February 6, 2001
The Netherlands has replaced Germany as the
worlds leading laboratory for social engineering. The recent decision of
the Dutch to legalize the killing of the elderly and the infirm and
the chronically ill is simply the logical result of a set of forces that the
Netherlands became home to following the defeat of Adolf Hitlers Third
Reich in May 1945.
The unification of the Germanic states
into a single country as a result of Prussias victory in the
Franco-Prussian War in 1871 ushered in the triumph of social engineering in northern
Europes industrial and economic giant. Masterminded by Otto von
Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor, the social engineering that began
in Germany during the Kulturkampf sought to create a brave new world where
people would become more and more dependent upon the beneficence of the
state. Bismarck knew that one of the ways to solidify political power was to
create a sense of dependence on the part of the citizenry, who would become
convinced that it was impossible for them to live their lives without the
direction and largesse of government bureaucrats.
Bismarcks Kulturkampf, which
started off as a direct assault upon the Catholic Church (viewed by Bismarck as
an obstacle to the social and economic advancement of human society), occurred
at a time when two complementary schools of thought were coming to the fore:
Darwinian evolutionism and the historical-critical method of Scriptural
exegesis. The latter was designed by Protestant Scripture scholars in Germany
as a means of demythologizing Scripture, a goal that dovetailed
neatly with the agendas both of the Darwinians and of Hegelian philosophers
who were intent on creating the illusion of change in the very nature of God
Himself. The old way of religion had to yield to the new ways of progress and
social advancement. And that social advancement would entail, among other
things, the discarding of those who were economically unproductive and thus
relatively useless for the life of society.
Bismarck was not as aggressive as his
successors in Germany would be during the period of the Weimar Republic
(1919-1933). However, he laid the groundwork for the sterilization and
euthanasia policies that would be the hallmarks of both Weimar and the Third
Reich. One of Bismarcks principal legacies was the establishment of the
modern welfare state, paving the way not only for the Weimar democrats and
Hitler but also for V.I. Lenin and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Social Security
was the crown jewel of Bismarcks welfare state. For Bismarck desired
to create a world where grown children believed that they were relieved of the
natural-law responsibility to care for their elderly parents when they became
incapable of caring for themselves. He wanted to rally the elderly to his side by
making it appear as though he was their friend and he wanted to do the
same with the young, convincing them that he had made it possible for them to
live a more comfortable life materially by relieving them of the
burden of providing for their parents (never mind the nasty little
fact that confiscatory taxes were used to pay for Social Security). Thus,
Bismarck sought to pit generations against each other in preparation for the
day when those who were retired could be deemed useless to society and thus
worthy of liquidation. Bismarck relied upon the German traits of obedience to
authority as the means by which he could convince the public that he, their
chancellor, knew best.
Social scientists and natural scientists
had a field day in Germany during the Weimar Republic. Yes, democratic
Germany was home to scores of biological and eugenic experimentations.
Science is a tool given us by God to use as a means of assisting the legitimate
development of human progress in the natural world. Absent the direction
provided it by the true Church, however, science can become a terrible weapon
of destruction and of maniacal social and biological engineering. Thus, the
fuller development in the Third Reich of the monstrous policies pursued during
the Weimar Republic was quite logical. In 1939, the German populace quite
docilely accepted Hitlers implementation of the wholesale
extermination of the retarded and infirm. Germans had become used to the
principle that the state knew best. Only Clemens von Galen, the Bishop of
Munster, had the courage to speak out publicly against Hitlers eugenics
(Obviously, Lenin and Stalin were
playing their own monstrous games in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Psychiatry there became a tool of political reprogramming and raw terror.
Social engineering is the very foundation of Marxisms own brave new
world. And the fact that the Bolsheviks had plenty of defenders in the West helps
explain the triumph of the spirit of Bolshevism in almost every country in
Western Europe, as well as in Canada and the United States.)
In the West, social engineering fell into a
bit of disrepute in the wake of the Nuremberg Trials that followed World War
II. However, in the Netherlands the groundwork was quietly being laid for a
recrudescence of the utilitarianism that was the essence of the Weimar Republic
and the Third Reich. The social engineers and eugenicists had taken over the
Dutch universities and hospitals and laboratories. The positivists held sway in
the courts and in the Staaten, the Dutch national legislature. And Modernists
populated much of the Dutch Catholic hierarchy. Indeed, Modernist Dutch
theologians even produced a best-selling catechism that was essentially a
defense of the very trends developing in the Netherlands in the 1960s.
