Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is defending the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars of the forthcoming stimulus package are to be spent on “family planning.” Her argument is very simple. The economy is bad. Having babies costs money. Would-be parents need to save their money by not having babies.
Without a doubt, Pelosi’s remarks reflect the spirit of the age. In general, our culture has come to view children as a burden rather than as a blessing. Even among those who are married, children are increasingly viewed as add-onsâ€”an option that may or may not be pursued by the couple.
This view of children is anything but biblical, and it is positively sub-Christian. From the very beginning of creation, having children has been associated with blessing from the Lord. God commanded Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply”â€”which was apparently the necessary condition of their ruling over the earth (Gen 1:28). Psalm 127:3 states very clearly that “children are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward.” When his disciples attempted to dismiss curious children as a nuisance, Jesus said, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14).
For a more helpful perspective on welcoming children into our families, take a listen to Russell Moore’s conversation on “The Albert Mohler Program” last week. You can download it here or hit the play button below.[audio:http://www.sbts.edu/MP3/totl/2009/AMP_01_23_2009.mp3]
By no means am I in the crowd that says “All birthcontrol is sin” and “A woman should keep having babies til her uterus falls out” but Pelosi’s statements defy rational explanation. Of course, since when are libs rational.
Amen Joe. The mroe I hear Pelosi the more I see the ludicrous nature of the liberal agenda.
She is out of her element. Markets are made of people, and less people = smaller markets means less capital. Republicans know this and have avoided dealing with immigration for this very reason; we need more people to drive consumption. Look at how declining population is affecting Japan and Europe. She is over the line.
your complaints are easy to make from Kentucky where it’s incredibly cheap to live.
Come live in Chicago, New York, Boston or San Francisco (where Pelosi is from). Then tell me that you’re still eager to have 6 children.
By the way, this is completely at odds with the argument that the neo-cons over at National Review were making around the time of the SCHIP debate. When the dems rolled out one of their “see this works!” families, one of the op-ed writers made the case that if people couldn’t afford kids and insurance and all that kids came with, that those people shouldn’t have kids.
So, which is it Denny? Are you a FISCAL conservative that would agree with Pelosi, or are you a SOCIAL conservative who’d better help provide for all those kids you want to see born?
More than this, as Denny pointed out, this is sadly the worldview of the US in general. Our children’s pastor and I were talking about this last night. The balance between departmentalizing church (kid’s church, student church, adult church, etc.) and creating an atmosphere of celebrating children. Finding a balance between most contemporary churches and say, Voddie Baucham’s church. Children are a nuisance, or burden, to most parents; and as Voddie pointed out in his sermon at the Desiring God conference a few years ago, having children is based on if one can “afford” them, more than obedience or love.
â€œThe abortion culture is downstream from many things that are going on in our churches. Because before we aborted children in the womb, we aborted them in our mindsâ€¦..We began to see children as a burden. Children as an obstacle.â€–Russell More
I think that is a very revealing thought. Itâ€™s an erosion of our consciences. I agree with Joe (his two quoted thoughtsâ€¦â€¦â€¦which, I think, means that he believes them to be bad, according to the last few threads), but the dulling of our own conscience is a great travesty that has led where we are.
@ Paul-I lived most of my life in Illinois and would completely disagree that the cost of living is cheaper in Kentucky than in one particular city. If you are talking in generals then compare apples to apples and states to states. I have found Louisville, KY to have a higher cost of living than O’Fallon, IL. It doesn’t help that minimum wage is about 2 bucks less in KY than IL, either.
The fact of the matter is the Bible says children are a blessing from the Lord. If He is the provider of all things, then does it really matter? We have duped ourselves into believing we must adhere to a certain standard of living when 100 years ago families were bigger and the standards were much lower. Even our poverty level is greater than most countries basic living conditions.
You are correct. I would say the “All birth control is sin” and “Women should keep having babies til their uterus falls out” are not proper attitudes to have toward having children.
Have a good one.
Paul, it is true that population density in urban settings can lead to inflation. But that does not constitute an argument for fewer children, only discernement in where one chooses to live. But Pelosi’s position is NOT fiscally conservative: The government needs to spend more money on preventing births so that it has fewer people to spend money on as children and adults. It will also have less tax revenue to do anything and it shouldn’t be providing most of the services it does to begin with.
