Until recently, lack of means of contraception and lack of effective medication for venereal disease could justify abstinence as promoted by religion. Before penicillin, syphilis was deadly. Before condoms became available in pharmacies (which did not occur until the end of the sixties!), the risks of unwanted pregnancy constituted a very serious impediment to sexual freedom. The Catholic Church fought against the availability of contraceptives, thus making heterosexual citizens prisoners of an implacable logic: to have access to sexual pleasure, they had to marry. Both homosexual and heterosexual freedom were also constrained by a lack of medication to treat venereal diseases. Abstinence was a last resort. The result was frustration and increased misery for humanity. Misery which still endures today in Muslim countries.
Scientific Progress Forbidden by Religions
It is essential to keep in mind that, throughout history, religions has vehemently opposed scientific development. There are numerous examples of torture and execution of scientists and philosophers at the hands of religious authorities. It is very probable that the discovery of both contraceptive measures and medications to treat disease could have occurred centuries earlier, long before the planet became overpopulated as it is today. And long before billions of human beings were condemned to misery and exploitation. As one young American remarked in 1967, we could have walked on the moon by the year 1000.
Large Families and Misery
Having clarified the above point, the lack of medication and contraceptives at the time did not in any way justify religion’s promotion of large families. Misery in Quebec before the Quiet Revolution was the direct result of the Catholic Church’s attitude with respect to the family. The control of sexuality by the religious resulted in the Quebecois being poor, one could even say enslaved. Large families with many children were the norm a century ago. This was an era of abject poverty and squalor. When children slept four to a bed. When workers had a ten or twelve hour daily shift, six days a week. The era when half of Quebec’s population had to emigrate to the United States just to survive. When the average age of women was only thirty-five years because so many died in childbirth, as ordered by the parish priest. When forty percent of children died before the age of two, sanitary conditions being as bad as they were—because of the extreme poverty in which the population lived, all the while manipulated by priests and other clergy who lived in comparative luxury.
We must never forget this history of misery: the Jewish community does not hesitate to open numerous musea which keep alive the memory of the horrors of which it has been the target. We need at least one such museum to remind everyone what the Catholic Church did to us.
It is very probable that Islam today is going through exactly the same horrible conditions which Quebeckers suffered in the past. And for similar reasons: the control of sexuality by the religious.
In the XXIst Century, There is No Excuse
We are living during extraordinary times, when birth control has become easy and treatments for most sexually transmitted diseases are available. Forced abstinence is no longer appropriate. Furthermore, it is critical that the demographic explosion which began in the XVIIIth century, resulting from improvements in sanitary conditions, be now brought under control. It was at the end of that century that the rate of infant mortality began to decline dramatically. Within a period of only one century, the planet’s population grew from one billion to four billion (at the end of the 1960s). That demographic explosion is itself the source of the most brutal capitalism and of European imperialism of the last two centuries. And it is the systematic opposition of religions to birth control which is directly responsible.
By Controlling Human Sexuality, Religions Create Misery and Overpopulation.
By controlling human sexuality, the major religions manufacture poor people just as sausage factories manufacture sausages: on an assembly line. The major religions are responsible for human misery. They are responsible for the overpopulation of the planet. They have not adapted their discourse to the demographic evolution of recent centuries. Why? From small-mindedness, from egoistic self-interest, from submission to exploiters and imperialists. Our planet is henceforth overpopulated and could very well die from overpopulation and pollution as the poorest countries strive to improve their standard of living.
The control of sexuality by religions must be forbidden in order for Humanity to survive. All peoples of the earth must make their Quiet Revolution.