War, Religion, and Reproduction


Many thanks to the Albany, New York, USA Times Union for using today’s editorial to call for an end to the “Gaza carnage.” Israel’s strategy of wholesale slaughter, including the killing of thousands of innocents, alienates friends and energizes enemies. It harms Israel. The war is not just immoral. It is mindless. How does this mindlessness arise, and what is the key to peace in Israel/Gaza/West Bank?

One purpose of religion is to enable humans to kill other humans, an act that does not come naturally to most people. For example, Christianity worships the Prince of Peace but has been the religion of bloodthirsty conquerors and genocidal fiends. The reason is that, yes, Jesus promotes peace, but when leaders want their Christian followers to go to war, they discover a war god in Jesus Christ.

In fact, the Reunion is based on the fact that all the Greco-Roman deities can be seen as mapped into the Christian Trinity. Jesus turned water to wine, evoking Dionysus. He calmed the storm and saved a boat, like Poseidon. He healed the sick, like Apollo. He brought a message from the Father, which evokes Mercury. Where is the war god?

The Christian God is the Jewish God, Who was not shy about sending His people into battle. If Jesus brought a new covenant that eliminates war, its implementation has yet to become apparent. Why does war persist?

War has long been part of the human reproductive cycle. Humanity does not have sufficient external predation to limit its burden on the environment, so we kill each other to keep our numbers down and obtain the resources to have as many children as we want. In the process, we demonstrate reproductive fitness. So as not to understand our behavior as base animal instinct, we dress it up in religious mystery.

Please consider the logo of the 2023 Step Up Men’s Conference of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. A rosary, sacred to Mary and hence symbolic of the Mother, dangles from a jauntily angled sword. The intimate connection between killing and reproduction could not be more clearly expressed, save perhaps if the logo had been animated, with the sword thrusting into and out of the rosary, accompanied by grunting, moaning, and squelching. If this image seems impious, please consider that I see draping a rosary over a sword as utter filth. I have merely gilded the lily to illustrate my revulsion.

This is the hideous nature of official Roman Catholicism since Humanae Vitae. Central to the Church’s dogma is the pronatalistic promotion of reproduction by suppression of sexuality that cannot produce offspring. Popes make noises in support of peace while promoting reproduction, the font of war.

Frugality can reduce the demands that population puts on resources and hence stave off war until the minimal bodily needs of the human population overmatch available resources, but for all the genuine entreaties against greed made by His Holiness, Pope Francis, Catholics in the Unites States are fairly ghastly in their consumerism.

Concerning population, His Holiness, in Laudato Si', wrote, "Still, attention needs to be paid to imbalances in population density, on both national and global levels, since a rise in consumption would lead to complex regional situations, as a result of the interplay between problems linked to environmental pollution, transport, waste treatment, loss of resources and quality of life." I strongly support the efforts of His Holiness against greed and this possible overture of His Holiness to those who would blunt the Church’s pronatalism. The end of war lies in flaccid swords.

In Israel/Gaza/West Bank, resources, especially the water supply, are heavily overburdened by human population. The first step toward peace will be the promotion of non-reproductive legal sexuality, including via birth control, as an alternative to reproductive sexuality. The piety that drives the slaughter is nowhere more evident than in the animalistic hatred of diverse sexuality. Sexual continence and reproductive incontinence sum to war.

The next step toward peace is for Christian faiths to add to their dogma a strong acknowledgement of past genocide by Christians against Jewish people and pretty much everybody else who ever had anything Christians wanted. To that statement could be added a condemnation of genocide and an expression of resolve never to repeat it. I’d suggest adding these statements to the Nicene Creed in Catholicism.

This action would reassure Jewish people who quite reasonably fear a repetition of the Holocaust and therefore see limitations on the state of Israel as endangering them personally. Aversion to such limitations reduces the chance to make peace through a two-state solution.

Of course, to forsake genocide, and perhaps one day, war, Christianity and humanity in general must alter its reproductive cycle. Churches could either liberalize their views on sexuality or go back to encouraging vows of poverty and chastity to counterbalance the excess reproduction caused by attempting sexual continence.

I, as Proud Father of None, reiterate my motto: Babies are good. Not creating them is also good. Diversity is the key to survival on a finite planet.

To it, I add that reproductive continence is the end of war.