I think it should be “fewer” not “less.”
Re: the comment above about living in a city and having a large family. I live in Boston, and don’t make a lot of money and am part of a church full of people who don’t make a lot of money, and know for a fact that you can still have a relatively large family. It may not be as easy or comfortable as having a large family in Kentucky, but still able to be done.
Does not Pelosi and Stephanopolousalousa sound draconian to yall? I mean, they’re talking about human life so flippantly. They’re talking about human life in terms of dollars and cents. They would have fit well in Hitler’s administration.
Godwin’s law, Godwin’s law!! 🙂
“But that does not constitute an argument for fewer children, only discernement in where one chooses to live.”
I’ll give that argument even the slightest bit of credence the very second that I think I can make a living in rural Kentucky or anywhere in Alabama.
In the meantime, I have to watch every penny I spend with my one child, and yeah, I’m afraid to have another one.
And I am amused by the fact that not one person has dared touch the second half of my statement re: fiscal vs. social conservatism.
Your statement about fiscal vs. social conservatism is ludricous. How can someone answer what is ridiculously silly?
how is ridiculous? The fiscal conservatives in your party are out telling poor people not to have kids, while the social conservatives think that kids aren’t being born fast enough. There’s a definite schism there.
I want to see what all of you “conservatives” think about this schism and what should be done about it.
Just out of curiosity, Paul, which fiscal conservatives are telling poor people not to have kids (I’m not as knowledgeable about politics as you and most here).
The situation which I referred to was an op-ed in the National Review in early 2008 (don’t have time to hunt it down).
But certainly, that same worldview extends to those on the right that complain about welfare mothers. And while they might not all write for the National Review, every last one of them that takes a potshot at women that are on government assistance might as well say the same thing.
It’s EITHER all children are a blessing and we should work together as a nation to be truly pro-LIFE and not simply pro-BIRTH, OR children are only a blessing when they can be properly afforded.
So, which is it?
Children are a blessing from God. And, abortion is wrong. And, if you cant afford to have 8 children, there’s nothing wrong with most birth control.
Where’s the schism? What’s the problem?
I’m both fiscally conservative and socially conservative, BTW.
The problem is, David, that how many people, when I’ve mentioned proper preventative sex ed, have cried, pulled out their hair, kicked and screamed that we cannot be teaching people how NOT to have kids. After all, how can we keep women from speaking in church if they’re anything other than barefoot and pregnant?
That does not and cannot jive with the idea that if you don’t have the money, don’t have the kids.
And what do you say to the op-ed guy from the National Review who says that poor people shouldn’t have children? Do you agree? If you do agree, then to what ends? And what if their birth control fails? What’s more important? The fiscal issue or the social issue? If it’s the social issue, then should we not be our brothers’ keepers to ensure that said children have access to healthcare without risk of bankruptcy on the part of the parents?
etc, etc, etc.
The fact that we have a Pelosi makes a good case for family planning.
Though not addressed to me, Iâ€™ll pipe inâ€¦â€¦
how NOT to have kids
Paul, I would say it is an argument that the education championed exalts sex (little mention of any repercussions and a lot on how you can avoid repercussions), says this has no repercussions and if it feels right, do it. IMO, education definitely belongs in the home. And there, I would say, is where a great difficulty lies. The public education system is steeped first and foremost (all too often, but there are exceptions) in the â€œif it feels right, do itâ€ mentality. And when kids are immersed in that for so much of their lives, it presents a great difficulty. Thereâ€™s no pithy answer, and most who argue against your position (though you would call us southern mouth-breathers) continually weigh that balance and do so with great care.
I think it is a travesty that you make that statement about women and, presumably, complementarian thought. It was highly insulting, but Iâ€™m sure you knew that.
And what do you say to the op-ed guy from the National Review who says that poor people shouldnâ€™t have children?
I would say he is showing elitist ignorance. God-exalting values are what are to be elevated. I think in this case (and this will be sooooooooo unpopular, I know), what that means is a cessation of economic crutches provided by our government. Part of the repercussion of having large government handouts and subsidies is a devaluation of community and personal interdependence. The care for the poor should belong to the people in our communities. The sad thing is that I doubt weâ€™ll be back at that point until a â€œreformationâ€ of sorts happens again (if ever in this nation). Right now, the handout is given as a big, giant grey box. When a handout is given through community action (I would say further, especially when through faith), there is a hand on the other side of that handout. Itâ€™s no longer impersonal. There is a body that looks them in the eye.
