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View Full Version : Down Syndrome Screening - the slope to eugenics?


Bravo
05-09-2007, 07:58 PM
Until this year, only pregnant women 35 and older were routinely tested to see if their fetuses had the extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome. As a result many couples were given the diagnosis only at birth. But under a new recommendation (http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr01-02-07-1.cfm) from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, doctors have begun to offer a new, safer screening procedure to all pregnant women, regardless of age.
About 90 percent (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=10521836&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum) of pregnant women who are given a Down syndrome diagnosis have chosen to have an abortion (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/a/abortion/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier).


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/09/us/09down.html?ex=1336363200&en=ccf8eef28ff47ae4&ei=5089&partner=rssyahoo&emc=rss

Kate Thornton
05-09-2007, 08:18 PM
Other routine pre-natal screenings also detect other fetal abnormalities. This means more safe screenings and choices available to couples who want healthy children.

If the "self direction of human evolution" includes healthy children, then what's the problem with it? No one sets out to have children who are not healthy.

Jersey Chick
05-09-2007, 08:37 PM
When I was pregnant with my son, I was offered a batch of tests for Down's (and other defects) sometime in my second trimester. The risk for miscarriage though was high enough that I elected not to have the tests. We decided what would be, would be. We were fortunate, my son is healthy. I was under 35 at the time, but like my doctor said, it isn't like you wake up on the morning of your 35th birthday and BAM. It's just that the odds increase... They do from your late teens on up, though.

I don't know about these new tests, but if the rate of possible miscarriage poses a greater risk, I can see women opting not to have them - which makes the risk of eugenics lower. I don't know that there would be any increase. Have there been since the introducing of alpha fetal protein tests (I think that's the one for spina bifida)? Every time there is something like this, we ask about creating a perfect race, etc, but so far it hasn't come to fruition. Frankly, I'm more concerned about people choosing a baby's sex and manipulating its genes for the "right" eye color, hair shade, height, etc. Much scarier.

NeuroFizz
05-09-2007, 08:43 PM
First of all, Down's Syndrome children may have some health challenges, but they can live long, beautiful lives. Second, and correct me if I am wrong here, but once a diagnosis is made, the parents still have the say in what comes next. If the government, or other official body steps in and requires specific steps be made after such a diagnosis, then the hang-wringing should turn to outrage.

dclary
05-09-2007, 08:46 PM
Almost a year ago I mentioned this story, Bravo, because on the special education front there's a shocking difference in the age of down syndrome parents -- the older women are consistently choosing to abort.

It is eugenics. Just don't tell the people who are against eugenics that this is what they're advocating. Because it's only right when they do it.

Parkinsonsd
05-09-2007, 08:48 PM
It'll be when insurance companies can convincethe legislature that pre natal screenings and subsequent abortions would save them money That eugenics would start. The curent problem is that the insurance lobby is heavily invested in the republican party, but so is the right to life movement. I think while this balance remains forced abortions will be off the table.

But I'm into conspiracy theories.

Petroglyph
05-09-2007, 08:57 PM
I may regret weighing in on something controversial here, but....

The ACOG recommendation simply formalizes their position regarding what is already current practice.

Screening tests have been offered for years. They are non-invasive and do not increase the risk for miscarriage. Screening tests include ultrasound for nuchal translucency and other soft markers and blood tests, like the AFP3 or the AFP4.

Diagnostic tests include amniocentesis and CVS. There is some risk of miscarriage with those.

The ACOG recommendation is loose enough that a provider could offer any of these tests. I do know a perinatologist who offers invasive diagnostic testing to all women. I do not know how many women accept this testing from him.

What I do in my practice is offer the noninvasive screening tests (depending on gestation) and then offer invasive diagnostic tests based on those results.

The aforementioned perinatologist and I have very different self-selected patient populations.

About half of my patients opt for screening. If the screen comes back positive, then I do refer to a different perinatologist who can look for some of the soft markers for Down syndrome and offer amnio.

How many patients of mine have aborted for Down syndrome? Zero.

How many have birthed babies with Down syndrome? Two.

veinglory
05-09-2007, 08:59 PM
Throwing around the word eugenics doesn't really say much--it is a derogatory way of describing an action not an argument for or against.

I think actions should be judged on their own terms. Allowing abortion for complete lack of brain matter doesn't mean it is automatically okay for Downs--allowing it in some cases for severe Downs doesn't make it okay for mildly reduced IQ or eye color or homosexuality or shade of skin.

True respect for life in my book is allowing situations to go forward depending on their specifics and the ethics of all involved included qualified and informed advocates for the child.

In my mind a parent is better off informed than they are ignorant, regardless of the choice they eventually make.

Celia Cyanide
05-09-2007, 09:49 PM
From what I read, the article is about parents of childen with Down Syndrome who want to show others others how rewarding it can be to raise a child with Down Syndrome. Many people think of having a child with Down Syndrome, and they are afraid, because they think they won't be able to give that child a happy life, and they won't have anyone to look after their child after they pass. These families are not trying to force anything. They just want people to see other side.

