Today our church entertained a special speaker, Sarah Flashing, who provided us with an interesting perspective on euthanasia and eugenics. One of her central points was to draw the relationship between the two by exampling how they are inter-related.
When eugenics is promoted it is at the expense of those who are not chosen, those not chosen are put to death. This happens in the case of sex-selective and feature-selective implantation (genetic screening). Say you want a child with red hair and green eyes. You choose that child to be born and then the rest are discarded. When it comes to human embryos, that situation ends up in death.
But as a bit of irony, here is something about our family name name. Mother’s maiden name is Cohen, though that was an adaptation of Cowan. So we looked up the etymology of the name. The irony is self-evident:
This interesting name, widespread in Scotland and Ulster, is an Anglicized form of the old Gaelic MacEoghain or MacEoin. The Gaelic prefix “mac” means “son of”, plus the personal name Eoghan from the old Celtic “Oue(i)n”, well-born, but believed to derive ultimately from the Greek “Eugenious”, “born lucky” or “well-born”.
Sort of brings to mind the names used in other cultures that related to calling, as is the case in both the OT and NT (eg., Peter & rock). Now, I’m not going to make a fetish out of this family history as though our family history names led to this moment. But it is difficult to avoid that little feeling of confirmation in learning this little tidbit.