Friday, February 17, 2012

Sex, Religion, and Politics

I have long believed that overpopulation is very detrimental to our environment and lowers the overall quality of life for everyone. 

The Catholic Church now gets over $2.5 billion dollars per year from the federal government for Catholic higher education, Catholic hospitals, and other Catholic charities.  Yet, in the past few weeks, the Catholic bishops have been angered because the federal government asked them to provide typical birth control support (contraceptives) in the medical plans they offer their employees.  They plan to violate laws for non-profit organizations and begin active political campaigns against federal policy from the pulpit.  

Catholics, Baptists, many black and white Fundamentalist Christians, and Muslims in America all believe that their religion has dogmas that require married couples to engage in sexual relations primarily for reproductive purposes.  These and other churches generally agree on many or all of the following tenets: sexual relations outside of marriage are sinful, masturbation is sinful, homosexuality is sinful, birth control measures are sinful, and that legal abortions are sinful and murder.   All these religions encourage their members to have large families.  They are all decidedly patriarchal religions.  In addition, numerous federal and state laws discriminate in their favor, e.g., unlimited tax deductions for dependent children. 

Despite the ongoing preaching by the Christian and Muslim clerics, however, over 90% of the individual members of these churches in America simply ignore their church leaders and practice reasonable family planning and use birth control.  Over 71% of California voters support legal abortions.  Billions of condoms are also widely used yearly by informed persons to prevent unwanted pregnancies and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.  The number of children per family in America has been steadily dropping over the last five decades.  Also, many people are non-religious and don't agree with the anti-sex doctrines of these churches.  I applaud and support all these efforts by adults of all religions, or none, to choose to bring only one or two children into this world and raise them well.     

I have prepared a recommendation for a Zero Population Growth Constitutional Amendment (federal or state) as a possible solution to this serious problem. It is clear to everyone that overpopulation is a critical worldwide issue that significantly impacts on available food and freshwater supplies, inadequate housing, pollution of the environment, the spread of diseases, unemployment, poverty, population migrations, violence, and war.  The problem is less pressing in America, but real, and future planning for the 21st century and beyond needs to change our 18th century thinking about governmental encouragement of large family sizes. 


  1. Hi,

    I grew up Catholic, had an intense period of atheism, and converted to the LDS Church, i.e. I'm a Mormon.

    I would like to correct you on a couple of points:

    With regard to sexual relations to be used solely for procreation, a talk by Brent Barlow indicates the following:

    " In my work as a marriage counselor, I have found that there are some couples who feel that sexuality should be restricted to one dimension—reproduction. Yet President Kimball has said: “We know of no directive from the Lord that proper sexual experiences between husbands and wives need be limited totally to the procreation of children.” (Ensign, Oct. 1975, p. 4.) While creating children is an integral and beautiful aspect of marital intimacy, to use it only for that purpose is to deny its great potential as an expression of love, commitment, and unity. "

    And second, the LDS Church has no prohibition against the use of birth control or family planning methods. The recommendation is that couples have as many children as they can emotionally and physically handle. The size of Mormon families has been decreasing over the past two decades - there is no active encouragement from church as to family size, though I clearly recognize that, at least in the Mountain West, there may be cultural pressure.



  2. Joe,

    Thank you very much for clarifying the LDS Mormon positions on birth control and family size. I am pleased to hear that LDS Mormon Church has no prohibitions against the use of birth control or family planning methods.

    My main point is that everyone who does believe in birth control and family planning in America currently has to pay more taxes because of the religious opinions of others.