Previous article in this series: March 1, 2010, p. 257.
And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.
Ideas have consequences! Bad ideas have bad consequences!
It is our intent in this article to discuss some of the bad consequences of the ideas of the three radical environmental groups we discussed in our former article (The Green Party, The Deep Ecology Movement, The Animal Rights Movement). Although the three groups have their differences in emphasis and methods, all three are justly condemned by Romans 1:25 for what they have in common, viz., they “…changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator….” Furthermore,Romans 1:28 announces severe consequences for those who hold to these false beliefs: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient….” The specific consequences of being given over to a reprobate mind are recorded in verses 29-32.
It would be one thing if the perpetrators of these ideas were the only ones who had to experience the consequences of their ideas. The problem is that, to the degree that their ideas are foisted on and sometimes accepted by society in general, the rest of society has to live with those consequences. And in particular, modern-day Issachar experiences the brunt of those consequences.
Consequences of the Idea of Overpopulation
Fears of overpopulation are not unique to the modern radical environmentalist. Those ideas go back at least as far as the pharaoh in the Old Testament who feared for Egypt if the Hebrews continued to have children at the rate they were. In more modern times, Thomas Malthus had his theories of how population growth would outpace food production, with the expected result that millions would die of starvation. Those fears proved to be unfounded; nevertheless, the same fears continue still today.
One consequence of these fears for the People’s Republic of China has been a “one-child policy,” which has resulted in untold grief for millions of their citizens, in particular those who are Christians. Furthermore, China is currently experiencing an unintended detrimental consequence: the significant disparity between their male and female populations. Since only one child is allowed, parents in China are opting for boys and therefore aborting more girls than boys. The result is a population that consists of 120 boys for every 100 girls. So what does a country do with millions of restless young men who have no hope of finding a mate?
The countries of Europe have their own consequences of past policies that have encouraged the birth of fewer children. At present, even though some of the countries are providing tax incentives for its citizens to encourage them to have more children, they continue to reproduce at a slower pace than their death rate. Europe’s average fertility rate is 1.38, while a rate of 2.1 is necessary for a population to maintain itself. If present trends continue, the result will be a European population that will shrink from 728 million to 207 million by the end of the century. Furthermore, to fill the continuing population void, a great influx of immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa is being received. This trend, along with a high birthrate among European Muslims, indicates, according to some demographers, that by the year 2040 France and the Netherlands will have Muslim majorities. “Unless governments throughout the continent adopt effective assimilation policies and the fertility rates increase dramatically, population demographics may accomplish what the Muslim army on the field of Tours could not—the Islamic conquest of Europe.”¹ Unpleasant, to say the least, would be the thought of one’s descendants living under Moslem Shariah law.
The poor in sub-Saharan Africa and other places have suffered their own consequences as a result of the overpopulation concern.
In the book Toxic Terror, Charles Wursta, chief scientist for the US Environment Defense Fund, speaking of how the worldwide ban on DDT, which had virtually wiped out malaria as a global killer, was likely to lead to millions of deaths, replied: “This is as good a way to get rid of them as any.” Even though scientists had proved DDT was not carcinogenic, the environmentalists forced a ban through anyway. It is conservatively estimated that over the next four decades between 10 and 30 million people, mostly children in sub-Saharan Africa, died from malaria as a direct consequence of the ban.²
Way back in November of 1986, Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, expressed the same deadly sentiments as Wursta when he said: “If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower population levels.”³ Even the liberal New York Times finds the consequences of these sentiments hard to swallow. In an article titled “New York TimesCalls for Return of DDT,” James Taylor reveals the reasons for the Times‘ concerns. One is the fact that, due to limited use of DDT, one in every 20 children dies in sub-Sahara Africa, and second, malaria and other previously defeated diseases are returning to the U.S. in the absence of DDT spraying.4
Of more concern to modern-day Issachar is the recurring theme of radical environmental groups and others that the best way to slow climate change is to have fewer children. A London School of Economics study calls humans “pollutants” that governments should focus on to fight climate change. In fact, their study claims that for each non-birth in the U.S. the earth will be spared 1,644 tons of carbon. Based on this data “Oregon State researchers concluded that child-bearing was one of the most fateful environmental decisions in anyone’s life.”5
While it is true that these researches are supposedly “emphatic that they do not want people to be forced not to have children,” others have radically different ideas about that. In the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, Carter J. Dillard claims the U.S. constitution, international law, and even natural law do not provide people with the right to procreate as they wish. Rather, he writes, “…these authorities merely provide for a right to continue the species, a right to perpetuate the race and have offspring, and the right to simply found a family….”6 Dillard then goes on to say that this procreative right is fulfilled by “a single act of procreation” or “procreation for optimized societal replacement.” In other words, Dillard’s view neatly matches China’s one-child policy.
