In the article just below, Susan Timoney has called to our attention that latest notion of the “culture of death.” What is the “culture of death” you might ask. Essentially what it amounts to is that the “solution” to problems seems (increasingly) to be the death(or non-existence) of a human being, or of human beings in general. If a baby is inconvenient or has birthdefects or is in somehow not preferred, abort (kill) the baby. If a prisoner has committed serious crimes, kill him. If a person is in the final stages of life and has difficulties that minimize the quality of life, kill the patient, or let him kill himself. Even our entertainment is deadly in nature. The typical adventure movie begins by some injustice or act of violence. Then our hero steps on the scene and, after about an hour and a half of killing people, breaking things, crashing cars, blowing up stuff etc., justice is restored and our hero walks off the scene with the girl in his arms. What was the solution to injustice? Why of course, death.
Save the Planet by Dying! And now, in order to save the planet what is the solution? Our old friend, death, or in this case, the premeditated non existence of people through contraception. You see we have to minimize our “carbon footprint” as a species so to “save the planet” we should block the existence of new human beings. (Ever notice how, only people who are already alive suggest that others should not exist?) OK, so lets all agree that a clean planet with well managed resources is a good thing. But not if no one is around to enjoy it. The secular worldview sees the planet as an end in it itself. The Judeo/Christian worldview sees the earth has having been made for the human race and given to us by God (cf Gen. 1:28) who told us to be fruitful and multiply.
Malthus was Wrong – For well over a century now the alarmists have told us we would run out of food and other resources. We have not. We have gotten smarter. We farm more efficiently and manage our resources better. There is plenty of food to go around. It is corruption and injustice that keeps some of the poor from being well fed, not a lack of resources. But the culture of death insists on death and non-existence as a solution. Most of this kind of talk comes from the affluent West and western-style cultures.
Getting What We Want? – Well, perhaps the affluent West is about to get what it wants to dole out to others: increasing non-existence. It seems we are slowing going out of business. With birthrates plummeting throughout Europe and other Western democracies the writing is on the wall as never before: non-existence is looming ever larger. In France the birthrate is 1.8 children per family, well below the replacement level of 2.1 Ah! Good News! says the culture of death crowd. Not so fast. There is another birthrate in France that is quite different. Muslim families in France have a birthrate of 8.1 children per family. Europeans who have lost their love for life are simply being replaced by others who do love life. Europe as we know it today is going out of existence. Everywhere, in Germany, Italy, England and Spain, Japan too and other western style democracies too are being replaced.
Committing Suicide – And What of the Church? Last year the Roman Catholic Church was displaced as the largest religion in the world by Muslim believers who have taken the top spot. Not only is Western Culture committing a kind of suicide but so are the Catholics and other Christians there. The Catholic Church has warned of the dangers of contraception for years and the world, even many Catholics, have laughed at this “archaic” teaching. Well, it is time to wake up. We are committing suicide, we are going out of existence. It is almost as if the judgement of God is upon us, saying, “If you do not love life, you will be replaced by those who do.” God often strengthened Israel’s opponents in the Old Testament in order to punish and purify Israel. I wonder if something similar isn’ t happening here. The Christian West has cast aside its love of life and kicked faith to the curb. The Muslims who DO love life and have NOT kicked faith(though not our faith) to the curb are thriving. Pay attention.
Can’t Happen?? “Well”, you say, “It cannot happen. The Cathedrals of Europe will not become Mosques.” Think again. Ephesus was once the thriving center of a large Christian community in Asia Minor. This great city had some superstar Bishops. Paul had been there three years, possibly Peter, Then John the Beloved Apostle became its Bishop and Mother Mary according to tradition lived there in John’s household. But the Lord warned Ephesus: Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Rev 2:4-5). Today the Church in Ephesus is gone, the city lies in ruins. The other six Churches are also gone. Modern Day Turkey, though officially secular is predominately Muslim. North Africa was once a thriving Catholic area. There were over 500 bishops, among them the great Augustine and Cyprian. Many Church Fathers too: Athanasius, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Cyril. Today the ruins of the north African Church lie buried under the sand now trod by a population that is almost 100% Muslim. At least these ancient parts of the Church had the “dignity” of being conquered. We, it seems, at least in the Christian West, have prefered the more cowardly way of suicide instead of courageously living our Catholic Faith and insisting on its truth in the midst of ridicule and opposition.
