Fecundaphobia: On the Fear of Large Families

101 Dalmatians

The pharmacist was eyeing me strangely, and it was making me nervous. I glanced down at my clothes, then surreptitiously ran my tongue over my teeth. Then I noticed his eyes moving between me, my prescription, and the baby who was sitting on my hip. Suddenly I understood. Based on my prescription, he knew that I was pregnant. He was shocked that I was expecting another baby when I was already the mother of an eight-month-old.

It was a “welcome to the club” sort of moment. I had heard from the parents of large families about the stares, the snide remarks, and the subtle (or not-so-subtle) reminders that science has found a solution to all this excessive fertility. I thought I would need a larger number of children to be honored with that particular brand of public disapprobation, but it turns out that even two is enough if you space them right (or rather, wrong). What would the pharmacist have thought if he knew that I also had a 2-year-old at home?

I’m sure the effect will amplify if God blesses us with more offspring, but shepherding even three small boys (the eldest is not quite four) through public places is a bit like having a car covered in bumper stickers. People readily view my family as some kind of bold statement, and many feel a need to offer a rebuttal. Many of the comments are positive, and I must gratefully acknowledge that a good portion of the public is still inclined to be generous to harried moms. People hold doors for strollers, or call out after me if a shoe or jacket has fallen unnoticed on the path behind us. Good-natured older women have twice let me go ahead of them in grocery lines, observing with compassion that the whimpering child in my arms is probably ready for his nap. These gestures are hugely appreciated, and it’s certainly heartening to see that there is still a good supply of pro-family sentiment in America.

Having said that, the negative comments can be truly bizarre. “People will bring their kids anywhere,” said a teenaged girl (quite loudly) to her boyfriend as we turned a corner at the local Trader Joe’s. Actually there are quite a number of places I would not bring them, but is food shopping now an adult-only activity?

The sample lady at Sam’s Club was equally enthused, noting without a hint of a smile that, “You have three now. Hmm. And all boys,” as though boys were agreed to be an unusually repulsive specimen. She pursed her lips in vexation, then begrudgingly added, “At least they’re fairly cute.”

Indeed, our situation is grim, but we put a bold face on it by reflecting on how much worse things might have been if we had been afflicted, not merely with boys, but with ugly boys.

Why do large families inspire this kind of nuttiness? Mollie Hemingway, noting this same phenomenon, playfully names it “fecundaphobia”: the fear of fertility and large families. Like me, she was arrested by the furor following NFL quarterback Philip Rivers’ admission that he and his wife were soon to welcome their seventh child. After an ESPN interviewer rudely informed Rivers that “it’s impossible to be a good parent” to so many kids, Deadspin decided to follow up with a story declaring that “Philip Rivers is an Intense Weirdo.”

Of course, as Hemingway notes, there’s nothing singular about a professional athlete who embraces (biological) paternity with enthusiasm. NFL players Antonio Cromartie and Travis Henry have between them fathered 23 children with eighteen different women, and ESPN has not seen fit to interrogate them about the adequacy of their parenting. What distinguishes Rivers? Well, in contrast to Cromartie and Henry, Rivers’ kids all have the same mom and he’s married to her! What a freak.

Fecundaphobes used to cite overpopulation as their excuse to recoil at the seven-passenger vans and the jumbo boxes of fruit snacks. Now that declining birth rates have made that justification less credible, they’ve had to get creative. The Rivers family presents a particular challenge because there can be no jokes about hand-me-downs and white-bread-and-bologna sandwiches; the $12 million Rivers will earn this year should be more than adequate to deck his offspring out in designer jeans for a family lunch at Ruth’s Chris, if that’s what he wishes to do. In desperation, ESPN fell back on the rather lame claim that there are “not enough hours in the day” to be a good parent to multiple kids.

Clearly, this is just foolishness. For more insight into the causes of fecundaphobia, however, we might look to cruder but more honest taunts of Planned Parenthood supporters who smear mothers of large families as “breeders” and “baby factories.” Here the implication is clear: women who embrace their natural fertility are degrading themselves to the level of animals, or even machines. They are allowing their physiology to supersede their rationality. For them, maternity is merely a biological reality. Its moral and spiritual dimensions are overlooked.

Why would anyone believe something so ridiculous? It should go without saying that people who spend most of their time around children are in an excellent position to appreciate their moral and rational natures. However, we may begin to understand the malady of fecundaphobia better if we view it in light of society’s long-confirmed habit of brushing children aside for the sake of more adult-centric pursuits.

Again and again over the last few decades, we have seen prominent “experts” arguing that children will not be significantly harmed by divorce, by two parents pursuing time-consuming careers, by single or by same-sex parenting. Over time, as children start to grow and reveal the scars of their displacement and neglect, this advice is exposed as the wishful thinking it always was. But the process of manufacturing false reassurances (“Do what you want! The kids will be fine!”) continues because, to the modern mind, it is simply galling to accept that it may really be necessary to give up cherished goals or preferred lifestyles for the sake of the next generation.

If only we could plan things better, fecundaphobes suppose, we could achieve a harmonious world in which children grew up happily with no serious inconvenience to anyone. A society that can build atom bombs and manufacture widgets by the millions must surely be able to escape from the drudgery of child-rearing.

At its root, fecundaphobia is the fear of that burden. If pro-life Catholics like Philip Rivers can have seven children and still be functional and respected members of society, that proves that such things are possible. It suggests that perhaps the morally responsible course is to make the sacrifices and shoulder the load, as our forebears did for centuries. This possibility is distasteful in the extreme, so fecundaphones reassure themselves people who have large families must not be serious about the responsibilities of parenthood. They must not appreciate that the children they bear are moral, rational beings. They’re more like animals really, breeding thoughtlessly and without regard for the consequences.

Would it help if we spoke more about the burdens, as well as the blessings, of family life? I sometimes wonder whether, in our eagerness to reassure the skeptical world that we are happy and fulfilled, Catholic parents inadvertently lend support to the idea that we aren’t even aware of the trials and the missed opportunities. We probably never wanted to do anything but change diapers. We just don’t need as much sleep as normal people.

Rivers strikes a good balance in his reply to ESPN’s nosy question:

It’s a two-year rotation: Once the diapers come off of one, we usually have a newborn. And we have another one on the way, due in October. I help when I can, but my wife, Tiffany, is the key. My big, growing family keeps everything balanced and grounded. My oldest is 11 now, and the kids are getting into football. They’re Daddy’s biggest fans, and they don’t get on you as bad as most fans. If you throw an interception, they still love you.

Well said, Mr. Rivers. Acknowledge the burdens. Express appreciation for spousal efforts. Then talk about the blessings, and make sure everyone understands that big families, just like small ones, are ultimately held together by love. When Rivers eventually retires, as every superstar must, will we be opening the newspaper to stories about him crashing sports cars or experimenting with drugs? I’m guessing not.

Get help, fecundaphobes. Our society does indeed have problems, but excessive enthusiasm for parenthood isn’t one of them.

Editor’s note: The image above is a scene from the Walt Disney animated film “101 Dalmatians” released in 1961.

Rachel Lu

By

Rachel Lu, a Catholic convert, teaches philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota where she lives with her husband and three boys. Dr. Lu earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at Cornell University. Follow her on Twitter at rclu.

  • FernieV

    May God bless you and your growing family for this witty and couragious article.

  • Michael Shaw

    Maria Theresa (1717-1780) Archduchess of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia in her own right and Empress Consort to her husband Francis I, the Holy Roman Emperor bore him sixteen children. The Hapsburgs preferred marriage diplomacy to war so her fecundity was a form of noblesse oblige which did much to preserve peace. Large families are a blessing and women like Maria Theresa saints.

  • stevo

    I’m father to 5 very cute girls and 2 boys, both of which are also fairly cute, thank God! We used to hear “You know what causes that don’t you”?, to which we would reply “Yes, and we really like it”! That would shut them up. We are not the weirdos. Thanks Rachel.

    • Valentin

      Excellent rebuttal you should be proud to be blessed with those children.

    • Bono95

      My dad is the father of 5 handsome and cute (depending on the age) red-headed boys, and 2 (if I may say so myself) pretty blue-eyed girls.

  • grzybowskib

    I have a friend from college who is the oldest of five kids. Her youngest sibling came along as a surprise (he’s 22 and a half years younger than her). Her entire family was shocked when they found out they were having another baby, and I’ll admit to being speechless for a good ten seconds or so when she told me she would be a big sister all over again. But that little boy Christopher is 3 and a half years old now. He has brought so much joy to everyone he meets, and his family loves him to pieces. So yeah, big families and surprise babies can be a blessing if you accept them as such. :)

  • NE-Catholic

    Outstanding article. We only had four and still get the snotty remarks. Imagine the shock when I say we regret not having 2 more!

    Alas, too many have bought int the idea that 2 is too many or just barely tolerable.

    • BANGUS BALUT

      We have been treated like garbage from everyone for having our second kid. Now A third on the way. Just wait until we have 15 more!!!

  • anonymous

    I’ve often heard people with only two children say they wished they had more. I’ve never heard anyone with a big family say they wished they had fewer. Excellent article!!!

    • Nestorian

      I have – at least in so many words. I have first-hand as well as second-hand awareness of large, faithful Catholic families where the mother is totally exhausted and burned out. It does happen – more frequently, probably, than most who are posting on this thread would like to think or care to admit.

      • Omphalos

        Mothers of nuclear families also get exhausted and burned out. Undoubtedly our culture’s growing open hostility towards children and families is a significant contributor, as is a lack of proper education in parenting and living as a family.

        • Marie Noybn

          nuclear family just means “father, mother, and kids” rather than including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins :) I think you mean “small” ;) And you are absolutely right.

      • momofmany

        They absolutely do get burned out and like the author said, we should acknowledge the burdens as well as the blessings. Mothers being tired and overwhelmed by their large family is a dirty little secret in many devout Catholic circles and I think it’s precisely because of this phenomenon of “fecundaphobia.” Mothers of large families often feel pressured to continually act happy, put together, have perfectly behaved children, etc because they know they are being scrutinized by society more closely than mothers of small families. Everyone is looking for proof that these large families are actually unable to provide enough time, love and energy. This constant call to project a perfect image is tiring.

        On top of that, things are much harder for large Catholic families in the world we live in today. many of us don’t live by family which means we don’t have a built in support system. Stay-at-home moms are fewer and fewer these days making us more isolated. Catholic schools have become increasing expensive and simply outside the budget of most large families meaning many have to choose homeschooling, thus not getting that daily break from a significant portion of the household that moms of many did in past generations. The list goes on and on. Just because moms of large families can feel exhausted and burdened to the breaking point, doesn’t mean that large families are bad, it just means as a whole we need to find more ways to help and support those Catholic families who are called to have many children.

        • Gail Finke

          My mother, who is nearly 80, always told me that when she was growing up and large families were very common, they didn’t all “work out” — some families couldn’t handle them at all, and others could, but nearly all of them had “one who was a doctor, one who was a teacher, and one who was in jail.” A generalization, obviously. But I believe there’s a lot of truth in it. People expected life to be hard in a different way than they do now.

      • Allamanda

        I think that once you’re a mother, occasional burnout is pretty much on the cards. It would probably be more frequent for a mother of a large family.

        Forgive me if I sound rude, but you have actually heard a mother say “I wish I had fewer children”?

        As the eldest of a large-by-any-standards family (the youngest is five), I’ve heard my mother get frustrated with someone’s untidiness or someone else’s disobedience. It happens. I don’t think that that translates to “I wish I had fewer children.”

        • Marie Noybn

          I dont know though.. i think one of the main problems with larger families is todays idea that kids should not be required to help out in any way… I’ll just bet that you were required to help out with your siblings once you got a bit older, and that your younger siblings also help out with the littler ones. Teaching personal responsibility USED to be a GOOD thing, now if your kids dont spend all their free time on xbox you are a bad parent, and the mantra is “take care of your own kids, dont expect your children to do it!!” Um, how else are they going to learn how to be a parent than on the practice du… i mean then with the siblings their parents provide?

      • Ray Haydock

        There’s an awful lot of “burned out” feministas in jobs and they have no kids at all, poor dears. Which is why they are frequently so tetchy.

        • mom of six

          AMEN!! Burned out from chasing the almighty dollar which doesn’t offer any love or hugs at all. No smiles..no thank yous…no comfort when you are sick. I may get burned out as a mom but I am ALWAYS refreshed when my child looks at me and says “I love u mommy”! It gives me strength for one more day.

      • BANGUS BALUT

        Who would deny it? Having kids can burn you out. And? Did you just discover this?

      • Claudia

        Any way mothers are going to be burned out, but I think is better to be burned out by your own family that gives you also happiness, than being burned out by work, school, addictions and all the other things that this society offers in exchange of your free time without a family.