I suppose I could go on, but I see that weâ€™ve meandered off of the original point of Pelosiâ€™s idea of pushing birth control for those who are economically unfit. Say, wait a minute. Isnâ€™t that what I, as a conservative, was just accused of?
To clarify, the first line (in #21) should be “exalts pre-marital sex”.
Also, Rick, the fascinating thing is Pelosi’s statement of “Nothing in my life will ever, ever compare to being a mom.” I don’t see how that squares together, but oh, well.
Side note: Pelosi’s daughter makes some interesting documentaries… her latest is on Ted Haggard.
add this to your blog accountability blog:
You do entirely too much assuming and not nearly enough asking of questions.
I will NEVER accuse Albert Mohler, Kelly Boggs or some of the other big thinkers of being “southern mouth breathers”. The people that I accuse of that are the people that take pride in their ignorance and start squirting tobacco spit from their mouths when talking down about them derned intellectuals.
2) How can I insult the complementarian movement anymore when they prove themselves to be massive hypocrites with one simple move? What’s that you ask! I’m glad you asked…
when was the last time that you were in a church that demanded that women cover their heads?
If you’re going to base your case on the idea that “The Bible Said It, I Believe It And That Settles It,” that’s fine. Awesome, as a matter of fact. And way harder to accomplish than anyone would want to credit you with. But the second that you start picking and choosing which articles you will adhere to, you make a mockery or our faith.
So, don’t go making some bold stand about how I insulted you unless you are going to a church and supporting a church where women are expected to have their heads covered as well as not speaking in church.
Not making a bold stand, it was simply a purposeful shot (straw-man stereotype) that seemed to be insulting. Or, perhaps to soften the language, it sure appeared to be a purposeful slur. If it were not meant as an insult, you would have brought forth your argument (about head coverings).
Regarding your argument (and way off topic again), now, I am not as eloquent as most of my complementarian brothers and sisters, so I’d say take a look at questions 32 and 33 here. Not that I haven’t considered this as well as many other questions unearthed (from this site, especially! What a great crowd!) on my walk. To summarize the summary (there is far more expounded upon about this than the one reference):
(1) we seek for clues in the context that this is so; (2) we compare other Scriptures relating to the same subject to see if we are dealing with limited application or with an abiding requirement; and (3) we try to show that the cultural specificity of the command is not rooted in the nature of God, the gospel, or the created order.
I posted your requested comment.
Who has ever said,”After all, how can we keep women from speaking in church if theyâ€™re anything other than barefoot and pregnant?” Where does stuff like this come from? This is silly.
And, if birth control fails, then have the child. And, either keep the child, or give it up for adoption. I know of many people who would love to adopt a child. Also, there’s nothing disgraceful with growing up poor. Many people grow up poor. It’s hard, no doubt. But, it’s not the end of the world to be poor. Being poor certainly should not be a death sentence.
For the record, I am one of those people who think all birth control is a sin and women should keep having kids until their uterus falls out. Literally. Also, I’ll be the guy to blame for the barefoot and pregnant stuff. Maybe we should worry about bosom coverings these days?
Sorry. Just having fun.
My wife is from the city of Chicago. Her father was a Romanian immigrant (came here in 1983) who worked as a machinist and hardwood floor installer, her mother stayed at home, they had 7 kids. They live on the North side in a well-to-do neighborhood and own their home outright. They did not have many luxery items (if any), and the kids had hand-me-downs, but they are all happy and doing well for themselves.
Your comment about cost of living and how it’s impossible to have multiple kids in a big city doesnt hold water with me. The cost of living is high if you want to own nice cars, have lots of luxery items and aren’t willing to put in the hard work that results from making such decisions. All you’re saying is that if people want to be selfish, and think only of their own happiness and comfort, then they cannot afford to have children. Which i concede is true.
Maybe you’d get your points across better if you’d quit insulting people. A lot of your comments show your hatred for anyone who disagrees with you. They are full of assumption, name-calling, and arrogance. I might point out that the arrogance is quite unwarranted considering the points you try to make are simply absurd a lot of the time.
Now, on to the issues raised…there were a lot so I’ll just mention what I remember off the top of my head.
