Life, the Great Non-Negotiable

Autism and Eugenics

I cannot imagine life without my autistic grandson, Max. However, the chilling truth is, there are plenty of people who can.

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Chuck  Colson

Autism Spectrum Disorder, which runs the gamut from profoundly disabled to high-functioning individuals capable of living fairly normal lives, affects millions of families: 1 out of every 1,000 births today are autistic kids.

As I have told you over the past two days, the families of these children, like my grandson Max, don’t see these children as burdens but, instead, as blessings. Not because the parents are in “denial,” but because they love their children, and that love has helped them to see what is really important and where human worth really lies.

Unfortunately, there are many others, unlike these parents, who believe that parents and society would be better off if kids like Max were never born.

And these days, pre-natal testing allows doctors, insurance companies, and prospective parents to determine which babies in the womb will be so-called “normal and healthy,” and which will be born with handicaps. Which is why more and more of them identified with handicaps, like Down Syndrome, are being aborted.

The demonic “logic” behind targeting people with Down Syndrome can be applied to anyone with disabilities. A combination of fear, concern over the costs of caring for these kids, desires for a “perfect” child can prove irresistible. Medical technology may never enable us to “cure” things like autism, but it may enable us to identify — and target — autistic people in the womb.

If you’re thinking “this can’t happen here,” it already has. As Dr. Christopher Hook of the Mayo Clinic warns, “Eugenics is back in America.” Eugenics is the belief that we can improve the human race by eliminating undesirable genetic traits, usually, that is, the people who carry those traits. In fact, the modern eugenics movement began here in the United States. Among its proponents were people like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Margaret Sanger.

Eugenics is so dangerous and pernicious because it represents a radical disrespect for every human life, not just the life of the unborn. Adolf Hitler, an open admirer of the American and German eugenics movements, began eliminating the mentally and physically handicapped years before he started killing Jews.

The re-birth of eugenics in this country doesn’t require Nazi brown-shirts or even new laws. In fact, all it requires is for Christians not to pay attention. Then a combination of medical rationing and other economic and cultural forces will enable the forces of death to follow the demonic “logic” to its deadly conclusion.

So, how do we prevent this? We stand up for life, from conception to natural death. We make it clear to both our “leaders” and the chattering classes that respect for life is the great non-negotiable.

And it’s non-negotiable precisely because of people like Max. He will never pay taxes or hold down a job. He’ll never cure the common cold or cure the economy. But he has brought love and joy into the world in ways I never could have imagined. And I’ll talk more about that Monday.

Please, get a copy of Dancing with Max. I can almost guarantee you’ll fall in love with my grandson. And he’ll teach you exactly why we must resist every effort for humans to play God and decide who lives and who dies.

Further Reading and Information

Dancing with Max Book Offer
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Dancing with Max
Emily Colson | Zondervan | 2010

How Many People Have Autism?
National Institute of Health | May 3, 2005

Dancing with Max: A Story That Must Be Told
Chuck Colson | BreakPoint.org | August 8, 2011

Eugenics in the Springtime
C. Ben Mitchell | Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity | March 5, 2002

Eugenics and Other Evils
G. K. Chesterton | Linked through the Colson Center Library. To search for other articles about eugenics, please go to ColsonCenter.org.

Chuck and Emily will be on the Huckabee Show. Stay tuned for more details by visiting us at the Colson Center


I wonder
One of my aunts work in an MHMR facility in a very small town in Texas. At Thanksgiving & Christmas she would bring a few of the residents to her home who had no family, or who's families had no contact with them. One of these dear sweet souls was a lady with Down's Syndrome who's father is a very prominent doctor, who has been involved in some very important medical research and practice. His involvement in medicine has saved the lives of many people. His daughter will certainly never "cure the common cold", but I wonder how much "love and joy" she could have brought into his life in "ways [he] never could have imagined". Could it have been that unimagined joy and love would have inspired him to even greater discoveries? "Father along we'll know all about it".
Every Blessing a Burden, Every Burden a Blessing
I believe that in God's economy within His infinite Wisdom, Grace and Love, He has made it so that, in our fallen state, we would need to come to understand that every blessing that we receive entails a burden of responsibility to wisely handle and 'administer' it. I believe He has also, in His Wisdom, withing the fallen world that man has brought about, ordained it so that with every burden there is a blessing (there is ample Scripture to back all of this up, but I won't go into that here, however, in accordance with this Absolute Truth, the consequences of Life and lives bear it out everyday!).

Our family was and has been truly blessed with a younger sister (youngest of 3 siblings with my younger brother and myself) having been born with special needs in 1965 and even at that time the doctors knew that she was hydro cephalic (fluid on the brain) which caused damage to the brain. While in many ways she can and has lived a fairly normal life, it was the years of physical therapy that our entire family and in particular, my precious Mom, spent with her (70+ volunteers a week, 6 days a week, 6 hours per day for 6 - 7 years) that, while a tremendous burden, gave our family an unbelievable blessing of knowing what it means to count the cost and be willing to pay it for another! She is such a wonderful human being and none of us, regardless of the cost and burden, could not imagine life without her and the tremendous blessing that she has been and has brought into our lives! Praise the Lord and thanks for your heart and comments! Have a great day and God bless in Christ!