- In the interest of preserving our planet and our species, shouldn't religious organizations be encouraging smaller families? Do our spiritual leaders need additional divine revelation to realize that our current doctrines -- which threaten to take the entire world down with us -- have become ethically and theologically questionable?
Population growth hits hardest in the poorest nations, and as poverty increases, public health declines. I am quite certain that God is not the author of human misery, but by preaching against birth control at the same time we are preaching against abortion, it seems that we're making God out as cruel, a buffoon, or both.
I recognize that religious organizations tend to be conservative institutions. Their continued resistance to equal rights for women and gays is a good example. A woman may be president of Harvard or speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, but in the largest religious organization on the planet, women still can't get ordained as parish priests. It's even worse for gays and lesbians.
All this is to say that religion often comes late to the party -- sometimes kicking and screaming, as did most Southern churches on slavery and civil rights. Only this time, we can't afford it. Not when the fate of the planet might hang in the balance.
How should people of faith respond to this gathering environmental storm?
First, we must stop having so many children. Clergy should consider voicing the difficult truth that having more than two children during such a time is selfish. Dare we say sinful? The average American might not listen to his elected representatives, but he darn sure listens to his pastor. Every week. This will be a hard message for pastors to preach and parishioners to hear, but without it we court disaster.
Sorry, Rev. Thomas, but I cannot subscribe to your implication that children are a curse. (And yes, that is exactly what you are implying.) The world needs more children brought up "in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4), not less.