A few years ago, a Roman Catholic priest-exorcist declared that there’s actually a demon who specializes in attacking the family.
Fr. Cesar Truqui told an Italian newspaper that the demon’s name is “Asmodeus,” who is referenced in the apocryphal book of Tobit as the “worst of demons.” Truqui claimed he encountered this demon during exorcisms and personally saw him try to prevent marriages and encourage married couples to break up.
While I certainly don’t support ascribing unique, family-destroying power to deuterocanonical demons, I thought of the claim this week as I read an article at the NBC News website, entitled: “Science Proves Kids are Bad for Earth. Morality Suggests We Stop Having Them.”
In it, Dr. Travis Rieder — director of the Master of Bioethics degree program at the Berman Institute of Bioethics — notes the burgeoning sentiment that having children is bad for your carbon footprint, and so climate-change ethics must trump familial reproduction. Just as someone would bear moral responsibility for releasing a murderer from prison who intends to kill again, Rieder reasons, so do parents bear the moral responsibility for having a child “who will be responsible for her emissions.”
Rieder dismisses the objection that because individual actions don’t make a significant difference, there’s no point in limiting your family size. “If morality only applied to meaningful change, then morality would rarely recommend actions of symbolic integrity of defiance,” Rieder notes, adding, “Our moral psychology has not yet evolved to solve the problems of today. .. moral decisions are no longer about math; Being a part of the solution matters. If having one fewer child reduces one’s contribution to the harms of climate change, the choice of family size becomes a morally relevant one.”
In other words, planet above progeny. Climate above children.
And yet, it wasn’t an apocryphal demon, but Satan himself who diverted Adam and Eve’s memories of God’s commands to the sweeter-sounding lure of the moment. And we all know how that turned out.
This is critically important to keep in mind when we remember that the Creator of our planet, our climate and our morality already has made very clear to us His thoughts about children:
CHILDREN ARE GOD’S COMMAND. “God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.'” (Gen. 1:22)
CHILDREN OFFER PRAISE TO THEIR CREATOR. “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” (Psalm 8:2)
CHILDREN FULFILL THEIR PARENTS. “He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD.” (Psalm 113:9)
CHILDREN ARE A LEGACY-BEARING REWARD. Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. (Psalm 127:3-5)
CHILDREN ARE A GIFT. “Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. ‘Who are these with you?’ he asked. Jacob answered, ‘They are the children God has graciously given your servant.’” (Gen. 33:5)
CHILDREN SHOW US HOW WE SHOULD TRUST THE LORD. “He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” (Matthew 18:2-6)
Why in the world would we sacrifice our families to the transparently political cause du jour?
Why would we refuse to have children in order to jump on board a cause that is rooted not in truly imminent crisis, but in a data-manipulated, corruption-laden global scheme more concerned with redistributing our wealth than protecting the planet?
And why would we take more advice from climate-change fanatics, when this is the same ideological camp that defends — indeed, promotes — the practice of slaughtering millions of children in utero? Why do these people so easily exalt the creation over God’s command to seek the blessing of children?
They do it because, as Romans 1 says, they worship and serve the creation, rather than the Creator. And in so doing, they do the bidding of the deceiver, who comes to steal, kill and destroy. We must never forget that our families really are in Satan’s sights. And we can only triumph over him when, like Jesus in the wilderness, we fight back against modern-day lies like Rieder’s with the unchanging Word of God.
As it is written: “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” (Proverbs 17:6)