Why aren't you knocked up?
August 15, 2005 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Willful Barrenness
Check out the latest abominable sin from the folks that bring you Justice Sunday.
The sexual revolution has had many manifestations, but we can now see that modern Americans are determined not only to liberate sex from marriage (and even from gender), but also from procreation.
Sometimes the best of the web is the worst in human nature?
posted by nofundy (114 comments total)
 
For starters I'd be interested to read the article in the context it was inteded - meaning I'd like to read the article this is published in response to.
posted by raedyn at 12:03 PM on August 15, 2005


I actually had no idea I was in absolute rebellion against God's design.

Cool.
posted by selfnoise at 12:05 PM on August 15, 2005


"What would the return be on the investment? Are there any laws that would require my children to pay for my nursing home when I am old? Are they going to be a sufficient hedge against poverty and loneliness?"

While I firmly believe married couples have every right to go the childless route without judgment being heaped upon them, I can't help but think that whoever said this is a joyless cynic.
posted by invitapriore at 12:10 PM on August 15, 2005


For others, the bottom line is simply financial. One woman asked: "What would the return be on the investment? Are there any laws that would require my children to pay for my nursing home when I am old? Are they going to be a sufficient hedge against poverty and loneliness?" A return on investment?

Well, she should move to Iraq, where the new constitution requires children to support their parents when they (the parents) are elderly.

Then again, perhaps not.

Still, if parents are required to pay for children when they are little, why shouldn't children be required to pay for parents when they are old?
posted by delmoi at 12:11 PM on August 15, 2005


Yes... we must go forth and procreate. After all, what would some priests do without their "gifts" from God... :)

Also, I'm sure the author would have a different view entirely about a staunchly Muslim couple not deciding to have children.

And selfniose... you bad... you bad... stick it to the MAN!!!!

Rebel without a kid....
posted by Debaser626 at 12:12 PM on August 15, 2005


I will have sex and not have children! Take that, you silly God!
posted by maxsparber at 12:12 PM on August 15, 2005


[ fact fact fact fact ] She explained that "No Kidding" members are more likely to talk about pets, travel or other common interests. Kids rarely come up as a topic of conversation. "People think we sit around and talk about how we hate kids, but we almost never mention kids," Traci explained. No wonder.

Another woman in the Atlanta group explained, "You focus those motherly feelings elsewhere. For us, our dogs get all that love." That worldview is sick, but more and more common.

Christians must recognize that this rebellion against parenthood represents nothing less than an absolute revolt against God's design.


Wow, that was quite a transition.
posted by delmoi at 12:14 PM on August 15, 2005


oh.. and invita, delmoi.... I'd be willing to bet that the author made that statement up. Breeder or not... no one talks like that unless you're sorely lacking in the social skills, in which case... hey... you're probably not going to get laid anyway, so screw it...
posted by Debaser626 at 12:14 PM on August 15, 2005


I think they already lost this one way back in the early 1920's when Margaret Sanger stopped getting arrested.

Sex *is* separate from procreation, there's no debate to it, and the fact that people like Albert Mohler (from TFA) are still having hissy fits because (gasp) some people don't choose to have children is astonishing. Amazingly enough we humans engage in any number of "unnatural" [1] activities: we eat cooked food, we farm, we live in houses, and we post rants to the internet... I'm all in favor of unnatural things, I shudder at the very thought of acting in a "natural" [2] fashion.

[1] And what exactly does the symbol "unnatural" reference? I'm pretty sure its genuinely a null symbol. That is, meaningless in the literal sense of the word.

[2] Also a null symbol... In the context the article used it I can only assume that he means "limiting human behavior to the behavior observed in non-human species".
posted by sotonohito at 12:15 PM on August 15, 2005


If you're in a gay marriage but choose to adopt, are you off the hook?
posted by alumshubby at 12:15 PM on August 15, 2005


More evidence of the evangelical movement embracing the creepy Catholic obsession with fertility.
posted by footnote at 12:16 PM on August 15, 2005


Damn, I am in alignment with God's wishes? Well that's a pisser since I am, at best, a cynical agnostic and, at worst, a peevish atheist.

This isn't a bad thing, is it? The world's over populated as it is, do we really need more children, especially when the parents having the kids might not want them in the first place?

Unwanted children make baby fenriq cry loud and long. But then he has a really great nap afterwards.
posted by fenriq at 12:19 PM on August 15, 2005


And to quote a OBG.... "Keep your Jesus off my penis, and your bible off my balls. Keep your prayers outta my ears and your crosses off my walls. You can have the Resurrection and the Virgin Mary too, but keep your Jesus off my penis, and I'll keep my penis off of you!"
posted by Debaser626 at 12:20 PM on August 15, 2005


I was all for having kids until mine turned thirteen.

No, seriously, even as commentary, I'm surprised a respectable paper would publish such narrow-minded claptrap.
posted by kozad at 12:21 PM on August 15, 2005


Speaking as a Catholic, I was raised to believe that large families are the norm and that the reason for marriage is to have children. Those who didn't particularly want more children for one reason or another--they couldn't afford more or they believed that eight was enough already or they just didn't revel in parenthood--were told that children were "their cross to bear." A lovely reason for having yet another child, no?

As an aside, I am childless. By choice.
posted by leftcoastbob at 12:22 PM on August 15, 2005


Need it be said that the environment in biblical times was somewhat different? Disease took a lot of the children produced, and it certainly might come to pass that all hands were needed to defend the ramparts. More = better.

Not so today. More = smaller slice of pie.

Human life has gotten to be so devalued today by its sheer multitude, it's not surprising that folks are starting to notice.

I've kept the economy of Akron strong over my reproductive lifetime, so far successfully so. And if not on the ground, I've spilled my seed on any number of surfaces not conducive to fertilization. Huzzah!
posted by ackptui at 12:27 PM on August 15, 2005


Oh, it's even worse than that. The author states explicitly that not only must all married couples have kids, but that all adults must marry.

The tone of the essay is such that I must come to the cunclusion that the author would legally compel all adults to marry, raise children, and do it all as Christians, whether they like it or not, under pain of death.

But the author does speak tangentially to what I, as a secular atheist, consider a real problem: the hardcore freaky religious folks are having more kids than the moderate religious or the secular. They're increasing and replenishing their ranks more than we are. My born-again sister just had her fifth kid. I have none.

There's a 'kid gap', and it's troubling.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:28 PM on August 15, 2005


Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is great,
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.


"Mrs Blackitt: Well I mean we've got two children and we've had sexual intercourse twice."

Silly silly people.