A Very Different Future is on the Doorstep – Ah, but some may say, Msgr. Pope is bigoted in suggesting that there is anything wrong with Muslims replacing Christians. Well, I have nothing personally against the Muslims. I have just praised their zeal for their faith and zest for life. But the fact is, they do not, as a group, share our most basic beliefs and values. The Muslim World and faith are not known for accepting pluralistic societies. Religious tolerance is not a widespread concept among them. It could get very difficult for Christians and other religious traditions in the future. We just have to be sober about this. Western style democracy and Islam have had a troubled co-existence. It is not an unknown pair but it is rarer. Sharia law will likely replace many western notions of Law. And frankly, I wonder how much the cultures that replace the West will really care about environmental issues. I hope to be wrong about all of this but the world of the future is going to be very very different. And the future isn’t that far away. In less than 40 years France and most of Europe will be majority Muslim. The fact is I do love my Christian and Western Culture and DO want to preserve it. This does not make me a bigot. We have something worth saving, something different and to my mind much better than Islam. Western culture is ailing to be sure but if we can return to our Judeo/Christian roots there is something great to be saved and preserved. We ought to be alarmed to see our way of life so sick. We ought to seek healing from our God and hope to preserve the best of what we have achieved by God’s Grace.
Shame on Us – And we Christians collectively have brought most of this on ourselves. This has happened on our watch in a culture where Christians are the vast majority. We have ignored our own Christian tradition that forbids contraception and embraced the culture of death. It looks like we are getting just what we want: death and non-existence. The Church has warned us but we have rejected her teaching and, at least collectively in the West, seem bent on contracepting and aborting our selves right out of existence. Shame on us.
The Remnant – If you are reading this you may be an exception. There ARE Christians who still love life. My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their 6th child. My other other brother and his wife have three. Both famlies practice their faith. Perhaps you who read this are doing your part too. But too many Christians, too many Catholics have allowed themselves to be deceived, to prefer death to life.
The following video depicts the demographic implosion at work in Europe and other Western cultures. It presents some very sobering truth. Watch it if you dare. Share it if you care.
6 Replies to “Wake up Call: Contraception is Cultural Suicide!”
Msgr. Pope thanks for taking the conversation to the next step. We could also refer back to your blog on marriage and how it exists for the self-giving of husband and wife and the creation of a family which establishes the best environment for raising children. Marriage and family life is the foundation of society.
I’m cautious about accepting the claims made in the video. At one point it says that 25% of the population of Belgium is muslim… but according to published figures, only 6% of the population is muslim and 25% of the population of Brussels is muslim (which is perhaps where they got that figure). The european population is shrinking, and muslims appear to be the fastest growing demographic in europe (not in North America though), although I don’t know if I believe all of the things claimed; the amount of time it would take for the continent to become muslim might be somewhat longer than the video speculates according to current rates. Here in Canada, the fastest growing demographic is actually the aboriginals, who more than double the number of muslims.
The demographic loss in the west, however, has another consequence that is somewhat important to note. If the population continues to produce less offspring, then this has repercussions for the economy of western nations when there are more people who are retired on welfare than there are who are in the workforce performing the economy. There could be a relationship between the coming to retirement age of the baby boomers in the past few years and still ongoing, and the economic troubles we have been experiencing recently. The pope talks about this in his latest encyclical:
‘On the other hand, formerly prosperous nations are presently passing through a phase of uncertainty and in some cases decline, precisely because of their falling birth rates; this has become a crucial problem for highly affluent societies. The decline in births, falling at times beneath the so-called “replacement level”, also puts a strain on social welfare systems, increases their cost, eats into savings and hence the financial resources needed for investment, reduces the availability of qualified labourers, and narrows the “brain pool” upon which nations can draw for their needs.Furthermore, smaller and at times miniscule families run the risk of impoverishing social relations, and failing to ensure effective forms of solidarity. These situations are symptomatic of scant confidence in the future and moral weariness. It is thus becoming a social and even economic necessity once more to hold up to future generations the beauty of marriage and the family, and the fact that these institutions correspond to the deepest needs and dignity of the person. In view of this, States are called to enact policies promoting the centrality and the integrity of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman, the primary vital cell of society, and to assume responsibility for its economic and fiscal needs, while respecting its essentially relational character.’
