Saturday, November 6, 2010

Anti-Life Forces Promote a Deadly Message

While in Italy this September, I read much to my dismay an article in a women’s magazine, Io Donna, (the translation is “I’m Woman”), published by the daily newspaper Corriere Della Sera called: “No Children I’m an Altruist”. Is this the next step for the anti-life movement? According to the article, married couples are better off if they are child-free. Children after all cause problems, they cost too much to raise and if that’s not enough, they’re even a source of pollution for the environment. The article boldly proclaims that life without children is the way of the future.

Ideas have consequences and bad ideas have terrible consequences. The very notion for couples not to have children is not only intrinsically bad social policy, but it’s also immoral because it claims to define the final value of life. Christians by definition naturally should want to promote and to celebrate a culture of life. So it’s our baptismal mission, our Christian responsibility to point out ideas that can have devastating results if adopted in society. The evidence is now readily available on the horrible problems which have resulted because Canada in the past has passed unjust laws. In particular, I’m thinking of all the laws which have been enacted to legalize and support abortion during the last forty-one years. What started as a campaign by a one man, Morgentaler, to open an abortuary, has currently resulted in the killing of countless hundreds of thousands of innocent babies in Canada. So our recent history proves only too well that bad ideas can bring about terrible societal outcomes.

It follows then that this idea for married couples that is emerging on the world scene, not to have children, is one terrible idea we need to fight in Canada. Most importantly we must not let this influence our own children. What may sound as a completely innocuous idea: the notion of being proud in being child-free can too easily become dangerous and life threatening. In Brussells, for example, last year one couple actually started a feast day to celebrate the decision for those who openly choose to remain childless. This movement has already spread to the United States, Great Britain and France. In France, the child-free event called "La Fete des non parents" opened with a documentary video which included material collected by a Canadian, Magenta Baribeau. Part of the video shows interviews with couples proudly discussing their child-free status. At one point the singer-songwriter GiedRe’ sings on French television an “Ode alla contraccezione” (an “Ode to contraception”). In addition, Vehmt: “the organization for the voluntary extinction of humanity” is already in existence…. in essence it’s a group advocating the end of human life. Finally there’s the Gink association, Gink is an acronym for “green inclination no kid” that sings from the same songbook…..the songbook of death.

This is the kind of false thinking which results when bad ideas are allowed to spread. People begin to falsely believe, for example, that in not having children they are making an environmentally friendly decision. One American blogger Lisa Hymas has gone so far as to say that the greatest contribution any person can make to save the environment is not to have children. They cost too much. She claims parents need to spend $291,570 by the time a child reaches 18 years and that a new life adds 9.441 tons of CO2 to the environment. Of course she never mentions that this is just her idea or ever offers the reader an explanation as to how she arrives at such figures. Why doesn’t she also tell her readers that each human life has the potential to solve the problems of CO2 emissions and contribute to improving the common good? Here’s why: The information would seriously undermine her argument. You can try to mask these anti-life ideas with all the good intentions in the world, but this changes nothing because they are self-serving lies.

Some of the advocates for couples to be child-free go so far as to say that it’s a form of altruism. They should, however, tell the truth: a child-free philosophy is self-centered and egotistical. It’s a form of deism: “I want to be God”. It celebrates the sin of pride. Its next of kin is despair and depression: life is just suffering. Nobody in his right mind actively chooses death over life. Only a ghoul would make that anti-life choice. A child-free philosophy rests on fear and defeatism….that I can’t make it through life or life has little value. This false way of thinking tries to put the human person as the author of life. And isn’t this the greatest lie about life? At the centre here is a total distortion of the Christian meaning of life. Only by telling the truth can the lies be revealed. But don’t wait for them to do so. As Christians, we must act to reject this infectious argument and offer our own pro-life vaccine whenever and wherever we can.

Yes, this anti-humanity and destructive thinking must be countered by every Christian before it infects the next Canadian generation. If the young hear this selfish refrain: “My adult life is important and children get in the way of my pursuit of pleasures and in exercising my freedom”, how can they possibly embrace life for themselves and for future generations? Here’s an obvious fact which the child-free proponents purposely neglect to answer… did they get to be adults? Surely they did not appear on this earth as 25 year-olds? Openly demonstrating these flaws in the child-free postion is one of the things we can do to warn young people or it won’t be long before they begin to entertain and live the child-free message. We must fight this culture of death. For deep down in our hearts, we all know that life is a divine gift, the major gift and wonder each of us has been given.

As I said at the beginning of this piece, bad ideas can only leads to bad consequences. Child-free thinking is a terrible idea because it promotes a culture of death. Christians must unmask this deadly ideology which is anti-future, anti-life and anti-family. It’s a purely selfish seed which we hope doesn’t germinate and take hold in Canada.

We need to heed the warning in these Scriptural words: "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! (Deuteronomy: 30:19)

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, from my experience, this type of anti-child thinking and disposition has been around for quite some time now. I first ran into it in the mid-eighties while working as a Registered Respiratory Therapist at St. Joseph's Health Centre in Toronto. It was quite common for me to encounter other Staff members from all types of professional disciplines who considered themselves "free thinkers" ......... committed to "free love" and a "child free future". It was explicit and in-your-face. It was certainly considered a viable option to traditional marriage.
    I think what has changed since then and what makes this deadly anti-life message "new" is that it appears that now, in 2010, what was an option 25 years ago is now considered and promoted to be the only reasonable option .... and that couples who opt for children are generally considered to be rather strange and even "selfish".

    A major counter-cultural force that will help dismantle this kind of thinking is J-P II's "Theology of The Body"...... and all types of morality based chastity education programs that will challenge and eventually replace the generally uncritiqued Planned Parenthood style, co-ed classroom sex-ed programs in our schools.
    This includes the "Fully Alive" texts used in our Catholic Grade-Schools [Grades 1 to 8] ...... which somehow needs to be re-visited, revised and made more accessible to include the active participation of Parents as the primary educators of their Children.

    Faithfully yours,
    Brian Moccia