Taking sides

From whom should the citizen take advice? From someone who wants him dead, or from someone who thinks he is endowed with everlasting life?

This is the primary political choice for the modern, emancipated, democratic woman (or man, or trans person), expressed with my winning simplicity. The first team consists of pagan environmentalists, the second of Christians and other subscribers to the philosophia perennis.

Note that the position of God, which we assign in this latter, is favourable to us. But He cannot be favourable to the modern heathen, who believes He is dead, or never existed. (There are also various semi-religious godless, who subscribe to the muddy grey, avoiding both black and white by neurosis. I think the word for them is, “agnostics.” I would perhaps take them aboard my yacht, were they drowning in her vicinity.)

But returning to my initial question, would you rather trust someone whose ideal is to kill you; or instead, someone who is characteristically pro-life?

This is a puzzle I have been dealing with for more than half a century, since an aspiring hack journalist or whatever. For I’ve been “pro-life” actually longer than I’ve been Christian. Indeed, I called myself an “atheist” when I spoke up for Humanae Vitae, in a 1968 high school debate, which made me as unpopular then among the Pepsi generation as it would now.

Paul R. Erlich has been around all this time, and since publishing his book, The Population BombĀ (in 1968), he has been a prominent player on the pro-death team. He would perhaps complain that he hasn’t proposed to murder anyone. He may get impatient, but would rather the great mass of us die off naturally. The world would then become a better place.

“Thou shalt not kill; but need’st not strive / Officiously to keep alive …” was how (my adored) Arthur Hugh Clough satirized this position, in his “Modern Decalogue.” This was a gentleman of the pro-life camp, who perfectly understood the views of our bourgeoisie — their murderousness and their sentimentality — almost two centuries ago. One may see that he was already using the word “modern” with distaste.