Ken Santucci and I have a lot in common. We are both retired aerospace engineers living in Southern California, both around seventy years old. He worked for the old North American Aviation corporation before it was bought by Rockwell and became Rockwell International. So did I. He also worked for Douglas Aircraft before it became McDonnell Douglas, as did I. Our careers were parallel paths for more than thirty years. It’s a wonder we didn’t meet, somewhere along the line, but we never did.
There is one thing about the Santuccis that is definitely different from Suzanne and me…they had sixteen children by natural childbirth…that is, no adoptions, and not even any multiple births. For the first twenty years of their marriage, Colette was just about continuously pregnant.
The Santuccis are practicing Roman Catholics, and their church, St. Bartholomew in Long Beach, honored them. They were given a standing ovation by the congregation.
I read this, and thought: Why are they being honored for having sixteen children? It doesn’t take much talent or intelligence to get pregnant. In fact, it takes more to KEEP from getting pregnant. Furthermore, I think most doctors would agree that it is not advisable for a woman to have frequent pregnancies and births without giving her body a chance to recover.
Now, I must add that the Santuccis have been very good parents. Most of their kids are college graduates, some with multiple degrees, doing well in their lives. That is indeed an accomplishment to put a dozen kids through college! But I have to ask the question: Why? Why, in this era of population overshoot, and all the attendant ecological and resource-depletion problems, would anybody want to contribute this much to the world’s problems? Of course, this is only one couple, and not many would do such a thing, fortunately. But think what the world would be like today if all the married couples decided a hundred years ago to have sixteen children, and all of THEIR kids had sixteen children and all of THEIR…well, you get the point. We would all be standing up today, because there would not be enough room on the land masses of the planet to sit down.
Such behavior is irresponsible in today’s world. Of course, the Santuccis started their brood forty years ago, when all of this wasn’t so obvious. But their Catholic church gave them a standing ovation! Is this what followers of the Catholic church still believe? Like the Mormons? Make lots of babies and bring them up fully indoctrinated in the church, and pretty soon we’ll take over the world.
It’s one more reason…and I already have more than enough…to fear that religious believers may be correct about the coming apocalypse, but no god will be involved. We will do it to ourselves.