I apologize whole heartedly, but a silly bunch of people espousing such claptrap deserve nothing better
posted by edgeways at 12:31 PM on August 15, 2005


I'm beginning to think this God's a jerk, and I don't want to play with Him if He's gonna act that way. And the power trip makes it worse. If this Jehovah Dude can't act more mature than a 10 year old, I'll be sticking with Vishnu and Shiva and the demigods, at least they can hold a conversation.

Sheesh, control your minions, Man.
posted by 31d1 at 12:34 PM on August 15, 2005


From his site I learned the new term "anti-natalist."
posted by ltracey at 12:35 PM on August 15, 2005


delmoi writes "Wow, that was quite a transition"

Yeah, I almost laughed. When I got to "No wonder" I started thinking there was something strange there. At "That worldview is sick, but more and more common" I wondered where the heck he was going. And then it finally settled in that I was reading another silly religious article.

footnote writes "More evidence of the evangelical movement embracing the creepy Catholic obsession with fertility."

That's not very strange - the Bible itself is quite fertility obsessive at times - if start reading it literally eventually you must get to the point where sex as pleasure just wrong even for married couples.
posted by nkyad at 12:36 PM on August 15, 2005


As an aside, I am childless. By choice.

And most certainly a virgin then, I would have to assume.

I actually had no idea I was in absolute rebellion against God's design.

Really? You hadn't heard this yet?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:37 PM on August 15, 2005


I am pretty sure that the opinion piece that Mohler was responding to is this: 'Full-quiver' Christians: A challenge to the 'full-quiver' Christian view of procreation, families.
posted by LarryC at 12:39 PM on August 15, 2005


Poetic. I am no longer Childless By Choice. That always sounded kinda whimpy anyway. I am now WILLFULLY BARREN, and will answer pertinent inquiries with this powerful phrase. I am pleased.
posted by rainbaby at 12:40 PM on August 15, 2005


This is perhaps fanning the flames, but.....

I always wonder if such arguments contain just a whiff of racial fear. It's never directly said, but it seems like articles like this aren't so much about "christians" having children, but "white christians" having children. The US is currently in the midst of a demographic shift from caucasians to hispanics, blacks and asians. These growing minority cultures tend to place more value on their families and then the majority white culture. Majority white culture, for a myriad of reasons, values income potential, education and leisure. As time goes on the US will no longer be a majority white country - not due to immigration alone, but due to birth rates. It is this reality that I think people like the writer of the above article fear.
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:41 PM on August 15, 2005


Ever since we stopped feeding them to the lions Christians have been in search of something to whine about! Now this yahoo is theatened by the DINK (double income, no kids) movement. Is the world REALLY in danger of being UNDER populated???? Christanity as a whole, and the Catholic church in particular have always been threatened by freewill because they are in the business of controlling people. Keeping them poor by promoting irresponsible procreation is a great way to do that.
posted by wavespy at 12:42 PM on August 15, 2005


Further to what elwoodwiles was saying, wasn't this always a sort of subtext to the huge Catholic family movement? If Catholicism couldn't win out in pure numbers of membership, they could at least out breed the Protestants! Perhaps the Evangelical movement has picked up on this as a way to boost their numbers, after all, that's what being an evangelical is all about in the first place, no? I mean you are all ready pre-destined as the Chosen Few (TM), now let's get out there and get some more customers for this Eternal Pyramid Scheme!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:50 PM on August 15, 2005


I mean, come on--Christianity is just a cult obsessed with blood and sex, birth and death. The "full-quiver" notion is just a design to ensure propogation of the meme.
posted by ijoshua at 12:52 PM on August 15, 2005


elwoodwiles - I think they're working on the problem. They definitely need more white people, but they seem to have some ideas. In the latest Census:

People of Hispanic origin may be of any race and should answer the question on race by marking one or more race categories shown on the questionnaire, including White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and Some Other Race. Hispanics are asked to indicate their origin in the question on Hispanic origin, not in the question on race, because in the federal statistical system ethnic origin is considered to be a separate concept from race.

it's been a while since they let the Irish in, it may well be time for an infusion of new blood into "whitehood".
posted by 31d1 at 12:53 PM on August 15, 2005


More than just a whiff, I think, elwoodwiles....

Interestingly, sex for pleasure is very rare in the animal kingdom. Bonobos do it, we do it, but most animals are only capable of having sex when they're capable of conceiving--i.e., "in heat." Humans have no such thing, and no such limitations. Others of that small class of animals that have sex all the time all copulate recreationally. Among the bonobo, it's probably the single most important form of social glue.

So, if G-d just wants humans to have sex to procreate ... why didn't he make us like all those other animals, who can only have sex for procreation? I mean, why give us an ability so unique as nothing but a temptation?

Just one more reason that fundies are blasphemers. You have a choice, if you want to keep this notion of "G-d" at all: either these fundies are just morons, or G-d is either stupid, evil, or both.
posted by jefgodesky at 12:53 PM on August 15, 2005


I think (or at least hope) God would be mighty pissed off if we destroyed the planet through overpopulation and it's side-effect, pollution. I guess you really are damned if you do, damned if you don't.
posted by darkness at 12:54 PM on August 15, 2005


It's never directly said, but it seems like articles like this aren't so much about "christians" having children, but "white christians" having children.

I think you're on the right track, though I think it's more explicitly "christians v. non-christians", with the racial issue just being a nice convenience. There's only so many people you can convert, and after that, you need other means to keep your ranks full.

Personally, I've never procreated, but if I had to rank things I valued about having sex, that would be near the bottom, probably next to "confuses the cats".
posted by mkultra at 12:55 PM on August 15, 2005


THIS IS AWESOME!!! Why? It is absolute proof of the agenda of these nuts... Sex is for procreation ONLY. This should be broadcast on every network: Conservative Christians believe non-reproductive sex is Sin and should be illegal.

I predict the membership of said movement would decline slightly more precipitously than the US birthrate.
posted by tkchrist at 12:57 PM on August 15, 2005


...the hardcore freaky religious folks are having more kids than the moderate religious or the secular.
As it has always been. The only reason there as many of us left is that, especially during much of the 20th Century, the children of hardcore freaky religious folks have had access to things outside of their parents' control, and many of them decided* that what they grew up with was crap. You go a few generations back, chance are you're going to find hardcore freaky religious great-great-grandparents. That's why they think we 'secular' folks must be proselytizing, rather than recognize that their religion drives their children away.
*I was going to say 'realized', but that would've been not nice.
posted by wendell at 12:58 PM on August 15, 2005


Oh, and to the women who've had 12 kids, good luck shoving that procidentia uteri back in. You are doing this "naturally," and not the Caesarean way, right?
posted by ijoshua at 12:58 PM on August 15, 2005


The sexual revolution has had many manifestations, but we can now see that modern Americans are determined not only to liberate sex from marriage (and even from gender), but also from procreation.