Down Syndrome screening is now offered to all pregnant women, not just those over 35, as of this year. I just have one question: Since women over 35 are more likely to have a baby with Down Syndrome, will it have an impact? If they offer the screening to all pregnant women, won't most of the positive results be in women over 35, anyway?

Higgins
05-09-2007, 09:51 PM
Almost a year ago I mentioned this story, Bravo, because on the special education front there's a shocking difference in the age of down syndrome parents -- the older women are consistently choosing to abort.

It is eugenics. Just don't tell the people who are against eugenics that this is what they're advocating. Because it's only right when they do it.

There's no gene for Down's syndrome, it is a problem with chromosome development. So there is no eugenics since it is not due to the parent's genes.

dclary
05-09-2007, 10:09 PM
Why are you quoting me? It's Bravo's thread.


What you mean to say is that there's no single gene, I'm sure. A chromosome is just a collection of genes, among other things. A genetic defect is still a genetic defect, whether or it is inherited or not.

maestrowork
05-09-2007, 10:17 PM
I have met enough children with Down's to know that they're lovely humans and deserve to have a happy life, and many do. I think it's awfully SELFISH for a parent to abort a child because of that.

dclary
05-09-2007, 10:28 PM
Yeah. My wife had at least one or two down kids in her class every year. They're fantastic kids. We always knew that if/when we finally got Clonie, we'd take him or her no matter what the challenges.


There is a "conspiracy" theory of sorts that states Abraham's son "Isaac" (from the Bible story of the father of the Jewish people) was a Down child.

Bravo
05-09-2007, 10:57 PM
people with down's are infertile, so that's a silly theory.

dclary
05-09-2007, 11:06 PM
people with down's are infertile, so that's a silly theory.

A) You doubt the power of God?

B) Both women and men with Down's syndrome can be fertile, although both sexes have a reduced fertility rate.

There is a tendency to revert to the norm -- children of Down Syndrome parents are often quite normal.

FatTire
05-09-2007, 11:48 PM
Yeah. My wife had at least one or two down kids in her class every year. They're fantastic kids. We always knew that if/when we finally got Clonie, we'd take him or her no matter what the challenges.


There is a "conspiracy" theory of sorts that states Abraham's son "Isaac" (from the Bible story of the father of the Jewish people) was a Down child.

Wow, I have never heard this. I've been asked where my horns are. But I have never been asked if I were the spawn of Down's parents...

Higgins
05-09-2007, 11:50 PM
Why are you quoting me? It's Bravo's thread.


What you mean to say is that there's no single gene, I'm sure. A chromosome is just a collection of genes, among other things. A genetic defect is still a genetic defect, whether or it is inherited or not.

But you can't directly select for a population that would have a genetically lower incidence of Down's Syndrome, so there is no Eugenics involved.

robeiae
05-10-2007, 12:39 AM
Throwing around the word eugenics doesn't really say much--it is a derogatory way of describing an action not an argument for or against.
Yeah, "eugenics" is kinda used like "fascist." Neither term is really very precisely defined/understood.

Still, a primary understanding of eugenics has been that it is shorthand for a program designed to eliminate unwanted characteristics and increase the frequency of desired ones in the general population. So, any program with such goals can rightly be labeled as eugenics, imo. It doesn't matter a whit if the science/theory behind such is bogus/wrong--and it usually is.

With that said, screening for Downs is not such a program. As Neurofizz implied, if the government mandated abortions for positive results, we would have a eugenics program, no ifs ands or buts about it.

My own opinion is that there is something wrong with testing fetuses for characteristics like this as a precursor to making a decision on abortion. I don't like it.

dclary
05-10-2007, 01:07 AM
Wow, I have never heard this. I've been asked where my horns are. But I have never been asked if I were the spawn of Down's parents...

The general gist of the theory is this:

Isaac's name means laughter. It could refer to the perpetual smiley look Downs kids have. Sarah was like 100 when she had him, and age of the woman is the predominant indicator of whether a kid might have Downs.

Here's the interesting part (the conspiracy part).

God asked Abraham to move from Ur, and Abraham said "Really?"
God told Abraham he would have kids, and Abraham said "Yeah, right."
God told Abraham that he was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, and Abraham said "Oh come on. What if there's saints there? Can we at least get Lot out of there?"
God told Abraham "Go kill your son" and Abraham said "Ok, God."

Why? Why would the progenitor of the haggle suddenly and without question just up and accept an order to sacrifice his child -- unless there was something possibly wrong with that child?

BTW: The Bible never mentions God speaking to Abraham again.

After this, Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for Isaac, and warns the servant not to go with Isaac... maybe no wife would have him if she saw him?

Finally, how in the world could you fool a non-impaired man with the trick Jacob pulled when he stole the birthright from Esau?


These are the clues I've heard that indicate Isaac may have been Down Syndrome.

dclary
05-10-2007, 01:16 AM
Ah, man. A negative rep point for that? Ain't you never heard of "Don't shoot the messenger?" Sheesh. It's not like I made it up.

