Sunday, January 29, 2012

Population Control and NCR

by Edd Doerr

This letter, headed "Population control", was published in the Feb 3/16, 2012, issue of the National Catholic Reporter:

"Regarding 'The moral measure of climate crisis' (NCR, Dec 23/Jan 5): As a longtime subscriber, I applaud NCR's position on our planetary crisis. As it is at least in part due to human overpopulation, it would be helpful if the Vatican would rescind or at least modify 1968's Humanae Vitae, especially as most First World Catholics ignore it anyway. -- Edd Doerr, Silver Spring, Md."

As few readers of this blog are likely to be familiar with NCR, let me explain that it is a respected independent Catholic bi-weekly published in Kansas City. I have been a subscriber for years and it has published a number of my letters. In the same issue as my letter NCR published long articles on how the Falwellian Religious Right has taken over the Republican party, on the clergy sexual abuse scandals and coverups in Ireland and Poland, and on shenigans in the Catholic church in Wisconsin.

The point I wish to make is that many important values are shared by Humanists, Catholics, mainstream Protestants, Jews and others, and that in this crucial election year working together is both smart and necessary. And as Korzybski pointed out in the 1930s, "The map is not the territory." Or, we might say, the label does not tell you what is really in the bottle.

We are familar with the dichotomy, "proud, defiant humanists, freethinkers, atheists versus
religion". This is a formula for failure, for irrelevance, for losing. On the other hand, think about this dichotomy, "caring, moderate-to-progressive Humanists, Catholics, Protestants, and Jews working together versus fringe theocratic fundamentalists". Now that is a formula for winning, for relevance, for solving problems.

I will have more to say on this when I am the speaker at the WASH meeting in Wheaton on March 3.

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