By Ed Raymond
What Are Our Biophysical and Religious Limits?
Scientists are studying the effects of the world’s ever-expanding economic growth, increases in population, consumption of our natural resources, and our limited ability to decrease or store our waste. To describe the studies they use the inclusive term “collapseology.”
A report from Future Earth emphasizes that “extreme weather events, food insecurity, freshwater shortages, and degradation of life-sustaining ecosystems have the potential to impact and amplify the collapse of our entire global system.”
As an example, Professor William Rees of the University of British Columbia, a population ecologist, measures the amount of environmental input needed to maintain a given lifestyle. He claims we are “close to some form of global societal collapse because of the total footprint of humanity on earth. We will undergo collapse possibly in a decade, certainly within this century.” He says we humans are exploiting natural resources faster than the systems can regenerate. We are dumping wastes beyond nature’s capacity to regenerate them. He adds: “We are exceptional animals, but we are not exempt from the laws of nature.”
Will Steffen is a retired earth systems scientist from Australian National University, concentrating on climate and environment. He says if we don’t clean up our act, “a rapidly warming world of depleted resources and mounting pollution will lead to a largely uninhabitable earth and a breakdown of nations and the international order.”
Collapseology scientists describe the conditions of the nonhuman species on earth: “Collapse is well underway. Ninety-nine percent of the tall grass in North America is gone, by one estimate; 96% of the biomass of mammals—biomass is their weight on earth—now consists of humans, our pets and farm animals; nearly 90% of the fish stocks the U.N. monitors are either fully exploited, over-exploited, or depleted; and a multiyear study in Germany showed a 76% decline in insect biomass (many required for pollination of plants).”
“Have a good day” seems to have lost some meaning.
We Also Have Collapseologists Studying the Decline of Religion
There is no doubt in my mind that some day we will “discover” that Lucy, our first subhuman found in Africa so far, also had gay relatives. After three million years of apes, chimps, bonobos, Neanderthals, and Homo Sapiens, and the 1,500 most developed species, most religious humans will concede that the God or gods they worship also created gays instead of Satan, Lucifer, or witches whispering in their ears while sinning away.
Meanwhile, conservative Catholic bishops have charged our new Catholic president Joe Biden with being an “embarrassment to Catholicism” because he has pledged to pursue certain policies “that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences.”
One bishop described Biden as “a grave moral evil.” Another conservative bishop said: “Because President Biden is Catholic, it presents a unique problem for us. How can he say he’s a devout Catholic and he’s doing these things that are contrary to the Church’s teaching?” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is another prominent Catholic who has supported abortion for many years. What are the bishops going to do about Nancy? Evidently American Catholic bishops will be meeting in June to figure out how to handle Joe and Nancy. Stay tuned for the ruckus.
Over the last 2,000 years, with nothing better to do, the Vatican, 266 popes and thousands of cardinals and bishops wearing skirts and hats, have come up with dozens of “mortal sins,” mostly about the fascinating subject of sex—without the advice and consent of half of the human race that also on occasion wears skirts and hats, actively participates in sex and often gets pregnant.
The “moral sin” sex list is fairly conclusive, at least to my limited knowledge of the science of sex: “masturbation (perish the thought!), oral sex, anal sex, premarital sex, contraception, homosexuality, divorce, artificial insemination, abortion, stem cell research, vasectomy, tubal ligation, and coitus interruptus (onanism).
Whoops! I forgot celibacy—but so have many priests. It took the Vatican over 1,500 years to finally determine at the Council of Trent that marriage and sex with a female was inferior to celibacy—for priests. Sex has caused trouble in River City ever since. The Vatican has been obsessed with the idea of “natural law,” proclaiming that sex is for procreation purposes only and not for love or fun. Good luck with that.
End Abortion? It’s Been Around Ever Since Lucy Fell Out of a Tree
So far, the first written record of abortion goes back to 3500 B.C. From that point there have been all kinds of records of Egyptian women, as an example, using cow dung, herbs, and other delightful things as contraceptives.
Perhaps some readers will remember the mass rape of 20,000 Bosnian teenagers and women, many of them Catholic, by Serbian troops during the Bosnian-Serbian War. Thousands of Catholic girls and women asked the Vatican to supply them with “morning-after” pills to prevent pregnancy. The urgent request was denied. Consequently many had abortions by many different means after they discovered they were pregnant. Some women waited until birth and then strangled the babies. Husbands killed babies in so-called “honor killings.” A few decided to raise the babies. Some women were killed by male relatives. There were many miscarriages. This is real natural law.