Kentuk
05-10-2007, 01:22 AM
I don't like the word eugenics, too closely linked to Hitler. I believe the decision should be made by the parents. Procreation should be proactive rather then inflicted by fate. I do respect people who would rather have a downs baby then no child at all.

Celia Cyanide
05-10-2007, 01:35 AM
My own opinion is that there is something wrong with testing fetuses for characteristics like this as a precursor to making a decision on abortion. I don't like it.

Me neither. Having said that, I don't think that Down Syndrome screening should be discontinued. There is nothing wrong with a family wanting to know that their child will have Down Syndrome, or any other health problem. They might want to know to be prepared, because it is different than having a child without Down Syndrome.

I honestly don't think anyone believes that kids with Down Syndrome are not good people. But some people are afraid they won't be able to care for them.

Ronnie
05-10-2007, 01:37 AM
When pregnant with my first child my screening (which I blindly agreed to because it was offered by a doctor) came back that it was likely he had downs. I went to the perinatologist's office. He did a level II ultrasound and said it didn't look like the "fetus" had Down Syndrome, but I should have an amniocentisis (which carries a risk of miscarriage) to make sure.

I absolutely refused, against their urging to do so.

It made no sense to me to risk killing a baby (Down or otherwise) to appease my curiosity.

With my second pregnancy, when offered the screening, I adamately refused. That was a road I wasn't interesting in travelling again.

Although generally pro-choice, I am shocked that 90% of women chose to abort. That seems awfully high. I think most women I know would say they'd keep a Down pregnancy. But I guess you don't know for sure until you're in that situation.

maestrowork
05-10-2007, 01:42 AM
But some people are afraid they won't be able to care for them.

But that's part of being a parent... I just feel weird about picking and choosing. Now if we say "they will be better prepared to deal with it," that's okay. But if we say "so they can terminate the pregnancy because they don't want to deal with it," I have a problem with that. I mean where do we stop? What's next? And at what stage?... of course, this gets really close to the abortion debate and I'm not going there... :)

dclary
05-10-2007, 01:49 AM
I don't like the word eugenics, too closely linked to Hitler. I believe the decision should be made by the parents. Procreation should be proactive rather then inflicted by fate. I do respect people who would rather have a downs baby then no child at all.

I associate it far more with Khan Noonien Singh than Hitler.

Celia Cyanide
05-10-2007, 02:11 AM
But that's part of being a parent...

Parents of special needs children have concerns that most parents do not. For example, my parents' friend has a special needs child who is now an adult. Her husband just passed away. She has to worry about what will happen to him after she dies. That's not something that is just part of being a parent for my mom and dad. They raised me, and they know I will be able to take care of myself.

Having said that, we are dealing with people who voluntarily choose to become parents. If they know Down Syndrome exists, and they can't deal with that possibility, I do have to wonder why that person would get pregnant. They can adopt a healthy baby, if they are that worried about it. The thing is, some people don't think that far ahead, so we have to hope they are able to educate themselves.

As the doctor says in the article, it is a mistake to just terminate a pregnancy just because of Down Syndrome. But I think it's also a mistake to think that someone who is afraid they won't be able to care for that child has nothing to worry about. The families in the article are trying to lead by example.

billythrilly7th
05-10-2007, 03:47 AM
I've often thought about this very scenario regarding whether I'd want to abort my child if they were afflicted with Downs.

When I was a less mature Thrilly, who would stomp on ant hills and kill them for the fun of it, I would have.

A more mature, seasoned Thrilly would be honored to be the parent of a child with downs and would consider him/her a blessing.

I would not abort. I don't think. I'd have to be there to know for sure.

Thank you.

FatTire
05-10-2007, 05:23 AM
Ah, man. A negative rep point for that? Ain't you never heard of "Don't shoot the messenger?" Sheesh. It's not like I made it up.


There is no reason to even bring this into the conversation. You are a Christian that is studying the New Testament in a Christian bible group. It would be like me posting that in my Jewish Old Testament bible group that we just heard a conspiracy that Jesus and Peter were homosexual lovers and that Mary Magdalena is actually a man named Maury.

It's hurtful and inflammatory to try and debate something that offers no proof and only serves to make a religion look bad.

dclary
05-10-2007, 05:30 AM
???

At what point did I attempt to make anyone or any religion look bad?

And at what point did Jews claim exclusive lordship over the old testament?

I don't think I've ever seen you overreact to a nothing post before. You ok?

FatTire
05-10-2007, 05:38 AM
No.

And his name means He Will Laugh, not laughter.

dclary
05-10-2007, 05:47 AM
Well, sorry to get your tailfeathers all a-gaggle. A nice thing about conspiracy theories? They can be ignored. So just ignore it and move along. Nothing to see here. These aren't the scriptures you're looking for.

maestrowork
05-10-2007, 06:05 AM
If they know Down Syndrome exists, and they can't deal with that possibility, I do have to wonder why that person would get pregnant. ...it is a mistake to just terminate a pregnancy just because of Down Syndrome. But I think it's also a mistake to think that someone who is afraid they won't be able to care for that child has nothing to worry about.

