Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Uproar Against the Breeders

I guess when your children identify you with the phrase in the hymn stanza "ancient of days," it means you are often the last to pick up on new things.  I do not know where I have been but it came as a shock to me how some who choose to remain childless now refer (with disdain) to those who have children.  They are called "breeders."  The online Wall Street Journal has an article on this called "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...


Anonymous said...

First time I heard "Breeders" as a derogatory term against parents was from homosexuals. I wonder if it is "hate speech?"

I struggle with how a person can be pro-life and anti-child (but pro-sex).

It just seems to me that the logical conclusion of pro-life (letting God determine the start and end of life) carries over to a more Roman understanding of "birth control." Perhaps I am a legalist or something...I don't know.

What I *do* know is that the adherents of a certain religion that flew planes into buildings are out-"breeding" us at an alarming rate. We will soon be their slaves or dead because there won't be enough of us.

I also know that life without my children, warts and all, would be a cold, lonely, empty place.

George said...

I wonder if our churches are being transformed (see last post) into anti-child churches...

after all, to create an environment where visitors are completely comfortable, we might want to keep our brats (especially my three, with my poor wife trying to keep them from talking to daddy in the pulpit) away.

Rev. Allen Bergstrazer said...

Jealousy has many faces. These vulgarities are no different than the teenager who doesn't get invited to 'the' party and then cries "I didn't want to go to that stupid party anyway!"

Decadence does have a price.

Dr.D said...

This is strongly associated with the "save the planet" movement, the idea that there are too many people already, and that we should not have more children in order to unburden the earth. Many warped people think it is especially important to diminish the number of supposedly evil white people on the earth because it is thought that white people are the root of all damage to the planet.

This is all utter utopian nonsense, but it is widely believed in some quarters. The foolishness of it all is mind numbing, but among the true believers it is accepted as self-evident truth.

X said...

Don't forget about the women who are electing to be sterilized so to decrease their carbon-footprint.