NYT: How many members of the Episcopal Church are there in this country?
KJS: About 2.2 million. It used to be larger percentagewise, but Episcopalians tend to be better-educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than some other denominations. Roman Catholics and Mormons both have theological reasons for producing lots of children.
NYT: Episcopalians aren’t interested in replenishing their ranks by having children?
KJS: No. It’s probably the opposite. We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion.
Let's consider this quote in parts:
Episcopalians tend to be better-educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than some other denominations
Episcopalians have a greater number of members with college degrees than any other denomination. Those with college degrees tend to have fewer children. Is someone disputing this? If so, I'll be happy to dig up the data.
Roman Catholics and Mormons both have theological reasons for producing lots of children.
Having never been either a Roman Catholic or a Mormon, I do not know their traditions very well. My understanding has always been that Roman Catholics continue to ban artificial forms of birth control. One would assume this would lead to more children. Is there some error in this statement?
We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion.
One would hope that folks know what Bp. Katharine is talking about. If you are unsure, here's a couple of articles that might be helpful:
From The Independent:
...On a global scale the average US citizen uses far more than his or her fair share of the planet's resources - consuming more than four times the worldwide average of energy, almost three times as much water and producing more than twice the average amount of rubbish and five times the amount of carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming. The US - with five per cent of the world's population - uses 23 per cent of its energy, 15 per cent of its meat and 28 per cent of its paper. Additional population will mean more people seeking a share of those often-limited resources...From the Population Institute:
...Lester Brown, the director of the Earth Policy Institute, an environmental group also based in Washington, said: "In times past, reaching such a demographic milestone might have been a cause for celebration - in 2006 it is not. Population growth is the ever-expanding denominator that gives each person a shrinking share of the resource pie. It contributes to water shortages, cropland conversion to non-farm uses, traffic congestion, more garbage, overfishing, crowding in national parks, a growing dependence on imported oil and other conditions that diminish the quality of our daily lives"...
...At the root of many population issues is a lack of basic health services in less developed countries, including reproductive health and family planning. For women and families to improve their standard of living, couples must have the information and means to plan the number and spacing of their children...There are certainly various theories floating around regading the ethical issue of overpopulation, and those theories might be worthy of debate, but I fail to see any reason for any outrage regarding this statement.
To the extreme conservatives who seem to get great satisfaction in never missing an opportunity to misrepresent Bp. Katharine's words; you are beginning to sound a bit shrill and more than a bit unChristian.
To those Roman Catholics who are outraged, I am sorry that you have chosen to react in this way. But, I'm afraid that at the moment it is better if I not say anything more to you. When your leadership decides to get their nose out of other people's business, and cease their latest sheep stealing raid, then maybe we can talk.