I didn't say there's nothing to worry about, and I agree parents with special need children have a whole different set of problems to deal with -- still being a parent alone requires dedication and as the saying goes: "A good parent is a parent who worries." I don't think anyone would get into parenthood thinking it's going to be a piece of cake. If that's the case, they shouldn't even contemplate parenthood, IMHO.

But I'm just not sure what your point is. Are you saying we can test for Down Syndrome BEFORE conception? I didn't get that impression from the article. Otherwise, the woman will already be pregnant, so the point of testing would be moot if "termination" is not an option. Also, just because there's a "possibility" of Down's Syndrome doesn't mean one would just pack up and go home. People have children for all kinds of reasons, and why should they have to expect everything to be perfect? That they can't love the child the same if it is not perfect? People don't have perfect pregnancies and babies now, and they still go for it. We're getting back to the original point: Do we use technologies to ensure all the undesirable traits are prevented? Where do we stop?

tourdeforce
05-10-2007, 06:47 AM
Of course I would abort if a test indicated Down's Syndrome. Not even a question.

dclary
05-10-2007, 12:42 PM
I'm amazed you didn't abort yourself.

(j/k, for those who don't know that tour and I rib each other)

NeuroFizz
05-10-2007, 05:11 PM
When I was a less mature Thrilly, who would stomp on ant hills and kill them for the fun of it, I would have.
Billy, I bet even in your full maturity, you'd stomp on ant hills in North Carolina (fire ants), and even pour Amdro (or other toxic substance) all over them.

(The following is not directed at billy's comments) Seriously, if we take the human part from the concept of eugenics, we have embraced its very mechanisms as far back as we started using domesticated animals for food, labor, companionship, and sport, and since we began our first programs in horticultural hydridization--for food, pleasure, and aesthetics (companionship?). Anyone who buys an AKC-registered dog can imagine what had to transpire to get that designation. And it's best not to think about the fate of puppies from a puppy mill who were sired by a "sneaker" male.

robeiae
05-10-2007, 05:18 PM
I think the AKC should be disbanded and the whole concept of breed standards completely abolished. It's all bs.

Higgins
05-10-2007, 05:18 PM
???

At what point did I attempt to make anyone or any religion look bad?

And at what point did Jews claim exclusive lordship over the old testament?

I don't think I've ever seen you overreact to a nothing post before. You ok?

Well...the Jews wrote the books that the Christians decided to have as the Old Testiment. They oversaw its translation into Greek. It is their history and story. I don't see why they can't claim exclusive "lordship."

Higgins
05-10-2007, 05:23 PM
Yeah, "eugenics" is kinda used like "fascist." Neither term is really very precisely defined/understood.

Still, a primary understanding of eugenics has been that it is shorthand for a program designed to eliminate unwanted characteristics and increase the frequency of desired ones in the general population. So, any program with such goals can rightly be labeled as eugenics, imo. It doesn't matter a whit if the science/theory behind such is bogus/wrong--and it usually is.

With that said, screening for Downs is not such a program. As Neurofizz implied, if the government mandated abortions for positive results, we would have a eugenics program, no ifs ands or buts about it.

My own opinion is that there is something wrong with testing fetuses for characteristics like this as a precursor to making a decision on abortion. I don't like it.

I don't see how you can have a "eugenics" program if the characteristic to be tested for is a developmental problem, not a genetic one. All bad things are not the same bad thing. I can see that testing for an extra chromosome is upsetting, but you should be able to separate between different kinds of things that upset you.

robeiae
05-10-2007, 05:45 PM
I don't see how you can have a "eugenics" program if the characteristic to be tested for is a developmental problem, not a genetic one. All bad things are not the same bad thing. I can see that testing for an extra chromosome is upsetting, but you should be able to separate between different kinds of things that upset you.
Historically, eugenics has rarely been founded on valid science.

Here's a good overview: http://www.georgetown.edu/research/nrcbl/publications/scopenotes/sn28.htm

Now, if you want to restrict eugenics such that it refers only to programs that target true genetic manipulation, that's fine. But that's not how the term has been used. Again, it has been used as shorthand for programs designed to breed out bad characteristics and breed in good ones. That's all.

maestrowork
05-10-2007, 05:52 PM
Again, it has been used as shorthand for programs designed to breed out bad characteristics and breed in good ones. That's all.

Sort of like what the mods are doing here on AW?

:)

robeiae
05-10-2007, 05:54 PM
Sort of like what the mods are doing here on AW?

:)
Yes. But like always, exceptions are made for the people in power...

:D

Higgins
05-10-2007, 06:09 PM
Historically, eugenics has rarely been founded on valid science.

Here's a good overview: http://www.georgetown.edu/research/nrcbl/publications/scopenotes/sn28.htm

Now, if you want to restrict eugenics such that it refers only to programs that target true genetic manipulation, that's fine. But that's not how the term has been used. Again, it has been used as shorthand for programs designed to breed out bad characteristics and breed in good ones. That's all.

