A Threat to Our Very Way of Life Aaron D. Wolf - FEBRUARY 01, 2007 PRINT PAGE | SEND TO FRIEND Here’s a heresy for you. A grave danger is lurking among us, caused by certain people who are spreading lies—and in the name of Christianity! So grave is this danger that it threatens our very way of life. And, as one of our great leaders once said, “The American way of life is not negotiable.” We are, of course, talking about the threat of babies, and the strain that having them puts on us as Americans, particularly white people. Thanks to the Industrial Revolution, the Managerial Revolution, and the World Wide Webolution, the world has changed, and we just cannot have unrestrained marital sex and produce large, unruly families like we did in days of yore, back when land was cheap, a man could earn a living for his wife and children, and those children (because of the slave labor they endured) were considered an economic asset. Today, we live by a higher standard: Chattel-children are a thing of the past, and plasma televisions are considered economic assets. Women are no longer bound by the constraints of having multiple children; no career in business, House speakering, or freedom-spreading; and nothing to do but keep a house and clothe and feed children and husband. In today’s nonnegotiable America, a woman can create a company called Baby Einstein, which produces educational enrichment (babysitting) DVDs for children ages six months to three years old; sell the company to Disney for a secret all-cash amount (reportedly $25 million); then be recognized in the gallery during the President’s State of the Union Address as a “talented business entrepreneur.” You’ve come a long way . . . Lady! Now, there are the naysayers out there who point out that, yes, according to estimates just released by the CIA’s World Factbook, women in the United States are actually reproducing slightly below replacement level (2.1). These nabobs are just ignorant of the facts and lack the optimism that makes America great. After all, thanks to the influx of Mexican immigrants (they are the most fertile, followed by non-Hispanic black African-Americans, followed by Asian-Americans), we have gained one one-hundredth of a baby per woman (2.09, up from 2.08 in 2005), and we are closing in on communist North Korea, where Comrade Kim has sat right on the replacement level for two years in a row. Watch out, Argentina (2.16) and South Africa (2.2)! Then again, the ninnies point out that this downward trend in having babies is affecting our churches as well. They point to a 2005 study by three researchers (Michael Hout of the University of California-Berkley, Andrew Greeley of the University of Arizona, and Melissa Wilde of Indiana University) that indicates that the massive decline in every Protestant denomination in the United States can be explained by declining fertility rates. According to their study, the fact that fertility rates among more conservative denominations are now the same as among the Mainline liberals explains why conservatives can no longer claim that they are growing (while the Mainlines are shrinking) because of their conservative stance on abortion, homosexuality, etc. Nonetheless, we cannot let these startling statistics cause us to lose sight of reality: The threat of babies is as real today as it was 85 years ago, when Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, wrote The Pivot of Civilization, in which she clarified that, As a social programme, Birth Control is not merely concerned with population questions. . . . It looks for the liberation of the spirit of woman and through woman of the child. To-day motherhood is wasted, penalized, tortured. Children brought into the world by unwilling mothers suffer an initial handicap that cannot be measured by cold statistics. Their lives are blighted from the start. In his Introduction to Sanger’s Pivot, Mr. H.G. Wells declares that the threat of babies is at the heart of a clash of civilizations: the Traditional or Authoritative Civilization versus the Creative and Progressive one. The former rests upon the thing that is, and upon the thing that has been. It insists upon respect for custom and usage; it discourages criticism and enquiry. It is very ancient and conservative, or, going beyond conservation, it is reactionary. . . . Said the Ancient Civilization—and it says it still through a multitude of vigorous voices and harsh repressive acts: “Let man learn his duty and obey.” Says the New Civilization, with ever-increasing confidence: “Let man know, and trust him.” Certain men, however, cannot be trusted, particularly a group of “Christians” who deny the menacing threat of babies, and who claim that they are doing God’s will by having children. They belong to something called the Quiver-Full Movement, which takes its name from Psalm 127: Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them . . . In their primitive understanding, they read this to mean that a “man” will be “happy” if he has many “children”—and that this “reward” comes from “the LORD.” But they don’t stop there: They also insist that birth control is a sin—a ridiculous notion easily dispelled by the theologians of all major Protestant denominations decades ago. Of course, the nagging nincompoops are right about one thing: During the oppressive days of the Authoritative Civilization, every theologian, from Augustine to Aquinas, Luther to Calvin, Wesley to Spurgeon, condemned contraception as a sin against natural law—a rejection of the obvious purpose (though not the only benefit) of postmarital sex. But, as the dawn of the New Civilization broke out all over the Western world, theologians could finally stop believing in natural law and the unbroken tradition of reading Scripture as if it did exist. Thankfully, a recent episode of ABCNews’ Nightline exposed the threat of the baby people. Nightline’s Martin Bashir (distinguished for his riveting exposé “Living With Michael Jackson”) gravely introduced the segment “When Having Kids is a Religious Experience” with the chilling statement, “It’s a movement that believes it has the blessing of God on its side.” Nightline correspondent John Berman’s piece centers on a white (of course!) family, the Carpenters, who have eight (eight!) children in (where else?) Tennessee, and Berman says that they are part of the Quiver-Full Movement. And while, yes, it is difficult to call this a “movement” in a technical sense, since there “is no official organization,” you may be stunned to learn that Quiverfull.com has grown to a whopping 2,600 members in just 12 short years! “We’ll take as many children—happily—as God chooses to bless us with,” declares Ken Carpenter, while his neatly dressed wife, Devon, slaves over a hot stove (what else can a woman do over a hot stove?), cooking for this massive lot of seemingly happy, well-dressed, well-mannered children, in what Correspondent Berman describes as a “major operation.” It doesn’t take long, however, for Margaret Sanger’s pivotal truth to emerge, thanks to Correspondent Berman’s careful questioning. It goes without saying that the Carpenter children are homeschooled. Of course, parents such as these fear the socialization that today’s public schools offer. Going beyond conservatism, they are reactionary. But you cannot expect to be able to lock up these children for the rest of their lives, can you? What about college? How will you afford it? While two little white girls wearing dresses (no SpongeBob T-shirts for these children!) peel potatoes in the background, Mr. Carpenter informs Correspondent Berman that they are “considering alternatives” to college. His main concern is that his boys will be able to make a living, instead of being treated to the intellectual stimulation (Vagina Monologues) that only a college campus can offer. Of course, “If God calls them to a profession that requires a degree,” they will find a way. Quick as a fox, Correspondent Berman darts: “You said ‘your sons’—what about your daughters?” Carpenter, exposed as a misogynist, replies, “I don’t have all of the answers, John, but . . . I do know this: A woman’s highest calling is motherhood, and that’s a countercultural notion today.” It comes as no surprise, then, when Berman notes, in a voice-over, that these baby-loving Quiver people have something else in common: They think that a man should be the head of his household. “Ken is the undisputed leader of the family.” And Devon—perhaps a victim of Stockholm Syndrome—doesn’t bat an eyelash, her mind and body having been ravaged by eight babies. Concealing her haggard, frustrated, demeaned self under an attractive, all-too-happy persona, she agrees that her role, according to the Bible, is to be “nurturing and loving and submissive to my husband and shepherding to the children.” It doesn’t take a statistical genius to see that this baby-loving heresy threatens our Progressive Civilization—our nonnegotiable way of life. Our (Christian) women may be reproducing below the replacement level, but, if Margaret Sanger taught us anything, it is that we cannot afford to allow certain people to overpopulate.