The Breeders Cup." Or, you can read another one in Psychology Today. In another "breeders" complain that the restaurant menu is unintelligible to their children. In another, an author complains saying "Breeders: your children do not make you superior." Perhaps the most intriguing is from First Things Blog "rage against the breeders" which quotes articles in The Weekly Standard and the Washington Post.
The disdainful term "breeders" is shocking enough but the bitterness, anger, and rage among those choosing to remain childless is even more distressing. Sure, who among us has not wondered in our hearts, get that kid out of church or out of the restaurant or out of the store when a parent is oblivious to the screams, rudeness, or loss of control on the part of their children. But how did we move from frustration directed against the parent to an intolerance for children?
A number of the authors in these articles focused on the stress children cause their parents (duh!) or the financial cost (is this news?!?) or the supposed disappointment of parents with parenting in general (who has not been there?). I read of the childless who think children should be kept locked up at home until they are adult and socialized (what happened to the folks writing this hogwash?). I heard statements that those choosing to remain childless are in the upper tiers of income, education, and professional vocations (where do these folks think they are going to find people to wait upon them or serve them if there are no "breeders?").
But then I think of how many congregations banish children from the Sanctuary with the so-called "Children's Church" that keeps the kids away from adults so that the adults can do their thing unhindered by the need to teach, nurture, or care for their kids. And then I think of how many folks insist that every time the church door is open, child care must be offered. And I think of the myriad of children who run around church buildings while their parents sit gabbing over coffee (oblivious to where their children are or what trouble they are getting into). Just maybe it is not only in the secular world that we have stopped viewing children as gifts from the Lord and parenting as the most sacred vocation within the home and community.
It is shocking to me that so many folks seem to think of kids as a huge burden upon them (even the children not theirs). It is shocking that in so many ways the Church has subtly reinforced this by banishing the kids to their own version of church (neatly out of the way of the adults). It is shocking to me that couples in premarital counseling often express uncertainty about whether or not they will have children and choose to delay children until other priorities in their lives are accomplished (most of them begin with ME).
Look around at the Sunday schools of our church body and you see empty rooms. Look around at the parochial schools closing or religious high schools closing for lack of children. Look around at the age of those who slap the sausage on your sausage biscuit or hand you your Big Mac at McDonalds. We are genuinely anti-abortion and pro-life but that has not kept us from being influenced by the few or none children choice that so many of our couples are making. Perhaps Rome is right, the availability and approval of varied forms of birth control have radically reshaped not only our understanding of marriage, but also of children. In the end we are being pushed further and further from the Scripture and tradition and it is a bold new world that at least this person does not want to enter...