Yes, yes, yes I know. The title of this post maybe a tad slanted or abrupt and, no, I am not now saying that population growth causes environmental degradation (it does not). However, the title speaks to a larger issue when it comes to a recent point made by the Pope in his latest encyclical on the care of the Earth, Laudato Si. Columnist Pasca Emmanuel-Gobry at The Week wrote a second op-ed continuing to gush about Francis’ green screed pointing out how consistent the declaration is with Catholic doctrine. He also attempts to cover for the Bishop of Rome by attempting to draw some sort of distinction between environmentalist dogma and Catholic doctrine when both are basically the same in principle.
What the author fails to distinguish is that the religious denominations and environmentalist groups are two sides of the same coin. Both groups seek to sacrifice the individual to the collective will, be it the Church, God, or Gaia (i.e. nature). The Church and greens have different means, but seek the same ends. Environmentalists are sinister in their defense of abortion rights and family planning just like the Catholic Church’s opposition to them. When environmentalists defend abortion rights and family planning it is in an environmentalist context. By keeping both readily available, in theory, it will lead to less (and hopefully zero) population growth. This could also include mandatory abortions too since I have yet to hear any outcry from groups like Greenpeace about how inhumane China’s forced abortion policy is. As far as the Church is concerned, its opposition to abortion and family planning is grounded in self sacrifice where women, and even men, will be forced to carry pregnancies they cannot afford or do not want to term.
Abortion is a moral right a woman should exercise of her own conscience between her and her doctor and she should not be used as a means to an end to pro-creation nor should a woman be forced or encouraged to have them. Family planning and abortion should be voluntary and done with the end goal of helping people prevent unplanned, or unwanted pregnancies and not for the purposes of population control. As far as Francis is concerned, in the context of his new encyclical, it demonstrates the true evil of the creed of sacrifice (i.e. altruism) he and his institution exist to further. Religion’s highest moral end is suffering and death, an ethic even environmentalists subscribe to.