Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Water! Water?

I am about to write what may be a most unpopular few paragraphs. My words may even seem cold-hearted or ignorant, at least initially. But I feel strongly enough about the topic that I feel compelled to write. I look forward to your remarks either in agreement or in dissension.

My church recently ran a campaign to collect funds to help bring clean drinking water to those who are plagued with non-potable water. It is estimated that up to 1 billion people in the world struggle with gaining access to clean water. That amounts to 1 out of every 7 people. A significant fraction of these people live in developing or third world nations, such as Africa. Clearly this is an issue of global proportions that we should feel compelled to help with from a purely merciful and humanitarian level. So far so good, right?

Now comes the issue that I struggle with in this. In the United States, the average family has 2.0 kids. In Niger 6.8, Chad 6.1, Ethopia 6.3. I could go on, but these numbers paint a chilling portrait. The lion's share of the world's water problems are associated with one of the most inhospitable continents on the planet, where the average family size borders on the obscene. More and more kids being born into environments that they have no business being born into. Nearly every child brought into families in these parts of the world is given a death sentence, a poverty sentence, a struggle sentence at the instant of conception. Instead of enabling people in these struggling countries to struggle just a hair less, shouldn't we be supporting birth control measures and family planning enforcement? Isn't this just common sense at the most basic level?