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Peace & Life Connections Index

#380 Adam Ruins IQ Tests, Almost No One?

Catholic Nonviolence Initiative The Catholic Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, invited CLN Board member Tony Masalonis to represent us with a table at the diocese’s Service and Social Concerns Convocation on September 23. The keynote speaker was CLN Endorser Marie Dennis of Pax Christi International and the master of ceremonies was Richard DeBona, the diocese’s Director for Service and Social Concerns and a longtime friend of CLN in the Washington DC and Northeast Pennsylvania areas. Marie presented on Catholic peacemaking and on the US Institute of Peace’s research on the success of nonviolent campaigns. The program also featured an interfaith lineup presenting about ongoing work in Pennsylvania such as prison, environmental, and human trafficking ministries.

The CL table and message were a hit in Northeast Pennsylvania’s largest metropolitan area, a traditionally Catholic, politically “purple” region. Our picture cards were quite popular, especially Dorothy Day’s!

Emily and Adam “Ruin” IQ Tests’ Role in Eugenics In the show “Adam Ruins Everything,” comedian Adam Conover “ruins” things by debunking common misconceptions, often uncovering for-profit motives. In a recent episode, a frequent target of his eye-rolling antics, Emily, turns the tables in “Emily Ruins Adam Ruins Everything” The first segment, going up to 6 minutes 19 seconds, would be interesting to consistent-lifers. Emily lets Adam know the history of IQ tests, which started in a war setting for testing soldiers, and became a tool for pursuing people for sterilization and otherwise targeting poor whites, people of color, and people with disabilities. A guest expert points out it’s still used in death penalty cases for who should live and who should die. Actually, they don’t use the word “eugenics” or make the connection between involuntary sterilization and abortion promotion. But of course we will.

Latest CL Blog: Almost No One? Quite a bit of online excitement was stirred by an article in Christianity Today claiming in its headline that “almost no one” – that is to say, only 4% of Americans, which apparently is no one – believes in the consistent life ethic. It uses polling data on three of the issues (leaving out a crucial one of war), takes those issues one by one, and comes up with a figure of 4% for people who are in opposition to all three forms of violence – abortion, the death penalty, and euthanasia. Yet the polling questions were sloppily worded, and in a way that might maximize the pro-violence answers. Rachel MacNair, in Almost No One?, explains some of the problems with the approach taken by the article.

Quotation of the Week Dorothy Day Catholic Worker newspaper, January, 1941 Reprinted in The Selected Writings of Dorothy Day, ed. Robert Ellsberg, Orbis Books

It is January 9, 1941, and the New York Times this morning is filled with news of total war and total defense. Every day four-column headlines of the costs of war: “1942 Budget $17,485,528,049" . . . Wonder what that $49 tacked on the end . . . is for? Fifty dollars, we know, will pay for a baby, if you are poor, at any hospital in the city. . . . William, our new baby at Mott Street, is hereby headlined on our front page, as the biggest news of the month . . . and indeed more worthy of a place in a headline than the seventeen billion, four hundred and eighty five million, five hundred and twenty-eight thousand and forty-nine dollars headlined in the New York Times this morning. William himself is worth more than that sum, indeed more than all the money in the world.

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