“Would homosexuality be one of nature’s ways to control world overpopulation?” a student in our Senior’s College biology class asked the other day.  She didn’t know there isn’t actually an overpopulation problem. The professor didn’t enlighten her. Didn’t tell her there are more TVs than people in the average North American home. Didn’t tell her that an aging population and declining fertility are now the biggest problem facing many countries, including Canada. Didn’t say that within our lifetimes – his, yours and mine – this will seriously affect every aspect of our lives.

What he did stress was this: “If reproduction stops – life stops.”

Actually, we all know that. That’s why we try to protect whales, piping plovers, polar bears, leatherback turtles, maidenhair fern, mouse-ear cress, spiderwort and birdsfoot violet. Humans aren’t included.

We’re also fascinated by watching the birth, nurturing and development of living things. The “eagle cam” enabled thousands to watch spellbound as some eaglets hatched last summer.

Now there’s a “panda cam” in China’s Wolong Giant Panda Research Centre. Why? Pandas typically have a cub once every two to three years. Such a low reproduction rate puts them among the most-endangered species in the world.

Isn’t that interesting? Women in the Western world average just over one child in a whole 40-year reproductive lifetime – and try to persuade the whole world to do likewise. How long until homo sapiens becomes a protected species?

Saleema Noon, a condom-pushing “sex health educator” in Vancouver, reports that 65 per cent of girls 15-17 consider their moms the best source of information on living with sexuality. Sounds good, till in a widely read syndicated medical column by a Toronto gynecologist who does abortions, Dr. W. Gifford Jones, we read that the rate of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) is soaring among divorced and separated adults over 40. His advice? “Make love like porcupines – very carefully. Use condoms.” (April 18, 2006.)

Margaret Sanger knew well that if reproduction stops, life stops. One of her stated goals was to exterminate the Negro population. Her target list of undesirables included “the feebleminded and insane, idiots, morons, epileptics, professional prostitutes, illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals” and “all inferior blacks, Hispanics, poor whites and Catholics.” She founded Planned Parenthood to promote contraception and sterilization among them. She termed them all “a dead weight of human waste” and “a menace to the race” and castigated those who helped them.

She would not have praised the work done by Steve Fitzhugh, founder of a teen centre in Washington’s inner city. The Associated Press reported this summer that his centre and a national network of pro-life crisis pregnancy centres are attempting to dissuade pregnant young inner-city black and Hispanic women from having abortions. The centres also refuse to promote birth control and advocate sexual abstinence outside marriage.

The AP article was headlined, “Anti-abortion activists target urban blacks, Hispanics.” Using those emotionally charged terms (“anti-abortion activists” and “target”) was a scornful attempt to smear that inner-city ministry.

Similarly, mainstream media reports of Pope Benedict’s meeting with the bishops of Ontario used terms like “Pope blasts … chastizes … hits out … papal tongue-lashing …”  Yet, Archbishop Marcel Gervais maintained that the Pope was “the epitome of fraternal affection” as he urged the bishops to be a strong united vocal presence in Canada’s public and political debates.

P.E.I. Liberal MP Wayne Easter supports the Liberal agenda. But in this, he supports the Pope. He said, “I do think that … in recent years, churches and church leaders have not really aggressively spoken out and I think they need to speak out aggressively from their own beliefs … We have heard from them some, but we don’t hear from them as aggressively as we do many others … Their voice has to be heard too in the political debate.”

Easter has a point. There are things the bishops should be saying “more aggressively” about same-sex “marriage.” There are things they should be saying about reproduction. There are things we should all be saying more aggressively about both issues.

If not, one day the eagles and the pandas will be watching a “people cam.”