In light of a few words recently uttered by the great Pope Francis, I’d like to take this opportunity to write about the very serious issue of overpopulation.
While it’s true that I would feel much more comfortable discussing Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards or Taylor Swift’s recently discovered belly button, I think this is important. Besides, Pope Francis is basically Beyoncé for Catholic people, right? It’s like pop culture for sheltered parochial school students.
The Pope recently commented that in order to be “good Catholics,” people need not feel the urge to breed “like rabbits.” I give major props to the guy for tossing out that colloquial phrase, but he should’ve known people wouldn’t be too happy about it. And being in the position of power that he is, Pope Francis had no choice but to apologize through an archbishop in a more thoughtful and family-friendly way.
But I want to speculate on his original message.
The truth is, people are having too many kids, and it isn’t just Catholics. Our world has way too many people, and that fact becomes more apparent each and every day.
I’m saying it, because someone has to say it. And it’s true. Our population is skyrocketing at alarming rates. Experts estimate that we’ve broken the 7 billion mark, and that number is quickly making its way to 8 billion. But people don’t want to hear that they should stop having children. And ethically speaking, it’s a limitation that even I can’t justify.
But we have to do something about it.
Food shortages, pollution, climate change and countless other problems that threaten society can be traced to the simple fact that we have too many people. We have too many people, and we do not have enough resources to support them.
It’s easier to govern a nation of 1 million than it is a nation of 1 billion. It’s easier to feed two mouths than it is to feed four, and it’s easier to delete 10 Candy Crush invitations than it is to delete 20. Diversity is good, and there is strength in numbers. But at some point, a community suffers when it becomes too dense.
So how do we control our population when our very instinct seeks to promote it? Our entire society is built upon the idea of growth, and yet, in my opinion, that growth is causing the vast majority of our struggles.
We can’t force people to stop having children. It simply wouldn’t be fair. Instead, we need to educate. We need to spread awareness regarding the consequences of overpopulation. We need to teach people what it truly means to raise a child. We need to realize that mass-producing these wrinkly little angels — which are more or less shrieking bags of meat — will inevitably suck up all our hard-earned money.
Nobody should be told that they should not have children, but everyone should know that it’s not a decision to make lightly.
In addition to education, access to birth control should be a non-issue by now. Condoms should be free and easily obtained in schools and clinics. If a woman wants to prevent her body from producing a child, then her decision should be seen as intelligent and respectable. She should not have to deal with outside forces that seek to threaten her decision.
As a society, we harbor far too many needless taboos on this subject. We uphold these arbitrary stigmas on the ethics of marriage, sex and birth control, and they only exist to hurt us. This behavior simply serves to produce unnecessary political debates, unnecessary restrictions on female rights, and unnecessary guilt over boinking one’s high school sweetheart.
In a future that is threatened with so many potentially catastrophic outcomes, I think we would be better served by training and educating a limited group of forward thinkers than we would be to needlessly create more victims.
Anywho, that’s all I got. Now if you’ll excuse me, I desperately need to go catch up on “19 Kids and Counting.”