Population Theology


If having an “anti-life” stance favors the living here and now, I’d rather be the former.

Nowadays, as the world and third-world nations confront a global phenomenon of ever increasing commodity prices, the population discourse has resurfaced, gained new life, and is fiercer than ever. While most of its former players have changed stances, either pro or anti, some, such as the Catholic Church, remained strong on its position not to allow artificial birth control, the most popular segment of the entire population debate. ANd on these terms, I and the Church totally disagree.

But be not mistaken. I am a devout Catholic. I may not attend Church regularly, but I go to church everytime I can; seek support and help from Catholic saints (who, apparently, are very giving), and propagate the faith’s colorful and valid teachings in any way I can. But in the issue of population, even the most devout dissents the opinion of his next-door confessor.

THE TWO-SIDED DISCOURSE

The population debate has a lot of offshoots such as population management, population utility, and population control. The one with such heated reception is the third. Two powerful rocks bang in this decade-long debate; at one side, a government, which, while headed by a Catholic bureaucrat, favors an artificial form of birth control to deter poverty; staunchly opposed by the Church, particularly by the bishops she attends mass to every Sunday.

Both sides have clear initiatives. The government, on one hand, presents a medium-range agenda which begins with controlling the current number of Pinoys, and when such is done, work on the services to better their lives and make ways to divide the national patrimony equally. While on the other hand, the Catholic Church, presents the natural birth control method, and pushes the government to reform social service delivery among its citizens.

POPULATION POLITICS

Everything has politics, even population. Though many people tend to lean towards the side of artificial birth control, such leaning is deterred by some politicians who tend to lean more into their dreams — more particularly, their dreams of becoming president. And this dream requires a Church supportive of them, of which is in need of a face to back the natural birth control program. Cool dynamics.

The government, thus, is unable to come up with a paradigm proposal on artificial birth control. While a side of the government says “go forth and have sex but wear condoms first”, another side says “go forth and take the risk of multiplying.” An issue that does not necessitate politics becomes another (and it is sad) political hardline debate.

THE ANTI-LIFE PERCEPTION

Of course, the Church has to be pro-life, since life emanates from the Divine, our Creator. And taking it from this line, the Church’s standpoint is rather different. If compared to a debate and the Church is the opposition, instead of battling by destructing the government’s policy, they present a proposal; THE NATURAL BIRTH CONTROL METHOD (charran!!!). A development of sorts from a Church who once opposed anything opposed to the gift of child production.

In an article from http://www.pbs.org {http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/pill/timeline/timeline2.html} particularly in the article narrating the history of the pill, it states that:

“…The Catholic Church remains resolutely opposed to artificial birth control, but Pope Pius XII announces that the Church will sanction the use of the rhythm method as a natural form of birth control. Previously, the only option approved by Rome was abstinence…”

In this statement, we see that the Church, at some point, seeing that people nowadays are ill-controlling in their sexual desires, sanctioned a natural method, the rhythm method, to address the population problem. Notwithstanding the Pope’s wisdom on this concern, I see that the Pope sees the overpopulation taking place, something that mere abstinence may never resolve.

The Church has highly condemned advocates of the artificial birth control method on the basis that they [supporters] interfere with the natural process of creation; one initiated by God Himself.

LET US BORROW GOD’S PERSPECTIVE

I am not trying nor wanting to become a heretic of sorts but allow me to use God’s perspective: a perspective broad and wide; one that encompasses the universe. But I wish to borrow the perspective only global in scope.

The world currently has 6 billion people. In the Philippines, we have 94 million people, and of course, hundreds of births EVERY MINUTE. More births, more people, more space needed for housing. More space needed for housing, less space can be used for food production. Less space for food production, IMMEDIATE RESULT: lessened capability to produce staple foods such as rice. IMMEDIATE SOLUTION? Importation. NEXT PROBLEM? When  no country wants to import anymore since there is also an internal need for food supply. RESULT? Hunger, Famine, Poverty and Potential deaths.

And I think God does not want to see that. While artificial birth control may seem to be an anti-life idea, it is an idea to make sure that God’s creations already in the world stay alive to continue to become His image and Likeness.

The Church must understand that God cares more about who are living already, and will not readily sacrifice the living for those who are yet to be born. At least from the God they teach, I know that God is caring and just. And will not allow his beings to live in peril or be born in hardship. I know He is a God who likes His people to have the BEST.

Dude, I have Christian Ethics class in12 hours, I can’t wait to raise these points.

About carlomasajo
I am a 21 year old Fine Arts student from the University of Santo Tomas trying to help this nation become a better one.

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