Every time I see someone say something like this, I wonder just how much anthropology they've studied. Sex has been liberated from procreation since the dawn of our species.
posted by shawnj at 12:59 PM on August 15, 2005


SEX JIHAD!!!

Oooh, I think I just named my next band.
posted by dreamsign at 1:01 PM on August 15, 2005


There is a suspicion of selfishness attached to couples who are childless by choice. Parenting requires freely giving a lot of one's time, energy and money to one's children. These childless couples, presumably they received a lot from their parents as they themselves were growing up. Are they going to give something in return? I have a friend explain to me that she chose not to have children because she already needed all of her resources to take care of her siblings, extended family and ailing mother. That makes sense. But in general, I will suspect couples who are childless by choice of being selfish, unless the evidence proves otherwise.
posted by bikerdriver at 1:03 PM on August 15, 2005


bikerdriver -- you start out by saying "there is a suspicion" and end with "I will suspect". Do tell.

I generally suspect a lot of selfishness in having children by choice. There are many people out there who want kids, but don't want to burden an already over-burdened planet. Some of these people are the same ones who make that same choice with regard to driving a car, etc. (and to add to the humour, many people argue they need a car because they have kids).

Selfishness?
posted by dreamsign at 1:09 PM on August 15, 2005


bikerdriver, there is a suspicion of arrogance and holier-than-thou-ness in your post. I suspect that you are being a jerk, unless further evidence proves otherwise.
posted by papercake at 1:10 PM on August 15, 2005


The article is wrong, scripturally, theologically, and anthropologically.

He seems surprised that women would look at children as investments. If anything, this is demonstrated in scripture. Scripture reports that women have children as an investment in their own future as mothers with status. "Investment" is not the problem here. The only thing that has changed is the rewards. Children in scripture bring rewards. In our society, children are economic burdens.

For example, when parents invest money to get a kid to an ivy-league school, they are hoping for a pay-off in bragging rights.

I think we should also be quite happy that people who don't have the desire to become parents are opting-out. That's good for kids.

The author completely eliminates the fundamental link between marriage, sex and procreation: property. Scripture doesn't advocate any particular sort of sex [lots of illicit sex, actually, if you read it]. But it assumes that marriage is a property relation and that God wants us to have abundance by creating more property.

The author avoids the fact that children, wealth and status were equally linked, and we've begun to delink it.

If he really wanted a change, he would promote an economy where a single person could feed a family and children were not economic burdens. But to switch to such an economy would require an amount of sharing that the religious right is intrinsically hostile towards.
posted by john wilkins at 1:11 PM on August 15, 2005


"Motherhood just doesn't fit her self-image or her schedule. "I compete in triathlons; my husband practices martial arts..."

Finally, I realize what's wrong with our country - those damn fathers thinking they can learn their martial arts and raise a kid. Simultaneously!
posted by mullacc at 1:11 PM on August 15, 2005


I haven't had the stomach to read all the article but that "modern Americans are determined to liberate sex from procreation... " quote is just fantastic. I *love* the sheer American grandeur of implying that notion is not something that's as old as human civilisation but only a fresh discovery by "modern Americans". Must be creationism applied to history?
posted by funambulist at 1:12 PM on August 15, 2005


"My born-again sister just had her fifth kid. I have none."

No worries. Kids rebel. A show of hands here of all the people who brought up in conservatively religious households but now are not religious (or not conservatively religious) would probably be instructive.
posted by jscalzi at 1:13 PM on August 15, 2005


I will suspect couples who are childless by choice of being selfish

Why? I think being generous or selfish goes way beyond one's reproductive choices. It is selfish to retain resources others need only for one's own pleasure. Childless couples aren't denying anyone any resources - if anything they are helping those couples who choose to have large families by continuing to contribute to the public infrastructure.

It's an odd view of selfishness that seems confused with a sense of Christian duty.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:14 PM on August 15, 2005


So what about folks like me who are (biologically) childless by choice but are involved in raising the spouse's children from previous relationships (particularly those whose fundy mothers aren't responsible enough to give them breakfast, brush their teeth, etc.--as long as they get indoctrinated, that's the important part!). I suppose we selfish folks just compound the problem, even though our spouses are already going to hell because divorce is so sinful. Much better to stay in an abusive relationship than to get out and have a chance in hell of raising children sanely on one's own and/or with a loving partner.
posted by dlugoczaj at 1:14 PM on August 15, 2005


I'm a white, straight, married male with no children (and no children in my future), and now I can finally say I have a subset of christians who think I'm headed to hell. Took 34 years. Thanks, Metafilter!

Of course I've done and believe many things that some would consider to be blasphemous, evil and certain to doom me to hell, but nothing that could be publicly noticed without snooping.

(and I suspect that that bikerdriver is trolling)
posted by jeff-o-matic at 1:16 PM on August 15, 2005


in general, I will suspect couples who are childless by choice of being selfish, unless the evidence proves otherwise.

You do realize that your "logic" rests on the same sort of "reproductive imperative" that the FPP makes explicit, right? You do realize that you totally contradict yourself, since (hey, we're relying on anecdotes, remember?) the vast majority of parents I know would willingly concede they reproduced due to a messy and complex web of ostensibly self-centered motives (e.g., to pass on the family name, to have something to love and be loved by, to fit in with social/familial expectations, to fill a void in their lives, on and on and on). As such, I will suspect couples who reproduce by choice of being selfish, unless the evidence proves otherwise.


You do realize how pompous that sounds, right?

Err, on preview, dreamsign, papercake, et al. beat me to it.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:17 PM on August 15, 2005


For contrast?

There is a suspicion of selfishness attached to clergy who are celibate by choice. Parenting requires freely giving a lot of one's time, energy and money to one's children. These childless clergy, presumably they received a lot from their parents as they themselves were growing up. Are they going to give something in return? I have a friend explain to me that she chose to be celibate in God because she already needed all of her resources to take care of her flock. That makes sense. But in general, I will suspect priests who are childless by choice of being selfish, unless the evidence proves otherwise.