  • Adam__Baum

    The most charitable thing you could have done was to dress him down, let him know he was being rude and his job was to find it, fill it and shut it.
    If that happened to my wife, you bet we’d have “had words”.

  • Rachel Lu

    Here’s Mollie Hemingway’s piece on it, which is where I got the fun term “Fecundaphobia”: http://thefederalist.com/2013/10/22/fecundophobia-growing-fear-children-fertile-women/

  • Bruce

    My wife and I have six children (number seven is due in April) and we nearly always hear the words “you’ve got your hands full” when we’re in a public place. Hearing the same words every time you go out gets really old. The second most common thing we hear is “are they all yours?” Neither of these comments is particularly rude but we’ve heard things like “you’re crazy” from complete strangers.
    Good retorts range from “someone has to pay your social security” to “we’re breeding hordes of right-wing Catholic voters to bury the Left.”

    • grzybowskib

      Haha, those responses are awesome. So sassy. I love it. :)

    • MamaK

      “I’m doing my part to keep Social Security solvent. Are you?” would make a great poster for Fecundaphobia Anonymous.

      • Debbie Vina

        This is what I normally tell people. They don’t get it, because most people still think SS is some sort of trust fund.

        • Valentin

          It’s interesting how similar the SS is to the SS.

    • Anne

      When I hear the “You’ve got your hands full” comment, I respond with, “Yup, almost as full as my heart.”

      • marg

        Or..”Better full than empty!”

    • Uuncle Max

      I like retort #2 but #1 is a good one too.

    • TMSZ

      You should reply that you have your hands full of love, something that they might not really know about

  • Bruce

    “What distinguishes Rivers?”
    I’ll probably get in trouble for saying this but Rivers is white and Cromartie and Henry are black. People (specifically white liberals) say rude things to my wife all the time but wouldn’t dare go up to Lawanda and say the same things.

    • Uuncle Max

      “What distinguishes Rivers?”

      He’s married to the mother (singular) of his children.

      If you insist on making it a black/white thing – knock yourself out.

      • Bruce

        Ok, thanks for the invitation.

        Of course it’s a black-white thing. The media doesn’t care if these guys are married or not. In our left-liberal society either is a valid “lifestyle choice.” The media doesn’t consider marriage a bad thing and illegitimacy a good thing.

        Individual members of the media are afraid to criticize blacks for fear of being called “racist.” That’s what’s happening here.

        • Art Deco

          The boundaries of socially sanctioned aggression are also different and there is variation in response to slights. A reporter would need more moxie to begin with even if he were not intimidated by the prospect of career-ending sanctions from above.

        • Uuncle Max

          If we make it a black and white thing let’s just come out and say it – the married white guy takes responsibility for all of his kids and loves and nurtures them

          The irresponsible black guys probably wouldn’t know some of their kids even if one walked up to one of them and said “daddy”. That makes them part of the problem.

          I am not implying that white guys have a monopoly on responsibility I am not implying that all blacks act like this. But when 70% of black children are born out of wedlock it is surely a factor.

          • Clare

            Or maybe the black community, as a whole, is just more pro-life. It could be we, the white community, are the ones having more abortions and using more condoms and other means of contraception and patting ourselves on the back for being “responsible”. We’re certainly having just as much sex…

            It may be as you say or as I say or a combination. I don’t know. My point is that there are other factors to consider, even if we do make it a “black and white thing”.

            • Bruce

              Actually, blacks have a much higher abortion rate than whites. A common argument on the Christian Right is that abortion is “racist” because of this. On the other hand, blacks have only slightly higher fertility than whites (something like 1.8 births per woman for whites and 2.0 for blacks). So I think black women get pregnant at a higher rate and abort their babies at a higher rate. Whites probably successfully use contraception more frequently. I don’t think one can make an argument that blacks or whites as a group are more or less Christian or Catholic or family-oriented from these statistics.
              Anyway, I meant the lack of criticism of the black athletes is a function of their race so in that sense it’s a black-white thing. I don’t think the sins of fornication, contraception and abortion are a black-white thing. I think they’re a human thing.

  • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

    Some years ago, as I was waiting in line at the post office with five of my children, a nasty lady remarked to me: “Young man, you should be ashamed of having so many children. With all the problems in the world, my husband and I decided to have only one. We call that being responsible.” My reply: “I call it Natural Selection.”

    • Bruce

      You could tell them that both God and Darwin approve of your large family. So either way you know you’re doing something right!
      I don’t believe in Darwinism but it’s still a funny retort.

    • sybarite123

      WOW! Great retort! Congratulations. From Canada.

    • BANGUS BALUT

      Is this copyrighted? Because I am SO using this next time. Not just witty, absolutely true. Thanks for sharing.

  • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

    Typical stranger question: “Are those ALL YOUR children?!!”
    My response: “No, they’re not ALL my children. I have more at home.”

    • grzybowskib

      Once again, I love it! :)

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  • Jason

    This may be a weird comment but when I was reading this I was thinking of the movie Pacific Rim, where the Kaiju are those rude people (and perhaps those who are more than rude, like in China) and the jaegers are piloted by those wonderful parents or those who would defend them.
    I have a crazy imagination. Great article!

  • Bruce

    To the secular left, they are “carbon footprints” not children and there’s already too many “carbon footprints.”

  • lifeknight

    Loved the article. Mothering children is the hardest job you’ll ever love. I can’t repeat many of the “comebacks” I developed over the years. They did silence people effectively, however!

    • musicacre

      All the better if the attacking person intends humiliation by doing it very publicly; to have a comeback that is heard with same amount of public! My friend was in a checkout for groceries many years ago and only had 3, but by all being very young it was noticeable. An older woman accosted her and told her she had no right to have so many children and I honestly don’t remember my friend’s reply, but she stood up for herself and apparently all who were listening-which was alot of people at a busy time of day-reacted with very noisy applause! The attacking lady was humiliated! I never really experienced that, as we raised ours (6) out in the country!

  • patricia m.

    I’m all for large families, but as a tax payer I just hope the parents are able to feed and clothe their own children. I’m sure y’all agree with me.

    • AG

      The majority of us are taxpayers, and the reason we pay those taxes is to provide support for those in our society who need it. Your statement would make more sense if you could choose where your taxes went.

      • Adam__Baum

        We do not pay taxes for those who “need it”. Things like TARP, Solyndra, Obamaphones, etc are rife through out the expenditure ledgers of the federal government and are not “needs”.

        We are supposed to pay taxes for the legitimate functions of government: a legislature, a constabulary, a judiciary, armed forces, i.e., public goods, those that have the attributes of nonrivalrous and non-excludability

        However, as it stands, you pay taxes to politicians who use the money to create need, ensuring a pliable a dependent constituency.

        Actual need is supposed to be met through charity, and you cannot “sub out” your responsibility to the corporal works of mercy to a government-which inevitably uses it to create a new feudalism.

        • patricia m.

          That’s the point. We pay taxes to make government work, not to subsidize people who live on hand outs and vote “democrat” all the time, so those hand outs don’t ever end.

      • patricia m.

        Not so sure. Since last election I learned that half of this country doesn’t pay income taxes. And they receive loads of subsidies, food stamps, medicaid and the like. I don’t think it’s fair to have a large family and not be able to support it. Again, I’m all for large families but please pay your own bill.

  • JohnMcG

    I don’t know. A look at my Facebook feed reveals more than enough discussion of the burdens of parenthood to fill several volumes. Seems like it would inspire responses along the lines of, “You had these kids! Quit complaining about them!”

    • Olivia

      Nah, not any more than those who have bad day at work vent about their jobs from time to time. Even a job you love can be really hard sometimes. Bad days happen. If we can’t talk about the hard times then we are alone, and that’s no way to make it through life.

  • NoreenD

    People who make these remarks are selfish and over indulged. I wish I had been able to have a large family. It was not in God’s plan. Whenever I see a family with several children, I smile. Those children make me smile. :)

    • Ruth Rocker

      Noreen, you’re much too kind. People who make these sorts of unsolicited remarks aren’t selfish and over indulged. They are just plain rude!! You wouldn’t walk up to someone and make these kinds of remarks about their clothes, their hair style or their companion so why about the children?!! I had two children and was prevented from having any more due to uterine cancer. My DH and I would have loved to have a bigger litter, but . . .

  • James Toups

    Thank you for the well written article. We have heard all the comments listed above. Plus many more. In the end we follow God’s will for us. Our family is full of joy and never a dull moment. We would not have it any other way. I say that as a 52 year old father of six ages ranging between 23 and 3. Who needs rest anyway. I will wait until I rest in the arms of Our Lord.

  • Tony

    Attagirl, Rachel! Go get ‘em. In all my years of teaching (I’m in my 30th now), I have never met a kid from a big family who was anything but proud and happy about it. Not one. The older kids learn to take care of the younger kids. The older kids get to re-experience the delights of being a little kid again. The older kids teach the younger kids how to play. The younger kids keep the older kids childlike and blessedly silly. What you have is a veritable network of friendships and rivalries and common interests and attachments. A large family (five boys, one girl, Mom and Dad, usually also Uncle and Aunt, and sometimes Other Uncle and Aunt and boy cousin) sits in the pews in front of us at church every Sunday. You can tell what a blessed zoo their house must be! The kids are well-behaved, but you can see, one snuggles against another, one of the little boys wants to hold his baby sister, one is teasing another, one crawls over the others to sit next to Dad … And you can also tell that they’re outside all the time, playing, because they are skinny and tanned. Had it been only one kid, he’d be soft-bodied and pale from playing video games indoors to relieve the loneliness.

    • Valentin

      Plus the older sons become suited for fatherhood, and the younger sons become tough.

  • Agnes

    Why do large families inspire this kind of nuttiness?
    Envy.

    • musicacre

      Yes, that could be true. Growing up in a village in the prairies, the whole town seemed attracted to our yard for after-dinner outdoor games! We had 7 kids in our family and I think what it looked like to the other kids in town is that we were always outside having fun! Our dad even made us an outdoor skating rink in the winter, to which all the village kids made use of also!

    • BANGUS BALUT

      I have thought the same. People are always “waiting until they are financially responsible” to have children. And after all the sports cars, big houses, $300 lunches, vacations to the tropics, they realize they are 50 and can not have kids anymore.

      We live on US$600 a month and are working on our 3rd kid. Kids don’t cost anything to raise! Only Love!

  • Tony

    Hmm … suggested responses to “Are they ALL yours?”
    1. “No, my wife actually bore them. They belong to both of us.”
    2. “Johann Sebastian Bach had 17, but I’m afraid we started late.”
    3. “Are they ALL your teeth?”
    4. “Yes, but not to worry. We kidnapped them.”
    5. “No, only half of them’s mine. I take the left half, and my wife takes the right half.”
    6. “We’re working toward a complete baseball team. My wife wanted a complete football team, but I told her that I didn’t know if I had it in me.”
    7. “Yes indeed! Would you like one? We have more where these came from.”
    8. “Thank you, yes. God has been most kind to us. They are the light of my day.”

    • Valentin

      Number 9 should be

      “Yes my wife and I appreciate having sex for what it is, an invitation to life for the other children we hope God blesses us with.”

  • Tom Riley

    The Greek word for “fecund” is “gonimos,” so fear of fecundity would be “gonimophobia.”

  • DaneIlario

    I don’t think this is about a “fear of fertility” but rather a fear of
    population density. It’s not a popular subject, but there has to be a
    real consideration about population growth. The U.S. has is one of the
    richest countries in the world yet has one of the highest poverty and
    homeless rates amongst industrialized nations. The disparity of wealth
    amongst the people and the lack of any real initiative to really
    research renewable energy sources is a major concern for some people.
    I’m not saying we should stop having children but we most certainly need
    to get our house in order before we cheer on people having 5, 6, 7
    children.

    • enness

      Ever consider that child no. 7 might be the one who becomes the genius city planner to solve that problem?

      • DaneIlario

        Ever consider that child number 7 might become the next Ted Kaczynski?

        • Adam__Baum

          Or a troll?

          • DaneIlario

            Yes, I must be a troll for having an opinion that differs from yours. You found me out. Well, here’s some more for you: when we talk about having children, we often pat ourselves on the back for choosing to do so. I always ask why having a child is such an achievement. That’s not to say I disregard the work that goes into raising a child. I don’t think it’s easy for anyone. No, what I’m talking about are people that think they have performed some epic act of human accomplishment simply by the fact they chose to procreate. Congratulations…you just performed an act that you have in common with every other animal and plant species on the planet. Pride in procreation is nonsense…save your pride until you find discover how your child turns out.

            • AG

              Sorry your parents evidently didn’t take pride in having you. Usually, being proud of children from birth (not ego boosting; there’s a difference) fosters healthy, positive attitudes in them that are reflected in their behavior and relationships throughout life. You hardly leave us a choice that will satisfy you, though: have children with the same level of pride we show while ordering lunch at the drive-thru (but all those burgers were LOVED!) or timetravel a few decades ahead to get an objective measurement of the social success of each of our children which will retroactively affirm or invalidate our disgustingly smug, inordinate and effusive pride for them at present.

