"Eugenics and the Church," by Edwin Bishop, Eugenics: A Journal of Race Betterment (vol II:8)
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&quote;Eugenics and the Church,&quote; by Edwin Bishop, Eugenics: A Journal of Race Betterment (vol II:8)

Eugenics and the Church* By Edwin W. Bishop The word "eugenics" means literally "well-born". Eugenics therefore is related more closely to the problems of heredity than to the problems of environment. This does not mean that the sister sciences of eugenics and euthenics are antagonistic, for each functions in its own field and there are mutual reactions. To quote a popular but telling illustration, "Heredity deals with the cards while environment plays the hand." When we speak of eugenics we refer to the science of being well born. Now in considering the theme of "Eugenics and the Church" we must first ascertain with which program of the church eugenics will best link up. The church has had two main historic programs. One of these programs has been to convey to the individual the proper knowledge of how to make a happy and successful escape from this present evil world into a future beatific one. It is evident that eugenics is not directly concerned with this goal. The other main program of the church has been to guide both the individual and society into a successful earth existence. Eugenics is directed concerned with this latter program and may be immensely helpful to its consummation. This latter program can be summed up under two main heads: I. It aims at capacity self-fulfillment for the individual here and now. II. It aims at capacity sulf-fulfillment for the race in the future. What aid is the science of eugenics able to lend towards these desirable results? The program of capacity self-fulfillment for the individual here and now was strikingly proclaimed and practiced by Jesus throughout His entire ministry. Despite His being thronged with the multitudes Jesus never lost sight of the dignity and worth of the individual. His personal preferences were ever stimulating.[superior 1] His services were calculated to awaken and encourage.[superior 2] His rebukes were meant to issue in redeemed character.[superior 3] His words were trumpet calls to higher self-realization.[superior 4] His innovations were concessions to personality as over against the claims of custom and tradition.[superior 5] Towards human personality in [left side footnotes] *This sermon won the third prize in the contest sponsored by the American Eugenics Society. It was preached, May 13, 1928, to the congregation of the Plymouth Congregational Church, Lansing, Michigan. An introductory paragraph of Mr. Bishop's sermon, addressed directly to his congregation, and of special interest only to them, has been omitted from the sermon as it is published here. [right side footnotes] [superior 1] Jn. 2:23 - 3: 21. Jn. 4:4-26. Jn 21. Mt. 18:12-14. [superior 2] Jn. 2: 1-11. Mk. 2:1-12. Lk. 8:43-48. Mk. 9:14-29. [superior 3] Jn. 7:53-8:11. Lk. 17:1-10. Mt. 21:12-17 [superior 4] Mt. 5, 6, 7. Lk. 12:22-34. Lk. 10:25-37. Lk. 11:1-13. [superior 5] Lk. 5:33-39. Mk. 2:23-28. Mk. 7:1-23. Lk. 14:1-24. [boxed center text][italics] " . . . Jesus . . .plainly taught that individuals differed widely in their innate capacities, that there were one-talent men and two-talent men and five-talent men, and that capacity self-fulfillment would come in realizing the inherent endowment . . .Enter therefore eugenics. This advancing science proposes capacity self-fulfillment for the individual by giving him a better physical chance, better mental faculties, and better moral endowments . . . ."[end italics, end boxed text] [end]

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