Considering these concerns for population control to save the planet, one might wonder how long it will be before homosexuals will be honored for their earth-saving lifestyle. Think of it, by giving themselves over to homosexuality, they will have no offspring to leave a carbon footprint, and their abbreviated life (20 years less on average) will lessen significantly their own carbon footprint. We can be sure radical environmentalists will view them as “Martyrs for the Planet.”
Consequences of the Ideas of Animal Rights
But there is an even less obtrusive footprint on our planet, and radical environmentalists are at great pains to exalt its perpetrator: the animal. In fact, according to the high priests of radical environmentalism, whose central sermon theme is Darwinian evolution, humans have a close kinship to the animal. If we would just behave more like the animals, the planet would not only survive but likely even thrive. That the radical environmentalists have been successful in their elevation of the status of animals is abundantly evident. Take for example the Great Ape Project. Those promoting this project “…demand the extension of the community of equals to include all great apes: human beings, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans. The community of equals is the moral community within which we accept certain basic moral principles or rights as governing our relations with each other and enforceable at law.”7 The success of this project and the acceptance of the thinking behind it is evident from its increasing receptivity in many of the countries of the West.
Closer to home are their successes in the U.S. neighbor to the north. In 2003, animal rights activists were able to push their agenda before the Canadian senate in Bill C15B: a bill that defined an animal as “a vertebrate, other than a human being, and any other animal that has a capacity to feel pain.” Responding to this attempt of the animal rights activists, Hermina Dykxhoon wrote in Christian Renewal:
According to this definition, a human being is an animal. This legislation removes the “cruelty to animals” section from Section XI of the Criminal Code and in so doing the Government raises the status of animals from human property to a category of their own that will give them human style “rights” apart from their owners….
The Bill also provides that anyone who kills or causes injury or pain to an animal will be subject to a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. It is beyond irony that animals will have more protection under this law than unborn human beings who have no protection whatsoever…. Animal rights activists…hold a higher view of animals than they do of human babies.8
While they were unsuccessful in getting C15B passed at the time, Canadian animal activists continue to press the issue. And it would appear that science is on their side, at least if Darwinian evolution is the accepted dogma. In the words of Ingrid Newkirk, founder and director of PETA, it works out this way, “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”9
While obscuring the differences between humans and animals may result in better treatment of animals, just as likely is the consequence of worse treatment for humans. As for Princeton ethicist Peter Singer, he argues that whatever is done to animals can properly also be done to humans. For example, if animals could be “put down” for various practical reasons, why not humans? In fact, in Singer’s view, it would be immoral to waste money to maintain the life of a severely brain-damaged infant while at the same time willingly killing adult chimpanzees, dogs, pigs, and many other species. In the words of Singer, those animals “far surpass the brain-damaged infant in their ability to relate to others, act independently, be self-aware, and any other capacity that could reasonably be said to give value to life.”10
Does that sound familiar? Go back and reread the ideas of many of the German philosophers and eugenicists of the late 1800s and early 1900s who also found the basis for their ideas in Darwinian evolution. Compare their ideas to those of Singer and discover that Singer is simply a twenty-first century echo of their thinking. Max von Gruber provides a sample to illustrate the point. He wrote in 1909:
The never-ceasing struggle is, according to him (Darwin), not useless. It constantly clears away the malformed, the weak, and the inferior among the generations and thus secures the future for the fit. Thus only through the inexorable extermination of the negative variants does it provide living space for the strong and its strong offspring, and it keeps the species healthy, strong and able to live.11
A few years later these ideas would find fertile soil in the Nazi mind, as Richard Weikart makes clear in his book From Darwin to Hitler:
Indeed Nazi barbarism was motivated by an ethic that prided itself on being scientific. The evolutionary process became the arbiter of all morality. Whatever promoted the evolutionary progress of humanity was deemed good, and whatever hindered biological improvement was considered morally bad. Multitudes must perish in this Malthusian struggle anyway, they reasoned, so why not improve humanity by speeding up the destruction of the disabled and the inferior races? According to this logic, the extermination of individuals and races deemed inferior and “unfit” was not only morally justified, but indeed, morally praiseworthy. Thus Hitler—and many other Germans—perpetuated one of the most evil programs the world has ever witnessed under the delusion that Darwinism could help us discover how to make the world better.12
It should not be surprising that the Nazis did what they did once they had accepted the idea of Darwinian evolution and the logical consequence as expounded by German philosophers. The only question they needed to answer was: who are the malformed, the weak, and the inferior? Once that was determined, the rest was easy. For Peter Singer and his disciples it is the same: the science of Darwinian evolution is firm. The only question is, who should be exterminated? Singer and his followers have already given their answer to that question. They include the old, handicapped, pre-born, and post-born (until they are self-aware). We can only wonder who will be added to the list.
