by Ann Harrison
One group of childless Boston-area residents has started a worldwide religious organization and outrageous virtual community on the Internet. The Church of Euthanasia, which is based in Catherine Bodock's basement, in Somerville, is a non-profit tax-exempt organization whose first commandment is "Thou shalt not procreate." The group runs a heavily visited site on the World-Wide Web -- http://www.churchofeuthanasia.org/ -- which has helped distribute 80,000 bumper stickers and pins with slogans such as THANK YOU FOR NOT BREEDING, SAVE THE PLANET, KILL YOURSELF, and VASECTOMY PREVENTS ABORTION.
Bodock says it's easy to blame the media for the rush toward parenthood. But she says people need to realign their spiritual and emotional values if they are serious about doing their part to save the earth. Recycling is not enough. "We need to have more compassion for the planet, and compassion for human beings already living on it, and compassion for the other species of plants and animals."
Founder Chris Korda, 33, says her organization sometimes uses scare tactics to reach people who have misgivings about whether to reproduce but need encouragement to hold fast to their beliefs. The group's Web site disseminates information on emergency contraception, such as the morning-after pill, and refers people to Planned Parenthood for counseling. Korda believes this is an important mission because humans lack a counterbalancing force, an awareness that allows them to hold their population in check and keep the species in balance. She says it is especially important for Americans to decrease their population because the average American uses 10 times more resources than the average citizen worldwide.
"We just see ourselves as one species among many other species that are as evolved or more evolved than we are," says Korda. "We are breeding so fast we are breeding other species into extinction."
Korda's mission is to urge people in countries around the world to decrease their populations before environmental tragedy, plague, or pestilence do the job for them. She says the droughts, earthquakes, and floods affecting the planet are a warning that if we continue on this path, we'll destroy ourselves. In her Internet sermons, Korda explains why the concept of childlessness is such a vital environmental philosophy.
She likes to point out that one million humans arrive on the planet every four days, and that humans have already eradicated one-third of the plant and animal species on earth. In the rain forest, says Korda, a species becomes extinct every 15 minutes. On the entire planet, a species disappears every 60 minutes. "The earth is capable of defending herself," she says. "She will reduce the two-leggeds, but her methods will not be pleasant."
In keeping with her radical style, Korda says the four pillars of this church are suicide, abortion, cannibalism, and sodomy -- because they all help reduce the population. "This is part of a last-ditch effort to change things using the most shocking methods," she explains, citing Native American prophecies that warn of impending environmental cataclysm.
"Our first step was self-awareness. Now we need to leap to species-awareness," Korda says. "We are asking for a huge leap of consciousness."