Plague of Flies

Mon, 22 Jan, 2001

Miss Pop was a tall, skinny enemy of humanity who for forty years had been a China missionary. The Communists kicked her out, and she narrowly escaped with her life. When in 1953 I was subjected to her attentions, she was reduced to inflicting the blessings of Christianity on Sunday School children, whom she hated as much as the Heathen Chinee hated her.

Missionaries earnestly exterminating native culture; blue-nosed, priggish, self-righteous, spearheads of hated colonialism: how we despise them. Though their own time held them in the highest regard as selfless, devoted servants of God, risking their health and even their lives to dispel darkness from the hearts and minds of lesser breeds without the law. How times change.

There are still some few of these antiques at play in the fields of the Lord, but their numbers are as nothing when compared with the latter day saints of the Peace Corps, CARE, the World Health Organization, Amnesty International, the United Nations and a host of others. All of these lift the White Man's Burden from the narrow shoulders of Miss Pop and her ilk, and with the same joyless zeal spread the good news of family planning and a world without plague, famine, pestilence, torture or war.

No more than the missionary meant to introduce colonialism and disease do these sincere and well-meaning meddlers in an ecology that they do not understand mean to destroy the very thing they purport to love. But they are destroying it nonetheless.

These good folks have in their blind faith increased populations beyond their ability to feed themselves. Antibiotics, applied both liberally and incorrectly, have created strains of invincible disease susceptible to no greater remedy than was available to the physician of 1850: don't get sick, and if you do get sick, try not to die. The World Health Organization eradicated smallpox (as we hope and pray) but in the process seems to have engendered AIDS, an incurable disease which threatens to exterminate whole peoples.

The locust hordes of desperate, starving populations devour resources beyond the ability to replenish, denudes the forest, consume the plains and make the sea a desert. How will future generations regard us? Not as fools who were servants of God, but as fools who were instruments of Satan.

January, 21, 2001

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Plague of Flies

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