. A person is not any more human at thirty years than at three days. It’s simply a question of size and development.
The Slippery Slope
Of course, it all started with abortion. Once society loses its respect for the sanctity of human life at any stage, it loses its respect for human life at every stage. Here is an interesting and terrifying quote from Dr. R.A. Gallop, “Once you permit the killing of the unborn child, there will be no stopping. There will be no age limit. You are setting off a chain reaction that will eventually make you the victim. Your children will kill you because you permitted the killing of their brothers and sisters. Your children will kill you because they will not want to support you in your old age. Your children will kill you for your home and estates. If a doctor will take money for killing the innocent in the womb, he will kill you with a needle when paid by your children. This is the terrible nightmare you are creating for the future.”
And here is an even more frightening quote from Dr. Christopher Hufeland (1762-1836). “If the physician presumes to take into consideration in his work whether a life has value or not, the consequences are boundless and the physician becomes the most dangerous man in the state.”
This is exactly what has happened. Many doctors who are trained to preserve life have become its greatest destroyers. According to statistics, fifty million babies are murdered by “legal” abortion every year. And all “legal” abortions are performed by doctors. Is it any wonder that, having made millions in the anti-life, they have now begun to gaze expectantly into the nursery? Truly, the abortionist doctor has become the most dangerous man/woman in the state.
Of course, the promoters of the proposed law in France are nationalizing their decision. The president of the Association for the Right to Die in Dignity and one of the proposers of the bill says, “If I had had a handicapped child, I would not have permitted him to live.” Notice that he does not consider what the child would have wanted. An American comedian, some time ago, facetiously made the remark on stage, “I notice that all those who are pro-abortion have already have been born.”
Yvonne Jegou, founder and president of the Association for the Prevention of Handicapped Children said that her motives for supporting the bill are “caring rather than murderous.” She states, “Far from being happy themselves, very often these children bring unhappiness to the households where they live.”
If being happy ourselves and spreading happiness where we live were the criteria for being allowed to live, there wouldn’t be too many of us left!
Of course, there are the voices on the other side. The Cardinal Archbishop of Paris has rallied the opposition. He says, “It is an incitation to murder. I feel personally insulted.”
So do I. If I compare my intellectual capacity with that of some of my professors or with some of the scientists and writers of today, I am definitely mentally handicapped. If I compare my physique with that of Ben Johnson or Wayne Gretsky, I am physically disabled. And, if I compare my lack of determination with the sterling commitment of Rick Hansen, I am simply a psychological wimp.
Man playing God
So, who decides who is handicapped and who is not? For any man or woman to decide who should live and who is not worthy of life is an insult to God who created not only the “decided upon” but also the “decider.”
During the Nuremberg Trials in 1945-46, one of the Nazi war criminals said – referring to the killing of “unwanted” people – “we never thought it would go that far.” The American Judge, Robert Jackson replied, “It went that far the first time you condemned an innocent human being to death.”
Once man sits in the judgment seat of God and decides that any human life is disposable, he decides that every human life is disposable. That is what happened in Nazi Germany; that is what has happened in France; that is what is happening in Canada! Make no mistake about it.
The Great Teacher
George Santayana (186301952), the humanist philosopher, once made a statement which has been quoted by people such as Sir Winston Churchill, “Those who do not learn from the errors of history are doomed to repeat them.” The quotation may not be verbally correct but the substance is. History is a great teacher. But unfortunately, people, particularly politicians, appear to be both blind and deaf to the lessons of the past.
What is not generally realized is that ideas are far more powerful than dynamite! Dynamite can blow up a building and kill a few dozen people. An idea, when it is a wrong one, can cause the deaths of millions. Kent Marx, who probably never threw a bottle at anyone, and spent much of his later life pouring over philosophical books in the British Museum, is an example. His ideas have been responsible for the liquidation of millions of human beings and the slavery of countless others.
Life devoid of values
Perhaps a more potent example might be that of Nazi Germany. In 1920, a book was published in Germany entitled “The Release of the Destruction of Life Devoid of Value.” It was written by two prominent scientists, the jurist, Karl Binding and psychiatrist, Alfred Hoche. The book advocated that the killing of “worthless people” be released from penalty and legally permitted. The writers almost certainly had never heard of Adolf Hitler and Adolf Hitler probably never read the book. But the ideas expressed in the book had influenced a whole generation.
By the time Hitler came to power, the term “worthless people” had been translated into “useless eaters.” It has been put on an economic basis. In a famous sermon on March 8, 1941, the Bishop of Munster in Westphalia summed up the current situation in these words, “These unfortunate patients must die because, according to the judgment of some doctor or the expert opinion of some commission they have become “unworthy to live” and because according to these experts they belong to the category of ‘unproductive citizens.’
We usually think of murderers as evil-looking individuals with shifty eyes and unshaven chins. But that is not necessarily the case. Perhaps the ones who pull the trigger or plunge the knife often fit that description – especially in films. But when we are speaking of mass murder, such as happens in Russia, Germany, France and North America, today, murder finds its genesis in the minds of university professors.
Here are just a few examples from the Nazi period. At the Nuremberg Trials, one physician who had killed training school boys and girls, explained his actions in these words: “I see today that it was not right – I was always told that the responsibility lies with the professors from Berlin.”
And here is a quote from the well-known book by Fredric Wertham, M.D., entitled “The Sign of Cain.” In the latter part of 1939, four men, in the presence of a whole group of physicians and an expert chemist, were purposely killed with carbon monoxide gas. They had done nothing wrong, had caused not disturbance and were trusting and cooperative. They were ordinary mental patients of a state psychiatric hospital which was – or should have been – responsible for their welfare. This successful experiment led to the installation of gas chambers in a number of psychiatric hospitals – Graeneck, Bradenburg, Hartheim, Sonnenstein, Hadamar and Bernburg.” The same book tells us that “In 1939 about 300,000 mental patients were in psychiatric hospitals, institutions or clinics. In 1946, there were 40,000. It was discussed during the project that 300,000 hospital beds would be made available by ‘getting rid’ of mental patients. Eventually the crematorium of Grafeneck smoked incessantly.
Dr. Wertham continues, “The chief of the mental institution Hadamar, was responsible for the murder of over a thousand patients. He personally opened the gas containers and watched through the peephole the death agonies of the patients, including children. He stated, ‘I was, of course, torn this way and that. It reassured me to learn which eminent scientists partook in the action: Professor Carl Schneider, Professor Heyde, Professor Nitsche.’ When Dr. Karl Brandt, the medical chief of the euthanasia project tried to defend himself, he said, “We’re not the regular professors of the universities with the program. Who could there be who was better qualified than they?”
We can’t point the finger
So, the concept of “life devoid of value” or “life not worth living” was not a nazi invention, as is so often thought. It derived from the ideas, expressed in a well-written book by two brilliant intellectuals. One was a layer, the other a doctor. We have plenty of people of the same ilk right in our midst. If the French bill passes, as it may, the idea will not remain isolated in France.
The mere fact that it should be suggested ought to be a warning to us.
The Powell Report
With the Ontario Provincial Government busy implementing the infamous Powell Report, the object of which is to make the murdering of babies more convenient for the mothers, more acceptable for the public, and more lucrative for the doctors, why should they stop there?