Hurry up Melinda

How many people is too many?

I’d say seven billion people is too many.

Where’d all these people come from? Other people.

Lots of women are still kept in the dark about family planning for many of reasons, from lack of education to religious taboos. To me, it’s odd that contraception’s still even an issue, but it is.

Religious folks say having a baby is a miracle. Having a baby isn’t really a miracle because a miracle is a rare event, something not occurring very often.

Melinda Gates, who’s a practicing Catholic, recently gave an interesting TED talk about contraception. She’s now throwing the weight of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation behind family planning and making it her signature issue.

She wants to get contraception back on the global agenda. While she’s not following the wrongheaded Catholic policy against contraception, she is following professed Catholic values of service and social justice. Good choice.

Global agendas have local effects too. The Catholic church still has a strong influence here in Mexico. Just a few days ago, I saw a kid I know from surfing working as a laborer. He’s possibly the best surfer in our town and has won a couple of regional surf trophies. And he’s young. I’m guessing maybe 18, at the most. I don’t know him, just passing recognition from being in the surf together.

I’m also guessing it’s a safe bet to say he doesn’t know much about contraception because now I see him with a young woman and their baby. I don’t see him surfing very often anymore, probably because he’s trying to support a baby and it’s mother.

He was a promising surfer. Now he’s a laborer who doesn’t surf much and I wonder how happy he really is. Hurry up Melinda.