Fr. Mark Hodges

Featured Image
Shutterstock.com

Blogs

Dear New York Times: I’ve had 8 ‘carbon footprints’ and each of them is changing the world for good

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

February 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The New York Times has found yet another way to push the leftist population-control agenda, this time using so-called "climate change" as its springboard. 

The Times' Maggie Astor wrote in a Feb. 5 article — titled No Children Because of Climate Change? Some People Are Considering It — that some people are “acutely aware that having a child is one of the costliest actions they can take environmentally” and are therefore using contraception to prevent that from happening. Alarmist rhetoric is replete throughout the article.

“It is not an easy time for people to feel hopeful,” the Times stated. It provided the testimony of three women who have decided to not have children because, as Chicken Little would put it, “the sky is falling.”

The piece will likely have wide appeal since it seems that many are hopping on the environmentalism bandwagon. For years, self-styled environmentalists have chanted the mantra that birth control will solve climate change.  Gullible church denominations have bought in.  Even the Vatican tweeted Sunday’s Times’ article and a Cardinal used Lent to warn of an impending “ecological apocalypse.” 

The New York Times suggests the responsible thing to do is to keep the family nest empty, or at least as empty as possible, reasoning that fewer children will reduce each family’s earth-destroying carbon footprint. Fewer children, less resource use, less climate change, the reasoning runs.

Let’s just think for a moment about the concept that having children is somehow destroying the planet. 

Is having children really the problem, or is the problem rooted in something much deeper, such as greed and selfishness? 

My wife Donna and I have eight children (seven wasn’t enough, so we adopted an abandoned autistic child).  

We raised them to be honest, helpful, and hard working. We homeschooled them all, up to high school. Five have married committed Christian spouses.

Two are firemen. One is a homemaker who lovingly nurtures her children. One is a social worker on call throughout the night helping suicidal patients (and a loving mother herself). Another is an ever increasingly successful lawyer in the region defending the accused. One is a piano teacher and accompanist who is also a competent homemaker and mom.

Another is a music composer, conductor, and recording artist. Another is a naturalist serving the county park district. One is a brilliant writer as well as a capable homemaker and mom. Another is a biological lab technician who analyzes blood work. One is in college and wants to go into social work. Another is finishing high school and wants to be a policeman. The last, our adopted autistic son, is now six-foot-four and gives us much joy as he jumps around the house, just like a happy camper. 

I am proud of my children who are each making a difference for good in this world. Each of my children is making the world a better place to live, for all of us. 

These are my so-called “carbon footprints.” If I were younger, I’d make more.

It is only a world that has lost hope that stops having children. 

It is only a world filled with despair that sees children as a problem. 

What does God say about all of this?

The first command God gave to Adam and Eve was to have children. The Bible teaches that children are a blessing, a gift from God to be desired.  “Offspring are a reward from the LORD... Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them,” the Psalmist sings.

Christians believe and profess that children are not destined for this world only, but for a Kingdom not of this world where God and angels dwell. Bringing children into existence for the sake of this Kingdom is the most beautiful task of a husband and wife. 

The main problem with the Times' article is that it sees children only as carbon-footprint makers, not a beautiful souls destined for a glorious purpose. 

In the Orthodox Christian marriage rite, we pray that God would bless the husband and wife like Rachel and Leah, who bore twelve sons plus daughters to Jacob.  We pray specifically that God grant the couple “the fruit of the womb as is expedient for them.”  We ask the Lord to “make them glad with the sight of sons (note the plural) and daughters (again, plural).” We ask that the man “multiply like Jacob” and the woman “multiply like Rachel.” And there are many other petitions for lots of babies.

The fact remains that fecundity wins the culture war. Environmentalists who stop having children are only ensuring that their ideologically-driven movement will soon go out of existence because they will have no one they can pass it on to. Those of us who have many children, teaching them the ways of the Lord, will inherit the earth. 

In the meantime, I will enjoy my children and encourage them to have many children of their own. So far it's working. I have twelve grandchildren.

Red Alert! We need your help today.

Support pro-life and pro-family journalism with a donation today!



Share this article

Advertisement
Fr. Mark Hodges