Stanley Kurtz on the coming baby-boomer demographic crisis (emphasis added):
In 2005, I reviewed some of the first books on the subject and concluded that a demographically induced economic crisis could spark a revival of religious traditionalism, a far more radical decomposition of the family, or both.I haven't noticed many calls for larger families, either (with one notable exception). It isn't just former hippies and progressives who aren't interested in having more than one or two babies (if any). Even those who fully understand which way the cold demographic wind is blowing aren't eager to fill their homes with new life. Even Christians don't embrace the call to be fruitful and multiply.
At the time, it looked as if a possible demographically-induced economic crisis was at least a couple of decades away. We seem to be running ahead of schedule. To a large extent, the economic troubles here and in Europe already factor in the unsustainable entitlements of the future.
Although an economic crisis is imminent, and the underlying cause demographic, I haven’t noticed many calls for increased child-bearing. That is in striking contrast to the world-wide movement in response to the less proximate and more theoretical global warming crisis. It’s a measure of how unthinkable changes in our post-sixties life-styles still are. Yet it doesn’t mean change won’t happen, if and when a demographic-economic crisis truly strikes.
Kathryn Jean Lopez writes that Contraception is Not the Solution:
The spending fight over Planned Parenthood in Congress is about a number of things. It's primarily about good stewardship, as so much of the spending debate is. But beyond legislation, beyond anything Congress can or should do, it is a call to arms for a new sexual revolution. It's about wanting more for ourselves and for those whom we love. It's about ending the surrender to a contraceptive mentality that treats human sexuality as just another commercial transaction.Exactly right. Read the whole thing.
Perhaps nothing better illustrates that than a recent commercial for a contraceptive called Beyaz. Women walk into a store and literally shop for men. "It's good to have choices." A woman happily shakes her head at the stork and its offerings in a sassy "we girls can do anything" kind of way, promenading through an adult Barbie commercial complete with Ken, a dream house and a trip to Paris.
That commercial does not, needless to say, do justice to the pain and desperation many women suffer when they find themselves thinking about an abortion, or popping pills in pursuit of something that masks itself as satisfaction but is really just a bad substitute, oftentimes making true happiness all the more illusory.
Stacy McCain, quoting JPII, writes:
A “society excessively concerned with efficiency” obviously can’t tolerate the unpredictable realities of natural, fertile human sexuality. The very name Planned Parenthood expresses the idea that they are offering something somehow superior to unplanned parenthood, that there is something wrong and inferior about letting nature take its course in matters of reproduction or — as Christians would say — recognizing God’s sovereignty as the Author of Life.Bingo. Pregnancy, childbirth, babies, toddlers, teenagers -- they introduce uncontrollable variables into life. Having children is messy and risky, opening the door to kinds of suffering to which non-parents will be forever immune. The choice of sterility is infinitely neater and safer. Like a clean layer of asphalt instead of a garden, it makes no demands; but it doesn't give much back, either.
More from Stacy McCain:
What bothers me most about unthinking acceptance of the Contraceptive Culture is that it reflects a failure of imagination, and a death of hope. When I tell people that my wife and I have six children, the reaction is often disbelief: “How can you possibly cope? I can’t imagine it!” And yet we do, somehow.
We have never been rich and have often been quite poor, but we have hope, a hope informed by the knowledge that other people have overcome hardships far more difficult than our own, by a sense of duty to fulfill the obligations entrusted to us, and by the belief that God will give us no burden that we are incapable of carrying.
You may believe otherwise. But you ought to ask yourself why you believe what you believe.
Ideas have consequences, and the idea that families shouldn't have more than a couple of children is going to have some serious ones here in the US.
Related: Baby-boomers should have had more kids.
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