Saturday, July 30, 2011

Children.... Not So Important...

My informal surveys of catechism students suggest that marriage and children are not as important to the minds, hearts, and goals of these youth who have not yet entered the bloom of adulthood.  One can only hope that things will change but I am inclined to think that some of these things are so fully entrenched that it will take great effort or great event to transform their informally formed conclusions.

Judging from the surveys and polls and musings of sociologists, the kids in catechism class may not be so different that the rest of the youth in our society.  If that is true, it is certainly because they have been shaped by the same factors so evident in the media, culture, and educational bias of our modern day America.  Abortion did not start it and neither did the entrance of women into the workplace during and after WWII but certainly these are markers of the shifting goals and priorities of our people.

Joe Carter over at First Thoughts pointed me to an opinion by Rachel Jankovic under the title "Motherhood Is a Calling..."  She notes  before this generation of mothers was even born, our society decided where children rank in the list of important things. When abortion was legalized, we wrote it into law.  Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything. Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing.

I was reminded of something C. S. Lewis said, "Homemaker is the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only -- to support the ultimate career!"  We have certainly forgotten that today.  Take a look at the birth rate for the average European, Scandinavian, Canadian, or American (excluding immigrant families) family.  We have determined that just as love is optional to sex and marriage is even less optional to sex, so children are even less linked with sex (sex being about the number one priority -- or pleasure that comes from sex, among other things).

Over the months we have heard about the effects of sex selection from China to India.  The number of “missing” women has risen to more than 160 million, and a journalist named Mara Hvistendahl has given us a much more complete picture of what’s happened. Her book is called “Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men.” As the title suggests, Hvistendahl argues that most of the missing females weren’t victims of neglect. They were selected out of existence, by ultrasound technology and second-trimester abortion. They are not missing; they are dead.

Missing women connects to the devaluation of motherhood and of children in general. The sum total--more than 49,500,000 is the number of children aborted in the United States since 1973.  Or the number of children aborted in the world each year.  Abortion is not the cause of this problem -- the changing attitudes of people and the devaluation of children, motherhood, and family -- but it is a statistic that charts the radical shift in priorities and values.  The shocking underbelly of the movement toward autonomy for women is this attitude toward children, abortion in general, and the sex selection abortion of females. Yet our attitudes are often hidden in much less outrageous ways.  For example, in my own neck of the woods there are countless complaints about the need to build more schools (our city has a lot of young families due to its proximity to Fort Campbell).  The angry complaints from the retired, those who have no children, and those not yet (or perhaps ever) married, indicate that schools (and the children in them) are seen as burdens to the community, expensive, and not exactly worth it.  Our assault on family, motherhood, and children takes many forms.

Yet, where is the outcry?  Even those who reported it are not ready to suggest that a woman's right to abortion should take second place to anything else.  Clearly we are not learning anything from all the words written and the discussion taking place in this... more words while family continues to be devalued, motherhood equated as slavery or a less than noble profession, and more children die... oh, well, I think I will have another latte... BTW have you noticed there are no teenagers working in the coffee shops and fast food restaurants?  Where are they?


Anonymous said...

It is fact that 7th and 8th graders
are not going to have any mature
thoughts on marriage and family now
or ever. They did not 40 years ago.

If they did, they would not share
them with a clergyman in confirmation
class. The task of the pastor in
confirmation is to nurture their
faith in Christ and not try to be
a sociology professor.

Anonymous said...

Frank Zappa once said "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
This quote applies to whomever wrote that last Anonymous comment. Please, try to not be so immature next time you comment on someone's intelligent and thoughtful blog.

Michael Bahr said...

I was watching Disney channel yesterday (hospital waiting room). The daughter on TV said something to her mother about having a little brother or sister, to which the mom replied, "No, we already took care of that."

Sad this is what the kids are being influenced by these days. (And I'm not sure why Disney is encouraging fewer of potential customers of princess themed toys, either).

Anonymous said...

Birthrate for white Americans is the same as the birthrate in the People's Republic of China.

In this environment, those who naturally are disposed to marry and have larger families enjoy a tremendous biological fitness advantage never seen before.

Basically the suicidal decadence of a few means that the faithful are disproportionally rewarded.

Anonymous said...

should be,

Basically the suicidal decadence of the majority means that the few faithful are disproportionally rewarded.

According to the US Census, more than 50% of all children have at least two siblings, but their parents make up less than 30% of the population. Makes sense when you think about it.