Saturday, May 10, 2008

Children ARE a gift

I've been reading the news articles this week on the famous family from Arkansas that has 18 kids, and now a new baby on the way. (Mom is 41). More interesting than the articles are the comment chains on discussion boards and blogs about the news. So many people are so very critical of this family's choice to have a large family, despite the fact that they are debt free, contributing to their community, and have had zero trouble with the law or authorities [i.e. so far all of their kids seem well adjusted and good little citizens]. This family is also not living off govt welfare.

One argument tossed out against chemical birth control during its development was that the widespread use of it would pivot society toward devaluing human life. And this seems to have happened, based on the comments expressed by people on the internet about this family. They are derided viciously for their decision to have so many children. Liberals have tagged them as selfish, mentally ill, oblivious to world overpopulation and hunger, etc etc. I thought liberals stood for a woman's right to choose? That means no babies, 2 babies, 20 babies- it doesn't matter. As many of you know, Jon and I have chosen not to have children, but we don't view them as a curse and we certainly don't resent families that do want to participate with God in conceiving the next generation.

Most of the liberal complaints against the family are without merit, especially the comments that allege its child abuse to have so many children because no family can take care of that many children. Are these commentators completely ignorant as to the average family structure before the advent of the pill? In the early 20th century larger families were common. My mother came from a family of 13. My paternal grandfather was in a family of 12 or so. Even I have 8 brothers and sisters and I was born in the 70s. Granted it takes cooperation among the family to make it work, but it's not impossible rocket science.

What's the point of this long and now rambling post of mine? Simply this: we've gone from a society that received large families with joy to one that derides couples who decide to have more than 4 or 5 children as if children were a curse to society instead of a gift from God. And that makes me very sad and seems to be directly tied to the invention and distribution of chemical birth control.
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