Mother Teresa on population control

Benjamin The Loving Life

“Again, in my television interview with Mother Teresa, I raised the point as to whether, in view of the commonly held opinion that there are too many people in India, it was really worth while trying to salvage a few abandoned children who might otherwise be expected to die of neglect, malnutrition, or some related illness. It was a point, as I was to discover subsequently, so remote from her whole way of looking at life that she had difficulty in grasping it. The notion that there could in any circumstances be too many children was, to her, as inconceivable as suggesting that there are too many bluebells in the woods or stars in the sky. In the film we made in Calcutta, there is a shot of Mother Teresa holding a tiny baby girl in her hands; so minute that her very existence seemed like a miracle. As she holds this child, she says in a voice, and with an expression, of exaltation most wonderful and moving: ‘See! there’s life in her!’ Her face is glowing and triumphant; as it might be the mother of us all glorying in what we all possess – this life in us, in our world, in our universe, which, however low it flickers or fiercely burns, is still a divine flame which no man dare presume to put out, be his motives never so humane and enlightened.

“To suppose otherwise is to countenance a deathwish. Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other. The God Mother Teresa worships cannot, we are told, see a sparrow fall to the ground without concern. For man, made in God’s image, to turn aside from this universal love, and fashion his own judgements based on his own fears and disparities, is a fearful thing, bound to have fearful consequences. What, I wonder, will posterity – assuming they are at all interested in us and our doings – make of a generation of men, who, having developed technological skills capable of producing virtually unlimited quantities of whatever they might need or desire, as well as enabling them to explore and perhaps colonize the universe, were possessed by a panic fear that soon there would not be enough food for them to eat or room for them to live? It will seem, surely, one of the most derisory, ignominious and despicable attitudes ever to be entertained in the whole of human history; though containing its own corrective. In seeking to avert an imagined calamity, the promoters and practitioners of birth-control automatically abolish themselves, leaving the future to the procreative. An interesting case of self-genocide.”

Malcom Muggeridge, Something Beautiful for God