Yes, you're right about eugenics, but my point is that this shorthand is very misleading for a syndrome like Downs that cannot be "bred out"...you could abort everybody with Downs for a million years and the syndrome would still occur just as it does now. It has nothing to do with gene frequencies in the population. So you can say it is a case of eugenics to test for it, but since it has nothing to do with gene frequencies it is just confusing to say it is a eugenic (or somehow related to gene frequencies).
I'm sure people enjoy this confusion, but it might be better to talk about such things with a more firmly grounded reference to what is actually going on biologically.

robeiae
05-10-2007, 06:18 PM
So you can say it is a case of eugenics to test for it, but since it has nothing to do with gene frequencies it is just confusing to say it is a eugenic (or somehow related to gene frequencies).I didn't say it was a case of eugenics to test for it. I said specifically that testing for it--and implied that allowing for parents to terminate the pregnancy when it was discovered--was not eugenics.

But if the government mandated that all pregnant women must be tested for Downs and that in the case of all positive results, the fetus must be aborted, that would constitute a eugenics program. Why? Because the goal of the program would be the elimination of unwanted characteristics in the general population. Historically, that is a eugenics program.

Otherwise, we agree.

dclary
05-10-2007, 06:35 PM
Well...the Jews wrote the books that the Christians decided to have as the Old Testiment. They oversaw its translation into Greek. It is their history and story. I don't see why they can't claim exclusive "lordship."

It goes into global "public domain" somewhere past the first millenium, methinks.

Higgins
05-10-2007, 06:51 PM
It goes into global "public domain" somewhere past the first millenium, methinks.


Somewhere past the First Millenium? Like 70 AD when the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem? So a religious group loses its connection to its religious traditions if the Romans destroy their Temple?
I don't think even the Early Church Fathers were clear about how true that might be.

Sheryl Nantus
05-10-2007, 06:56 PM
But if the government mandated that all pregnant women must be tested for Downs and that in the case of all positive results, the fetus must be aborted, that would constitute a eugenics program. Why? Because the goal of the program would be the elimination of unwanted characteristics in the general population. Historically, that is a eugenics program.

true - as long as there is an actual choice that lies with the family, it technically can't be called an eugenics program.

Jersey Chick
05-10-2007, 07:18 PM
Having said that, we are dealing with people who voluntarily choose to become parents. If they know Down Syndrome exists, and they can't deal with that possibility, I do have to wonder why that person would get pregnant. They can adopt a healthy baby, if they are that worried about it. The thing is, some people don't think that far ahead, so we have to hope they are able to educate themselves.

Down's Syndrome can occur no matter what the mother's age is, altho the risk rises especially after 35. I like the idea of being offered the tests, simply because it should be left up to the parents to decide if they want to know. With both of my kids, it was a case of no, I'll deal with the situation when/if it's necessary. My husband and I were in the position of being able to care for a special needs child, but not everyone can deal with the emotionl, financial, or physical toll. We were fortunate in that both of my kids were perfectly healthy.

I don't like the idea of aborting because of a defect, but I don't walk in anyone else's shoes, either. I may not agree with someone else's choice, but it is their choice.

Bravo
05-10-2007, 07:22 PM
I don't like the idea of aborting because of a defect, but I don't walk in anyone else's shoes, either. I may not agree with someone else's choice, but it is their choice.

it's a tough issue, because i would agree w what youre saying, but it just seems very "slippery slope".

after all, in some cultures, having a girl can be a "burden", so why do we not look at gendercide as simply exercising a choice?

why are willing to say aborting a fetus that has downs is okay, but aborting a girl in a male-dominated society isnt?

Jersey Chick
05-10-2007, 07:28 PM
it's a tough issue, because i would agree w what youre saying, but it just seems very "slippery slope".

after all, in some cultures, having a girl can be a "burden", so why do we not look at gendercide as simply exercising a choice?

why are willing to say aborting a fetus that has downs is okay, but aborting a girl in a male-dominated society isnt?


I didn't say it was ok. What I said was I didn't agree, but I can't make that choice for someone else. I wouldn't want someone saying to me that if I carried a down's baby, that I had to have an abortion. I can't damn someone for doing something I don't agree with because I don't know what their situation is like.

I don't want to bring religion into it, because I'm not particularly religious, but for situations involving abortion, I firmly believe it is a decision made between an individual (or both mother and father) and God (or whichever deity you choose to worship.) That's it. It's not up to me to judge.

FWIW, I don't believe in abortion, period. But I am pro-choice because I don't believe anyone should be able to make that decision for someone else.

Bravo
05-10-2007, 07:33 PM
i wasnt really arguing with you.

just adding another layer to the discussion.

or trying to at least.

