The earth’s population has doubled since 1974. Maybe you knew this, but when I saw this, it stopped me in my tracks. I was in 8th grade. Nixon had just resigned. “The Way We Were” by Barbra Streisand was number one on the charts. Many of us remember these events (okay, you may not have known me in 8th grade) or have at least read about them in modern history chapters in school. In fact, until about 10-12,000 years ago (which over 50% or Americans believe to be the age of the earth), there were very few human beings on the planet. It has all been uphill since then.
The command God gave to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply, and we have taken that to heart. And while different areas and eras have had their ebb and flow, humanity has been increasing in numbers in ways that have put a lot of stress on the planet. The world is dying, which makes access to the production of food and the availability of clean water difficult tasks to manage. Increasing migration due to the death of the climate, war, and overpopulation continue to bring increased calamity, death, and illness. Technology, at least in the developed world, has allowed us to live longer, healthier lives, which isn’t all bad, but it isn’t all good either.
In this country, the birth rate among people of European descent has been decreasing since the mass availability of the birth control pill in the early 1960’s (yes – the Baby Boom). The ability to have fewer children has changed our culture dramatically, not only giving more opportunities for both parents to pursue their vocational dreams, but greater opportunities to afford more for their families. Children are expensive, and while they are a blessing, they can also make it hard for families to improve their economic situations in life. And the more people we produce, the more stress we put on the environment. There’s only so much water, after all, and parts of the world are at war to control what is available.
Meanwhile, many of the people who oppose abortion also oppose birth control, unless it is “natural”. They see birth control as being the same or similar to abortion and are working to limit or make illegal the ability of women not to get pregnant. This opposition to contraception has been growing, and you can read more about it here The Anti-Birth Control Movement – Women’s Media Center (womensmediacenter.com). The opposition to abortion and birth control are based in a particular religious point of view and should have no traction in Constitutional law. And yet, here we are.
Regardless of one’s opinion about these issues, it seems clear that if we don’t begin to offer better options for birth control around the globe, we will move more quickly towards the death of the planet. Unfortunately, that seems to be the goal of many proponents of this dangerous religious agenda. They want Armeggedon (the return of Jesus) and are doing everything they can to bring it about. We can’t let them do that.
Prayer – Help us God, as we continue to find ways to destroy this beautiful planet. Teach us wisdom as we use technology for good. Amen.
Today’s image is a chart from the Global Education Project from 2019.