I do not believe I was morally wrong or politically naive to personally give President Obama the benefit of the doubt and, until he proved otherwise, accept his claims of wanting to ‘work with’ pro-lifers at face value. I believe prudent and ethical politics, as well as the requirements of Christian charity, placed such an obligation on me, though I understood why some Catholics strongly disagreed. Even just recently I wrote a blog suggesting that we should not engage in nasty rhetoric against the president – and for the most part, I still believe that.
But with Obama’s selection of Dr. John P. Holdren to “Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy”, among a few other high positions – and with the recent revelations of what this man, along with his co-authors, advocated in a 1977 book called Ecoscience (of which I was entirely ignorant), I believe the benefit of the doubt has just been cut.
First, I’ll say that I regret for the sake of some readers that the most thorough analysis of this book is presently available on Alex Jones’ website Infowars. It doesn’t bother me at all, because the analysis comes with several photocopied pages from this obscure book. But I do understand that many people either love or revile Mr. Jones. Those feelings, however, shouldn’t get in the way of accepting what is obviously true. If this is all a major fabrication, they did a heck of a job.
The analysis presents the highlights before going in depth, and I will reproduce those here:
– Forcibly and unknowingly sterilizing the entire population by adding infertility drugs to the nation’s water and food supply.
– Legalizing “compulsory abortions,” ie forced abortions carried out against the will of the pregnant women, as is common place in Communist China where women who have already had one child and refuse to abort the second are kidnapped off the street by the authorities before a procedure is carried out to forcibly abort the baby.
– Babies who are born out of wedlock or to teenage mothers to be forcibly taken away from their mother by the government and put up for adoption. Another proposed measure would force single mothers to demonstrate to the government that they can care for the child, effectively introducing licensing to have children.
– Implementing a system of “involuntary birth control,” where both men and women would be mandated to have an infertility device implanted into their body at puberty and only have it removed temporarily if they received permission from the government to have a baby.
– Permanently sterilizing people who the authorities deem have already had too many children or who have contributed to “general social deterioration”.
– Formally passing a law that criminalizes having more than two children, similar to the one child policy in Communist China.
– This would all be overseen by a transnational and centralized “planetary regime” that would utilize a “global police force” to enforce the measures outlined above. The “planetary regime” would also have the power to determine population levels for every country in the world.
Another website that analyzed the book anticipates a number of objections from skeptics and addresses them. The most relevant is this, I believe:
You might argue that this book was written in a different era, during which time a certain clique of radical scientists (including Holdren) were in a frenzy over what they thought was a crisis so severe it threatened the whole planet: overpopulation. But, you could say, all that is in the past, an embarrassing episode which Holdren might wish everyone would now forget. I mean, people change their opinions all the time. Senator Robert Byrd was once in the KKK, after all, but by now he has renounced those views. Perhaps in a similar vein John Holdren no longer believes any of the things he wrote in Ecoscience, so we can’t hold them against him any more.
Unfortunately, as far as I’ve been able to discover, Holdren has never disavowed the views he held in the 1970s and spelled out in Ecoscience and other books. In fact, he kept writing on similar topics up until quite recently.
The closest Holdren has come to retracting any of these statements was in a single sentence he spoke during his confirmation hearings. Under questioning from Senator David Vitter, Holdren did backpedal a bit concerning a different statement he made in the ’70s about government-controlled population levels. Does this single sentence count as an across-the-board disavowal of every single specific recommendation he made in Ecoscience as well as in many other books and articles? My opinion is Not even close, but I’ll let you decide for yourself.
The site goes on to provide links to Holdren’s testimony and a snippet of the transcript for us to view as well.
This is a truly frightening development. And it is especially terrible news given Obama’s recent meeting with Pope Benedict, who furnished the President with a treatise on bioethics as well as a copy of his new encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, which also contains a very strong pro-life message; a message that speaks directly to the arguments of the Holdrens of the world and rejects them as inhuman madness.
I will continue to hope that President Obama is actually willing to work on common issues with the pro-life movement. He spoke recently of three areas of agreement: sex education, promoting adoption, and aid to pregnant women. Though I realize his and the Catholic idea of sex education will probably look nothing alike, I had – and, in spite of perhaps my better judgment, continue to have – hopes that there may still be genuine agreement on the other two issues.
With men like Holdren dominating the administration’s scientific programs and departments, however, this prospect looks increasingly dim. Acknowledging this doesn’t mean I am going to tolerate a barrage of “told you so”. If Pope Benedict can remain cordial with Obama, not to mention the leaders of other nations that are moving towards these horrific policies, then so can each and every one of us. Respectful communication does not exclude severe criticism, and we know that from the example of the Holy Father as well.
At the same time, no effort ought to be spared to defeat this madness in the next election. The Republican economic vision has long troubled me, as I believe it reinforces an individualist and consumerist way of life condemned by Catholic social teaching. But a world with an economy that works only for those deemed worthy of life by a cadre of ideologues presenting themselves as scientists is not a world I am willing to accept.
Update: The original analysis of Ecoscience appears on zombietime’s website. Credit for whatever Infowars picked up on belongs to that site.