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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Procreation

Having three children (and soon, God willing, four), I'm not a fan of population control. I prefer "family planning", which is what I have learned about Natural Family Planning. It sounds more sane to me that couples would jointly (pray and) decide how many children they are invited by God to have, based on their circumstances as a whole. This means of course one, two or more children depending on those circumstances.

Compare that to the notion of population control, negative in connotation and, in practice, negative, period. That a Chinese city is now acknowledging problems with it is very telling. The one-child policy, which actually goes against Chinese custom (I can speak from experience), was not entered into scientifically. That's clear enough since the science of demographics/economics says that the ideal population replacement level is at about 2 children per family. But there's more to it than those numbers. The contraceptive mentality seems to be the first step, where the value of human life is no longer grounded in objective terms, i.e., precious because it is precious to the Creator. In subjective terms, human life is expendable, and its value is relative. The negative connotations of motherhood and children have been sold too effectively, and it will not be easy to now tell women to compromise their careers and comfortable lives and lifestyles for motherhood. So this news about Shanghai, which is not unique (Japan, South Korea, Singapore, some European countries are doing the same thing), is problematic. Baby bonuses will only go so far, I think, whereas the battle will really be in the hearts and minds of women. From a Christian perspective, one can only hope and pray, because it will take the Holy Spirit to renew the face of the postmodern world.

Update: Found this piece and, I have to say, the comments from primary school students therein are eye openers.