              Have your opinion; we’ll carry on loving our kids the way we want, thanks. You likely have your own space with doors and things to shut yourself away from it, should it all become intolerable. It’s all good.

              • DaneIlario

                Ad hominems and rampant emotionalism make for terrible, terrible arguments. You obviously fail to understand the point I was trying to make, so I’ll explain it to you again: taking pride in the act of procreation is nonsensical; how can you have pride in a human being that hasn’t done anything yet? What, you have pride in your child merely for existing? All that does is devalue the concept of pride. I never said that a parent should not love, care for and guide their child. I, in fact, acknowledged the fact that raising a child is no easy task. What I do stand on, however, is that a parent cannot say with any real meaning it has pride in a child until that child becomes an independent, intelligent, fully cognizant adult with a will and perception all it’s own and makes it’s own decisions on how it will live it’s life and what it will do with it’s life.. It’s good to have instances of pride as a child grows up because acknowledging what a child does well is essential to a child’s development; however, overflowing with pride at every minor achievement can be just as harmful as demonstrating no pride at all.

                Maybe that will sink in, maybe it won’t.

                • BM

                  The difference is that every other animal doesn’t breed immortal beings whose proper end is the everlasting vision of God in Heaven and whose earthly existence can participate in the Divine Good by grace. And this regardless of how “independent, intelligent, fully cognizant, etc” he is. Contrary to counting accomplishments, this is man’s highest meaning and purpose. For without this, any accomplishment is in vain: perishing with the rest of created things in the end and amounting to nothing.

                  Bonum gratiae unius majus est quam bonum naturae totius universi: “The good of grace in one soul is greater than the natural good of the entire universe.” I-II, q. 113 a. 9 ad 2.

                  • DaneIlario

                    If so, than no “immortal being” can achieve that end without being an independent, intelligent, fully cognizant being with a fully developed will; otherwise, one is incapable of making the necessary choices to achieve that end. Of course, religious arguments like yours do not good arguments make since they can neither be proven nor refuted.

                    In addition, your quote is meaningless; the universe is neither “good” nor “evil”…it simply is; therefore, a comparison between it’s “good” and the good of a human is pointless.

                    • eribeck79

                      Fortunately for us Catholics, we don’t believe you have to be independent, intelligent, or fully cognizant to one day join God in heaven. What, do you think we believe that a mentally handicapped person who can’t “choose” religion doesn’t get to go to heaven?

                      If you think religious arguments don’t make good ones, then why are you intentionally seeking out a Catholic site and making disagreeable comments? Seems rather circular. Maybe somebody needs a few more siblings or children in order to keep him busy… (and this is said tongue-in-cheek; I would never want to be disparaging to somebody who may have struggled with fertility issues and therefore could not have more children than they do).

                    • DaneIlario

                      Well, unfortunately, your own religion states that person can’t be saved and go to ‘Heaven” without a declaration of belief. Now, I’m sure you’d argue that “God”, as Catholics see him, is more compassionate than that. I’m assuming it is your belief that “God” automatically admits the mentally handicapped to “Heaven”.

                      And why am I here? For the same reason that the religious show up at secular sites: to offer you another view.

                    • eribeck79

                      No, Catholicism does not make that statement. That’s Baptists, dude. ;)

                      Catholics believe that there is no other way known for salvation other than baptism – which is why we believe in baptising our infants as young as possible. However, we believe in a merciful God who may choose to extend mercy in other situations, say to a baby who dies during birth and was unable to receive baptism.

                      Nowhere does the Catholic Church teach that one has to make a declaration of intent. And we don’t generally use the term “saved,” either – again, Baptists, and other such fundamentalist denominations.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Well, I will say I stand corrected on dogma. I had forgotten that the Sacrament of Baptism accounts for those who are mentally ill, deficient or incapable of ever reaching a mental state where they can exercise intelligent decision making.

                      So by Catholic standards, a baby that’s going to have an IQ of 35 at most, and will therefore be incapable of independent reasoning and decision making, only needs to be baptized in order to achieve salvation. Awesome!

                      But…what about all the mentally incapacitated people who don’t come from Catholic families and don’t get baptized?

                      I guess they are just out of luck, huh? Of course, you can hope that “God” will be merciful with them but there’s no knowing for sure. They could be as condemned as a crack dealer.

                      I suppose you’ll have to wait until you get to “Heaven” and find out.

                    • Clare

                      Ok, stop. Until you do your research as to what Catholicism really teaches, stop the sarcasm about what you think we believe. I’m glad you’re here to offer a different perspective as it’s needed but, seriously, knock off shooting us down for an attitude that isn’t Catholic (“They could be condemned as a crack dealer”, etc..) For your information, we don’t automatically assume a baptized Catholic is in heaven, either. We have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. It’s like baptism starts us all off with an “A” but we have to keep our “A”.

                      There are three types of baptisms, btw (our having to keep our “A” comes from the first one listed): baptism by water (the one you’re thinking of), baptism by desire (such as when a baby dies and the parents would have offered baptism if they could have) and baptism by blood (martyrdom) Also, we believe we can’t read the innermost recesses of someone’s heart so, yes, even a crack dealer can be in heaven for all we know. We believe that God takes into account what a person is capable of or not, what he’s responsible for and not, etc. Catholicism (as an -ism) is based on the principle that faith and reason go together because both earth and heaven go into our make-up as creatures made in His image. We’re body and soul integrated into one. God knows the ins and outs of how the crack dealer became a crack dealer and stayed one. Not a palatable thought that a crack dealer could be in heaven. It’s one of the harder teachings of Catholicism, imho. If I were honest, I will admit that I really want that crack dealer to be in hell and maybe he deserves hell but justice and mercy are two sides of the same coin and we can’t have one without the other. At least, this is how it goes for the one with the Catholic worldview.

                    • DaneIlario

                      This is why Catholic dogma-and a lot of other religions dogma-make so little sense. Adam said that a mentally incapacitated person will be allowed into Heaven as long as he/she as received the Sacrament of Baptism.

                      Now you’re telling me that people have to work at their salvation. So how does someone with an IQ of 35 who barely possesses any powers of reasoning “work at their salvation”?

                      So a crack dealer could be in Heaven if “God” thinks that what made him a crack dealer isn’t his fault and that, at heart, the crack dealer is really an okay guy? That rather flies in the face of Biblical law and declaration.

                      It’s not that I’m trying to be sarcastic. What I’m trying to do is show you another side of the coin. Do you understand how others might see all of what you’re saying as rationalization and a changing of paradigms just to suit the situation so that it makes your religion look good? Most religions, of course, do the same thing.

                    • Clare

                      “We believe that God takes into account what a person is capable of or not, what he’s responsible for and not, etc.”

                      A person with an IQ of 35 is only responsible for what s/he is capable of knowing. Adam shouldn’t have used an absolute and, I agree with you, only getting tidbits of what Catholics believe would confuse and wouldn’t make sense. Heck, look at what happened when Pope Emeritus Benedict talked about condoms and how using one could be the first step to morality. Oh, the media was all over that! Everybody in the non-Catholic world was thinking, “Is the Church changing her position??” Really, what the pope meant had nothing to do with condoms but intentions of the heart–thinking of what’s best for someone else and not just ourselves. But you have to think like a Catholic to get this so, yes, it gets really confusing for non-Catholics! :)

                      Well…in the case of the person with only an IQ of 35, maybe an absolute could be used as the person is incapable of reasoning the same way as a normal adult is so would go to heaven if baptized as the person isn’t capable of losing his “A” as he doesn’t possess the traits to lose it. Each of us is a unique soul so God judges each of us individually. It’s what St. Augustine said, “God loves each of us as though there were only one of us.” How God judges me, you, the crack dealer, and the person with the low IQ will be different. Here’s where my Catholic snobbery shows itself: I may have a better chance of going to heaven because I’m baptized but I may be judged harsher than you because I’m Catholic, am of sound mind, and know my Faith. Thus, I may be more capable of committing mortal sin than you and there are three criteria (I have not listed them except being of sound mind could be considered part of one of the criteria) that must be met for sin to even be mortal and that’s a whole other theological discussion. Please remember that we’re 2,000 years old so that’s a whole lot of theology to try to put into a few paragraphs!

                      Anyway, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is Online. You can look up baptism to get a basic outline of what the Catholic position is regarding baptism and salvation (who is saved, “There is no salvation outside the Church”, etc). Comments box isn’t the place for me to write down the paragraphs of the CCC regarding the topic, especially when it’s a different topic from what the article is about.

                      No, I’m not saying that the crack dealer is an ok guy. My opinion only, but I would be shocked to see him in heaven. All I’m saying is that, ultimately, it’s not my decision as God knows Him better than I do so where he goes at death is between them (should you look up the CCC, maybe take a look at the section on hell and purgatory as well!).

                      Sorry, don’t mean to proselytize (spell?), just explain better the Catholic position. Clear as mud? ;)

                      I really appreciate your being here, though, and trying to show a different perspective. It’s a breath of fresh air!

                    • Clare

                      Danellario- Um…You had me in your first post until you used the pronoun “it” in reference to a child in your other post. This pretty much is the mindset of most people I talk to–children aren’t human beings yet; they’re “its”. Scientifically, they are humans already and were at the moment of conception. Of course, there is the off-chance that one of these embryos could be born a zebra…but I don’t know of any cases yet, do you? ;)

                      I get what you’re saying about people patting themselves on the back for having sex and babies. As an older Catholic single who gets told all the time that this is “God’s will” for me when, really, God’s will is never forced and singlehood has been forced upon me. God’s will is in my response to my circumstances, not the circumstances, themselves, ya know? Do I take pride in my choosing not to have sex because I want to follow God’s path? No. Why does a servant get rewarded for doing what she’s supposed to be doing? I guess that’s why I, like you, find parents acting a little too smug for just doing their duty and doing what comes naturally as if they accomplished some great thing by having sex. I”m attractive. If I wanted, I could have sex and a baby. Where are my accolades for refraining? :p

                      For the record, Catholics believe that the universe is, indeed, good as all that God creates is good, even us. We believe we were wounded at the Fall but still good, ya know?This is the Catholic position. (Sorry, just instructing so you know your “audience” better :) ). Like the poster, eribeck79, stated, Catholics believe that every person (at the moment of conception) has an immortal soul so, yes, having–and raising– children is a big deal, just as uniting my suffering as a celibate single with Christ’s suffering (a whole other theological discussion) is a big deal because, though I’m not co-creating souls, I am co-saving souls. But, again, it’s because of Who God is, not who we are, as to why it’s a big deal so why the smugness and the patting ourselves on the back?

                      Anyway, to put a Christian spin on what I think you’re saying, in the Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis, he writes that every person we meet is either an everlasting splendor or an immortal horror. Whichever one the kids turn out to be is what the parents can pat themselves on the back about. Yeah, ultimately, the kids grow up and make their own choices but it’s the parents’ responsibility to teach them to make educated choices and to know how to own these choices so that whether or not the children choose God, choose to be doctors, teachers or janitors, their “yes” is a real yes and their “no” is a real no. I *think* this is what you’re saying parents can take pride in, not just merely having lots of babies. If this is what you’re saying, I’m in agreement with you.

                    • DaneIlario

                      The only reason I use the word “it” is because I’m speaking about another person’s child. I try not to guess as whether the child is a he or a she.

                      I understand your position on the universe but I rather disagree. The universe, objectively, is neither inherently good or inherently evil. It simply is. Look at roses: one person may adore them because of their aesthetic beauty, another person my despise them because, to them, they are ugly. Is the rose bad or good?

                      And yes, you’ve caught on to what I’ve been saying: a parent can take pride in what the child becomes but having pride in a child for merely existing is silly.

                    • Clare

                      Take God out of it,, the universe is neither good nor evil, you are right. I also agree with you that having pride in a child for merely existing is silly, but I must admit to taking a lot of pride in the special needs children I’ve worked with as they work very hard to overcome their limitations even though they don’t know that that’s what they’re doing. I don’t know…maybe you’re right that “pride” is the wrong word. I’ll think about it some more. Maybe “respect” is a better word? We respect this creation that we helped create.

                • Adam__Baum

                  “how can you have pride in a human being that hasn’t done anything yet?”

                  Wow, what a cold and inhuman statement.

                  Pride may not be the right word, but children do not have to do “anything” to merit any feeling of affection. They are made in the image and likeness of God, and any rational parent should be honored to have been graced by God with his willingness to share the power of creating a new human soul, whose dignity inheres to it, independent of any temporal accomplishment.

                  • DaneIlario

                    Adam, did you completely skip over the part above where I wrote that a parent that should love, care for and guide their child? If you had let your rampant emotionalism subside for a moment than you might have seen that. You might have also grasped that we’re in agreement that a child is deserving of a parent’s affection.

