A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Demographic Arms Race?

Every so often, I come across an article by a cultural conservative about demographics, about who's having the most babies, about who's going taking over the world, etc. Albert Mohler is wont to peddle articles of this sort, as his most recent offering demonstrates. It makes me wonder. Evangelicals are having children, but they are still in a decline. If only the "kingdom work of changing diapers" (to quote Debbie Maken) could solve all our missiological ills.

I also wonder: What if we take away all the Nanny State incentives for getting pregnant? You know--like welfare, EIC, the ability to claim children as dependents for tax exemption purposes, government programs for children (like public education), etc? After all, Mohler doesn't tell you about the Orthodox Jews who are on the dole, or about the so-called "family values" of many of our immigrants.

Anyway, when it comes to the prospect of Christianity being bred out of existence, I am not all that concerned (Daniel 2:44; Mat. 16:18; Heb. 12:28). If some worry-worts were as concerned about evangelism as they were about who is and who is not having babies, I think we could be a lot less anxious about the Mormons or the Muslims moving into the old church building on the street corner.

P.S. Read this article (from a source hardly known for its liberalism) on whether or not we need to "grow".


Elusive Wapiti said...

"...by a cultural conservative about demographics, about who's having the most babies,"

I presume that the article is triumphalist in nature, that Red states have more kiddos than Blue ones. And that is true. Red women spawn more children than Blue women. But the fertility rates of both pale in comparison to the fertility rate of illegal aliens. Who as you say, have terrible "family values".

"What if we take away all the Nanny State incentives for getting pregnant? "

I think that would spur family growth. Here's why...all those redistributive programs cost money. Imagine how much more money each family would have if it not were for all those entitlement programs. How much would be saved on the income tax? How much in property taxes? Probably could afford to have another kid or two.

Think also about the nanny-state incentives that bait women to trade up from their hubby to the dole of Big Sister. The greater expenses as a result of divorce are also an impediment to family formation. I know. I'm living it.

Elusive Wapiti said...

Just read the VDare article.

Growth in population is necessary to maintain an inflationary monetary policy.

Other than that, the point about educated societies reproducing less because their investment in their children was higher (and less need for children's labor) was a good one.

Triton said...

Don't forget all those Chinese boys. The one-child policy over there has created a significant surplus of boys who will then have to decide whether to remain lifelong bachelors or go to another country.

Nations with surpluses of young men are dangerous things; if they can't find mates peacefully, those men might just decide to take another country's women by force.

Amir Larijani said...

Triton: Looking at China's demographic disaster--which ought no be surprising for anyone who has followed the matter--I've always wondered if the next Big War is going to be not over oil, or even ideological matters, but rather over sex...

Christina said...


That reminded me a bit humorously of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

And then a bit more soberly of the bible story that that musical is actually based off of =p

Ken said...

I'm a father, but I'm also a limited government guy who thinks the government should stick to what is Constitutionally instructed to do. That means I agree that it shouldn't be involved in all of the social programs and education and such.

Aside from the government redistribution, our society has done much to turn children into liabilities instead of assets. We don't have children as farm hands or to help out in the shop anymore. We leave them under the supervision of others for most of the day, and then we are still held liable if they do something illegal or costly. But people still have them - some because they like the activity that creates them and are either too lazy to use contraception or have some philosophical objection to it. Or because they think they are cute and their peers are having them.

You're right - as long as we continue to make disciples, it won't matter if Mormons or Muslims have more children. In fact, who better to reach our to Muslims and Mormons than someone raised as one who has become a follower of Christ?

I don't mind, per se, a need for immigrants to keep our economy growing - as long as those immigrants come here to contribute, not to be dependent or commit crime.

Anonymous said...

This was a very interesting article. Thank you for posting the link. Í follow some conservative Christian blogs (from Quiverful movement) and they are obsessed with having lots of kids.I tried to argue with them and pointed out that an average working class family hardly can support 10 kids on 1 income alone, to which they answered that you can always exist on brown beans and rice!

It's not like I'm against big families, if people want to have 14kids, it's fine by me, but they positively say it's a sin not to wish to have 14! Isn't this the decision between husband and wife?

May be you could write about this Quiverful stuff on your blog? I always appreciate your posts

May be you could write something about Quiverful theology?

Martin said...

A bit off topic: Can someone tell me what ever happened to Debbie Maken? You know, the proud warrior for the unBiblical marriage mandate doctrine? I noticed her blog is no longer being updated. Has she vanished like other false teachers? Or has she just gone into hiding to write a second book full of errors?


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