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 flow provided a picture of a racially reworked the USA via curbing the copy of "unfit" contributors of society. via institutionalization, obligatory sterilization, the limit of immigration and marriages, and different tools, eugenicists promised to enhance the inhabitants - a coverage time table that used to be embraced by way of many top intellectuals and public figures. yet Catholic activists and thinkers around the usa hostile lots of those measures, saying that "every guy, even a lunatic, is a picture of God, no longer an insignificant animal." In "An picture of God", Sharon M. Leon examines the efforts of yank Catholics to thwart eugenic rules, illuminating the ways that Catholic concept reworked the general public dialog approximately person rights, the position of the kingdom, 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 matters that stay important in American political lifestyles this day: the establishment of marriage, the function of presidency, and the separation of church and nation. this can be crucial studying within the heritage of faith, technology, politics, and human rights.

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While the bulk of the original forty members were Protestant luminaries, the committee also included two Reformed rabbis, Louis Mann and David de Sola Pool, and two Catholic priests, John A. 13 The members of the AES executive committee could not ignore the significant place that Roman Catholics held in American society by the middle of the 1920s. In addition to dominating urban politics in a number of significant cities, the sheer numbers of Catholics in the population Cooperative Clergy? / 41 made them a force to contend with.

Included among the prominent Protestant members of the general committee were the editor of the Christian Century and two presidents of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America. ” While the bulk of the original forty members were Protestant luminaries, the committee also included two Reformed rabbis, Louis Mann and David de Sola Pool, and two Catholic priests, John A. 13 The members of the AES executive committee could not ignore the significant place that Roman Catholics held in American society by the middle of the 1920s.

In 1920, the US Census reported that the national population stood at just over 105 million people. By 1930, that population had ballooned to over 122 million. 14 While this does not seem like an enormous number in comparison with the total population, this concentration of Catholics was lodged firmly in the areas of the country where the most prominent eugenicists lived. 15 The AES must have had some inkling that it had its work cut out for it if it wanted to attract Catholics to the movement since eugenicists themselves bore at least some of the responsibility for an antipathy between the two groups.

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