                    At least you’ve grasped that ‘pride’ isn’t the right word.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      No matter how you and the rest of the ZPG/NPG advocates want to to dress it up with the illusion of quantifiable credibility, you are arithmophobic misanthropes.

                      I suggest to all pretentious population zealots: if you are so firmly disposed to hold the opinion that there are too many people in the world-then remove yourself from the equation.

                    • DaneIlario

                      That’s exactly the kind of response I’d expect from someone who employs emotionalism and religious fervor rather than rationality and pragmatism. You seem to think the world is a place of endless resources. Let me clue you in: this isn’t the world of ‘Star Trek’…there are no replicators.

                      If you want to create a nation of breeders with zero accountability than I’ll kindly thank you to take it someplace else.

                    • eribeck79

                      Look, human biology dictates that we reproduce. Maybe you need to take this argument up with Mother Nature. Even if you don’t believe in God or religion, you can’t deny that it is a biological reality that humans are capable of reproducing, and that it is, in fact, biologically normal for a woman to have multiple children.

                      Have you heard the phrase that it “isn’t nice to foo mother nature” before? We can pretend we don’t have to reproduce, but it won’t make it true. I am tired of people being repulsed by their own normal biology.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Excuse me, but when did I ever state that the biological impetus to reproduce is an inherently bad thing? I have never once, in this dialogue, made any such claim. Let me tell you something about nature.

                      Other animal species, in their natural habitats, achieve equilibrium with their habitats. Predators consume more when prey is abundant to equal the scales, predators consume what is necessary and no more otherwise. There is balance.

                      Humans no longer seek this balance. We breed and we spread unconcerned with achieving any kind of balance with the world around us. We bulldoze, build and landscape at will. We consume and consume and the majority of us give little thought to resources. There is NOT an unlimited amount of food, water and energy for us right now. THAT is a problem.

                      The only way to address that problem is two put into effect two synergistic elements: individual responsibility for procreation and serious, devoted research and investment in increasing our food and (renewable) energy sources.

                      Now, you can pretend that this isn’t true but that won’t make it true. You say your tired of people being repulsed by their own biology? Well, I’m tired of people insisting that every little want and desire of their biology needs to be sated.

                    • eribeck79

                      See, you are concerned with overconsumption. I am too – we are a greedy society and many of us consume, consume, consume. But here’s what I see personally where I live: the people who consume the most *have the fewest children.* Of families I know, the ones who buy new cars every few years, the ones who buy huge brand new houses that are larger than what they really need space-wise, the ones who enroll their kids in every class or activity known to man and buy all the gear that goes along with it… those are the ones with only one, two, maybe three kids at the most. I know couples with no children who consume more than my family of five. They are so caught up in “enjoying life” and for some, that means spending more and more money on more and more stuff.

                      All the larger families I know make a concerted effort to consume less – we are thrifty people. Many of the larger families I know drive used cars, shop at thrift and consignment stores for most of their children’s clothing, shop at farmer’s markets and try to grow some of their own food… Guess what happens to lower and middle class families in my town when we try to increase our own sustainable food sources by keeping a few backyard chickens for eggs? We get the government on our backs to get rid of them because somebody thinks it’s trashy to keep chickens, so they pass an ordinance only allowing those with a large amount of property to do so. Yeah, we need work on that kind of thing. And I would agree with you on being responsible for procreation in that a 20 year old girl with three children from three different deadbeat dads – that is not an example of responsible procreation.

                      So what it comes down to is being concerned with overconsumption – but that doesn’t always go hand in hand with family size. More people doesn’t mean more consumption necessarily. Often, less people means more frivolous consumption. Why not tackle the issue at its root – overconsumption – rather than just targeting families who have several children.

                    • DaneIlario

                      See, there you go putting words in my mouth. I am not “targeting” anyone. I AM targeting an attitude.

                      Your personal anecdotes don’t count for much in this situation because large families overconsume as much as any other family when the resources are available.

                      The issue is not just overconsumption…there are other issues present: waste, limited resources and yes, population. ALL of those issues have to be addressed to make any real change.

                      I said it before and I’ll say it again: before we go on a binge of breeding more and more humans, we need to get the world that they are going to be in order first.

                    • Clare

                      Yes.

                    • Clare

                      “Well, I’m tired of people insisting that every little want and desire of their biology needs to be sated.”

                      Hence, why we believe in self-control over our sexual appetites instead of going against nature with birth control and abortion so that we can have all the sex we want without pesky little “diseases”, called children.

                    • DaneIlario

                      I have no issue with birth control. It’s unrealistic to think that people are going to/should only have sex for the purpose of procreation.

                      As far as abortion goes, I’m rather in the middle; however, I lean more to protecting the reproductive rights of a woman.

                    • Valentin

                      What reason do you propose for having sex that does not include children?

                    • DaneIlario

                      Fun and recreation?

                      Perhaps you’re not aware of it but humans are one of a very, very few of the animal species on this planet that occasionally engages purely out of pleasure.

                      Of course, I’m sure you’ll launch into some diatribe how immoral it is to have sex for any reason other than procreation.

                      Proceed.

                    • Marie Noybn

                      there you go mixing us up with fundamentalists again. You must have been raised in the Bible Belt heh. Sooo, lemme get this straight, you believe in protecting the “reproductive rights” of women, but only when they seek to LIMIT reproduction???? Perverse.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Well there you go completely misrepresenting me.

                      I never said anything about limiting reproduction; rather, I said people should give more consideration ensuring that the world is in good condition before they decide to have a large family.

                      In addition, I never once proposed any kind of legislation that would limit how many children a woman can have whereas Christians of ALL types have supported legislation against birth control and abortion.

                      Clear now?

                    • Valentin

                      Does jacking around really satisfy people in any way except for some emotional desire to do so? Believe it or not pleasure is a reward not a reason.

                    • DaneIlario

                      It’s physical, not emotional though there can certainly be heightened emotions during intercourse.

                      Pleasure is what you make of it; however, if you insist it has to be a “reward” than it should not to be attached to any insistence on procreation.

                    • Valentin

                      Aimlessly swinging my arm around is also very physical as well what is your point? Please if you have reason offer it otherwise stop saying you have one and that the activity in itself is good.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Do you have the freedom to swing your arm around if it pleases you to do so without any other ulterior motive and without anyone passing judgment over you or trying to make you feel guilty for it?

                      Yes, you do.

                      Now extend that to sex and the point explains itself…although I’m sure you’re bound to disagree.

                    • Valentin

                      Swinging my arm around aimlessly is unreasonable and sex is not a verb it is a noun referring to the separation of mankind namely men and women, and just so happens that God made so that quite naturally we get horny under certain occasions and if that man and woman join together so as to have the Human Sex Organ (that means both need to be in involved” and God also says ok when the mans sperm is ejaculated and the sperm cell hits the egg cell you have a new life. That is how God has things set up whether you like it or not and if you simply avoid ejaculating because you want the pleasure but not the children than you are not having sex you are simply jacking off with another person.

                    • Valentin

                      It’s like people smoking hookahs because they don’t like the possibility of tongue bite in normal pipe smoking.

                    • DaneIlario

                      With a narrow ideology like that, it’s no wonder you’re so frustrated.

                      Sex is a noun? Only linguistically. It’s an action, a thing you do…in the real world, it’s a verb.

                      If “God” intended that sex should only be done so as to procreate, why did he make women capable of being sexually aroused outside of the fertility period? I call that a design flaw.

                      For that matter, why make sex so pleasurable if not as a gift to humanity to be enjoyed…and not just for procreation?

                      And I’m pretty sure that Corinthians 7:2-5 makes the case that sex between two people need not be just about procreation (although it does indicate that sex should only happen between a married couple…which is silly too, but hey, no religion is perfect).

                    • Valentin

                      You think language is separate from reality? How about you actually give a concrete reasonable proposition as to what “sex” is for otherwise rather than simply saying that there is one and not saying that reason is. I think someone who eats food, smokes, and drinks simply because of pleasure rather than including the real reasoning for those things.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Do I really have to explain this again?

                      Sex is pleasurable activity and humans are innately sexual beings. We are capable enjoying sex without a desire to procreate. Speaking in evolutionary terms, sex is the means by which we reproduce; however, humans have far greater will when it comes to sexual activity. The vast majority of animal species have sex strictly as a matter of life cycle strictly to reproduce. Humans do not. Our will permits to decide when we will have sex and when we will not.

                      You act as if doing anything strictly for the pleasure of doing it is somehow not a valid reason. Do you watch tv or go to movies? Why are you doing those things? In the hopes of being educated or enlightened…or in the hopes of being entertained?

                      Entertainment is sought merely for it’s own pleasure.

                      When you eat, do you seek out foods that you consider bland, tasteless or unpalatable…or do you seek out food that you find tasteful and palatable?

                      When you eat, you want the pleasure of something that tastes good merely for the sake of that pleasure.

                      Do you get it now?

                    • musicacre

                      I know a tiresome nerdy teen who talks just like you; for attention.

                    • DaneIlario

                      I’ve often been called tiresome and nerdy…usually by people who can neither grasp what I’m saying or know what I’m saying makes sense but just don’t want to admit it.

                      Maybe you should listen to this teen a little better than you have been.

                    • musicacre

                      What a grandiose complex you have; it’s staggering!

                    • DaneIlario

                      I think you meant to say: “what a grandiose superiority complex you have; It’s staggering!”

                    • musicacre

                      No I don’t need you to tel me what I meant. Grandiose delusions is a psychiatric term.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Then that is what you should have said. Grandiose delusions-also called delusions of grandeur-is indeed a psychiatric term. ‘Grandiose complex’, however, is not. You can’t seem to decide whether I’m suffering from grandiose delusions or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The two are separate ailments.

                      Geez, you can’t even insult me right.

                    • Marie Noybn

                      voles. Look it up, its what the whole fear of population overgrowth was based on.. there goes your theory heh. Luckily, humans arent voles.

                      as for people insisting that every little want and desire of their biology needing to be satisfied.. i hope you repeat that to your contemporaries, cause we are sick of that too.

                    • DaneIlario

                      If only what you say was true.

                      Tell you what…you tell your people what you’re sick and I’ll tell mine,

                    • Marie Noybn

                      Cool, now stop telling MINE what you think. :) I’ll give you a hint.. these people here, they are my people. Go play with the atheists, they will go right along with your ideals.

                    • DaneIlario

                      When religious zealots stop trying to influence social policy, legislation and political ideology, I’ll go away.

                      There’s little point in playing with atheists. They already understand me.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      “emotionalism and religious fervor rather than rationality”
                      “breeders”.
                      No irrationality or religious fervor there, huh?

                    • DaneIlario

                      Since emotionalism/religious fervor and rationality are mutually exclusive than no…there’s no irrationality or religious fervor at all in what I had to say. If it bothers you that that is how perceive you than perhaps the fault does not lie in my perception.

                      “Breeders” is exactly what I see you trying to humans into. You seem far more concerned about the quantity of humans being born than anything else. I see you treating humans like livestock.

                    • musicacre

                      You’re the one who wants to take emotions out of it…don’t keep changing your tack. I doubt if you would know how to have fun with a bunch of kids on a sleigh ride, or at a game, or skating, or just having fun enjoying each others’ company. You are the one that considers people from a clinical and rather sinister point of view.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Oh my yes..,my point of view MUST be sinister because I’d rather perceive the merits of an argument based on my reason rather than my emotion.

                      There’s a time for us to ride the wave of emotions and there’s a time for us to anchor ourselves to the rock of reason. If cannot grasp that than you cannot possibly understand any argument or argue any point very well.

                    • musicacre

                      Oh I get it; Mr. Grandiose delusions, if someone doesn’t agree with you, they don’t have the “rock” of reason…Haha. My children used to talk like that when they were really little…..

                    • DaneIlario

                      Who said you had to agree with me? See, this is what trying to argue from emotionalism gets you.

                      Whether you agree with my positions or not is irrelevant to the point that arguing purely from emotion, as you’ve been doing, is not going to help you. These dialogues have been concerned with the merits and attitudes concerning population growth and familial relationships. These two issues and the subjects surrounding cannot be argued from emotionalism alone. If reason does not enter into any argument than that argument becomes one of little value.

                      Now…maybe you’ll understand that, maybe you won’t.

                    • Valentin

                      If you are in favor of reason than explain to me why you argue points that you don’t have any particular interest in people agreeing with?

                    • DaneIlario

                      My particular interest is that perhaps you’ll gain understanding you didn’t possess before and that your views will be expanded. Such can only be of benefit to the whole of the community.

                      I’d rather that you didn’t end up in total agreement with me. I’d feel rather bad of robbing someone of his/her individuality.