First, why do you (and many Democratic leaders) assume that the reason so many people are having children out of wedlock and while in high school is because of lack of education?? I don’t know if you have ever talked to a middle schooler in our public school system, but they know about BCP and condoms. The reason that they have sex and have kids is a moral issue – they want to have sex, even without protection – because they can and don’t think it’ll happen to them. They know, they just don’t care. People like Obama and Pelosi just want money for their pet programs, no matter how ineffective and useless they really are.
Second, you might want to do a little reading about the headcovering issue before declaring that the ‘coup de grace’ of the comp/egal debate.
Third, no one is arguing to keep women barefoot and pregnant. That is simply a strawman.
Fourth, let’s face the issue honestly…the reason many people do not have kids or more kids is because of selfishness. They feel they deserve a certain level of lifestyle and they can’t have that boat if they have another kid. This is not always the case, but it is the case more often than not. If people really believed children were a blessing, maybe they would want more. I just think they have bought the lie that children are a parasite rather than a blessing.
I’m sure there are more issues to cover, but those are just the ones I could remember being brought up.
Jason says it pretty well… I’m staying out of this debate, but it is clear that Paul is in over his head and merely resorting to insults because he has nothing else more useful to add. Come on, Paul, give the intellectually dishonest oversimplifications a break.
Again with the assumptions.
1) Who says the entire education process should be about birth control? Proper and relevant sex education needs to include lots of things that simply aren’t being taught, like the emotional ramifications of sex before marriage. True stats concerning STD’s. The social ramifications amongst one’s peers. I don’t know what school you went to, but I went to one with more than a handful of teen mothers, and our sex ed instructors’ hands were tied. People want to think that this is a discussion over something as simplistic and one dimensional as simply birth control, and that’s not the case.
2) I’ve seen the flimsy arguments made about the head covering debate, and I think that they’re just that — flimsy. Either all of the words of Paul in the epistles were divinely inspired and just as important today as they were 2K years ago, or they were completely of their time. Now is certainly not the time to be inserting both/and logic into the discussion.
The barefoot and pregnant comment was just that — a snide comment with a wink and a smile. That it was taken as anything more serious than that says more about you than it does about me…and none of it for the good.
Fourth, you can tell me about my family’s reproductive decisions when you’re in my shoes. Sure, what you say might play for some folks, but it doesn’t play for anyone that I know.
1. Re. Sex Education – I do not think the reason that kids have sex (and pregnancies, abortions, STDs, etc.) is because lack of information. You can give them all the stats they can handle, and they’ll still have sex because they DO NOT CARE. They don’t care about emotional consequences and psychological consequences or even physical consequences because they think that it won’t happen to them. I work with students and I have had this discussion so many times my head wants to explode. The only hope is the Gospel. Christ transforming their hearts and minds so that they desire him more than fleeting pleasures. Those that do no follow Christ are guided by their pleasures (and teens are dumb when it comes to thinking through consequences) and logic is thrown out the window, stats are thrown out the window…they do not care. These sex ed plans are ludicrous and show how out of touch people in DC really are. Christians should be leading the fight to say, sex ed can’t help, only the Gospel can change people’s actions.
2. Well, if you have settled the issue of head coverings, I guess the debate is over.
3. Fair enough
4. I said nothing about YOUR family. Why did you take it so personal? (Hmm, we could dig deeper there…but I’ll refrain.) I simply said most people don’t have kids or more kids because they are selfish. It is a money thing. I did not say all, I said most…and I think that plays itself as true. They can justify it however they want, but that is the core reason for most couples. You say it doesn’t play for anyone you know. You’re a musician, if I remember correctly. (Right?) You are telling me that there is no musician around that decided not to have kids or only 1 kid because they wanted to keep the dream alive and shell money into recording albums and traveling or even not having a job that could support for their family in order to stay a musician? No one? Come on, I even know people like that. It happens in every field of work as well. I’ve heard women say that they only want 1 or 2 so their body doesn’t get all out of shape. Is that selfishness? People do what they want to do and justify how they want. But people are selfish about everything else, why would it be different on this issue?
Preach it, Brother. Preach it. Paul needs to hear more.
rufus t firefly
…fewer children and not less children…
you know, fewer apples, fewer children… fewer republicans, fewer americans who vote without thinking… less hate….less murder by prolifers….less and fewer….