Jersey Chick
05-10-2007, 07:40 PM
No - I like a good debate - it's just that it's not a case of black and white and that's kind of the problem. It's emotional as well and there are just too many shades of gray. There's no clear cut answer, no right or wrong. It's all perspective and belief, I guess. :)

dclary
05-10-2007, 08:04 PM
Somewhere past the First Millenium? Like 70 AD when the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem? So a religious group loses its connection to its religious traditions if the Romans destroy their Temple?
I don't think even the Early Church Fathers were clear about how true that might be.

Uh, Joke?

Go toke up again, pal. You're getting tense.

TheGaffer
05-10-2007, 08:24 PM
Folks, clary isn't saying anything derogatory about Jews. I've been on these boards in a while, and I know when clary is saying something derogatory. (There are multiple examples.) :)

He's just talking about a conspiracy theory that suggests Isaac possibly had Down's Syndrome. Since there is no evidence of this, no way to test for evidence, nothing that points to this other than some really tortured readings of the Bible, it's hardly something to be taken seriously. Leaving that aside, he's not saying anything about Jewish people. Good grief.

dclary
05-10-2007, 08:27 PM
Exactly. I love Jews. I even have Jewish parts, if you get my meaning.

TheGaffer
05-10-2007, 08:32 PM
Eeeesh, thanks for proving my point rather quickly.

dclary
05-10-2007, 08:41 PM
I aim to please! :D

FatTire
05-10-2007, 09:15 PM
Folks, clary isn't saying anything derogatory about Jews. I've been on these boards in a while, and I know when clary is saying something derogatory. (There are multiple examples.) :)

He's just talking about a conspiracy theory that suggests Isaac possibly had Down's Syndrome. Since there is no evidence of this, no way to test for evidence, nothing that points to this other than some really tortured readings of the Bible, it's hardly something to be taken seriously. Leaving that aside, he's not saying anything about Jewish people. Good grief.

My concern with his post isn't that it attacks Jewish people. It is that it attacks Jewish lore. To say that there is a conspiracy theory going around that is being spread outside of the religion is a dangerous ground to stand on. I take my faith some what seriously, not die hard like most, but still felt that it stepped over the line a bit. The issue of Isaac and whether he had Down's isn't something that the Jewish faith believes. It just doesn't belong within the context of this discussion. IMO.

I have known Clary a lot longer than most on this board. I know that he likes to stir the pot. His post on this matter felt vile to me. I didn't take it as an attack on me as a person of the Jewish faith. I took it as it was yet another goy speaking out of turn about my faith when they understand only what they have "studied" through their own bible groups.

robeiae
05-10-2007, 09:17 PM
I aim to please! :D
As long as you don't aim it at me...

TheGaffer
05-10-2007, 10:06 PM
My concern with his post isn't that it attacks Jewish people. It is that it attacks Jewish lore. To say that there is a conspiracy theory going around that is being spread outside of the religion is a dangerous ground to stand on. I take my faith some what seriously, not die hard like most, but still felt that it stepped over the line a bit. The issue of Isaac and whether he had Down's isn't something that the Jewish faith believes. It just doesn't belong within the context of this discussion. IMO.

I have known Clary a lot longer than most on this board. I know that he likes to stir the pot. His post on this matter felt vile to me. I didn't take it as an attack on me as a person of the Jewish faith. I took it as it was yet another goy speaking out of turn about my faith when they understand only what they have "studied" through their own bible groups.

A few things, man.

Is this "theory" a wide- and oft-quoted one among people who are not Jewish? Because as a fellow Jew I've never heard it. I agree that it doesn't belong in the discussion (and comes across as more than a bit ridiculous), but this to me isn't on the level of the blood libel or Shylockian interpretations of Jews as people, because it sounds like nonsense on its face. It's like saying Joseph wore a coat of many colors because he was possibly gay, and me taking offense to that.

Also, you don't help your cause when using the phrase "goy," either.

dclary
05-10-2007, 10:55 PM
My concern with his post isn't that it attacks Jewish people. It is that it attacks Jewish lore. To say that there is a conspiracy theory going around that is being spread outside of the religion is a dangerous ground to stand on. I take my faith some what seriously, not die hard like most, but still felt that it stepped over the line a bit. The issue of Isaac and whether he had Down's isn't something that the Jewish faith believes. It just doesn't belong within the context of this discussion. IMO.

I have known Clary a lot longer than most on this board. I know that he likes to stir the pot. His post on this matter felt vile to me. I didn't take it as an attack on me as a person of the Jewish faith. I took it as it was yet another goy speaking out of turn about my faith when they understand only what they have "studied" through their own bible groups.

a) It isn't attacking anyone's lore, because it isn't an attack at all. It's an interesting aside, an unusual take on several bible verses, and a unique interpretation of what they *might* mean.

b) Despite your insistence otherwise, old testament lore is critical to more religions than just Judaism. Christ's lineage is traced through Abraham and Isaac, too.

c) We were talking about down syndrome. I'd heard a story about Isaac having down syndrome. Regardless of any personal issues you may have with the story, it absolutely belonged within the context of the thread.

d) I wasn't stirring any pot. I was simply offering up something I'd heard once in school. Kinda like what every other single person on earth does when they're trying to add something valuable to a conversation.

e) I'm not entirely sure how offended I'm supposed to be by your use of quotes around the word "studied." Is it supposed to imply that I'm not capable of studying? That Christians are genetically incapable of reading ancient languages and analyzing the texts? That any study I or my associates may make in texts you find canonical are worthless if they don't jive with your own interpretation? Of all the things you've posted in this thread, this upsets me the most, knowing you to be a teacher and scholar yourself.

