Democracy is a strange form of government. It requires its citizens to be informed, to think, and to participate. Americans in my opinion have become lazy and just do not take the time to figure out where we are going. Citizens have permitted our country to head in the wrong direction. Maybe we need another revolution to wake us up. Corporations and the church have taken over. In many ways we have returned to the Dark Ages. What gives me the right to be so critical of my country? Humans are not sheep. We are thinking organisms with some control of where we are headed. I was a participant in D-Day over 60 years ago defending this right. The G.I. Bill gave me an education. These factors require me, as an elder, responsible citizen, to speak out.
My country ignores the Geneva Convention, ignores the United Nations, ignores the Koyoto Protocol, destroys the ecosystem that nurtured us, increases our dependence on finite oil, ignores the population explosion, is the only nation out of more 100 to not fund family planning in Third World countries, invades a Third World country for questionable reasons, will soon violate the Arctic Wilderness, put our economy in a state of collapse under the weight of a horrendous budget deficit, and is on the verge of reintroducing the inquisition.
Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr Helen Caldicott from Australia fears the election of President Bush will lead to Armageddon: â€œThis is the most serious election that has ever occurred in the history of the human race â€¦ I donâ€™t know if weâ€™ll survive the next four years â€¦ I donâ€™t think the Americans have, on the whole, the faintest idea â€” and I have to say also I donâ€™t think most Australians do either. But itâ€™s not just the threat from nuclear war. Itâ€™s the threat of whatâ€™s happening to the environment, the global warming which is occurring rapidly now, to ozone depletion, to species extinction, to deforestation â€¦ itâ€™s the whole thing.â€?
The group that reelected Bush, the anti-choice moral value lobby, is a large, powerful force. The church has become much too politically active to be ignored. Will the American government (you and me) do anything about this? I doubt it. The tax-exempt status of the church in my opinion should be taken away just like our government did with the Sierra Club years ago.
As a biologist, I believe environmental values are much more important for the survival of our species (Homo sapiens) than moral values. In fact, many views of the church are contributing to the degradation of our habitat. For example, the church has no objection to a decrease in the death rate â€” that is, the prolongation of life with medicine, vaccination, and nutrition. At the same time the church objects to use of contraceptives, vasectomies, tubal ligations, abortions, homosexuality, and sex education, all of which reduce unwanted pregnancies and the birth rate.
Life expectancy in the past century in just our country has doubled (from 40 years to 80 years). We export this birth rate/death rate differential throughout the world with the food, medicine, vaccinations, and heath care, but we donâ€™t export any contraceptives (e.g., condoms) to lower the birth rate.
President Bush blocked congressionally approved funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for three straight years and will probably continue to do so. This program provides safe, effective contraception and voluntary family planning to poor women throughout the world who want to limit their offspring, many with more than three babies. The U.S. is the only country of more than 100 to deny funding to UNFPA. The presidentâ€™s action is fine with the church, but it will make even worse the horrendous population explosion that is destroying the biosphere. It will actually increase maternal deaths and the number of abortions.
The tax-exempt status of the church should be taken away. We should stop deficit spending. We should get out of Iraq ASAP. We must take our government back from the corporations. For survival we need environmental values much more than we need moral values. We are the laughing stock of the whole world. Â³
Nipomo â€˜eco-hooliganâ€™ Bill Denneen isnâ€™t laughing. He can be reached at http://www.slonet.org/~bdenneen/.