THE POPE, THE POPULATION,
AND THE POLITICS OF NUMBERS
Last month, a 179-nation conference on limiting world population
submitted recommendations to the United Nations that urged greater access to
sex education and birth control for women and young people as a means of
limiting explosive global population growth. But the recommendations came at
the end of months of struggle, during which time the world population exceeded
six billion people -- and "dissents" to the recommendation were submitted by
Argentina, Nicaragua and the Vatican. The Vatican strongly backed attempts by
several Catholic and Muslim countries to thwart attempts by the conference to
come up with a meaningful consensus, by re-opening debate on issues that had
been resolved five years ago at a similar conference in Cairo.
This time, the Vatican might have gone too far. A coalition of
women's groups submitted an open letter to the Roman Catholic Church,
challenging the qualifications of an allegedly celibate church heirarchy to
make recommendations about family planning and women's reproductive health. And
a group calling itself "Catholics for a Free Choice" has initiated a proposal
to downgrade the Vatican from its current status as "observer state" - allowing
it to take part in the UN debates, even though it has no vote - to that of a
nongovernmental organization, which would have to keep its mouth shut.
Birth Control and the Politics of Numbers
Now the Catholic pope goes on teaching the Catholics that methods of birth
control should not be used; they are against God. Strange, even the Holy Ghost
must be using birth control methods, because Jesus says, "I am the only
begotten son of God." What happens to God? Has he stopped creating sons,
daughters? Either He has become a brahmacharya, a celibate, which is
not very likely, or He is using birth control methods. But the pope goes on
continually against birth control -- because it is against God: "God is sending
This earth is already overloaded; it is already
in such a situation that if we don't cut its population by half it is going to
die. There will be no need for a third world war, just the population itself
will be enough to kill everybody, to starve everybody. And God is continually
sending people? He has no idea... at least send a small piece of land with each
child, or try some new approach so there is nobody hungry. Rather than real
babies, make plastic babies which run on batteries; that would be easier. Once
in a while you go and you can get your battery charged... and for God
everything is possible. He has been doing all kinds of miracles, His son was
doing all kinds of miracles: this will not be much of a miracle, creating a
baby who runs on a battery.
But God goes on giving us stomachs and hunger,
and no land -- and the old land is losing its fertility every day. And the
Catholic pope goes on saying no birth control, no abortion. Why no abortion? --
because it is killing. But this is very strange, coming from a pope's mind,
because these popes have been making all kinds of crusades in the past and
killing thousands of people. That has been their whole business: burning
people, burning women just because of a fictitious idea....
Anybody could write to the pope informing him,
"In our village there is a woman who is a witch." That was enough to start an
enquiry; and there was a special court to enquire into whether the woman was a
witch or not. They would torture the woman so much that she would find it
easier to accept that she was a witch rather than being tortured continually.
They would torture her till she accepted that she was a witch; and once she
accepted that she was a witch, she had to be burned alive. Thousands of women
they burned alive!
Now suddenly their interest is in non-violence:
"abortion is violence." And the same pope's predecessors blessed Benito
Mussolini in the second world war. That was not violence? The archbishop of
Canterbury in England blessed the British forces -- and that was not violence?
-- that was perfectly good? One wonders at what point abortion becomes
At what point...? A child is conceived this
moment -- is he alive or dead? He is alive, but from where has the life come?
He was alive in the semen cells before he was conceived in the mother's womb;
the semen cells are all alive. The egg is alive. Half of your being, the
feminine part, is in the egg, and half of your being is coming from your
father's semen. And in a single intercourse millions of cells are rushing
along.... It is almost like a car race. They are all racing, and they have to
be quick: within a few hours if they don't reach, they are finished.
In a single intercourse, you are responsible for
killing millions of beings! And what about an abortion? -- just one. So whether
it's one million or one million plus one, what difference does it make?
But the Catholic pope is ready, just as the
Mohammedan chief imam is ready, and the Hindu shankaracharya is ready to let
the population grow, because numbers have a political significance. It is the
politics of numbers -- how many Catholics are there. The pope is not interested
in humanity, in the future, in a global suicide, no. His whole interest is in
how many Catholics there are: the more Catholics, the more power he has. The
shankaracharya is interested in more Hindus, so he has more power.
Everybody is interested in power.
In the name of God they are simply trying to
become more and more powerful.