Well, nuns say they are married to God, but we all know He's not gonna knock them up!
posted by 31d1 at 1:17 PM on August 15, 2005


Bikerdriver, selfish would seem to imply that one is ungraciously hoarding or denying others something which they are owed or would do them some good. Sorry, but I don't think the world is hungrily waiting for anyone's children [save perhaps those spawned by Brad Pitt]. How about all the childless folk whose money supports school districts and all other manner of child-related services? On the contrary, many children are born for 'selfish' reasons -- to make a Mini Me, to have security in old age, to be like one's friends, to have a doll, to have someone to love and care for. I'm sick of the righteous piousness on the part of some parents/'pro-natal' activists.
posted by mojito at 1:18 PM on August 15, 2005


But in general, I will suspect couples who are childless by choice of being selfish, unless the evidence proves otherwise.

Are people with one child more selfish than those with two? I suspect that there are some who are simply worried that their children will grow up to be just like you.

There is also, by the way, a significant portion of the public whose desire to have children is driven by selfishness- I need to imprint my will and values on something. And really, what is more selfish than naming your child "You, Jr."?
posted by mkultra at 1:19 PM on August 15, 2005


Well bikerdriver, you can take that view; or you can take the view that it's selfish to have kids you can't take adequate care of, or don't really want (and will therefore screw up), or who will put a further burden on the world's resources. There are lots of ways to be selfish. Conversely, lots of ways to be self-less..it's not as if people without kids can't make any other contributions to their fellow human beings. If a given couple is staying out of crime, paying their taxes, and being reasonably non-harmful and productive members of society, as a fellow citizen that's all I really have the right to ask of them. The rest ain't anybody's business.
posted by emjaybee at 1:21 PM on August 15, 2005


selfish would seem to imply that one is ungraciously hoarding or denying others something which they are owed or would do them some good

Please don't trample on the rights of theoretical fetuses.
posted by mkultra at 1:23 PM on August 15, 2005


53 comments and nobody's mentioned The Handmaid's Tale yet?
posted by gimonca at 1:40 PM on August 15, 2005


Fine, you guys can be as selfish as you want. I'm going to go create a new human being to require my love and attention. After that, I'm going to hang a 500lb weight over his tiny crib, held up only by a rope which I grip with my teeth. I'd use my hands, but I'll have to constantly fend off the the three hungry lions I'm purchasing from a Slovak circus trainer and let ting loose in my little guy's nursery.

And if you guys want to be selfish and just sit there in front of your Metafilter, go right ahead. God will judge you, not me.
posted by 4easypayments at 1:42 PM on August 15, 2005


I agree with the gist of emjaybee's post. I knew my post would get me flamed... nevertheless, and however messy their initial reasons for having kids may be, typical parents do end up giving a lot of their lives to their kids, and it never ceases to amaze me. Parents are often remarkably generous.
posted by bikerdriver at 1:43 PM on August 15, 2005


The Handmaid's Ta..... oh, darn it!
posted by Elpoca at 1:44 PM on August 15, 2005


No worries. Kids rebel.

I used to be the uncle who would corrupt them through secular example, but now the kids are being raised in a very rural, very small, very Christian town with no outside secular influences. Only the parents have Net access, and only by dial-up. No TV. No radio. No newspapers. Homeschooling. No library.

I can't imagine how they could rebel. Their situation is not really like that of most lapsed or former religious folks who might raise their hands here.

Funny thing is that my sister and I were raised in a godless household.
posted by solid-one-love at 1:46 PM on August 15, 2005


Damn it gimonca! If we'd only gotten to 60 comments before someone mentioned The Handmaid's Tail we'd have set a new world record. But nooooo you just had to go and ruin it for everyone.
posted by sotonohito at 1:46 PM on August 15, 2005


bikerdriver writes "Parents are often remarkably generous."

As are nonparents. Often.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:01 PM on August 15, 2005


typical parents do end up giving a lot of their lives to their kids, and it never ceases to amaze me. Parents are often remarkably generous.

You realize that you're arguing something that nobody has attempted to refute, right? Nobody is trying to take away the sacrifice or generosity that parents make for their children. And people who are choosing to not have children (for whatever reason) are not attempting to devalue that sacrifice or piss on other people's beliefs -- as Mohler would like to think they are.
posted by papercake at 2:01 PM on August 15, 2005


on post-view: Well, that second sentence is kind of a mess, but you get the gist.
posted by papercake at 2:02 PM on August 15, 2005


The Scripture does not even envision married couples who choose not to have children. The shocking reality is that some Christians have bought into this lifestyle and claim childlessness as a legitimate option. The rise of modern contraceptives has made this technologically possible. But the fact remains that though childlessness may be made possible by the contraceptive revolution, it remains a form of rebellion against God's design and order.

This is more than just a diatribe against childlessness, it's an argument against contraception in any form. This is a new spin on anti-choice ideas, taken to an extreme: not only should women not be free to choose when to continue a pregnancy, but couples should not be free to choose when they'll have kids, or how many kids they'll have. Just have sex and let God sort it out. If this means you wind up dying in your forties after a lifetime of being a broodmare, this is God's Will. And if you and your husband object to trying to support 12 kids under the age of 20 on a single salary, well you're just a Godless Rebel.

This pretty much puts paid to the idea that the anti-abortion activists are trying to 'save babies' and not control women's bodies. First abortion, then birth control, then that pesky equal status before the law thing...
posted by jrochest at 2:19 PM on August 15, 2005


I've got nothing against being childless, I am childless, and I hate all the religious gobbledygook as much as the next atheist, but I have to agree with the author in at least one place.

Another woman in the Atlanta group explained, "You focus those motherly feelings elsewhere. For us, our dogs get all that love." That worldview is sick, but more and more common.

Dead on accurate here. To think of pets as children is absolutely sick, and it seems to be pretty common out there.

papercake: Nobody is trying to take away the sacrifice or generosity that parents make for their children.

Well, in principal I agree. However, those who say "my dogs are my children" are devaluing parenthood.
posted by Chuckles at 2:20 PM on August 15, 2005


Remind me again how many kids Jesus had?
posted by selfmedicating at 2:21 PM on August 15, 2005


After our Lord Jesus Christ set a shining example for all of us by having dozens of children, how can you all still dare to doubt His intention for all of us?

Interestingly, sex for pleasure is very rare in the animal kingdom.
Actually, I would argue that sex is exclusively for pleasure in the animal kingdom. Yes, biologically intercourse and procreation are more tightly coupled for most species than they are for us, but there aren't a whole lot of, say, penguins, who are terribly aware of the reproductive consequences of their hot-and-heavy actions.

From a purely utilitarian perspective, I would rather that being childless was the default position, and that only people who really, truly wanted children and were prepared to raise them procreated. It seems to me that there are more problems caused by people who shouldn't have kids that do than people who ought to have kids who don't. Even if we accept the bullshit "selfishness" charge, wouldn't that in and of itself be a pretty good reason to not have kids?