                    • Valentin

                      You see this is I think a place where we butt heads because I think individuality should and can be expressed in the way in which people “make a living” (as some call it) but individuality is no reason to believe that we can believe in things that conflict and contradict each other with both of us being right. I hope this might explain why I am so frustrated.

                    • DaneIlario

                      If you’d look for a middle ground than you might not be so frustrated…but it’s up to you.

                    • Valentin

                      I am not looking for a middle ground or a compromise because agreeing on something that is halfhearted and false is stupid and empty.

                    • DaneIlario

                      If that is the case, why are you hanging on so tenaciously to Catholic dogma?

                    • Valentin

                      Because I know it’s right because God who is all good, all knowing and all powerful told me so along with many trustworthy doctors of the Church which has lasted for around 2000 years the same Church that has a lineage going back to Christ. ps happy halloween.

                    • DaneIlario

                      “God told me so” does not a good argument make. In fact, it’s a very poor argument.

                      How long something has been around isn’t a good argument for believing in something either. There are religions older than Christianity but I wouldn’t say that gives them more credibility.

                    • Valentin

                      If God is a good reliable source of information than it is the most solid argument in the world considering that he quite simply is good any standard of good must be drawn from him rather than what any random person happens to like. I think how long something can last and how sturdy it is a excellent test, but I must point out that the Catholic Church is simply a perfection of the old testament Judaism.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Well, then you have a real problem.

                      “God” ISN’T a good and reliable source of information because “God” is not a source that can be referenced, peer reviewed or examined. “God” is a non-entity in respect to the creation of intelligent argumentation as saying “God told me” is not something that can neither be confirmed or denied.

                      If you believe what you believe because “God told you” during some religious epiphany, I’d never say what you experienced was real or not; however, I will say that trying to make at valid source to support an argument is futile act.

                    • Valentin

                      Why do emotions that are tempered with rationality and the truth not get any respect from you? Have you even laid out an argument for why people shouldn’t be poor and shouldn’t have large families? Because I have read from you is for the most part hyperbolic rhetoric.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Because, so far, there hasn’t been any rationality in any argument directed at me. All I’ve had to deal with is irrationality in it’s worst form, purposeful omissions, emotionalism.

                      I’ve never said that people should not have large families; rather, I’ve questioned the wisdom of people having large families in light of dwindling resources and consumerist attitudes. I’ve advocated that before we create a larger and larger population that we first “get our house in order”, so to speak, so that the population does not suffer.

                      Why shouldn’t people be poor? If you WANT to be poor than by all means, be poor. I’ve said at least three times now that if one chooses the path of honorable poverty than more power to that person; however, people should not be FORCED into poverty.

                      If someone becomes poor because of their own terrible decisions than I lay the blame at THAT person’s door,

                    • Valentin

                      First of all someone who has sex is in reality inviting life into the world and the reason a father works and slaves away as hard as he does is to make sure that his children and wife can live, not so that he is the only one better off, plus the problem is not a high population in fact there is more than enough food in the world it is simply the case that not everyone receives from the world food production because of various factors including but not limited to:infrastructure and political agendas of various sorts.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Wrong on all counts.

                      A person can have sex for more than one reason. Sometimes it’s for the purpose of procreation. Sometimes it’s because two people are horny. This “it has to be for procreation only” bit is why more people in your faith do what they do on the sly: the guilt factor you place upon them.

                      YOU’RE the one that suggested that people have children so that they can have someone to care for them in their old age, not me, remember?

                      Disposition of the food supply is only part of the problem. There is not enough arable farm land in the world to support an ever increasing population; hence, we either need to stem the rise of population or start seriously investing in methods to increase food production. The problem is that it seems few people are interested in either.

                    • Valentin

                      Not everyone should and is fit to raise children and can you give an example of this food shortage you are talking about? Technological advances are making it more efficient to produce food than it has been before. “YOU’RE the one that suggested that people have children so that they can have someone to care for them in their old age, not me, remember?” I think it is one of many reasons to have and be open to children when married, that is not to say that everyone should get married and have children it simply means that people shouldn’t pick an arbitrary number of children that they prefer based on their own temporary comfort. Have you ever considered the possibility of a disaster of epic proportions? I think many people nowadays don’t think about such a thing and so don’t think that having a high population is a secure option in terms of resource distribution.

                    • DaneIlario

                      If you want to read about food shortages here in the U.S. and worldwide, you can start here:

                      http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2012/oct/14/un-global-food-crisis-warning

                      http://moneymorning.com/2012/08/07/u-s-food-prices-2013-jeremy-grantham-warns-of-coming-dystopia/

                      http://www.agweb.com/usfr/news/news.aspx?ArticleId=303019

                      Are you serious? “They’ll take care of me when I’m old” should be a consideration for having children? That’s one of the most selfish things I’ve ever heard. There is NO morality in such a consideration,

                      So we should continue to increase our population because there might be some disaster that eliminates a significant part of the population? That doesn’t make any sense.

                      Continued increased population+not enough advancement in means of food production and renewable energy=the very disaster you want to avoid.

                    • Valentin

                      You see there is a difference between a gentleman who understands that loving ones neighbor as oneself doesn’t mean much when you don’t love yourself, quite frankly I don’t think you realize that I am simply in favor good overall and that includes babies, children, adolescents, young men and women, middle aged men and women, as well as the elderly and it disgusts me that people in the US have such a lack of respect for the elderly they feel nor think that they have some honor to be given but instead ship them off to where they are out of reach of anyone in their family..

                    • BANGUS BALUT

                      I am neither religious nor overly emotional.

                      We have 3 kids and want 15 more.

                      Don’t know what 3rd world country you live in, but we live in the USA. Yes, we have pretty much endless resources here.

                      How is there no accountability in having kids? A nation without kids means no one will be around to pay your Social Security. Our dream of 18 kids means we will consume WAY more than you. Generating taxes, profits, and income nationally. Also, we will produce WAY more than you at business, income taxes, and goods and services.

                      Creating a nation that doesn’t breed is a death sentence. Why do you think the USA has MILLIONS of immigrants pouring in every year? Because, sadly, affluent European-Americans think you can’t have kids until you earn your first billion dollars. Foreigners know how to raise a family of 15 on $1000 a month. It is called “family values”.

                    • eribeck79

                      The word is “then,” not “than.” It is getting confusing to see that repeatedly.

                    • DaneIlario

                      “Than” is a conjunction when used to make comparisons, so there is no grammar error in what I wrote. “Then” is used as time reference or sequential marker but I am not defining either in my statement.

                    • eribeck79

                      No, I am a grammar nerd, and it should be “then” instead of “than” in the phrase “than you would see that.” As in, “if you had gotten a good education, *then* you would see that.” ;-P Just poking fun, trying to lighten it up a bit…

                    • DaneIlario

                      If you’re going to poke fun than you should do it right. I have a B.A. in English Lit and I know what goes where.
                      “Than”: conjunction used for comparisons
                      “Then”: conjunction used for time reference or sequential items.

                      You can check with any free online grammar checker. There is no error.

                • eribeck79

                  Okay, so who said anything about pride? You did. Nobody else is claiming that they have lots of children so they can be proud of themselves. People who intentionally have lots of children do so for various reasons – mostly because they believe in the inherent goodness of humanity and that the immortal soul is a precious thing, not because it makes them proud. if I end up with 8 kids, the only thing I will be “proud” about is that, gee, I guess I am at least doing very well at continuing the human race. But I still don’t think pride is the right word to describe that. I’d feel more like I was just doing my normal part in human biology.

                  • DaneIlario

                    Haven’t you seen the comments people have been leaving about how “proud” they are of their children? That tells me that some people are having children as a matter of having something to be proud of. I’m merely contesting that pride in the result of your pro-creation doesn’t make any sense until that creation demonstrates that it is something TO be proud of.

                    • eribeck79

                      No, I didn’t notice much of that – I noticed people saying their children were immortal souls and perhaps you detect that they are proud in being part of co-creating new life. I would say that it is more a feeling of purpose, of obligation to humanity, than pride. Our children all have inherent worth because they were creating in the image of god, they have immortal souls, they are human beings with minds and feelings… we value them, and maybe you are seeing that as taking pride in them.

                    • DaneIlario

                      You may not have noticed it but it’s there.

                    • Clare

                      Yes.

                  • Clare

                    Right. But there does seem to be a purveying “holier than thou” attitude among Catholic parents who have large families. Maybe it’s a defense because of all the abuse many of you mention you have suffered.

                    • WSquared

                      I agree about the holier-than-thou attitudes among some Catholic parents who have large families. Danellario may or may not have a point about seeing children as an “achievement”: we may not discuss it much in Catholic circles, but I think we all know about the Mommy Club, and how nasty and hurtful it can be. Let’s not pretend that women who are infertile don’t feel it, because they do. What’s so wonderful about the Catholic Church is that she does not see motherhood or fertility exclusively in biological and material terms. There is a very real spiritual component to how she understands motherhood. And parenthood in general. Yet another reason to be grateful for the witness of our priests and religious, and for the reverence Catholicism has for virginity. In a culture that sees children not just as a burden, but exclusively biologically, those women don’t have the recourse that the Church gives them. In good part because of that fixation on materiality and biology, there’s also this attendant fixation with having your “own” kids (this is where in-vitro vertilization comes into the conversation). Well, St. Joseph didn’t have his “own” kids.

                      That Fr. Barron once pointed out that he encountered the most hostility to celibacy from secularists and evangelical Christians is telling. That’s the dichotomy that plays itself out in the larger culture, but in some odd ways, it’s seeped into the Church as well: for example, those Catholics who think that the Church somehow “mandates” big families (when she doesn’t), and those Catholics who are secularized and blow off Church teaching on human sexuality are oddly in agreement here, in that they both see things materialistically by reducing parenthood, heroic or not, to biology and head count. I have yet to see any mention of chastity, to say nothing of the grace that allows for better integration of sexuality into the human person in any discussion on NFP. Every discussion of NFP gets reduced to family size.

                      Large families are a blessing. But blessings qua children aren’t just a matter of head count. I don’t like some of the attitudes coming from some with large families any more than I like those who think that anyone who has more than their 2 children is “irresponsible.” Moreover, I don’t like the attitude that some have where you’re only a “true” Catholic or part of the “faithful remnant” if you have a large family– that the Church doesn’t mandate large families hasn’t stopped some people who think it’s their business to “know” who’s abusing NFP or figuring out who’s on the stupid pill. Now, that’s some presumption for you. I wonder how many of those “true” Catholics would like to write to the Pope Emeritus and tell him that his parents probably had a “contraceptive mentality.” There were, after all, only three Ratzinger children. And I get it that some people are horrendously rude, arrogant, and plain nasty to those with large families. But that’s no excuse for those with large families abusing others with smaller families or no children. Moreover, I know people with big families that are wonderfully holy, and people with big families where there’s enough bile to go around. A family is holy if and only if it has God at the center. Regardless of size.

                      we value them, and maybe you are seeing that as taking pride in them.

                      …or maybe the better way to put it is to be grateful to be blessed with them. Jennifer Fulwiler once asked the question, “do our children belong to God, or do they belong to us?” Our children belong to God, and they are a precious gift. Simply because they bear our DNA doesn’t mean we “made” them, or something. It also does not mean that they exist for our purposes or our dreams, and they’re not a “box” that we somehow “tick.”

                      I’ve encountered people who will beat me over the head with the fact that they have children, and I don’t yet have any: presumably, I don’t know “anything” about children, just because I don’t change diapers every day, even though their kids are spoiled, and they themselves can’t tell the difference between love and sentimentalism. My turn with the diapers, God willing, will come. But I don’t have to be wiping tiny backsides every day to know that there are logical implications for the belief that every child is made in the image of God, and that the apple don’t fall far from the tree. I am a teacher, and I’ve become more and more aware of what it means that my students are souls who are entrusted to me. They may not be my biological children, but they are someone else’s children. They are other people’s sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and husbands and wives, if they aren’t already. And some of them are our future priests and men and women religious. Ultimately, they are God’s children. The latter reality reminds me to see as I must.

                      Moreover, as parents, we can’t get in our kids’ way if we want them to be truly themselves– i.e. the people that God made them to be. We all know helicopter parents who hover, and couldn’t give two hoots about who their children really are, as per the gifts God gave them: in other words, simply because He didn’t give your child x, y, or z does not mean that He didn’t give them something else. Caritas behooves us to help them discover what that is. Because God will sanctify THAT person, not the persons they’ll become while trying to be something they’re not.

                    • Clare

                      Wow, WSquared! Thank you so much for your thoughtful, insightful, engaging, intelligent, sensitive response. I didn’t think about it in those terms but, yes. There is a difference between love and sentimentalism and, yes, each child is a blessing from God to be respected and allowed to be who God created that person to be.
                      (I did read your entire response and am still thinking on everything you’ve written.)

                • BANGUS BALUT

                  I see you have no children.

                  Why would an infant need to accomplish anything for you to have pride in it?