Abortion has been around since ancestors on two legs walked the earth. Abortion is not going to change regardless of laws broken and abortion bills not passed. We now even have abortion pills by mail and e-mail instructions. But with the six conservative judges on the Supreme Court, hope springs eternal that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. Since the end of January, 563 abortion restrictions, including 146 abortion bans have been introduced in 46 states. So far 61 restrictions including eight bans have been passed in 13 states. We must assume many will be passed because Arizona, Idaho, Montana, and Oklahoma are some of the other red states just waiting to pass them.
To bishops, a little secret: Catholic women use contraceptives at the same rate as other American women, Catholic women have abortions at the same rate as other American women. Polls over the last two decades have been quite consistent. That’s why the pews are dusty. The old men in the Vatican have been stumbling around in the Darkness for 2,000 years. It’s time to listen to your mothers. Science, the arc of history, and wisdom are against you.
Christian “Wrong” and the Vatican Are Intrinsically Disordered About Homosexuality
Sometimes a message goes around the world from a remote place if the timing and the subject is in the news cycle. This incident is about homosexuality. Mykey O’Halloran, a gay hairdresser in Australia, bought a small cottage painted beige on Phillip’s Island and decided he would paint it in the rainbow colors of the striped gay flag. You have seen it in many a Gay Pride parade. Some of his neighbors didn’t like the idea, complained directly, and threatened him with bodily harm. But other neighbors and friends volunteered to help him with the painting. When his story hit the press he had hundreds of volunteers and a paint company that provided 12 gallons of colorful “gay” paint free. It took just a day to paint the stripes on the house and outbuildings. A neighbor put up eight security cameras free of charge around the property.
The Vatican has been calling gays “intrinsically disordered” for centuries. The science of genetics has now totally reversed the description. Now it’s the Vatican and its bishops who are intrinsically disordered about homosexuality.
It has taken only three decades to reverse centuries of ignorance and religious bigotry started by Leviticus in the Old Testament. A total of 32 countries now recognize some form of civil partnerships for same-sex couples and 28 countries have legalized same-sex marriages, starting with the Netherlands in 2001. Ireland, once the most Catholic country in the world, now has elected a gay prime minister married to a gay doctor and parliament has told the Vatican to get a life somewhere else. Almost one in three adults on earth believes people of the same sex should be allowed to marry—after a survey of 65 countries in 2016.
If You Are a Cisgender Opposing Gender Fluidity, You Are Intrinsically Disordered
When I was principal of Fargo North High 25 years ago there were some jocks who started to harass some gay students in a theater group. To stop it, I called in the jocks and told them the school population would be decreased if they continued the harassment. They got the message. Shortly after that, a gay student published the following letter in the school newspaper under his signature “A Person on the Planet.” I have had it in my files since so I could use it in discussions about human sexuality.
“Junior high was the worst. At this age, your peers switch from calling you “girl” to calling you “fag” or “faggot.” And they have evolved in their aggression towards you from just name-calling to physical abuse or threats of abuse. I hated coming to school. I was SCARED to come to school. Now in high school my life is OK, but only OK. I’ve switched and dropped classes to avoid certain people. I have stopped eating lunch in the commons to avoid possible words shouted at me. School is something you will remember forever. When I think back to my school life, the word that comes to mind is “fag.” Why make people’s lives a living hell? Why make school a bad memory for people? Please stop. Why mess up more lives?”
This year the LBGTQ+ community set aside March 31 as the Annual Transgender Day of Visibility. So what have the ignorant and bigoted Fundamentalist Christians, the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, and the political operatives of the Trumplican Party done to mark the day? In 2021 they have submitted over 100 bills opposing gays and transgenders. Sixty of those bills are under consideration and some have been passed. The bills limit access of transgenders to health care, sports, school activities, and some even criminalize parents and doctors if they provide gender-affirming medical care. A Texas bill would make it legal to remove trans or gender-queer children from the homes of their parents—if the parents affirm their gender identity.
Fifteen-year old transgender Asher McKinney Ring testified before the North Carolina Legislation on April 14, 2021 and stated his case:
“Words cannot explain how painful and exhausting it is to wake up every morning knowing that my normal rights to normal childhood experiences like school sports are being debated by elected officials that I’ve never met and that my existence and identity are not protected by law. We are not a threat. We are children, and we just want to experience life normally like the rest of our classmates.”
His statement is much like the letter of 25 years ago, in the Fargo North school paper.
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