Speaking of which, I don't really care if some idiot on the internet thinks that I'm selfish. I'll just buy a new dress with my wads of disposable income and feel entirely better and totally fulfilled.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 2:28 PM on August 15, 2005


Damn it, selfmedicating.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 2:29 PM on August 15, 2005


"Be fruitful and multiply."
...Mission accomplished, yet? Still too many uninhabited acres out there, or something?
posted by uosuaq at 2:29 PM on August 15, 2005


selfmedicating: Depends on who you ask. There are people who claim there is evidence to indicate that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had at least one child. See this section of the Wikipedia article on Mary Magdalene. The book Holy Blood, Holy Grail is one of the first popular books on the subject.
posted by sotonohito at 2:34 PM on August 15, 2005


Dead on accurate here. To think of pets as children is absolutely sick, and it seems to be pretty common out there.

Sick? Well taken to the extreme possibly so. If you buy tons of clothes, hats, and mittens for your pet, have one hour "conversations" with them, try to seriously reason with them, rush home or cancel plans because you think they may be lonely or scared of a rainstorm or such, I would call you weird. I think sick is too harsh of a term for people with overactive attachments to animals.

I often half-jokingly call my cats my "kids" and (also jokingly) say things like "Say Hi to Mommy!" when my significant other is over, it's not something I would do in the prescence of strangers or even acquaintences. If someone wants to focus their love on an animal, then by all means let them. It's not like they're trying to enter them into a public school. Perhaps it's a bit sad, but I would stop way short of saying it's sick. Most of the people who are in the "pets=children" category aren't heathly, happy, couples, but rather are aliented and alone, and need someone (or something in this case) to connect to.


However, those who say "my dogs are my children" are devaluing parenthood.

Devaluing parenthood? What's there to devalue? I put my wang in her hole, (maybe takes a few tries) and nine months later I'm a parent... w00t! Wow... I must be SPECIAL, look what I can do! (I'm being purposefully snarky here)... I do assume you mean being a GOOD parent, with the emotional support, love, guidance, food, clothes, schooling and all... Someone mentioned earlier that choosing to remain childless was selfish... Guilty as charged. My money is my money. My time is my time. My food is my food. I certainly don't want to have to share my things with some spawn which descended from my SOs loins. I could change my mind in a few years, and I'm not 100% in the remain childless court (more like 95%) but, for now... no thanks. My selfishness is exactly what would make me a terrible father right now....
posted by Debaser626 at 2:40 PM on August 15, 2005


I can't imagine how they could rebel. Their situation is not really like that of most lapsed or former religious folks who might raise their hands here.

The smaller the cell, the sweeter the freedom. Either they'll remain entirely ensconced in their fundamentalist haven forever, in which case they're no cause for concern or alarm to the world at large, or they'll leave East Jesus, Kansas one day and realize how large that world really is.

On the "problem" of falling birthrate, the solution is dreadfully simple. Birthrates started falling as soon as the population urbanized, simultaneously increasing the marginal cost per additonal child (housing space, purchased foodstuffs, etc.) while decreasing the available labor output and/or income therefrom (children are less useful off the farm, and we decided for some silly reason that sticking them in factories was a bad idea). All you have to do to is reverse the economic disincentive, by a combination of cost reduction or income augmentation. Give 'em free daycare until they have a reasonable command of English, then send 'em to work in a call center.
posted by Vetinari at 2:44 PM on August 15, 2005


sotonohito, if the wikipedia article names The DaVinci Code as a supporting document of virtually anything, I'm pretty much going to dismiss it out of hand. Suffice it to say that (a) that idea has virtually no support in any ancient text and isn't really taken seriously by any mainstream biblical scholar, and (b) if anyone is going to believe in the Mary-Magdalene-as-Jesus'-wife theory, it's certainly not the hardcore fundamentalists who are pushing the full quiver business.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 2:44 PM on August 15, 2005


Actually, I would argue that sex is exclusively for pleasure in the animal kingdom. Yes, biologically intercourse and procreation are more tightly coupled for most species than they are for us, but there aren't a whole lot of, say, penguins, who are terribly aware of the reproductive consequences of their hot-and-heavy actions.

Well, true enough, from an emic perspective. Etically, only humans and bonobos display sexual behavior sans estrus. The only times most animals have sex is when there's some (usually high) probability of reproduction. Only humans and bonobos copulate when there is low or no probability of conception.

Jesus may well have been married and had children, and if he was I would look first to Mary Magdalene. Reproduction is, after all, the first mitzvot. Then again, he preached celibacy (see the Gospel of Thomas, or just Matthew 19:10-12). Personally, I think early Christianity was an off-shoot of Essenism, so there may well have been a celibate strain there from the beginning. But I'm willing to concede that he may well have had kids, either way. However, to then posit that his children did anything but fade into the obscurity of history--much less that there was some vast conspiracy whose power struggles with the Roman Catholic Church define Western civilization--is sheer bullshit. It makes for some interesting fiction, but every time people come telling me how it's "historically accurate"....
posted by jefgodesky at 2:54 PM on August 15, 2005


Wow this post really stretched people's world view.
It's kneejerk: reprint a stupid article and get shocked metafilter responders to wax indignant like a chorus.
What exactly are we to learn from this post? Except that someone wrote a stupid article?
I'd counter by saying that I find more people than one would expect are biased against parenting -- at least in Ottawa and Toronto -- two bastions of Canadian liberalism.
You're regarded as odd and selfish if you have more than two kids. If you have more than three kids, you're regarded as crazy.
I don't judge people for not having kids. But I find many people find it peculiar that my wife and I would have three kids.

/not an evangelical Christian
posted by Fracmaster at 2:58 PM on August 15, 2005


Wow this post really stretched people's world view.
It's kneejerk: reprint a stupid article and get shocked metafilter responders to wax indignant like a chorus.
What exactly are we to learn from this post? Except that someone wrote a stupid article?


How's this for kneejerk: STFU, buttwipe!
posted by Debaser626 at 3:01 PM on August 15, 2005


Fracmaster: I find it interesting that they've finally followed their arguments to their logical conclusion. I always wondered if gay marriage was unacceptable because it produced no young, what of those couples who choose not to breed? Now I know. Interesting that they never proffered up this argument before, despite a steady stream of such couples throughout history.

But what of the physically barren? They cannot reproduce, should they be banned from marrying? Wouldn't that make Abraham and Sarah terrible sinners?
posted by jefgodesky at 3:04 PM on August 15, 2005


Does the X-ian right contain just a whiff of racial fear? Hmmm.

