by Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director
A few days ago my 23 year old niece did something extraordinary. She had a baby. A precious 10 pound baby girl.
Whereas in the past, giving birth seemed like a natural, common, and somewhat ordinary progression of life (yet still inherently miraculous), today having a child, or even more so children, is nothing short of extraordinary.
With today’s couples delaying marriage and often trading in bibs for leashes, the birthrate in the United States has hit its lowest rate ever. Some attribute this to the pandemic, but the fact is that the birthrate has been dropping steadily for several years.
The case against children has been simmering under the cultural surface for decades as the abortion industry has cast children as the enemy to be eradicated. Children limit our freedom. Children require sacrifice. Children are expensive.
The messaging has been subtle and steady. Now, however, it’s screaming at us from billboards: “Stop Having Children!”
As reported by Life News, that’s the very visible billboard campaign launched in Portland, Oregon by a pro-abortion group subscribing to anti-natalism, a “philosophical and ethical stance against human reproduction…to radically reduce suffering and environmental destruction in the world.”
This is Margaret Sanger 2.0. Like the founder of Planned Parenthood, this small but vocal group of extremists believes the way to eliminate suffering is to eliminate the sufferer.
If we stop having kids, we’ll stop bringing people into a world that has problems. And, as a happy side effect, there will be more resources for those of us granted the privilege of birth.
Cancel culture canceling life itself.
But there are problems with this sterile, short-sighted wokism.
The drooling babies, demanding toddlers, and difficult teens of today eventually become what you and I are now- the older and wiser caretakers, the persistent problem-solvers, the productive contributors to society.
Babies become people. And people are our greatest natural resource, fueling the world with their ingenuity, hard work, and good deeds. People discover, invent, cure, produce, and achieve. We imagine, overcome, inspire, seek a greater good, and above all, we love.
Canceling children today cancels tomorrow’s generations, and that severely limits our potential as a society.
Just ask China.
After years of brutally enforcing a one-child policy, they are now scrambling to reverse their humanity deficit as reported in Forbes magazine. Couples are now “permitted” to have up to three children in China to replenish their population.
Billionaire Elon Musk has issued his own warning about global population decimation, stating, “Please look at the numbers – if people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble, mark my words.”
But the problem of canceling kids is bigger than labor shortages or economic impact. We don’t just have children to supply tomorrow’s workforce. Rather, children are the fullest expression of human love.
And when we have them, through the demands made and sacrifices offered, we learn to love in a way we hadn’t before. We become more “other-oriented” which is not only beneficial to the family unit but good for society in general. Raising children, the citizens of tomorrow, is a chance to
leave a legacy, our fingerprint on the future.
But children are not just our tomorrow, they are also our today. They surprise and delight, help us to stay grounded, and become lifelong friends, perhaps even our own caretakers. They give us more, much more, than they demand. It’s not something we can quantify or even adequately articulate. If you know, you know.
What we need in our country is not anti-children billboards scaring young people away from parenthood, but a return to the very ordinary idea that having a family is a beautiful, worthwhile, and in its own way, extraordinary vocation.
As GK Chesteron said, “The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children.”
Let’s make America extraordinarily ordinary again by welcoming children into a country that we can make better together.