There is a serious question – which is rarely discussed in the public discourse – how much extent religion by pushing reproduction is responsible for epidemics. Is this not in fact the sin itself?
Religions usually serve the interests of the various empires by forcing reproduction: they need lots of cheap slaves, proletarians, serfs, workers, soldiers, living forces. And cheap is where there is an overproduction. This is the most important point of the alliance of throne and altar. People can be made to do many things by force, but to reproduce mostly only by brainwashing and heartwashing. Written by Gyula I. Simonyi
“The whole world is but a hospital, / where innumerable people, / even children rocking in their cradles / lie gravely ill”, recites the tenor soloist over dramatic chords in Bach’s Cantata No. 25, first performed in Leipzig on 29 August 1723. The plague of Marseilles in 1720, where more than half the population died in two years, shook the whole of Europe.
The Middle Ages asked: What sin is causing the epidemic? Is the plague God’s punishment? Does religiosity appease God, cure the disease?
St Peter’s Square is empty, the Vatican’s income has halved and all major religious events are postponed or virtual.
Much more blatantly, pious beliefs are being demolished by the scientific question: is religion itself, which forces procreation, one of the causes of epidemics?
After all, the cause and effect of the laws of nature that lead to an epidemic may include our actions, religious or otherwise. One could ask more religiously: did we deserve the epidemic? A punishment for our sins? And the causal answer of science can also be translated into religious language:
Yes, the religion that forces procreation is itself a grave sin (with consequences).
How does overpopulation lead to epidemics?
To give a simple example: an exploding human population (additional 8 times of Hungary more poor people on Earth every year!) is destroying forests for a living, hunting for bushmeat, living in close proximity to hundreds of billions of domestic animals – and one of the hundreds of thousands of viruses living in animals is increasingly being passed on to humans in the course of this destruction of nature and climate degradation. And the rapid spread is a consequence of global transport and traffic caused by overpopulation and infrastructure designed to cram people together.
Population explosion not only increases the risk of epidemics, but also leads to total ecological and civilisational collapse. Why do we fail to notice the collapse that has already begun?
Those whose voices are being heard are usually on the winning side today. The losers are weak groups that not only cannot defend their interests but cannot even make their voices heard: the poor, women oppressed in the birth-plate queue, children, wildlife, future generations,
Who cares? Let the weak perish? This is what has happened throughout history.
The difference now is that the destruction of the weak is now dragging the strong, the victors, down with it.
But how did religions, especially Catholicism, become so reproductionist?
If Jesus had been asked how long it would take for there to be twice as many people on Earth, the answer would have been 1500 years. At today’s rate, in 1500 years, 1 person would become not 2 people, but 1000000000 people. Nowhere did Jesus encourage procreation, nor did he quote “Be fruitful, multiply…” from Genesis, even though it is probably – and unfortunately – the most quoted phrase in the Bible. Moreover, Christian popular thought takes it as a command, even though it begins, “And God blessed them… So, technically, it is a blessing, the fulfilment of which is also recorded in the Bible and is therefore no longer valid.
Religions generally serve the interests of the various empires by pushing reproduction: we need lots of cheap slaves, proletarians, serfs, workers, soldiers, living forces. And cheap is where there is overproduction. This is the most important point of the alliance of throne and altar. People can be made to do many things by force, but to reproduce mostly only by brainwashing and heartwashing.
The population race, which has been going on for many millennia, can be persuaded mainly by fear and by forbidding sex that avoids procreation:
– Nationalistic fears (other peoples will outbreed us, will be stronger economically, militarily),
– religious fears (yes, there is overpopulation, religious leaders say, but we are still few, the more numerous are eclipsing our true faith),
– fears of the decline of the individual (who will support you in old age, who will nurse you through illness, you will become a sexually transmitted disease, you will go mad from masturbation),
– and, most violently, the threat of shame, guilt, exclusion (sick and perverse and sinful is all sex other than monogamous heterosexual child-bearing).
Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Albert Szent-Györgyi wrote in his book The Crazy Ape (1970) for young people:
Anything that has anything to do with sex outside marriage is sinful: this feeling is the legacy of religion. But our young people today seem to have shaken off this unnatural legacy, and as a result, hopefully in the near future, the world will judge sexuality more correctly, more receptively, more rationally…
When I was young, having sex outside marriage was considered a sin, virginity a virtue… All these habits were the result of the need to be virtuous, but they were also the cause of unending suffering…
Then came the penicillin and the ‘pill’, and the whole moral structure was loosened worldwide. It seems that our old morals were based on fear of pregnancy and venereal disease… A society burdened with venereal disease and illegitimate children could not have been stable…
Liberation from our tormenting sexual limitations is an essential turning point in the history of humanity.