                  No, simply existing is enough. Being healthy. Being a mix of you and your spouse. Making poopies. Sucking nipples. Cooing. Smiling.

                  That is enough for me. My newborn doesn’t need to be a famous inverter or engineer for me to be proud of them.

                  Silly atheist troll.

            • Adam__Baum

              No you must be a troll for being so twisted as to focus on a unique monster, rather than the far greater possibility that “no 7″ might be what most people are-ordinary.

              • DaneIlario

                Who said I “focused” on that one possibility? You have apparently failed to grasp the point that a child can grow up to be anyone…good, bad or indifferent.

                • Adam__Baum

                  So what?

                  • DaneIlario

                    So that means just pumping out kids has more responsibility attached to it than just hoping they turn out to be the next Da Vinci.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Define “pumping out kids”.

                      Congratulations on identifying yourself as exactly the type of self-appointed censor and judgmental posterior that inspired the article.

                      Once again: If there’s too many people, make room for somebody else-depump yourself – grab some modern form of hemlock and crank up Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper”.

                    • Valentin

                      You must be so immature to think that responsibility is a bad thing.

                  • DaneIlario

                    No, I merely offered a comparison. Someone made a wholly good comparison. I juxtaposed that to a wholly bad one. I never indicated there was no middle ground.

                    I suppose I need to explain this again: the “so what” is as I’ve been saying: pride for merely having a child is nonsensical until we see how that child turns out. If you’re a “good” parent and do all you can to raise your child “right”….
                    ….if he grows up to be a doctor, that’s something to be proud of.
                    ….if he grows up to be a drug dealer, that’s not something to be proud of…and please don’t try and tell me that couldn’t happen. You can do all you can to raise your child “right” but guess what? They grow up to be adults that have their own thoughts, ideas and wants.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Your parents must weep.

                    • DaneIlario

                      They do, Adam. They weep that I must do all this thinking for you.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      You aren’t even close to thinking.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Clearly, closer than you’ll understand.

                    • WSquared

                      …or that kid could grow up to be a doctor who’s a drug dealer. Let’s none of us pretend that that couldn’t happen, either.

                      They grow up to be adults that have their own thoughts, ideas and wants.

                      Yes. That’s called “free will.”

                    • DaneIlario

                      Free will is precisely why ‘pride’ is something to held in reserve.

                      I’d say that a doctor that is also a drug dealer is nothing to be proud of.

            • BANGUS BALUT

              Children are pride, plain and simple. Just try and get close to a sparrows nest without getting injured by the mother bird! So much more a human and its pride!

              Yes, I troll comes onto the comments section of an article about people who hate families and scoffs that we shouldn’t have kids, because there is not enough solar panels in America! lol

              My family does well enough with nuclear energy, coal, and natural gas. Who cares about “renewable energy” with regards to reproduction and child-rearing? In fact, we have been planning to get rid of our electricity altogether.

              Troll.

        • BANGUS BALUT

          Ah, so you are one of the child-haters that the article talked about?

          • DaneIlario

            No, I’m one of the people that are able to employ critical thinking that the author of the article so fears.

            • BANGUS BALUT

              You sound like a troll with mental issues, actually.

              What paragraph did she say she fears critical thinking?

              • DaneIlario

                After getting a look at your profile, the comments you’ve made and the fact that you lie like a rug, I’d say you’re the troll with the mental issues.

                But to answer your question…the author obviously doesn’t like anyone thinking outside of the little box she’s constructed when it comes to the concept of having children; hence, my statement.

    • Adam__Baum

      “there has to be a real consideration about population growth.”

      John Maynard Keynes isn’t my favorite economist, but he made made one very apt observation:

      “Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.”

      In this case, the defunct “economist” is Thomas Malthus.

    • Valentin

      Poverty is not inherently evil and neither are large, stable, Catholic families. Look at Ireland, for centuries one of the holiest, manliest, and Catholic country in the world, what happened when they became rich and embraced the modernist EU? Now the country (just as much of Europe) is less Catholic than it has been in a long time.

      • DaneIlario

        Gandhi once said that “Poverty is the worst form of violence”…and he’s right. If one chooses to live the path of ‘honorable poverty’, that is one thing…when one is thrown into abject poverty because those in power insist on creating of wealth…that’s evil.

        • Adam__Baum

          Why should I listen to Ghandi?

          • DaneIlario

            Who said you had to? I expect an ultra conservative Christian like yourself to dismiss anything a non-Christian has to say.

            • Adam__Baum

              I realize you really want to demonstrate your analytical deficiencies, but you quoted Ghandi. Quoting somebody means you offer them or some particular sentiment as edifying or authoritative.

              I simply asked why I should listen.

              Let me make this easy for you/ The question means why do you consider Ghandi an authority, not that I reject that notion or the man. Of course your response indicates that as a liberal atheist, you will be biased in favor of non Christians.

              Do you understand now?

              • DaneIlario

                As I explained, no one said you had to. I simply expect you to reject any non-Christian source.

                Then again, there is no “why”. Personally, I believe that given the monumental amount of time that he spend amongst the poverty stricken in India-by choice-gave him an insight that most people, especially most of us in the U.S., don’t possess.

                You can take it or leave it. He was a Hindu, so I expect you to leave it.

                And there you go with that atheist bit. I don’t recall ever saying that I was an atheist yet you are intent on me being one. I expect that’s due to the fact that you’re hoping I’m an atheist because somehow, if I am, everything I’ve had to say is just so much balderdash.

                • Adam__Baum

                  “everything I’ve had to say is just so much balderdash.”

                  And on that, we agree. Goodnight, little atheist troll.

                  • DaneIlario

                    And just like most faux intellectuals, you’ll cherry pick a quote and then take it out of context.

                    Don’t trip on your way up to your ivory tower.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Don’t trip on your way to work at Tarbucks.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Came back for that all important last word, eh? Now you’ll have to come back again.

        • Valentin

          What makes you think that I am going to dismiss the Son of God over some schmuck who said he wasn’t going to be Christian because other people don’t?

          • DaneIlario

            Gandhi was a schmuck?

            Well, I tell you what. When the “Son of God” equals, in the real world, the accomplishments of Gandhi, get back to me.

            By the way, here’s another quote from that ‘schmuck’:

            “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

            Nailed it.

            • Valentin

              Not everyone who calls themselves “Christian” is.

            • Valentin

              Christ rose from the dead what did Ghandi do? His country is still miserable, filled with rape and the Hindu caste system. Who might you ask is helping the “untouchables”? The Catholic Church is that is why there are so many people in India becoming priests.

    • Valentin

      Plus poor people embrace large families because they know having people to care for them at old age is smart especially for someone who is somewhat less wealthy.

      • DaneIlario

        That’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. What if the children are no better off financially than the parents? You can’t care for someone if you can’t afford to do so.

        • eribeck79

          You can care for them with their presence. Die poor and alone, or die poor and alone with your poor yet happy children?

          • DaneIlario

            You actually believe that’s okay, don’t you? “Hi, I’m about to die because I’m living in abject poverty. Here are my kids who are also living in abject poverty. They’ll like die in poverty just like me…but we’re happy. So happy that we got spend our lives in poverty.”

            Right.

            You really sit there and think that poverty stricken people think like that, don’t you? And you’re okay with that.

            You are a monster.

            • eribeck79

              LOL, you are calling somebody you don’t even know a “monster.” If I am a monster, it is because I made fun of your grammar mistake (so I do apologize for that, truly), not because I can see the value in relationships in family!

              I didn’t say people are happy that they are dying in poverty – but people feel happiness when they have others who love them. You are judging the quality of their lives for them – do some of them wish they’d never been born? Maybe. But many don’t wish that. Some people can find joy amid extreme hardship. I’m not saying I think that would be easy – just that family *matters* to people. These women in extreme poverty in Africa – many of them say they *want* five kids (I read this recently). They want a sense of family.

              But this is where I always bow out of these discussions and stop reading, walk away: when it is no longer a discussion because of name-calling. The liberal view goes here often, and I won’t engage in “just call them monsters because you think their views are so horrid.” Honestly, liberals call others “evil” or “monsters” so frequently in these online discussions that I have seen. Look, I think abortion is killing and that it is wrong – it is appalling to me – but I don’t call the people involved “monsters.” I assume that most of them truly think they are helping people and that they are coming from a place of trying to be compassionate – I just think they are terribly misguided. But monsters? Hardly. I am sure some might be monsters, but the majority really just have a different way of going about addressing a problem. I can say I think their way is wrong *without* judging them to be cruel and heartless people. See, liberals think they can fix things so that the world will be completely perfect, eliminate all suffering. That isn’t possible in our imperfect world. So the best we can do is reach out to those who are suffering in compassion, to try to alleviate their problems as best we can (which is why I donate to the poor, personally). You may not be happy with any attempts at compassion other than to totally fix these problems – and that will end up being a disappointment since the world is never going to be utopia. Can you see that other people have other ideas about problems and that you can think they are misguided without calling them things like monsters? Or perhaps you really do think that other people with different opinions are monsters, that I have evil intentions, that I enjoy seeing others suffer – if so, I am sorry that you have to live with such a negative perception of humanity. I choose to see humanity as inherently good, even when I don’t understand the views of others entirely.

              I even tried to find common ground with you – overconsumption. I can see that your concerns are real even if I disagree with you.

              Goodbye. I see new comments above, but I won’t be going there. If you want to continue debate with people who disagree with you in the future, please keep the assumptions of ill intent out of it. We stop spending our time on you when you think this way about us and call us monsters, because that shuts down productive discussion and effectively ends it. We can’t work together to alleviate suffering if one side stops the discussion with name-calling. I will pray that you can see the good in people with whom you disagree.

              • DaneIlario

                That’s a nice “holier-than-thou” and “you liberals are so wrong” diatribe. I’d say I struck a nerve by calling you a monster. Perhaps the problem isn’t that I said it but rather you think that maybe it’s true.

                Anyone who could actually type out a scenario where they think poverty stricken people are dying happy and is totally okay with that is, as far as I’m concerned, a monster. You’re content to let them die in poverty because you imagine that they were “happy” and that makes it all ethical, doesn’t it?

                Then again, maybe I DID waste my time here. What else could I expect from a people that venerate someone like Mother Theresa…a woman who spent her life building hospices for the sick so they could have someplace to come and die.

                Not be healed. Not be treated. Just bedded, read Bible verses and allowed to die. The multi-billion dollar conglomerate that is the Catholic Church praised and encouraged a woman to build houses of death instead of financially backing her to build houses of healing.

                What could I expect from such people?

                • Adam__Baum

                  “Then again, maybe I DID waste my time here.”

                  If you thought you were going to get some new recruits for your atheistic religion from this site (religions make statements about a deity which require belief, atheism simply asserts a nullity, and that requires belief because it’s philosophically impossible to prove nullity and of course Pascal proved atheism is irrational) then you are incredibly naive and arrogant, there’s nothing even appealing, let alone persuasive or probative in your bilious and insulting screeds.

                  But then again, that’s not your purpose trolling here is it? You just want negative attention. Bye Bye.

                  • DaneIlario

                    Who said I was an atheist?

                    See, that’s why people don’t want to communicate with religious zealots…the moment you disagree is the moment that you get labeled “atheist”.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      You realize DISQUS allows everybody to see what you write, no?

                      You are an atheist and a troll. I get it, you enjoy being a bee in a bonnet.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Why do you think I use Disqus?

                      If I was a ‘troll’, I would have been done a long time ago. Again, who says I’m an atheist? You honestly think that not abiding by Christian ideology and beliefs makes someone an atheist?

                      You must tell me more about myself sometime.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      who says I’m an atheist?
                      Not who, what Everything you write.

                    • DaneIlario

                      LOL…that is, without a doubt, simultaneously the funniest yet ridiculous thing you’ve written yet.

                      You actually think that ONLY an atheist could write what I have written and think what I think? Really?

                      Now THAT is some good indoctrination.

                • Valentin

                  You think people who go to hospitals somehow never die? Believe it or not medical treatment is simply a delay so that someone can stay in this world a tad bit longer for whatever reason. We all end up dying and someone might as well die a good death rather than a bad one.

                  • DaneIlario

                    That is one of the most pathetic arguments I’ve ever heard. By that logic, there is a little point in there being any such thing as health care. You might as well be telling anyone that is afflicted with a life threatening illness or injury to just go ahead and die; after all, why delay your exit from life?

                    How can you possibly defend any of that? is that what the Catholic church preaches? It’s better to make a comfortable spot for someone to die rather than heal them?

                    I thought Christians were supposed to be loving, charitable and compassionate. I seem to recall Christ went to and fro healing the sick. I recall Matthew 9:35:

                    “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their
                    synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.”

                    If Jesus is real than I am certain he is filled with shame that one such as you call yourself a “Christian”.