How would we know? By everything they do, and everything they say? Maybe in that way?

Yeah, I guess so.

White X-ian numbers are declining. BROWN X-ian numbers are increasing. Uh oh for the whiteys.
posted by mooncrow at 3:07 PM on August 15, 2005


The DaVinci Code is a bad novel seemingly written for no reason but to promote the ideas found in "Holy Blood Holy Grail", but the existance of bad fiction promoting an idea does not invalidate the idea. I cited the Wikipedia simply because it was easiest, I didn't even pay attention to the Da Vinci Code reference until you pointed it out.

Personally, I think the whole debate is silly because I do not think there ever was a Jesus Christ. I'm an amalgamationist: I think that "Jesus Christ" or "Yesu ben Yosef" or whatever was an amalgam of several radical rabbis. The lack of a Roman court record matching the execution described in the Bible is, from my POV, pretty solid evidence that the execution described in the Bible never took place. The Romans kept careful and extensive records, and the records of Pontius Pilate's courts are well preserved. So the question "did Jesus have children" is a null question as far as I'm concerned becuase I don't think there was a single person answering to that name.

However my view is definately a minority view, and there are several people better educated than I am in that subject who think that there was really a Jesus Christ, and that he had children. They're also a minority, but they're a better educated minority than I am. I won't argue that they're a minority, but I will argue that just because "The DaVinci Code" was a bad book doesn't make their idea invalid.
posted by sotonohito at 3:09 PM on August 15, 2005


jefgodesky writes "Etically, only humans and bonobos display sexual behavior sans estrus....Only humans and bonobos copulate when there is low or no probability of conception."

Wrong. Very, very wrong. So wrong that it boggles my mind that you would assert it so baldly, as if you actually had some degree of relevant knowledge, which you clearly do not.

If you want to actually learn about these things, instead of just spouting off on the internet, this book is a good place for a layman to start. If focuses on homosexual behaviors (which have been observed in hundreds of species, and which I think you'll agree all involve "low or no probablility of conception"), but touches on other aspects of animal sexuality.

Animal sexual behavior is incredibly diverse.

sotonohito writes "The DaVinci Code is a bad novel seemingly written for no reason but to promote the ideas found in 'Holy Blood Holy Grail', but the existance of bad fiction promoting an idea does not invalidate the idea. "

This, however, pretty much does. It's a Salon link, so you might have to watch a commercial.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:24 PM on August 15, 2005


But what of the physically barren? They cannot reproduce, should they be banned from marrying? Wouldn't that make Abraham and Sarah terrible sinners?

I had this question as well. While I believe he gives the physiscally barren a pass, it does imply a further question: what about the barren couples who make use of fertility drugs?

We've all encountered news stories where a couple suddenly has 7 kids as a result of fertlity therapies and thank god for the his bounteous blessings (as science certainly had nothing to do with it). Are these couples who seek these treatments flying the face of god's obvious judgement that they should remain childless?

Of course not. Just below the surface here is not only the christian/race identity, but also reproductive freedom. They're more interested in large family units that ensure a certain structure: namely, one that keep women at home tending to children.

For these folks The Handmaid's Tale is a how-to manual for utopia.
posted by Verdant at 3:37 PM on August 15, 2005


If the purpose of marriage is reproductive sex, then doesn't it follow that people who cannot reproduce can't get married? This includes the barren, those with illnesses that for whatever reason prevent sex/pregnancy, and any woman past menopause.
posted by ilsa at 3:39 PM on August 15, 2005


The hardcore Catholics are in fact against fertility treatments.
posted by footnote at 3:41 PM on August 15, 2005


Wrong. Very, very wrong. So wrong that it boggles my mind that you would assert it so baldly, as if you actually had some degree of relevant knowledge, which you clearly do not.

Every animal species shows homosexuality in 10-15% of the population, but they still do so on something like an estrus cycle. Even male homosexual behavior occurs on something resembling an estrus cycle--about once a month.

The occurence of homosexuality is important, but it is unlikely to be for the group young-rearing reasons often cited. More likely, I think, is the fact that--as any good farmer would attest--a random culling of 10-15% of the herd in every generation makes for a stronger stock. Those populations which made for some occurence of homosexuality would be able to fix in such a random culling.

So you're right, Mr. Roboto, I misspoke (err, mis-wrote?) and neglected this important minority. But I don't think it speaks very strongly to my main point, since even male homosexual bonds in all non-primate (and most primate) species mimic the timing of a heterosexual estrus cycle in their species. Even though it is not productive, neither can we necessarily refer to it as "recreational," as we can with humans and bonobos.

You're absolutely right to say that animal sexual behavior is incredibly diverse. Mating rituals, positions, parenting behaviors, all are unbelievably diverse. The presence of male and female genitalia and roles are pretty consistent (though not entirely), just as the estrus cycle is pretty consistent (though not entirely).

On the Holy Blood, Holy Grail thing: the Cathars followed the Catholic world-view to its natural conclusion. If spirit is good and flesh evil, then the world of the spirit is made by G-d, and the material world by the devil. There was no incarnation, as G-d would not deign to robe himself in evil flesh, only the appearance of flesh to teach us how to escape this evil, fleshy prison. The greatest sin is to concieve children, since this binds more innocent, good souls inside of the devil's evil prisons of flesh. There is no greater blasphemy to a Cathar than to suggest Jesus might have had children. After brutally massacring these peaceful people in the Middle Ages, Holy Blood, Holy Grail denigrates even their memory by making them bit characters in a paranoid fantasy that would have horrified their every sensibility. Since its publication, on about a two year cycle, I've had to debunk this book to some new circle, and the way it's swallowed as historical fact never ceases to irk me.
posted by jefgodesky at 3:42 PM on August 15, 2005


And people who are choosing to not have children (for whatever reason) are not attempting to devalue that sacrifice or piss on other people's beliefs -- as Mohler would like to think they are.

This seems to me to be part and parcel of the same, seemingly-insane claim that gay marriage devalues the marriages of your basic phobic christian types. Good Lord! Why are religious people so fearful of their own grip on their own beliefs? I wish I thought that this implied that even THEY thought their belief system was a load of crap, but I doubt it.

