An Image of God: The Catholic Struggle with Eugenics by Sharon M. Leon

By Sharon M. Leon

Within the first 1/2 the 20th century, supporters of the eugenics circulate provided a picture of a racially reworked the USA by way of curbing the replica of "unfit" individuals of society. via institutionalization, obligatory sterilization, the limit of immigration and marriages, and different equipment, eugenicists promised to enhance the inhabitants - a coverage time table that was once embraced by way of many best intellectuals and public figures. yet Catholic activists and thinkers around the usa adversarial a lot of those measures, saying that "every guy, even a lunatic, is a picture of God, now not a trifling animal." In "An snapshot of God", Sharon M. Leon examines the efforts of yank Catholics to thwart eugenic rules, illuminating the ways that Catholic idea remodeled the general public dialog approximately person rights, the function of the country, and the intersections of race, neighborhood, and kinfolk. via an exam of the wider questions raised during this debate, Leon casts new mild on significant concerns that stay vital in American political existence this day: the establishment of marriage, the function of presidency, and the separation of church and nation. this can be crucial interpreting within the heritage of faith, technological know-how, politics, and human rights.

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Ryan laid out the main natural law argument against artificial contraception: “The generative faculty has as its specific and essential end the procreation of offspring. That is the object which explains and rationalizes this particular faculty. ”39 He acknowledged that immediate lived experience might make arguments for birth control based on the promotion of social For the Welfare of the Race / 31 welfare or race betterment more appealing than the rationale of natural law against contraception, but he argued that natural law nevertheless provided the correct answer on this moral issue.

Concerns about peacetime readjustment abounded, especially about how returning soldiers would make their way in an unstable economy. The Reverend John O’Grady, secretary of the Committee on Reconstruction, turned to John Ryan to draft a statement that would take into concern economic questions from a Catholic perspective. ”50 As such, it called for a commitment to the principle of a living wage, an endorsement of the worker’s right to organize and bargain collectively, a call for some guarantee of livelihood for returning soldiers, a commitment to antitrust and public competition to fight the monopolies of private industry, an endorsement of widespread ownership of stock and participation in management by workers, access to vocational training for those who needed it, and a guarantee of a minimum wage as a matter of justice.

48 As the war approached its close, the Administrative Committee of the War Council began to consider the challenges of postwar life for the United States. Concerns about peacetime readjustment abounded, especially about how returning soldiers would make their way in an unstable economy. The Reverend John O’Grady, secretary of the Committee on Reconstruction, turned to John Ryan to draft a statement that would take into concern economic questions from a Catholic perspective. ”50 As such, it called for a commitment to the principle of a living wage, an endorsement of the worker’s right to organize and bargain collectively, a call for some guarantee of livelihood for returning soldiers, a commitment to antitrust and public competition to fight the monopolies of private industry, an endorsement of widespread ownership of stock and participation in management by workers, access to vocational training for those who needed it, and a guarantee of a minimum wage as a matter of justice.

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