“Immediately after creating man, God told him, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28). After the flood, God gave Noah and his sons a similar commission, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1).” from: Be Fruitful and Multiply
So the Catholic Church seems to think that birth control is a bad thing? Partly at least, because of this whole Be Fruitful and Multiply thing in the Bible? It seems like maybe the new Pope is stuck with this rule even if it puts a heavy burden on families, especially on his poorest followers. And if God said it, the Pope would have to do it, even if it requires mankind to overpopulate the Earth and cause widespread starvation and devastation by expanding beyond what the environment can support?
But maybe the Pope and his theologians just don’t see what God was getting at. When God said to Be Fruitful and Multiply, maybe God didn’t intend for it to be done FOREVER. Does he or she say “multiply ENDLESSLY”? I mean any religion needs a good amount of followers to thrive and after a devastating flood you would need to replenish it back up to a thriving amount. Any deity worth their salt would want its followers to multiply up to a good safe amount to keep their religion going, wouldn’t they? It seems to me this business of multiplying without end is an added assumption that God is not saying in these quotes. Thinking that God is commanding some endless reproduction is assuming that God does not have a lick of common sense.
These kinds of edicts may make sense to a bunch of elderly celibate people who live off the donations of others, but for those of us in the reproductive front lines, we can’t be blamed for thinking that God might be as interested in our having the ability to nurture and cherish our children as he or she would be in their mass production. It seems the Pope and his Cardinals are giving God very little credit in this issue by thinking that God meant ENDLESS reproduction.
If we don’t make these assumptions for God (that is a bit presumptuous eh?), than the question instead would be, how many Christians would it take to make God happy? Well I know there are issues with whom the Catholic Church considers real Christians, so let’s consider only the population of Catholics.
“Catholics worldwide numbered 1.07 billion in 2002, and half of them were in the Americas, says the 2004 Pontifical Yearbook” from: AMERICAS HAVE HALF THE WORLD’S 1.07 BILLION CATHOLICS.
Well perhaps a BILLION CATHOLICS is enough of the multiplying already? I think God might be proud and satisfied with the work Catholics have done in this area. If a billion Catholics is NOT a fruitful and multiplied amount, than the only other answer is to wait until all the available space on Earth is covered inch by inch with starving Catholics. By putting this idea upon God that he meant to multiply forever, the Catholic Church is forced into a struggle against a world that feels like it has enough children of God and wants to slow down the multiplying while those children can still be nourished and given the support that each child deserves.
Is there any way that the Pope and the Catholic Church can change their mind on this issue? Have they backed themselves into a theological and ecological corner?
I think there is a way out…
Maybe Pope Benedict can just take a page from the playbook of our American Man of God(George Bush). Maybe Pope Benedict can put an end to the Catholic Churches struggle against the world’s reality over birth control. Maybe all it would take is declaring the goal of being fruitful and multiplying as Mission Accomplished.