Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Quiver Full

Diane sent me a Newsweek article about a protestant movement to raise large families. What has been traditionally a catholic phenomenon seems to be catching on in protestant circles. That is welcome news indeed.

More interesting than the article, were the readers’ responses. Some people were vehemently opposed to large families. They considered it an affront to the gospel to have lots of kids. Here is one of the more colorful comments:

This movement is WHOLLY UN-CHRISTIAN... IT IS frought [sic] with greed, selfishness and vanity…to selfishly ignore LIVING, STARVING children at the expense of your own genetic seed is SELFISH and flies in the face of everything JESUS CHRIST, LORD AND SAVIOR TAUGHT US.

I didn’t get his point until I read Wendy King’s comment:

[My] major concern about large families of eight or more children is the long-term impact of so many children on our planet's resources. One reason men and women use birth control is to ensure that they will have only as many children as they can comfortably raise on their income, without taxing their city's financial resources.

Now it makes sense. They have bought the overpopulation myth hook line and sinker. I’ll save debunking that myth to the experts. For now, let me share a little about my family.

My father has nine brothers and sisters. I have twenty-three (give or take) first cousins and twice as many second cousins. Family reunions are a blast. We need a family newspaper just to keep up with everyone.

My grandparents emigrated from Mexico in the 1930’s. They worked any jobs they could find to put food on the table. My grandmother worked all day as a seamstress most of her life while my great grandmother raised the kids. My grandfather worked many jobs, which included opening a grocery store. In today’s world they would have qualified for welfare, but they never took a government handout.

They taught their ten children a strong work-ethic, a patriotic spirit and good catholic values. Those kids grew up to be lawyers, college professors, bankers, businessmen, school teachers, psychologists, and, last but certainly not least, home-makers. All four of the boys served this country in the military. Not one of them is on welfare.

To those people who think it is irresponsible to have large families. Answer me this. Which of my grandparents’ children do you think should have been “contracepted” out of existence: the lawyer who spent 17 years in the military and served as an ambassador; the IBM executive who pioneered digital music; the college professor who teaches business law to future generations; the high school teacher who has two children serving in the military; or the house wife who raised an investment banker, a lawyer and a civil engineer? Had none of them been born, my grandparents would have had a much more “responsibly-sized” family, and they would have been impoverished because of it.



  • I love the first guy's comment. You can usually gauge the degree to which someone has become unhinged by the AMOUNT OF WORDS HE PUTS IN ALL CAPS.....

    I have occasionally run into a poor soul who has bought into the "population bomb" myth. This myth gained wide acceptance from the 1968 publication of Paul Ehrlich's "The Population Bomb", which predicted the world would run out of resources rather quickly if world population didn't cease to expand. Though virtually none of the predictions Ehrlich made in his book have come close to being fulfilled, the myth lives on.

    Two facts I generally respond with whenever someone lobs the "over-population" worry at me:

    1. There has never been a case of famine in a country with a free press.

    2. Though the world population has more than doubled since 1970, cases of famine have decreased by 16%.

    #1 has produced silence on the part of listener on more than one occasion.

    By Blogger Jerry, at Tuesday, December 05, 2006 2:29:00 PM  

  • A copy of a comment to the Facebook version of this post:

    Stafford Long wrote:

    Yet another front in the debate. Overpopulation is not a myth, it is a statistical fact, and one we had better heed. Instead of citing the blog of an idealogue who clearly has an agenda, it is more useful to cite hard data such as that gathered by the United Nations-which by the way is one of my least favorite organizations- to have a realistic discussion. The bottom line is that the population of the earth has quadrupled in the last 100 years. Even your source admits that the population is rapidly increasing, 'just not as fast as it was before'. Whew, what a relief, I just thought I imagined there was famine in Africa, Asia, and Indonesia due to the population boom of peoples with no means to support themselves. Tom, come on, be honest when you have a debate.

    By Blogger Tom, at Tuesday, December 05, 2006 7:08:00 PM  

  • A couple thoughts come to mind..

    First as a nation we are barely sustaining our population currently. Some countries have doomed themselves with birth control and abortions. You can read about governments that are offering incentives for their population to have children. There was recently just a lengthy article about France in the Wash Post.

    Secondly, it constantly amazes me when people comment about others who choose to have children. I only have 3 and people make stupid comments to me all of the time. "Don't you know where babies come from?" "When are you going to stop?" This is always surprising as 3 doesn't seem excessive at all. My friends who have more... 4, 5, 7 children get downright rude comments.

    Going along with Tom's previous post regarding NFP, I shudder to think which child of my 3 would I give up?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, December 06, 2006 9:36:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home