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Perhaps It's Not Really About Green Pee

When does the conservative Christian press care about the environment? Well of course when it serves their conservative Christian agenda. Witness their most recent concern about the use of contraceptives’ impact on fish.

Birth Control PillsFor background, Endocrine disruptor compounds (EDCs) are found in herbicides and pesticides, plastics, pharmaceuticals, cleansers, human waste, pollution from feedlots, and residues from contraceptives and hormone replacements. First discovered in the 1990’s by European aquatic biologists, fish and amphibians that gather downstream from sewage treatment plants have a high incidence of reproductive issues.

These biologists specifically noticed that wild fish and frogs evidenced significantly increased rates of sex reversal (fish with male chromosomes having either female, or both male and female genitalia/reproductive organs), gonadal cysts and other reproductive tract tumors, dead tissue and decreased fertility. These conditions were discovered to correlate to EDCs (also referred to as xenoestrogens) in the water.

As many may not know, xenoestrogens from people taking estrogen and pseudo-estrogens for a variety medical conditions/reasons — including contraception — enters sewage facilities via flushed urine. Currently, there are no filtering systems in place to remove any xenoestrogens.

The National Catholic Register and WorldNetDaily have this week emphasized one source of the increase in female and intersex fish in Boulder Creek — contraceptives — while ignoring all the other sources. Their solution, apparently, to the xenoestrogen problem in the waterways is found in the Catechism (No. 2399):

(What the Catechism and some conservative Christians say after the flip)

To preserve the self-giving nature of the sexual act, which must always be open to life, the Catechism teaches that it is wrong to use contraception. Couples may space their children for just reasons in ways using natural family planning, which involves observation of signs in the woman’s body.

Says the Catechism: “The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception)”

University of Colorado physiology professor David Norris (identified by the National Catholic Register as “an environmentalist and birth-control advocate”) said:

…that until society achieves better sewage filtration and invents harmless contraceptives, “there’s always abstinence, and we know that it?s 100 percent effective.”

George Harden, a board member of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, said:

The radical environmentalist won’t eat a corn chip if the corn contacted a pesticide. But they view it a sacred right and obligation to consume synthetic chemicals that alter a woman’s natural biological functions, even if this practice threatens innocent aquatic life downstream.

Shane Edwards (Confessions of a Shiftless MindA Christian’s commentary, insight, thoughts on Canada, life and culture) stated in (and referenced in the WorldNetDaily article):

Unsurprisingly, [residual female sex hormones from birth control pills in the waterways] is not a top priority for environmentalists. Why? Because most environmentalists are to a large degree, political liberals. Hence, they cannot oppose birth control, for that would be an attack on women and their sexual freedom. It would also deal a telling blow to the population control programs worldwide, a pet project of the left for 100 years now. To give this publicity would pit nature against consequence-free sex, and that just won’t happen.

Well. Finally an environmental issue Catholics and Dominionists can jointly get behind: limiting access to birth control to save fish from intersexualism.

The problem is, limiting access to birth control wouldn’t solve the problem of xenoestrogens in the waterways. Antibiotics used in feedlots for farm animals, 2,4-D, the most commonly used herbicide in the U.S — as well as everyday personal-care products such as soaps, lotions, medications and cosmetics — contain xenoestrogens.

And, quoting the Boise Weekly:

Dioxins, the byproducts of burning plastics and rubber, are among the most hazardous xenoestrogens.

All these product related xenoestrogens in the waterways, on top of the xenoestrogens that enter the waterways via human urine, impact the reproductive systems of fish. If the only action to cleanse the waterways of xenoestrogens were to ban use of estrogens and pseudo-estrogens for contraceptive purposes, we would most likely still have intersex fish developing due to the many, many other sources of xenoestrogens in the water.

Perhaps it’s a bit disingenuous for the National Catholic Register and WorldNetDaily to only focus on the contraceptive source of xenoestrogens while ignoring all the other sources. To me, it seems that what WorldNetDaily is really talking about abstinence and abstinence only sex education, and the National Catholic Register is talking about those and the Catechism’s prohibition on contraceptives. Environmentalism seems to be just a ruse for these publications to forward their Christian Conservative viewpoints on contraception and abstinence — vice having any actual concern for the fish or the environment.

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