Whether or not it is a realistic scenario for muslim immigration to replace the population of Europe in the near future, it is still probably true that the culture of death is creating certain economic consequences that may lead to a different kind of self-destruction.
Thanks for this excellent reply and for the link to the new Encyclical. Yes, there are enormous economic impllcations for the low birth-rate as well as an impoverished family structure that has a harder time socializing the young. It is a blessing not only to have parents, but also siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles in the mix. All this helps to form us, without a rich experience of deep family ties the individual often lack depths to their formative experience.
Regarding the economics, I remember Ronald Regan got into some hot water years ago with his conservative base when he stated that immigration in larger numbers was really a good thing since a growing population meant a growing and more diverse economy. At that time conservatives were more for a strict cutailment on immigration. At any rate, I can personally say that I am delighted with the immigrants we have to America. They are hard working, family oriented and largely Catholic. Granted we have have to pay better attention to bordre security on all our borders, and try to better ensure that immigration happens legally and resonably.
The death of Western culture and civilization is not a new theme. One reason I believe that families started to get smaller is the tremendous economic pressures with both parents working…all to bring a child to adulthood. I contrast that with my grandparents who brought nine children to adulthood. Only my grandfather worked and it was a blue collar job at that. Today’s parents are routinely expected to bankrupt themselves to get a child through college. Then too our smaller families are expected to all the while live up to a certain “standard of living”. When I was young it was called “keeping up with the Joneses”. While a large family was normative two or three generations back,, it seems to be the exeption today. We have secular pressures to stay within prescribed norms. On the other hand many of our career jobs also demand much more of our time than a standard 40 hours of work per week. So our smaller families seem to be less cohesive with parents substituting “quality time” for “full time” devotion to parental duties.
Many of us accept from our history that Almighty God has used Islam as a scourge aginst the Christendom. In the end that may be the case in our own times. One other thought I’ve had on this subject is that Our Lady of Fatima told Lucy that if her requests were not fulfilled, various nations may be annihilated. Years ago many of us thought that this was a thinly veiled reference to nuclear annihilation. However, in the present age with the the culture of death, upon us, including contraception and abortion, could this form of national suicide be the instrument Our Lady was referring to? I wonder.
Little doubt that there are economic pressures involved in smaller family sizes. Interesting fact that the “cost of living” in inflation adjusted dollars isn’t higher than the 1950s. But the fact is we want ALOT more than we did in the 1950s to include several cars, multiple flat screen TVs a large house with a “great room” Ari conditioning etc…. So that’s were the economics seem to come in, but in the end its about decisions and what we consider important.
Your insight about Fatima is interesting. It also occurs to me that the Muslims are quite devoted to Mary and maybe she will be an important bridge in the future to better relations between Catholics and Muslims. It is interesting isn’t that she chose to appear in a town called Fatima named for Mohammed’s Duaghter.
Dear Msgr. Pope,
The reply from gloria tv did in fact say many of the things that I had intended to say about the video.
However I would like to share a perspective from Britain.
I remember reading a piece about the modern man, how his decline will go one of two ways. The first way he will decline is in losing his courage, or in a nasty way describe it has being transformed into a wimp. The second way he will decline is by being immoral, almost into barbarity.
My observations in multiple urban areas in britain as a Publican 🙁 [I do not like my job] I get to observe a wide number of people.
While this video does correctly document the birth rate, it over exaggerates the wrong problem. The real problem in my view will be the problem of a culture without religion. So many of the births in this country are born to people who wanted a council house. There are whole swathes of no go areas in our cities and these are filled with young people who haven’t the foggiest idea about what morality is. Even the young people who the average person might consider civilized are drug abusers, and for all the things that the church warns about like abortion and contraception.
There are a lot of statistics pandered about, but I am not sure how accurate they are. Perhaps I just see one segment of the population in my travels, but what I do see is scary and when I go to church the number of people younger than me (i am 26) there can be counted on one hand. Not to mention the fact that often I can see I am the youngest by a few years.
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