            • musicacre

              I don’t believe you have the right to pretend you have the high moral ground with “poor” people unless you have been out there, actually helping them, instead of philosophizing from your comfortable latte.

              • DaneIlario

                Help them? I’ve BEEN them..and don’t talk to me about morality. If you think it’s acceptable that people, through no choice of their own, are living in poverty but that’s okay as long as they are “happy” than your morality is non-existent.

            • Valentin

              You don’t get it. Dying in poverty is not inherently evil.

              • DaneIlario

                YOU don’t get it. The belief that it’s all right that someone dies in poverty IS evil.

            • Valentin

              You like to focus so damn much on material wealth when you say “You really sit there and think that poverty stricken people think like that, don’t you?” believe it or not there are and have been many poor people who have been concerned with more than just material wealth.

              • DaneIlario

                I’m not focusing “so damn much” on material wealth; rather, I’m focusing on poverty that is not purposely self-inflicted. If one chooses to live a life of honorable poverty, I salute that person as such a life is difficult but can be fulfilling. If one is living in poverty because of a flawed economic system which encourages a disparity wealth, that is to say not by choice, than I do not sit well with that.

                For a Christian, you certainly don’t seem to emulate a spirit of charity or compassion for the less fortunate.

                • Valentin

                  If God gives bad weather or a sickness which I do not choose to get I accept it just as I accept the good things he gives to me. Charity by the way the Love of God and I do help the poor believe it or not. I just think that poverty (being a lack of wealth) is something that people can deal with and live good lives despite the difficulty it presents.

        • Adam__Baum

          The principal reason for the “progressive” fascination with old age pensions was to remove the incentive, (and your visceral reaction does not attest to the valence of that incentive) for individuals to insure against superannuation through reproduction.

          It has worked remarkably well. Indigenous populations in places like Japan, Britain, France and other countries are well below replacement rate, but nature hates a vacuum and Muslims are eager to immigrate to these places, except for Japan.

          I’m sure you’ll do fine in Dearbornistan.

          • DaneIlario

            Wow. Not only do you lambast the concept of pensions, which in and of itself tells me a lot about you, but now you reveal that you are a prejudicial waste of humanity.

            I should have seen it earlier.

            • Adam__Baum

              Your frustration is showing.

              Now here’s a funny for you. I spent 10 years employed in multiple capacities for an insurer’s pension operations, so I’m really against pensions, right?

              Thanks for playing.

              • DaneIlario

                The only frustration I have is in you trying to change your stride mid-jump.

                First you disparage pensions then you come out of left field with this bit about your employment. Maybe it’s just foreign pensions you have a problem with.

                That would make more sense. You’ve already demonstrated that you’re bigoted when it comes to religions, so why not economic policies as well?

                • Adam__Baum

                  No, I didn’t disparage “pensions”. I said that the left’s fascination with old age pensions (implicitly, the government transfer kind) was related to their desire to decouple old age prosperity from reproduction.

                  You want to desperately impute that sentiment, in order to impart some malevolent intent or misanthropy.

                  Have you considered remedial reading comprehension?

                  • DaneIlario

                    Oh, don’t back pedal now Adam. You obviously did disparage pensions and made zero mention of ‘The Left’. You directly implied that pensions were being used as a tool to prevent an interest in procreation. Sorry, but you’re not going to b.s. your way out of that.

                    Nice try, though.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      “The principal reason for the “progressive” fascination with old age
                      pensions was to remove the incentive, (and your visceral reaction does
                      not attest to the valence of that incentive) for individuals to insure
                      against superannuation through reproduction.”

                      Hint: Leftists like to be called “progressives”. I hope you fill the orders at Tarbucks better than you argue.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Ah, I see…you have to be a Leftist to support anything progressive. Gotcha. I mean, you can’t be to the right and be a “progressive”.

                      Do you think these thoughts all by yourself or is there a team of well trained monkeys helping you?

                      Starbucks? No thanks. I prefer ‘The Coffee Bean’.

                  • DaneIlario

                    I do wonder, though…if I’m such a “troll” do you just keep feeding me in the hopes that I’ll just get full or bored and go away so that you can have the last word? Hoping for some kind of Internet victory?

                    If so, I don’t see the point. If I was to stop dialoguing with you now that doesn’t mean I can’t continue later.

          • DaneIlario

            And to top it all off, you can’t even research correctly. Britain has had it’s HIGHEST birth rate in 40 years this past year, well surpassing their death rate. France is an anomaly in Europe as their birth rates have been consistently increasing. Only Japan is having an issue. Although their birth rate increased slightly last year, Japan is in something of crisis when it comes to birth rates. The real stickler, though, is that the problem has nothing to do with pensions and everything to do with Japanese attitudes towards sex.

            • Adam__Baum

              Britain, not indigenous British, dolt.

              • DaneIlario
                • Adam__Baum

                  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23618487

                  Here’s the money quote from the BBC,

                  Mr Mehmet highlighted earlier ONS data
                  which showed babies born to foreign born mothers “now account for over a quarter of the total while births to UK born mothers are remaining static.

                  Have you considered that you might have masochistic tendencies?

                  • DaneIlario

                    I’m not masochistic…I just have intellectual integrity. Now you want to rule out those who immigrated to Britain because somehow they don’t count.

                    Have you considered that everyone can see what a bigot you are?

                    Of course, you’ll ignore the data that birth rates among indigenous British continued to rise until 2010 when the rate leveled. I guess you’re still a little sore about being wrong about France too.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      The question is whether indigenous populations are reproducing at growth/replacement rates.

                      You can’t have intellectual integrity when you don’t have sufficient intellect to follow an argument, and caught, start engaging in name calling.

                      Go from whence you came.

                    • DaneIlario

                      I’ve been following the argument. That’s how I’ve been able to spot all your inconsistencies, errors and omissions.

                      Name calling? Now there’s the pot calling the kettle black.

                    • Valentin

                      People immigrate to Britain who don’t act British, talk British, dress British or follow British rules are not British.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Since immigrants are required to “follow the rules” in Britain, just as they are anywhere else, they are British.

                      Your bigotry is showing.

                    • Valentin

                      You sharia courts don’t mean anything?

                    • Valentin

                      You sound like a bigwig atheist when you like to brag about your intellectual integrity rather than displaying it, it really isn’t very different from atheists constantly talking about how smart they are.

                    • DaneIlario

                      Brag about it? No. Defend it when it’s called into question? Yes.

                      You sound like a religious zealot who is afraid that someone not of his faith might be smarter than him.

                    • Valentin

                      There you again calling someone stupid for having “religious zeal”.

                    • Clare

                      Respectfully, coming onto a Catholic blog to debate with us without researching first the Catholic position and why we believe what we do, isn’t showing intellectual integrity. You make a number of assumptions and argue against the assumptions without checking first to see if we believe what you think we do, chastise us for having a sexual moral code while inserting your own moral judgments on other issues…how is this intellectual integrity?

                    • DaneIlario

                      I understand the Catholic position far better than you believe, I haven’t erred or made any assumptions; rather, people I engage keep changing the goalposts so that they can answer favorably. The problem isn’t mine, it’s yours: one of you says one thing, one of you says another. It’s as if there isn’t even any agreement amongst the whole of you much less than with me.

        • WSquared

          I’m not sure that caring for someone is primarily a financial thing, even if finances do matter.

          And for the record, I’m also poor. Not as poor as some, I’ll admit. Yet, I don’t really want for much, and what seemed like a little at one point, is actually a lot. And I’m okay with that. But no, the Church does not “mandate” that I or anyone have a large family. But for those who are able to care for a large family, the Church is all right with that, too.

          • DaneIlario

            I never claimed it was primarily a financial thing. I merely pointed out how ridiculous it is to think that people have large families in the hopes that their children will provide for them in their old age.

            • Valentin

              Do really think that all of the poor families in Ethiopia and India are headed by a bunch stupid fathers who are simply interested in banging their wives? Do you think if people told them that murdering their own children is one of dealing with pregnancy that they would turn to it because they aren’t interested in God blessing the family with beautiful children who support them at old age? May be you spend to much time in America where people abort their children and ship their parents of to nursing homes or worse the “hospital” where they get killed with “assisted suicide”. Believe it or not there were cultures and places where people respected the elderly and the children.

              • DaneIlario

                Your understanding of economics on the international level is appalling. Those people are NOT having huge families because they want children to provide for them in old age. They are creating huge families because they need to put them to work as soon as possible just so the family can get by. They never improve their economic position; rather, they simply maintain the status quo.

                Further, your morality is monstrous: people having children so that there children can make them financially comfortable in their old age? That’s about as immoral as it gets.

                • Valentin

                  “Those people are NOT having huge families because they want children to provide for them in old age. They are creating huge families because they need to put them to work as soon as possible just so the family can get by” What is wrong with asking your own son for some help in terms of getting work done? Plus I never stated that ” people having children so that there children can make them financially comfortable in their old age” is the only reason for someone to try and have a large family.

                  • Clare

                    “What is wrong with asking your own son for some help in terms of getting work done?”
                    It depends on the age of your son and what work you want him to get done. Having a large family in hopes that someone will take care of you is selfish and short-sighted. God may have another plan for your adult son according to the gifts and talents your son has. You may want him to take over the farm but he may want to be a veterinarian.

                • Clare

                  So…you judge us for having a sexual moral code (never mind how casual sex has damaged so many women because, biologically, women aren’t created for casual sex. As someone who used to participate in that life (prior to my conversion),I’ve seen how it takes its toll on men too) but then make your own moral judgment on another issue. So…morality only exists if it suits your own values? And you call this using reason?
                  Catholics believe that sex is both unitive and procreative, btw. We don’t have it just to make babies.

                  • DaneIlario

                    Excuse me, but just because women are the gender that gives birth does NOT mean they are not “created for casual sex”. That’s a purely faith based irrational belief, not a rational, objective one.

                    Further, since Christians seem to think they are empowered to pass judgment on the morals of others and do all they can to make the world conform to Christian modes of morality then I say you need a response that is in kind.

      • WSquared

        Why are we reducing this to mere practicality, for pity’s sake?

        And yeah, that’s a pretty ridiculous thing to say.

        Pope Benedict’s family was also quite poor. His mom and dad only had three children. Obviously, I don’t know every intimate detail of their family life, but here’s prudence based on their cirumcstances, which is also a virtue. And it needn’t mean the pill.

        Moreover, we have aging priests and nuns who gave their all while not having any children of their own. Who takes care of them? I think this is one reason among many why the fact that the Church does not teach that parenthood is exclusively biological does matter.

        • Valentin

          I am not saying it should be reduced to practicality but rather that in terms of practicality (which many insecticidal people bring up) the arguments people make in favor of aborting children or blocking them with contraception are not only reducing children to burdens but are also lies.

    • BANGUS BALUT

      What does the poverty of other people’s children and lack of renewable energy have to do with having a big family? lol

      • DaneIlario

        Hmm, let’s see. Large families mean increasing the population. Increasing the population puts a larger demand on resources. The more resources that are needed means less to go around which only increases the competition between citizens for resources. That only creates a community that competes against itself rather than cooperates. The fact that I need to explain this to you is disturbing.

        • BANGUS BALUT

          An additional 2 infants is hardly going to strain the power grid and cause the demise of a nation.

          Why would people compete with my infants for resources? They use virtually no electricity or gas. They eat from their mothers.

          We live in America. We are an industrialized nation of production. More people means more consumers and more production. That’s why we let MILLIONS immigrate here every year.

          The more people their are, the CHEAPER things get.

          It is disturbing that you post these things here, and sound like you actually believe them. I am sorry you live in a 3rd world apocalyptic nation, but you should go to school, get a job, and get a visa to a better nation so you can have a family.

          • DaneIlario

            Your trolling attempts are pitiful.

            Did I say that people will compete with your children directly? No. You obviously fail to grasp that the more people you have in a population than the more resources have to be expanded. You think your children aren’t going to use resources? That’s a fantasy.

            As I live in America myself, I can plainly see what you do not: namely that American manufacturing is at an all time low. We IMPORT far more consumer goods than are domestically made. What do you think happens when the population increases and we need more? What do you think happens when we become dependent on foreign exports? You figure it out.

            And then there’s energy resources. The resources we are using now, namely coal and oil, are not renewable. What do you think happens when they top out? Turn to nuclear power? Hardly a viable alternative given the toxic results. How do you think we’re going to generate enough power for an increasing population if we don’t invest in renewable energy sources? We’ve barely scratched the surface or barely put any funding into them.

            And how about food resources? We don’t have an infinite amount of arable land. Even if we were to go over to 100% GMO farming, sooner or late we’ll reach a maximum output. What do you think is going to happen when that max can’t meet demands?

            The more people there are in population, the more EXPENSIVE things get as they supply dwindles.

            You certainly aren’t overly intelligent for a guy who claims to have 2 Ph.Ds, 2 MAs and 3 BAs. If you’re going to troll, do a better job.