However, Scripture suggests the exterminators will suffer something even worse, that is, being given over to living the life of an animal. The biblical example of Nebuchadnezzar should serve as an ample warning of the consequence for those who refuse to acknowledge “that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men” (Dan. 4:25). Little wonder that God gave Nebuchadnezzar andgives modern Darwinists over to the logical consequences of their ideas: if man is just an animal as he claims, why should he not behave like one? If man will stoop so low as to reject his God-honored place as king in the creation, is God not just in condemning man to live, and die, with the consequences of his unbelief?
The pop culture demonstrates the sad progression in their expressions of unbelief: in the 60s they sang, “Hey, hey, we’re the monkeys.” Later, the Bloodhound Gang bellowed, “You and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals; so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.” Today’s Rap is carrying our culture even further into the abyss with their unprintably explicit and vile lyrics. Understanding this, would modern-day Issachar be shocked or even surprised if the “vile affections” that Romans 1 says they will be given over to included bestiality and its legalization in the future? As Nebuchadnezzar learned, God is not mocked!
Consequences for Not “Going Green”
The questioning and exposure of these self-destructive ideas also have their consequences. Those who would dare to suggest the prevailing “green” wisdom is merely a false worldview that worships the creature rather than the Creator are more and more marginalized and even openly attacked. A taste of that is expressed in Time magazine’s 1988 “Planet of the Year” issue:
Humanity’s current predatory relationship with nature reflects a man-centered worldview that has evolved over the ages…. In many pagan societies, the earth was seen as mother, a fertile giver of life. Morals were subordinate to nature. The Judeo-Christian tradition introduced a radically different concept. The idea of dominion (engendered in the book of Genesis) could be interpreted as an invitation to use nature as a convenience. Thus, the spread of Christianity, which is generally considered to have paved the way for the development of technology, may at the same time have carried the seeds of the wonton exploitation of nature that often accompanied technical progress.13
These same sentiments were expressed, only in much stronger language, by Peter Singer in his 1975 bookAnimal Liberation: “It can no longer be maintained by anyone but a religious fanatic that man is the darling of the whole universe, or that other animals were created to provide us with food, or that we have divine authority over them, and divine permission to kill them.”
If the thinking of Singer and others with his worldview prevails, it would not be out of the question that in the future Christians with courage enough to speak out against it be tried for hate crimes against the planet. As such, they would fit the Darwinian labels of “inferior and unfit,” by virtue of which their extermination would not only be morally justified, but even praiseworthy.
Is modern-day Issachar prepared for this challenge?
2 Peter C. Glover, “Environmentalism: The New Religion & its False Prophets,” Christian Renewal, August 1, 2007: 3.
3 Fred Gielow, You Don’t Say (Boca Raton, Florida: Freedom Books, 1999), 181.
4 James M. Taylor, “New York Times Calls for Return of DDT,” Environment & Climate News, Feb. 2003.
5 David A. Fahrenthold, “Can birth control stop global warming?” The Grand Rapids Press, Nov. 27, 2009: A10.
6 Carter J. Dillard, “Rethinking the Procreative Right,” Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal 10 (2007): 1.
8 Hermina Dykxhoorn, “ANIMALRIGHTS and human Laws,” Christian Renewal, March 10, 2003.
9 Gielow, 81.
10 Peter Singer, Animal Liberation (New York: Avon, 1977), 19.
11 Max von Gruber, “Vererbung, Auslese and Hygiene,” Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift (1909): 35.
12 Richard Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), 227.