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OVER POPULATION

In a 2000 interview, Karanja continued, “You can’t perform operations because there is no equipment, no materials. The operation theater isn’t working. But if it is for a sterilization, the theater is equipped.” Worse still, as Steven Mosher has argued in his book Population Control, there is good reason to believe that the 100 million hypodermic needles that were shipped to Africa since the 1990s for injecting contraceptive drugs have been a major cause of the continent’s horrific AIDS epidemic — which has resulted in tens of millions of deaths, with nearly two million more deaths expected this year, and next, and for years more to come.

Around the world, the population control movement has resulted in billions of lost or ruined lives. We cannot stop at merely rebutting the pseudoscience and recounting the crimes of the population controllers. We must also expose and confront the underlying antihumanist ideology. If the idea is accepted that the world’s resources are fixed with only so much to go around, then each new life is unwelcome, each unregulated act or thought is a menace, every person is fundamentally the enemy of every other person, and each race or nation is the enemy of every other race or nation. The ultimate outcome of such a worldview can only be enforced stagnation, tyranny, war, and genocide. The horrific crimes advocated or perpetrated by antihumanism’s devotees over the past two centuries prove this conclusively. Only in a world of unlimited resources can all men be brothers.

That is why we must reject antihumanism and embrace instead an ethic based on faith in the human capacity for creativity and invention. For in doing so, we make a statement that we are living not at the end of history, but at the beginning of history; that we believe in freedom and not regimentation; in progress and not stasis; in love rather than hate; in life rather than death; in hope rather than despair.

Robert Zubrin is a New Atlantis contributing editor. This essay is adapted from his new book — the latest volume in our New Atlantis Books series — Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism

 

G-D WEEPS AND SLEEPS

WEEPS

In 2 Kings 8, God reveals his heart through the prophet Elisha. Elisha is quickly becoming one of my favorite Bible characters. He’s really cool. Not simply because God empowered him to do and know so many things supernaturally, but because Elisha seems so confident and unshakable, since his trust and confidence is grounded in the unshakable God and what this God reveals to him. So I’ve enjoyed reading about God and Elisha, but 2 Kings 8 revealed something about Elisha (unlike previous chapters) and God that I wanted to meditate on.

The Story

Elisha is in Damascus where the king of Syria, Ben-hadad is sick. So Ben-hadad, the king, sends his servant Hazael to ask Elisha whether he will recover or not. Hazael meets Elisha and humbles himself before the prophet, the man of God. He speaks to Elisha as if both he and Ben-hadad are beneath Elisha. Hazael refers to the king as Elisha’s son (v. 9) and himself as Elisha’s servant and a dog (v. 13). Elisha tells Hazael to tell the king that he will recover, though Elisha tells Hazael he knows king Ben-hadad is going to die. Then before Hazael responds, Elisha fixes his eyes on Hazael and keeps staring at him, in awkward silence. Hazael is speechless because the prophet is staring at him with his eyes beginning to tear. Elisha breaks his gaze and begins to weep. Now this is weird for me to read, because Elisha up until this point seems so confident, so unshakable, so untouchable. But then he weeps and up to this point we don’t know why. So Hazael asks him, “Why does my lord weep?” And Elisha answers, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the people of Israel. You will set on fire their fortresses, and you will kill their young men with the sword and dash in pieces their little ones and rip open their pregnant women.” Hazael doesn’t understand how he, a dog in comparison to Elisha, could do such a thing. Elisha reveals to Hazael that he will be the next king of Syria. So Hazael goes back to his master, king Ben-Hadad, and murders him in the morning and becomes king.

The Character of G-d revealed in Elisha

Elisha weeps. But he could have prevented Hazael from being king. He could have killed Hazael. He could have not revealed the prophecy to Hazael. He could have done a number of things. But Elisha is obeying the Lord here. He is not preventing Hazael. He is not standing in the way of G-d’s plan. Israel at this point was an idolatrous and sinful people deserving judgment. Elisha knows that and knows G-d is just and so he continues with what G-d wants him to say and reveal. But he weeps. He is saddened by the judgment. It hurts for him to think about it. Yet he allows himself to be used to bring the judgment about, by faithfully speaking to Hazael. Elisha doesn’t want Israel to go through the suffering, but he also wants to be faithful to G-d and be used by G-d to carry out G-d’s plans. How does this show us G-d? G-d weeps. Gd cares about those whom he judges. God cries. And yet, at the same time, God is just and carries through with his judgment for his greater purposes. He does delight in his greater purposes, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t hurt by what he ordains. Jesus shows us this in his weeping and desire for Jerusalem to believe in him and be delivered from God’s wrath.

The Talmud says that God weeps daily for one who cannot afford to study Torah but does so anyway, as well as for the one who can afford to study Torah but does not. (T.B. Chagigah 5b)

"He who treats the community with overbearing pride, God weeps over him " (Chag. 5b)

"The following question was raised about this passage: it is clear why God cries about the person who is able to study Torah and does not, but why would God cry about the person who is not able to study Torah and does? Shouldn't God rejoice at such dedication? 

"Of course God does, so this is what the Talmud really means: when it describes the person who is not able to afford to study Torah but does it is referring to a wealthy person who is not able to study Torah because he spends all of his time making and hoarding money rather than using some of his time to distribute tzedakah to the poor. When this kind of person does manage to find some time to study, it is not for the purpose of studying Torah for its own sake, but rather as an excuse for not giving tzedakah and performing good deeds. This is the kind of person over whom God weeps." 

While the story does not say, we can assume that his uncle understood Rabbi Meir and changed his behavior.

This story reminds me of another passage from the Talmud in which the rabbis were arguing about which was more important: the study of Torah or the performance of good deeds? They concluded that Torah study is more important, but only because it will lead to the doing of good deeds. 


JEREMIAH CHAPTER 13 

V 17: "And if you do not heed this, My soul will cry in its hidden chambers." - "God has a certain place where He weeps, and it is called 'the hidden chambers'. But how can it be that God 'weeps' when Rav Papo said that sadness cannot be attributed to God since it says, 'Spendor and glory are before Him, strength and JOY in His place' (I Chron. 16:27)? There is no contradiction, because the tears are in the 'inner chambers' while the joy is in the 'outer chambers'. (Talmud Hagigah 5b). Without entering into the complex philosophical questions relating to whether and in what sense tears and joy can be attributed to God, our verse and the Talmudic comment in Hagigah do indicate that God somehow "grieves" over (and cares about) the suffering men bring upon themselves. And in order that earth should reflect heaven, up until recent times the inner circle of Tzaddikim of the "Heavenly Jerusalem" (Yerushalayim shel Ma'alah) had a secret chamber hewn into the rocks near the spring of Shiloah ("Silwan") with a door that could be locked, and they would go there individually at appointed times in order to weep "in the hidden chambers" over the exile of Israel. 

SLEEPS

תהילים: מד. כד.
עורה למה תישן אדני הקיצה, 
אל תזנח לנצח.

תהילים: מד. כד .
עוּרָה, לָמָּה תִישַׁן אֲדנָי; הָקִיצָה, אַל-תִּזְנַח לָנֶצַח. 
-
Psalms 44:24
Awake, why sleepest Thou, O Lord? Arouse Thyself, cast not off for ever.