So what–Eugenics

I have an odd relationship to conservative ‘arguments’ (I use scare quotes because often they are based on lies, though sometimes there’s a factual basis underneath). That is, even if I take their claims at face value, I still disagree with their conclusions.
One such argument is of Planned Parenthood as an ‘evil’ organisation because Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist. To which I can only reply…
So what?
Eugenics was actually fairly popular prior to WWII (Thanks, Hitler), with several first world countries–including the USA and Canada–having government run eugenics programs to prevent those deemed ‘unfit’ to parent from creating offspring. Sanger lived during this period in time–in other words, while she may well have held eugenic views, that was not uncommon in her era. She was a product of her time.
This is something that is true of many historical figures. Many of the most celebrated people from our past were liberals for their times. By today’s standards, many of them would fall on the right end of the political spectrum.  It would be fairly easy for someone who wanted to look to find views these people held which would be considered unthinkable today (or at least unspeakable in polite company).  But those views are not what they are remembered for. They are remembered for how they advanced society with their relatively liberal views.

More importantly, just because these people held those views does not make it certain that their followers do as well. Just look at the variety of beliefs that fall under Christianity. What was believed or taught by our predecessors is less important than the actions and beliefs of the people alive today.


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