FatTire
05-10-2007, 11:30 PM
A few things, man.

Is this "theory" a wide- and oft-quoted one among people who are not Jewish? Because as a fellow Jew I've never heard it. I agree that it doesn't belong in the discussion (and comes across as more than a bit ridiculous), but this to me isn't on the level of the blood libel or Shylockian interpretations of Jews as people, because it sounds like nonsense on its face. It's like saying Joseph wore a coat of many colors because he was possibly gay, and me taking offense to that.

Also, you don't help your cause when using the phrase "goy," either.

Goy means non-Jew. It isn't meant as an offensive term. Clary is a non-Jew and thus a goy.

And read what I wrote again. You just basically agreed with me. I said that I didn't take it as a hit on the Jewish people, more so our lore when it comes to the teachings of Genisis and the OT. I said that his comments do not belong in this discussion.

FatTire
05-10-2007, 11:45 PM
a) It isn't attacking anyone's lore, because it isn't an attack at all. It's an interesting aside, an unusual take on several bible verses, and a unique interpretation of what they *might* mean.

No it really isn't that interesting. It goes against what I was taught in Sunday school about Abraham and Isaac.

b) Despite your insistence otherwise, old testament lore is critical to more religions than just Judaism. Christ's lineage is traced through Abraham and Isaac, too.

I've never insisted this. Nor do I believe it.

c) We were talking about down syndrome. I'd heard a story about Isaac having down syndrome. Regardless of any personal issues you may have with the story, it absolutely belonged within the context of the thread.

It is a conspiracy theory that doesn't belong in the conversation. It is just silly.

d) I wasn't stirring any pot. I was simply offering up something I'd heard once in school. Kinda like what every other single person on earth does when they're trying to add something valuable to a conversation.

Okay.

e) I'm not entirely sure how offended I'm supposed to be by your use of quotes around the word "studied." Is it supposed to imply that I'm not capable of studying? That Christians are genetically incapable of reading ancient languages and analyzing the texts? That any study I or my associates may make in texts you find canonical are worthless if they don't jive with your own interpretation? Of all the things you've posted in this thread, this upsets me the most, knowing you to be a teacher and scholar yourself.

I found what you added to be silly. I do not feel that it belonged in the discussion. It being a theory based purely on conjecture. It brought nothing to the conversation, yet you felt that because you studied it in bible college that it was worth sharing. You feel differently and that is your right. I took it to go against my lore and traditions. I believe that you added it to stir the pot. You do that from time to time and you can't say that you don't.
Infer what ever you wish. But you know this to not be the case with me. I do not believe any religion to be superior to any other. I said my peace about your theory. I felt that it was wrong for the discussion. It's my opinion. You see it differently. We agree then to disagree. Doesn't mean that I like you any less.



Sigh!

pconsidine
05-11-2007, 12:08 AM
One would think we've all spent enough time on message boards to know that the best way to deal with an off-topic post is to ignore it. Especially one that was offered as a complete afterthought.

dclary
05-11-2007, 03:39 AM
One would.

dclary
05-11-2007, 03:40 AM
Goy means non-Jew. It isn't meant as an offensive term. Clary is a non-Jew and thus a goy.



Yes. As evidenced in the old Slinky commercials.

"Slinky! Slinky! Fun and wonderful toy!
Slinky! Slinky! Fun for a Jew or a goy!"

FatTire
05-11-2007, 06:47 AM
Yes. As evidenced in the old Slinky commercials.

"Slinky! Slinky! Fun and wonderful toy!
Slinky! Slinky! Fun for a Jew or a goy!"

Um, a little before my time me thinks. But you are dating yourself old man. My generation had the first Nintendo to play with.

pconsidine
05-11-2007, 07:52 AM
Perhaps Log is more your era?

"It's Log! It's Log! It's big, it's heavy, it's wood!
It's Log! It's Log! It's better than bad, it's good!"

dclary
05-11-2007, 08:01 AM
Perhaps Log is more your era?

"It's Log! It's Log! It's big, it's heavy, it's wood!
It's Log! It's Log! It's better than bad, it's good!"

:|

TheGaffer
05-11-2007, 03:26 PM
Goy means non-Jew. It isn't meant as an offensive term. Clary is a non-Jew and thus a goy.

And read what I wrote again. You just basically agreed with me. I said that I didn't take it as a hit on the Jewish people, more so our lore when it comes to the teachings of Genisis and the OT. I said that his comments do not belong in this discussion.