Lurking christians, please, explain this: if you write the Great American Novel, and I write a piece-of-crap romance paperback, does this "devalue" your work? Other people's choices and opinions, by and large, do not devalue your own. If so, the US is in trouble. I mean, we value ourselves highly, but I think other countries are starting to "devalue" us. Now, does that lead to a dilemma? I mean, in the case of jingoistic fervor, the answer seems to be, "who cares what they do or say, it only affirms our greatness." In the case of social/religious mores, however, it's the opposite, "What you believe and do undermines the sacredness of my interpretation of reality." I would think it would be somewhat conflicting to be a religious jingoist, but --in reality-- they seem to go hand in hand. Go figure.
posted by umberto at 3:48 PM on August 15, 2005


Remind me again how many kids Jesus had?

Forget Jesus, what about the Holy Father? How many kids has he had? Just one? C'mon, you figure the putative founder of the full quiver movement could sire more than just kid, especially when the ingrate betrays his stern patriarch and becomes some eccentric, long haired, sandal-wearing, suspiciouly unmarried hippie freak.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 4:04 PM on August 15, 2005


Just one kid, sorry.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 4:05 PM on August 15, 2005


Thanks everybody, for getting me thinking about this topic. The tangent it led me on ended up with Mark Twain's Letters From Earth, a remarkably profound piece which discusses the absurdities of man's ideas about God. It's great reading.
posted by mullingitover at 4:14 PM on August 15, 2005


I found this article months ago one of the childfree forums that I frequent. I refuse to call myself childless since to me, that implies that I am missing something. I am childfree because I'm gladly free of children now and forever.

And I must say, I do enjoy being a moral rebel according to this guy. Not that it really mattered all that much anyway since I'm already an atheist, but still.
posted by mabelcolby at 4:22 PM on August 15, 2005


Whether or not Jesus had kids, he certainly never prescribed it for his followers. I've heard the theory that he and Mary M. were an item - it seemed a bit out there to me, but not impossible. The idea that being childless = disobedience to God, though, is way, way out there. I'm a christian who goes to church pretty much every sunday, and I've never heard this idea before.
posted by selfmedicating at 4:34 PM on August 15, 2005


jefgodesky, it's also interesting because it sheds a lot of light on what these people must think of abortion. This is more than a teleological argument; there's a strong element of fear here. These people want kids because they are simply terrified of the alternative.
posted by nixerman at 4:38 PM on August 15, 2005



I always wonder if such arguments contain just a whiff of racial fear. It's never directly said, but it seems like articles like this aren't so much about "christians" having children, but "white christians" having children.


The original opposition to legalization of birth control was sometimes explicit in its concern about which races and groups were and were not reproducing. From a description of legislative debate given in David Garrow's Liberty and Sexuality, p. 23, "[Representative] Platt argued that if birth control was legalized, population growth would only come from immigrants, and she pleaded for 'keeping up the proper elements.' " See the same book for further details of that struggle - and remember, Griswold v. Connecticut was only decided in 1965, and the decision is still controversial enough to come up in confirmation hearings for Supreme Court justices.
posted by dilettante at 4:51 PM on August 15, 2005


If people want to raise kids they should. My parents are both pretty gay and as near as I can tell they married and and had 4 biological children due to family/society pressures, but also the desire to have kids. Thanks M&D. The kids: two gay boys (hand raised here), a sister so straight she married a {male} drummer, and one "river in egypt" who keeps birthing sons.

For myself I don't want to be involved in the care of babies other than in an honorary capacity.
posted by longsleeves at 5:06 PM on August 15, 2005


Even male homosexual behavior occurs on something resembling an estrus cycle--about once a month.

WTF? How many gay men do you know really well? As a gay man -- with many gay friends, I'd say you're way off base!
posted by ericb at 5:06 PM on August 15, 2005


ericb: I think jefgodesky meant non-human male homosexual behavior.
posted by exlotuseater at 5:30 PM on August 15, 2005


exlotuseater - oh, okay. I hope so.
posted by ericb at 5:47 PM on August 15, 2005


His daughter, Katie Mohler, is 16, according to this (PDF, p. 25).

That's hella fertile.

Not legal, but God's law supersedes the law of man, right?
posted by Coda at 7:27 PM on August 15, 2005


Another woman in the Atlanta group explained, "You focus those motherly feelings elsewhere. For us, our dogs get all that love."

I want to second the suggestion that this guy is making up quotes to serve his agenda. A google of this quote brings up only a handful of fundamentalist Christian sites, and nothing at all on Lexis-Nexis. Same for the other key quotes from "childfree" couples. And besides, it sets off my bullshit detector.
posted by LarryC at 7:59 PM on August 15, 2005


LarryC writes "I want to second the suggestion that this guy is making up quotes to serve his agenda. A google of this quote brings up only a handful of fundamentalist Christian sites, and nothing at all on Lexis-Nexis."

Here's
the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article he's quoting from. Google didn't find it because, as written in the original article, it's:

"You focus those motherly feelings elsewhere," she said. "For us, our dogs get all that love."

I'm not sure why you couldn't find this article on Lexis-Nexis. Do they maybe not index stuff from "lifestyle" sections?

Anyway, if anyone is making up quotes, it's Helena Olivero, Living Section reporter for the AJC.
posted by mr_roboto at 8:15 PM on August 15, 2005


Make sure y'all tell your friends and families about this little bit of spew from the evangelists. It'll help remove them from power.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:22 PM on August 15, 2005


a tribe of these fundies must have fallen into a new and very strange tactic, because there was a letter to the editor this past Sunday in my local paper claiming the same "marriage is for procreation" idea to oppose gay marriage.

i responded to the editor with the following (not yet published), in part:

I say that since it's apparently all about busting out babies rather than love, all people applying for marriage licenses should be expected to provide medical proof of their fertility and solemnly declare their legally binding promise to produce children for the Homeland. In fact, if it turns out that people don't produce the expected offspring, they should be automatically annulled and the offending barren one should be banned from marriage altogether.

It would seem too that if a couple's children die and thus they can no longer perform their parental duties, divorce might be logically expected. After all, they have no purpose to bind them together, do they?

While we're at it, we might want to institute some kind of rule about who can marry whom. I mean, there seem to be an awful lot of stupid children out there--it might help to have the Ph.D.'s deciding which genetic matches produce the smartest offspring. I think Aldous Huxley wrote a book about that once, didn't he? Might be a good source for further ideas about how to institute a fully non-arbitrary society.

