Theology for Millennials: Future or Climate Killer?

Advertising Marquee in Germany

Future or Climate Killer?
Advertising marquee in Germany

On Monday, February 28, 2022, in “Theology for Millennials,” Mexican Father Mario Arroyo Martínez shared with Exaudi’s readers his weekly article entitled “Future or Climate Killer?”

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The question asked in a recent ad in Germany is: “Future or Climate Killer?”. The image in the ad showed a woman breastfeeding a newborn. The advancement of deep ecology, which regards man as an enemy of nature, is truly astonishing. On seeing this ad, I linked it immediately intellectually with two recent events: a quote of Peter Singer that I read, where he invited to sterilize the whole human race to be, voluntarily, the last generation on earth and to live the celebration until extinction and to the intervention of a University student in class, who said that she wouldn’t have any children for ethical reasons, to avoid the overheating of the planet. Suddenly everything fell into place: man is the planet’s enemy, hence there is an ethical imperative to put an end to him.

The culture of death has an aseptic and also an altruistic face: concern for the planet, not for humanity. We can even sacrifice humanity on the altar of the planet. Is it right to do so? For many enemies of human life, it seems so. It’s no longer that numerous families are looked at with resentment, considering them irresponsible, we are now a step ahead so that to bring life to the world is not considered a good, a reason for joy or congratulations. We are beginning to question the morality of bringing human lives to this tired planet and to this world sick with violence, injustice, and corruption.

The disenchantment with the human is consummated. The circle has been closed, as Vatican Council II saw prophetically: “without the Creator, the creature fades.” Atheist humanism, which stems from the premise of the denial of God, culminates by affirming the denial of man.  Perhaps some might object that it’s about cases of intellectual elites, but that the majority of the population doesn’t think that way. Two events, one global and the other homemade, make me qualify such an optimistic assertion: the drastic decline in the birth rate in developed countries, in other words, those that live better do not consider life worthy of being lived and, in the second place, the experience of my somewhat high middle-class neighborhood: the great number of people walking dogs, inversely proportional to the presence of children. No, human life in the high sectors of the population is no longer being lived as a blessing, as a way of being fulfilled and transcending. There is suspicion of it.

Suspicion has a subjective cause: the sacrifice it implies. It’s much simpler to have a pet than a child. But now that egoistic motive, in the end, has a strong intellectual motivation: the defense and care of the planet. Every child implies a great quantity of consumption, of heat, of energy, of wear and tear for the planet. It’s sad that human life — which speaking biologically is the greatest wonder that can be seen up to now in the universe, as in the end, it’s the only example of conscious life of which we have evidence –, is impoverished to those unheard of limits.

The Christian vision, now a clear minority, is diametrically opposed. Numerous families continue to be regarded as a blessing of God. Every life continues to be regarded as a miracle, every human being is considered unique and unrepeatable. Every person has dignity and, hence, an inalienable value. It continues seeing the world in particular, and the universe in general, as an immense gift that God entrusts to man. The world is valued and all that it contains, but not as an end, but as a means. Nature must be respected and the planet looked after, but as part of our extended responsibility, our responsibility for the men of tomorrow. Man continues to be the center of Creation; he is not sacrificed to it.

A short while ago I realized that the people that go to Communion, with those concepts of theirs of deep-ecology, don’t have children. They are condemned to extinction. I’m not that optimistic, as it is an elite that controls educational content and programs. Little by little this vision will spread as the only one ethically solvent, and those of us that don’t agree with it, will be regarded with resentment, if not repressed socially, culturally, and even fully (not that distant are the punishments in China for having more than one child). So it seems that the only alternative for a hopeful future of humanity is a return to Christian humanism. The question is: is it still possible? Are we still in time or is it too late?

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester