When you hear a phrase like “culture of death” do you think it seems a bit exaggerated? I tend to like to err on the side of optimism. However, that is sorely tested when I read stories like the one in today’s Wall Street Journal titled ” America’s Babies Are Ruining Everything.” Two researchers from Oregon State have written a study that suggests that having less children will greatly help reducing the world’s carbon foot print.
If you are someone who recycles, installs energy efficient windows, cuts back on the number of miles you drive in an energy efficient car, but chooses to have two children, you add nearly 40 times the amount of carbon dioxide emissions you had saved on the above measures. William McGurn writes “The basic premise of the study is that a person is responsible for emissions of his or her descendants.”
The Culture of Death
This kind of thinking is an example of what Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI mean when they speak of a “culture of death.” This research wants us to believe that the world is worse off for the birth of children, that somehow we have to get serious about limiting births. Gases aside, Japan, China and Western Europe are facing serious societal problems for having encouraged or legislated the limiting of the number of children a family can have or limiting and placing a higher value on boy babies. This is a serious moral issues with a profound lack of faith at its foundation.
The Gift of Life
God is the author of life and so every human life is both intended by God and a gift. Surely, when God gave stewardship of the earth and its resources to man and woman, God envisioned a partnership in which life can flourish (human, animal and plant). To be sure there are serious challenges we face is making food, water and resources available to all people, but people on all sides of the political debate agree that there are solutions to those problems.
Going Green with God
Pope Benedict is committed to going green because it is the responsible stewardship to which God pledged us at the moment of the creation of man and because Pope Benedict knows that the only real reason for “going green” is to enhance the quality of life for all women and men and to exercise good stewardship of God’s gifts.
Witnesses to the Culture of Life
Learning about studies like this one, carefully reading the news, getting involved in the complicated process of healthcare reform and what it will say with regard to abortion, learning about euthanasia , getting involved in the same-sex marriage debate, is a responsibility of discipleship and in particular the lay mission and vocation. There are people in many segments of society who are chipping away fundamental Judeo-Christian values that have shaped our country from its beginning. We have be prepared to witness to the Good News and to the culture of life.