In that decade, the Netherlands became a
playground for hallucinogenic drug use and promiscuity. It was one of the first
nations in Europe to embrace every single bit of the sodomite agenda. And it is
so radically pro-abortion that it is now the de facto policy in the Netherlands to
permit parents to euthanize their newborn child up to a year after his birth, thus
giving them from the moment of fertilization to one year after birth to take a
crack at the fruit of their conjugal love. And it has been the de facto policy of the
Dutch for some time to permit physicians to dispatch patients who are deemed
to have outlived their usefulness in society (too old, too sick, too costly to
maintain). What was once de facto is now de jure. Although no doctors in the
Netherlands have been prosecuted for doing what was once technically illegal,
they can now kill their patients with legal impunity.
As I have noted on a number of occasions,
arguing against euthanasia on purely natural terms is no defense against the
power of sentimentality to trump rational thought. A culture of well-being seeks
to anesthetize pain and all other unpleasant realities. Why should a person
suffer when the truth of redemptive suffering is rejected as either fantastic or as
just simply unrealistic in our modern world? Those who believe that it is
possible to combat the mercy killers with naturalistic arguments
are as delusional as those who believe that a person who supports one abortion
as a matter of principle is a defender of the sanctity of innocent human life.
Human suffering is one of the many
consequences of Original Sin. Indeed, physical suffering and death are two of
the very tangible consequences of Original Sin, as well as of our own actual
sins. It is only the Catholic Faith that teaches the full truth concerning human
suffering. And it is a rejection of the Catholic teaching on human suffering that
has permitted sentimentality to triumph so mightily in the world, even among
many Catholics who attend Mass every Sunday.
The Church teaches us that no suffering
is beyond our capacity to bear by means of the graces won for us by the shedding
of our Lords Most Precious Blood on Calvary. Further, the Church
teaches us that no human suffering no matter how intense is the
equal of the pain that just one of our venial sins imposed upon our Lord in His
Sacred Humanity on the wood of the Holy Cross. And she teaches us that our
patient endurance of the sufferings we experience in our lifetimes can be the
means by which we help the Poor Souls in Purgatory make satisfaction for the
debt we owe as a result of our forgiven sins (and our general attachment to sin),
and the means by which we can give exemplary witness to the world of the fact
that we unite our sufferings with those of our Blessed Lord. Indeed, our patient
endurance of suffering is one of the ways we prove our love for our Lord.
Knowing that our Lord never permits us to endure any suffering beyond our
capacity to endure equips us with the knowledge that the more suffering we are
sent, the more we receive a sign of His love for us, that He expects us to do
great things for Him and His Church by becoming co-redeemers of the world
A rejection of those simple truths results
in the tyranny of the social engineers and the bioethicists (who dont
practice true biology and are not very ethical). Why not kill
unwanted babies? Why not kill those who suffer? Why not clone
yourself? Why not conceive a child in order to kill it and use its body parts to aid
someone with Parkinsons Disease? Why cant a woman who is
sterile conceive a child by means of in vitro fertilization? Why cant two
people of the same gender who love one another get
married? Whats wrong with surrogate motherhood?
Why cant we use genetics to pick the sort of child we want? The very
people who reject the authority of the Church in those matters look to secular
experts to provide them with guidance, ironically conferring on
those pseudo-experts a spirit of infallibility that is rejected as belonging to the
Successor of Saint Peter and the bishops who are in full communion with him.
The Netherlands goes first where other
nations follow. That has been true both ecclesiastically and civilly. Look for
Canada to follow the Dutch lead before too long. And the state of Oregon is
already the de jure euthanasia pioneer in the United States. The actual de facto
practice in most hospitals in most places in this country is pretty much the same
as it has been in the Netherlands. Doctors are liberally dispatching people as a
matter of routine, making decisions that certain people have simply outlived
their usefulness. That is over and above the instances where poorly formed
people (or their families) actually ask to be killed. No, there are all types of
mysterious deaths in hospitals these days as doctors and Health
Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) play God and make cost-benefit analyses
as to a persons worth.
It is no accident that the Netherlands is
one of the leaders in utilitarian social engineering. At one time under the control
of Catholic Spain, the Netherlands, like some other nations of Europe,
eventually fell under the sway of Lutheranism and Calvinism. The Netherlands
has long been home to relativists. After all, an essential tenet of Protestantism is
that a person is saved if he makes a confession of faith in our Lord with his lips
and in his heart. Nothing else matters after that profession of faith is made.
There is no room for a theology of redemptive suffering in such a belief system.
Protestantism rejects Purgatory as un-Scriptural. It contends that we do not
prove our faith by good works. And it rejects the simple truth that we gain merit
for our good works, merit that can be applied to the Poor Souls in Purgatory
and help make expiation for the debt we owe our own forgiven sins. Why not
annihilate yourself when pain becomes too severe? A loving God
would understand that, wouldnt He?
There is only one weapon that can stop
the advance of the brave new world that has been evolving since the time of the
Renaissance and the Protestant Revolt: the Cross of the Divine Redeemer.
When are we going to learn that we cannot fight the culture of death without
the weapon that brought us the possibility of eternal life?
Our Lady, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.