Um, the non-offensive term for a non-Jew is "gentile." "Goy" or "goyim" to refer to several non-Jews has always generally been considered a slur, and it's why our grandparents didn't say it around non-Jews.

robeiae
05-11-2007, 05:25 PM
Like "gringo" and "gaijin."

Why do they all begin with g's?

Liiiiiiiiiisssssssssaaaaaaaa!?!?

FatTire
05-11-2007, 06:37 PM
Um, the non-offensive term for a non-Jew is "gentile." "Goy" or "goyim" to refer to several non-Jews has always generally been considered a slur, and it's why our grandparents didn't say it around non-Jews.

My grandmother used it all the time around non-Jews. And my mother-in-law still uses it. But I'm sure you're right. Both of these woman aren't exactly proper. They still use that Yiddish word when talking about African Americans.

Not my grandmother, anymore, she's dead. But she did. My mother-in-law still does. But she doesn't know any better.

Bravo
05-11-2007, 07:08 PM
i always thought goy was a slur. :Shrug:

dclary
05-11-2007, 10:35 PM
Like "gringo" and "gaijin."

Why do they all begin with g's?

Liiiiiiiiiisssssssssaaaaaaaa!?!?


Oooh, and gwailow!

dclary
05-11-2007, 10:36 PM
i always thought goy was a slur. :Shrug:

Like you'd know, towel-head.


;)

TheGaffer
05-11-2007, 10:37 PM
This, coming from Yoda's drunken brother.

FatTire
05-11-2007, 11:02 PM
i always thought goy was a slur. :Shrug:

I've never heard it used as a slur before. I'll have to ask my Rabbi. He's a pretty smart guy.

dclary
05-12-2007, 12:54 AM
This, coming from Yoda's drunken brother.

Um... Have you seen me? I'm a Hutt.

dclary
05-12-2007, 12:55 AM
I've never heard it used as a slur before. I'll have to ask my Rabbi. He's a pretty smart guy.

Actually... I think it's lingual. goy is the hebrew word for non-jew. gentile is the greek. That's why they're called gentiles in the new testament -- its source documents are almost entirely in greek.

pconsidine
05-12-2007, 01:03 AM
i always thought goy was a slur. :Shrug: My impression is that it's all in the delivery. I've heard "goy" said as if a paint color and I've heard it said with such dripping disgust, it leaves a stain.

I guess it's like "Jew" that way.

dclary
05-12-2007, 01:04 AM
My impression is that it's all in the delivery. I've heard "goy" said as if a paint color and I've heard it said with such dripping disgust, it leaves a stain.

I guess it's like "Jew" that way.

Don't you need the FN modifier in front of it to turn it negative?

pconsidine
05-12-2007, 01:07 AM
Beats the hell outta me. All I know is that when the Jewish girl I knew in college talked about dating a goy, she made it sound comparable to sleeping with a ham sandwich - with mayo on it.

FatTire
05-12-2007, 02:18 AM
My impression is that it's all in the delivery. I've heard "goy" said as if a paint color and I've heard it said with such dripping disgust, it leaves a stain.

I guess it's like "Jew" that way.


I have a Jewish friend that hates it when people use the word "Jew". She always corrects people with "Jewish". She doesn't care how the word is delivered, it truly enrages her when people use the word.

dclary
05-12-2007, 02:22 AM
Funny, she doesn't look Druish.

aadams73
05-12-2007, 03:15 AM
I'm about as thrilled about being referred to as a "goy" as Jewish people are to being called "kike." To me it's a religious slur. *shrug*

Anthony Ravenscroft
05-12-2007, 09:41 PM
Yiddish is a language made up heavily of slang. This makes it wonderful for theatre, poetry, music, & literature. Nobody escapes the barbs from what (in context) are merely parts of a verbal free-for-all -- remember Jackie Mason getting crap for referring to schvartzers?

Anyway, back to the OP.

No, I don't think it happens to be "eugenics" -- which itself is a decent enough concept except that it attracts so many "pure race" morons.

But I'm a statistician by education. Thirty years ago, I read about a study of Down syndrome. They'd found that the correlation between mother's age & syndrome incidence was kinda fuzzy. So (since we're nasty, cynical people) they compared to a bunch of other data, & found a much stronger correlation:

The age of the male parent.

They speculated that a major factor was degradation of the sperm-producing mechanism, & possibly cumulative toxins in the overall body -- to be crude-but-funny, all the crap we absorb in life makes us less edible every day.

There's a secondary correlation between "age of father" & "age of mother," which is where the fuzziness is most obviously introduced.

But "every sperm is sacred," can't blame Dear Ol' Dad for making crippled wigglers, so let's just blame Mom.

And from looking at that article, I get the feeling that nobody's quizzing Dad yet.

BY THE WAY: John McGinley, or "Dr. Perry Cox" on Scrubs, is father to a Down syndrome child. He scrapped a promising film career in favor of TV so that he can be closer to his son. Watch him on the show when he starts to talk about being a father -- it's heartrending because it's so sincere.