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Voluntary Sterilization, River Management, and Whether Man Should Engineer Nature

Voluntary Sterilization, River Management, and Whether Man Should Engineer Nature The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

Mark Tooley recently interviewed Joshua Mitchell for Providence Magazine to discuss the relationship between conservative political action and Protestant Christianity. In the interview, Mitchell remarks that our policy discussions in America still center around Protestant Christian concepts like transgression and propitiation, even though Protestant Christianity per se has been largely removed from public life.

Consequently, insofar as identity politics has reorganized and redefined what we identify as either iniquitous or righteous, in the absence of Christ serving as our ultimate scapegoat, whole classes of people in American society are now regarded as stand-ins where Christ formerly was regarded as our all-sufficient atonement.

Three other articles I came across around the same time last week bear this out.

One was in The Denver Post about women in particular getting pushback from physicians as they seek voluntary hysterectomies now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned. Never mind how vasectomies can be reversed and hysterectomies cannot, to my knowledge. Doctors cautioning young women where they may not be quite as energetically trying to talk healthy young men out of getting the old snip-snip is presented as degrading sexism.

Speaking of rerouting life-giving waterways, two more articles I read last week had to do with major river management projects in America being dramatically re-evaluated for their efficacy. Unforeseen consequences have reportedly resulted from man trying to engineer nature on a grand scale over the past century.

The Greeley Tribune republished the one piece. Written by Conrad Swanson, it’s titled ‘The West’s most important water supply is drying up. Soon, life for 40 million people who depend on the Colorado River will change.’

Hakai Magazine published the other, titled The Controversial Plan to Unleash the Mississippi,” and written by a Boyce Upholt.

Both of these two pieces about rivers feature an unusual airing of grievances about Native American tribes not feeling they have sufficient representation in the present-day decisions regarding water management projects. Thus the reader is required to set aside the question of tens of millions of Americans being able to eat and have safe drinking water, or make a living, or have access to reliable electricity, and take detours for social justice.

Yet all these things do go together along the lines of Joshua Mitchell’s observations in the Mark Tooley interview. We area told in countless subtle ways that the iniquity of straight, white, able-bodied, Protestant men and women brought us to this moment all around. Now saving the planet in these sizeable regions of the United States presumably requires setting aside Western notions regarding the value of human life, so long as the human life in question belongs to the iniquitous class.

But there’s more. We also see here a thorough rejection and even complete erasure of the Judeo-Christian assumption that the Creation Mandate is still something for us to adhere to and carry out.

Instead, what is preferred is the self-existent, self-referential individual who wants to live for themselves, pursue social justice, and save the planet – not for future generations, but from future generations. We, then, are regarded as unnatural and a blight. If such were not the case, we might expect more attention paid to finding actual solutions to these problems.

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