--
and yeah, the Handmaid's Tale is looking more and more possible all the fucking time. every now and then, i take a trip through the Boundary Waters and scout out possible escape routes.
posted by RedEmma at 9:36 PM on August 15, 2005


Ooops--thanks for the correction, Mr_Roboto. Reading Metafilter has made me paranoid!
posted by LarryC at 10:06 PM on August 15, 2005


I like hanging out with other DINK couples. (Double Income, No Kids)
They are the only ones that seem to have the time and disposable income to really do the crazy fun stuff that none of my kid-laden friends want to do.
posted by Balisong at 10:13 PM on August 15, 2005


Coda: Perfectly legal in Canada. Run away with her!
posted by five fresh fish at 11:01 PM on August 15, 2005


More on Mohler.
Some may consider it important to know his widespread influence. His purge of professors in Southern Baptist colleges alone make him a dangerous nut job. His close association with Mullah Dobson aligns him with the politically active religious fringe in the US.
posted by nofundy at 6:03 AM on August 16, 2005


But in general, I will suspect couples who are childless by choice of being selfish, unless the evidence proves otherwise.

Oh, what. ever.

It's far more selfish to have kids in many instances - can people who want kids come up with any real reasons to have them besides, "We want kids" ? How selfish is THAT, bringing another child into the world purely for your own desires?
posted by agregoli at 7:47 AM on August 16, 2005


coming late to the party...


modern Americans are determined not only to liberate sex from marriage (and even from gender), but also from procreation.


in other words, they want to make sex fun.

that's what this ultimately comes down to, doesn't it? the age-old xian fear of carnal enjoyment. if we enjoy our bodies, we might start thinking about other earthly delights. then we might start thinking about the earth (which, of course, is base and sinful and the domain of the devil - especially in the forest, don't go in the forest). then, we might start doing something to protect the earth, or make it better. and we all know what kind of mess that would be.

i still find it hard to believe that people willingly and of their own volition follow a religious ideology which was designed in the middle ages to stop people from bettering their lives.
posted by poweredbybeard at 8:18 AM on August 16, 2005


Still, if parents are required to pay for children when they are little, why shouldn't children be required to pay for parents when they are old?

Umm... because parents choose to bring children into the world (or at least take definite action likely to bring about that result) and children do not choose to be born? Seems a pretty clear difference in responsibility to me.

I am voluntarily childless and I think it's a damned shame more people in this overpopulated, greedy, resource-scarfing world aren't too. Childlessness needs to be encouraged in society, not treated as some sort of selfish aberration. Yeah, like most breeders have kids for non-selfish reasons, right? Right. The world does not need your spawn. More power to those who choose to leave a small footprint rather than following the herd and generating yet more small footprints.
posted by Decani at 8:37 AM on August 16, 2005


Always worth reposting this for the very wonderful Why Breed? table about halfway down the page. It manages to be both funny and basically true, which is always a great combination. Breeders hate it, of course.
posted by Decani at 8:43 AM on August 16, 2005


Live long, and die out.

The new vision of the future.
posted by Balisong at 9:57 AM on August 16, 2005



Even male homosexual behavior occurs on something resembling an estrus cycle--about once a month.

WTF? How many gay men do you know really well? As a gay man -- with many gay friends, I'd say you're way off base!
posted by ericb at 7:06 PM CST on August 15 [!]

ericb: I think jefgodesky meant non-human male homosexual behavior.
posted by exlotuseater at 7:30 PM CST on August 15 [!]

exlotuseater - oh, okay. I hope so.
posted by ericb at 7:47 PM CST on August 15 [!]


I hope not as that basically invalidates his crazy crackpot argument. Most animals have wildly varying estrus cycles from species to species. Rats go into estrus every 4-5 days. Deer typically have one estrus cycle a year (though can have more than one if unbred). Dogs go into estrus twice a year. Rabbits do not have an estrus cycle; instead they are induced ovulators and will make babies pretty much every time they fuck. (unless the embryos are absorbed or aborted, which also happens quite frequently).

So I would have to argue all and all jefgodesky has no idea what he is talking about since its not applicable to human homosexuals or non-human homosexuals. I've never hear of homosexual behavior in animals (human or otherwise) limited to estrus cycles, so until he can back that statement up, I'm not willing to give it any credence.

Its also not as simple to say that humans are the only animals that mate without the desire to bear offspring. Quite frankly, I don't think any animal mates with the intention of having offspring. As someone pointed out, they don't have the concept of the consequences of mating. Now, since it often does occur when animals are in estrus the likelihood of bearing young is increase. Homosexual behavior aside, sexual behavior isn't limited to reproduction in animals. Many sexual behaviors are a sign of dominance in non-human animals. Dogs humping is the infamous example of a sexual behavior used as a dominance behavior.

Then we have masturbation in animals. Many, (perhaps all?) do. Deer do it. Birds do it. Hell, my god damn neutered cat masturbates CONSTANTLY.

The point I'm making, and I think its in there somewhere, is that its not as easily cut and dry that humans (and bonobos) are the only ones having sex outside of reproduction. Maybe the line is a little bit blurrier, but its there.

And, even if we discover that all these behaviors lead up to only fucking for offspring... So what? Humans are supposed to be in control of their actions and therefore able to separate their intended natural purpose and use it for whatever we feel fit. Doesn't the bible say we're above (non-human) animals and we shouldn't act like them? Isn't denying the instinct to procreate until we're dead the epitome of rebelling against our animal nature?
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:53 AM on August 16, 2005


Count me as voluntarily childfree as well.

No, seriously, even as commentary, I'm surprised a respectable paper would publish such narrow-minded claptrap.

Let's be fair.

The writer is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. The Courier-Journal asked him to respond to the article published below; instead, his public relations office referred the newspaper to an Oct. 13, 2003, article posted on www.albertmohler.com. This is that article.

Don't blame the paper, blame the readers. I'd bet a bunch wrote in to complain about the "childless by choice" article. Since we don't have the original article, which I think is from 2003(?), it's hard to tell what's going on at the C-J. It's become quite a thin paper in recent years, but it's usually a level-headed organization.

I always wonder if such arguments contain just a whiff of racial fear. It's never directly said, but it seems like articles like this aren't so much about "christians" having children, but "white christians" having children.

The original opposition to legalization of birth control was sometimes explicit in its concern about which races and groups were and were not reproducing.


Also see: forced sterlization campaigns, etc.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:20 AM on August 16, 2005


mrgrimm: Or my reaction when I read that was that they wanted to present "both sides to the story" and ended up with a guy giving them a piece published elsewhere.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:56 AM on August 16, 2005


WTF is with this stupid idea that 'both sides of the story' need to be told?

Sometimes, one side of the story is complete and utter bollocks, and should be dismissed as useless.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:55 PM on August 16, 2005


five fresh fish: Precisely. Viz: evolution and "Intelligent Design".
posted by Decani at 5:24 AM on August 17, 2005


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