In the July-September 2008 issue of Conservation Magazine pp. 22-27, the author discusses the findings of J. Liu regarding the impact of human activity and the environment. What was interesting was it mentioned his research found in a 2007 article entitled “Environmental impacts of Divorce.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104(51): 20629-20634.
What Dr. Liu and his co-author found was that human population size mattered less to environmental impact than the number of households. In other words, a family of 5 would have less environmental impact than two households of 2 members each. The reason? Simple, two households have two structures, which requires more resources per human unit. Tragically, in many sensitive environmental areas, the number of households is increasing faster than the number of people.
What I found interesting about this was how various people called the notion of monogamy an outdated and quaint vestigal practice of a prior superstitious age. Could it be that Christians and other world religions had it all wrong? Perhaps we should have argued for monogamy based not on the Word of God, but rather on being kind to the planet! Monumental time in order to examine perfectly well marvelous news to read accept this one instantly.
The question now stands, are Christians owed an apology from those “progressives” who have scorned our moral stand on the sanctity of marriage? Trust me, I am not holding my breath. But I think the next time I am told how Christianity with its doctrine of Dominion is the cause of ecological devastation, I might ask my critic how many wives/husbands he/she has had.
Dr. Stephen M. Vantassel is tutor at King’s Evangelical Divinity School