In my eyes, one of the greatest merits of our youth – a sign of its great moral courage – is its ability to restore the purity and dignity of one of the most powerful human emotions, sexual attraction.
In doing so, they made human life much richer and more serene, and made me personally regret not having been born fifty or sixty years later…
If our youth were able to create a new, healthier sexual code, if they were able to reject the deep-rooted, traditional pretences and blindfolds of gender in favour of honesty, integrity and dignity, there is no reason to doubt why they should not be the instigators of a new moral outlook in all other areas that are vital to us.
Youth is trying to replace narrow-minded nationalism with human solidarity, war with peace…
Never surrender, always persevere, in the face of threats and reprisals.
Whenever an Intending Couple talks about how wonderful it would be to have a big family, they act out the scene under the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil over and over again:
– Of course we have the right to divide life on this planet as we please.
– Why should we stop… we can have as many children as we want, at most we can plough a few hundred more hectares of rainforest… and who cares if a dozen more species disappear as a result?
Kill everything you can’t eat! Eradicate anything that eats what you eat! Eradicate anything that doesn’t feed what you eat! This is sacred work in the culture of the Eaters. The more competitors you destroy, the more people you can bring into the world, making destruction the most sacred work there is.
I will grow without limit. Being limited is wrong. I may trample and ruin the garden. Perhaps my offspring will swarm over the earth like locusts, devouring it until they drown in their own filth, eventually unable to stand the sight of each other and going mad. Yet they must go on, because growing without limits is good, but accepting the limits of the law is bad.
(Daniel Quinn: Ishmael)
How can religions be on the right side?
Five years ago, the “eco-encyclopaedia” was published, but unfortunately it does not deal with population, it only mentions it in paragraph 50, and even there in a negative way. Hopefully, there will be an ECO-encyclical that will sweep away the ban on contraception, which is not only unscientific but also theologically wrong. Animals are (except for some more evolved species) animals that do not have sex, only procreate.
Among other things, it is sex independent of fertility that distinguishes humans from animals, one of the crucial steps in becoming human. The encyclical Humanae Vitae considers man an animal. Moreover, it would deprive women of the decisive means of their advancement and the poor of the decisive means of their advancement.
(A cluster analysis of 60 years of 103 countries – published in English, German and Hungarian – shows that access to contraception is the key to lifting people out of poverty.)
As early as 1977, we dealt with ecology in the youth lectionary of the Basilica of Székesfehérvár. We were often told that we did not seem to believe in providence. But religion should not become “hopium” (hope+opium). Preventing accidents and tragedies is in our common interest:
– for the children (and their parents) already there, to have a liveable Earth left for them,
– and for future children (and their parents), because it causes much physical and mental misery for both the unborn and their parents when an unprepared, premature, accidental pregnancy occurs.
For example, more than a million newborn babies die every year because they could not wait a year and a half between two births and the mother’s body has not yet had time to recover – three times the infant mortality rate. Teenage mothers also have much higher mortality rates, and their babies are more malnourished, sicker, more neglected…
We have also posted some frightening figures on our main website.
Fortunately, the vast majority of Catholics do not accept the Vatican’s bachelor ban either. However, the clergy are trying to inject a dictatorial element into their governments. Varying from country to country – where it has the political power – it expects governments to impose a ban on contraception on the whole population (including the non-religious!). The kind of ban that they can’t even force on churchgoers from the pulpit. Pope Francis also faces enormous opposition on the issue of contraception.
Of course, the many manifestations of religiosity (and their non-religious forms too!) can have healing, immune-boosting effects: contemplation and contemplation, trust and good cheer, friendship and community, compassion and helpfulness, play and movement, listening to music and singing your own songs… This was noticed in the Middle Ages:
Many people catch the plague fever merely through fear and imagination, which is why we should be cheerful […] and it is also very useful to listen to songs or music with beautiful instruments, to play music or to sing softly. (Niccolo Massa, Italian physician, 1540)
In times of pestilence, we should regularly refresh our souls with some pious activity … music is best if, for example, one can play the lute, as I do (Nicolas de Pancel, French physician, 1581)
Music is helpful if we do not use it as a means of indulging, stupefying or self-deceiving, but if we act alongside it. But you need not be troubled with a thousand green-coats, bugbears, hopium. Live as you like, just help those without contraception.
You don’t want epidemics and civilisation diseases, quarantine and alienation, unemployment and poverty, systems that over-restrict privacy and freedom, overcrowding and pollution, destruction of nature and climate degradation, crime and conflict? Help the hundreds of millions of people without contraception, girls’ education, women’s empowerment, and especially the sweeping Vatican ban on contraception: the most effective reversal of population explosion and climate degradation.