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  • NancyCNM

    I am the proud mom of 11. I have probably heard it all. But i wouldn’t trade my kids for anything in the world. Yes, it could be exhausting, and the laundry never ending. We had ‘easier” kids and much “harder” kids. I would rather have them all than not and would do it all over again. Our kids range from age 32 down to age 8 and we have just found out that our 8th grandbaby is on the way! God is good.

    • MamaK

      Unlike me, my husband is from a small family with his brother 9 years older than he. He was like an only child and had everything he wanted, but he said what he wanted most were more siblings. Now he is the father of seven. When we were dating and he saw large families, he said he couldn’t imagine having a lot of kids. I told him not to worry, they come one at a time (usually) and he’d have plenty of time to get used to the newest addition before the next one came.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    At Oxford in the 1960s, philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe (wife of philosopher Peter Geach) was expecting her seventh child, she entered the lecture theatre to find that someone had written, “Anscombe breeds” on the blackboard. This passed for wit at that ancient seat of learning.

    Miss Anscombe picked up the chalk, wrote on the blackboard, turned and began her lecture; the blackboard now read, “Anscombe breeds immortal beings.”

    She was the best tutor I ever had there.

    • Marie Noybn

      Mrs. ;)

  • vito

    when people do not get enough acknowledgement and attention to their “heroics”, they try to imagine it.

  • MDMama

    I am a “planned parenthood supporter” precisely because I whole-heartedly believe in everyone’s right to have exactly the number of children they want, as few, or as many, as that might be! If you don’t want others to make assumptions about you, your family, and your values, maybe you could extend the same courtesy. Congrats on your boys, I bet your house is a lot of fun!

    • Brenda

      Maybe those people that don’t want a large family should hear about a wonderful new artifact, called condom? There are other types of birth control, therefore there’s no need to abort a baby. Just don’t make one.

      • Adam__Baum

        Wrong place to promote the inanity of taking a shower while wearing a raincoat.

        • Brenda

          99% efficiency is good enough for me, and 1 million times better than aborting a baby… Yeah, you can make the case for chastity and so on.

          • Adam__Baum

            There’s nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.

          • WSquared

            What about those who abort babies because their contraception fails? …because with contraception “that wasn’t supposed to happen”? Or so the thinking goes?

          • Valentin

            Why is a man and woman having sex while denying pregnancy any different than jacking off? Plus I highly doubt a thin piece of latex being thrust forth is somehow going to not snap.

      • WSquared

        …except that everyone knows that condoms aren’t always effective. Bad usage, pinholes, etc. Hence the pill. Come on.

        And why are the only “choices” either a large family or contraception?

      • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

        I prefer au naturel. Using a condom is like having a candy without unwrapping it.

    • eribeck79

      Well, in a utopia, perhaps everyone would ahve “exactly” the number of children they “wanted.” But we live in real life, with all its challenges and imperfections. What happens to the people who “plan” to have a specific number of children and then their birth control “fails” – because the more sex you have, the more likely pregnancy is to occur, and birth control is not 100% effective at preventing pregnancies.

      This is an imagined “right” – there is no “right” to control biology. Things happen. Unless you are practicing complete abstinence, you don’t ever have 100% control over how many children you may have. Ever see Jurrassic Park – “life will find a way,” I think they said when the dinos began reproducing even though they were engineered not to be able to do so?

      Americans are often so obsessed with control. Much of life is not able to be controlled entirely by us! That’s why we have to let go and have faith while also being prudent.

    • http://romishgraffiti.wordpress.com/ Scott W.

      Actually, the Church doesn’t have a problem in and of itself with regulation of how many children a couple has. Simply, some means to accomplish this are evil like abortion and contraception.

  • O’Brien

    My husband and I had 3 children, one disabled, when we added to our family through adoption. Some people thought we had gone mad, and politely added ” I wish I could afford adoption.” I don’t understand why such topics force people to feel they can express their opinion in such a rude manner.

  • Gail Finke

    I left a comment on Mollie Hemingway’s post that said, pretty much, “have people forgotten that it’s normal to reproduce”? And I received a reply that said, “Who are you to define what’s normal?” reminding me that it was once “normal” to beat one’s wife. Hmmm. Don’t know that that was ever normal, although it was probably more common than it is now. There is NO understanding among many people that reproducing is indeed the norm for human beings, and it has nothing to do with norms in the sense of cultural constructs — but in the biological sense that all animals reproduce! Sex has been so successfully divorced from reproduction in many people’s minds that the two have nothing to do with each other, and reproducing is a “choice” one might possibly make once or twice in one’s long and sexually active life, but hardly something most people who have sexual relations expect to do. WEIRD.

    • eribeck79

      Thank you!!! exactly. How can we get people to realize that this is a BIOLOGICAL NORM?

      • Gail Finke

        Sure wish I knew…

      • BANGUS BALUT

        It is funny. I can not believe how many people a month tell “Yuck! Having kids is so UNNATURAL!”

        LOL What? It is the most natural thing you can do!

  • Debbie Vina

    I don’t think the phenomena is that people are afraid of fertility or large families, but rather that this society does not see children as a blessing, but a burden. They are merely the accessories that a person of a certain age should have, married or not. They are easy to dispose of when not wanted, and are someone else’s responsibility to raise. It doesn’t take a village. It takes loving parents.

  • Valentin

    The most goofy thing I have ever heard about large families is that poor people shouldn’t have them. If I were poor I wouldn’t mind having several sons and daughters to help me when my wife and I are old and frail (currently I am neither poor nor married but I am open to the opportunity). :)

    • John

      Ok, the most goofy thing I ever hear about having kids is that you’re having them so they can take care of you when you get old. I wouldn’t bet the house on that. It may happen, it may not happen…

      • http://romishgraffiti.wordpress.com/ Scott W.

        I agree. It’s an odds game that a child will be grateful/loving enough to take you in when you are infirm. So, logically, the smart thing to do is have a whole squadron of kids and play the odds that at least one of them will help you out.

        • BANGUS BALUT

          Nicely done!

      • Valentin

        I wouldn’t bet the house either I simply said that I wouldn’t have a problem with it because of the other reasons to allow for having a large family.

      • BANGUS BALUT

        Why would you think your kids won’t take care of you when you age???

    • BANGUS BALUT

      The Liberal response is “What a horribly selfish reason to have children!”

      That is the response for everything. There is no “good reason” ever stated.

  • Bridget

    I come from a family of eleven children and I couldn’t believe how many people just shun us. My own family when having a get together put on the invitations to not bring children yet they bring their own. We’ve even been turned down houses for rent because there are “too many” kids. But I believe God gave my parents a blessing and I often hear my mother wishing she had more but can no longer conceive. I’m in college right now and when I find that significant other, we are going to have as many kids as God wills us from one to twenty (possibly more) and we will be happy. God Bless :)

  • 1776Mariner

    When I was expecting my fourth (we have eight) a neighbor teen of about 14 told me she hoped I was naming this one “finale”. Hmmm…must have heard that from her parents. How sad. Our kids are a joy. God has truly blessed us. I wonder when people will learn what birth dearth has done to Russia, Japan and Europe? And the USA is not too far behind.

  • Patti Maguire Armstrong

    As the mother of 10, I know the funny looks and questions. My husband and I once decided 4 was more than our share of space in the world so he was sterilized. Even though we had started saying the rosary daily, we had not yet seen the light. Thankfully, one reversal and 5 children later (one in heaven) and 2 adopted from Kenya, we understand the travesty of not recognizing the gift of new life. I have recently written a book with Teresa Thomas–mother of 9, “Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families.” It is a collection of stories from families with big hearts, centering their lives on God and hearts on being open to all He has to give us. So many people just don’t understand what they are missing out on.

    • WSquared

      It is a collection of stories from families with big hearts, centering
      their lives on God and hearts on being open to all He has to give us.
      So many people just don’t understand what they are missing out on.

      I agree. But I’m getting rather tired of how being open to all God has to give us and being generous and saintly necessarily gets coded as having a big family, when people’s situations are different.

      And I’m completely on board with the Church’s teachings on human sexuality, by the way, so I’m not exactly going to be thinking that it would be better to buy a boat than to have a child. Moreover, God has given me the gift of an education, which I am trying to complete, which may well be one way in which He’s providing for me, given the talents that he’s given me– and for my family also, given that my husband is unemployed and we also married later in life. The fact that I do my utmost in offering that work to Him does enable me to trust, bit by bit, that He’ll use it to sanctify me; to be the woman and mother He made me to be.

      I think that enough people want to know that the Church does offer a middle ground– in the very fact that she celebrates big families– instead of everybody getting squeezed by the false dichotomies of providentialism/contraception and big families versus small families.

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    The greatest act of love between spouses is being fruitful. A great act of rending glory to God is by offering Him a loving marriage.

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  • lili51886

    One of my close friends has 3 children and one on the way. When your youngest was just a baby, she was in line at the grocery store and someone told her ” looks like the birth control didn’t work”…! >.

    • Art Deco

      The world is shot through with vulgarians and clods. We get it.

  • Jamey

    Thank you for this beautiful message. So well written! God knows exactly the right size for every family. We just have to be open to receive His gifts.

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  • Daniel

    I am a father of 9. We have 7 girls and 2 boys. My favorite response to “Are they all yours?” Nope, I just like to pick up all the kids in the neighborhood that look like us and take them grocery shopping for fun.

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  • Rikoe

    I think when large families have kids, they don’t consider just how big of an impact it would on the world, or on their children’s future well being. That one extra child will be taking jobs from someone else, will potentially hurt or murder someone, may end up in jail, or end up homeless. Is another child’s love really worth it? Do you really think having eight kids will bring more happiness and love into this world? Having a child is the most selfish thing you can ever do in your entire life. Adoption is better as you will saving another child’s life. And who cares if it takes money, time, and legal fees? It costs a million dollars to raise a child and you have to carry them for nine months. Does it really make a difference to have a baby that’s related to you? Are you narcissistic? There are more people in America than jobs. You shouldn’t assume that number will change by the time your kid graduates college.

  • Roseinavase

    It’s a bit disrespectful to refer to people who don’t share your beliefs as “afraid” of your beliefs. Some people are genuinely scared of the future of the world — and the world of their children — if the population doesn’t decrease fast. World population is not decreasing, it’s increasing. It’s especially a concern given that the world really can’t support the number of people who are currently here.

    I know you believe that the world is a temporary holding place before you go to the “real” world in the heavens. But please respect those who don’t believe this. Imagine being one of them. Imagine if you believed that this world were the only one, and people who were bringing a dozen kids into the world were making it more likely that your own child was going to grow up in a devastated world. Even if you don’t believe that yourself because you are a Christian, please honor others by imagining what they are thinking — not condescendingly sweeping it away by calling it a “phobia”.

    We are all in this planet together. We have to try to understand each other.

    • april showers

      “It’s a bit disrespectful to refer to people who don’t share your beliefs as “afraid” of your beliefs.” You’re right. It is disrespectful, but that is what is funny about it. She is obviously mocking the word “homophobia” which is a word coined to refer to people who don’t share certain beliefs as “afraid” of those beliefs. Get it? It’s funny.

      So, I know that you actually believe that this world is the only one and that people who are bringing “dozens” of kids into the world are somehow making it more likely that your own lonely child will have to grow up in a devastated world, but instead of judging, please honor others by opening up your mind and trying to understand others. Take a deep breath and a slow trip around the world. Get out an meet some people. Find out that larger families actually consume less that DINK’s and single child families. In fact, some of us even survive on the cast-offs of these consuming machines, while others of us can support 3-4 neighboring seniors on the excess produce from our gardens and chicken coops! Learn to understand that consumption patterns are adversely affected by single child or less families NOT larger families where limited resources encourage, and sometimes demand, conservation and hyperproductive technologies rather than consumption for consumption’s sake, which is your real enemy based on your stated fears. So, you see, when you open your mind, you will learn things so you will have nothing to fear.

      We are in this life journey together. We have to try to understand each other!

  • BANGUS BALUT

    Thank you Rachel Lu for sharing. This is a real issue. Especially when you are not rich like us. Our children in general are sneered at everywhere we go. Sure, some people are nice to us. Some want to see our kids, and know their names, etc. But I have a LONG list of stories where we are discriminated against, treated cruelly, and ostricised for reproducing. So many stories I can not even share. Though it makes me question the state of things in the USA where we currently live. Someone needs to start a support group for persecuted parents. Thanks again!

  • Claudia

    This is one of the reasons our society is getting worst every day. We should be focusing in becoming self-sufficient families instead of being slaves of others or money makers for others. If there were larger families instead of what we are right now, we would probably have learned already how to grow our own food and how to fulfill all our needs instead of paying for everything and buying everything, making the money our biggest priority. Large families work in a team for survival and develop ways to evolution in the right direction as opposed to small families or none who will lead us to extinction.

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