HuffPo Blog: Religion to Blame for Overpopulation, Environmental Ruin

A Muslim, a Catholic, a Protestant and a Jew walk into a bar … this could be the set-up for a good joke, but you better not tell it at the Huffington Post. Those four thirsty monotheists and others like them are destroying the human race by fostering overpopulation according to HuffPo, and there’s nothing funny about that.

In a piece titled “Don’t Be Fruitful and Multiply,” contributor Roy Speckhardt warned of religion’s threat to humans and their environment, noting that religious countries – and even the more religious U.S. states – have the highest birth rates. Religion, with its “be fruitful and multiply” directive, contributes to “drastic impacts on the local economy, environment, and health of families.” 

Speckhardt, represents the American Humanist Association (AHA), an organization as which encourages “a progressive society where being good without gods is an accepted way to live life” – which is a nice way of saying tolerance of the non-religious means intolerance towards the religious

Where the studies he cited found “correlations” and “associations” between religion and birth rates, Speckhardt discovered causation: “religious emphasis on copious reproduction and common teachings against the use of contraception are having a direct impact on population growth” and “religious belief increases the number of children an average woman will have.”

As a professional atheist, Speckhardt didn’t hold back in calling out most major religions, but he placed a special emphasis on the Catholic Church, one of the “largest religious groups.” The guilt belonged to Pope Francis, as well the religious leaders that “echo” him, for opposing population control – or, in other words, abortion and contraception.

Unfortunately for Speckhardt, not everyone agrees that population growth is a problem. For example, Colin Mason from the Population Research Institute explained, “Historically, as human population has grown and developed technology, the manner in which we use resources has changed,” such as inventing methods of increasing and improving crops to provide food. He also reminded that certain programs, such as Social Security and Medicare rely on population growth. 

But acknowledging problems with his argument would make it harder for Speckhardt to lay the ills he described at the door of the Church. But this Malthusian doomsayer isn’t without optimism. “Hopefully, as more young men and women become better educated, the religious policies that have caused such misery and hunger for so many will be rejected by increasingly larger segments of society” he wrote, unabashedly concluding, “We must act decisively to ensure that the religious emphasis on the addition of human life doesn't outweigh the humanistic aim that those who are born are able to live a life of happiness and opportunity.” 

A humanist who doesn’t much like humans. Now that is funny.

Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture at the Media Research Center