REVENGE OF THE NATALISTS
We could extend this theoretical framework to include those who foster the idea that human reproduction is bad and that the most destructive forces threatening the survival of the planet are babies. Those scientific and political “depopulationists”, if they were intellectually honest and practiced those things which they purport to be beneficial to the planet; low birth rates, universal access to contraception and abortion, governmental population-control policies, would also self-extinguish in a matter of decades.
I personally don’t believe that gays and lesbians really want or expect everyone in the culture to participate in non-reproductive couplings. And so long as sperm donors and wombs for rent are available to such couples, children will sometimes find themselves in a two-parent home where they have been deprived of a mother or a father. In one sense, for the child, it is a different kind of personal extinction; the extinction of the proper and optimum model of the nuclear family. Every child benefits from a mother and a father who are committed to one another and to the rearing of that child.
Let’s distill this discussion down to the most basic elements of the Darwinian adaptations required for survival of a species. Humans are so incredibly successful as a species precisely because of the nuclear family adaptation. It is the bond between mother and father, committed to the protection and rearing of their offspring, that results in the extremely low rate of infant mortality when compared to other species of large mammals. The cooperation, complimentary roles, and biological advantages inherent to a combination of masculine and feminine traits in the parent partnership, is the ultimate adaptation for a a higher species to ensure its survival and reproductive capacity. The human paradigm of family transcends all other natural adaptations found among higher organisms, including all other primates.
The threat to the human species lies in the current trend of depopulation. This is happening in two ways. One is the planned childlessness and high abortion rates among adults of child-bearing age in industrialized countries. For example, in the European Union there is not a single country that is maintaining a fertility rate sufficient to replace its aging and dying population. The EU overall has a fertility rate of about 1.5, with some individual countries much lower. The other threat to human reproduction is the disintegration of the family unit. Marriage rates have decreased, especially in socialized countries where religion has taken a back seat to the state. Fewer adults are getting married and fewer married adults are reproducing. The downward and precipitous trend in childbearing has reached the shores of America. In even the most prosperous and free nation in history, the family is floundering.
It is important, however, to dissect the matter even more deeply if we are to be able to discern who among us will become extinct first. Here is where things get really interesting. In Joseph Fried’s 2008 book “Democrats and Republicans: Rhetoric and Reality,” he cleverly illustrates fundamental differences between key political voting blocs through the use of simple graphs and charts. Fried, in his heavily referenced book, took statistical samplings from the Social Research Foundation and Harris Interactive and graphed the contrast in lifestyles between the American Right and Left. The samplings reveal, for instance, that Democrats (D) are more promiscuous than Republicans (R). R are more likely to be monogamous. Homosexual males are more likely to vote D. D are more likely to pay for sex. R males have a marriage rate nearly 10% higher than D. That widens to 20% with women. D are more likely to never marry. D are more accepting of premarital and extra-marital sex. D are more likely to shack up and have children without the benefit of marriage. D are more likely to have children before the age of 19. And D have a higher incidence of mental illness. So on, and so forth. These lifestyle leanings have profound implications for families and children. The ramifications of weakened families, the redefining of marriage, and the contemptuous attitude towards large families in popular culture and in the media are complex and can have unexpected results . In their 2009 book, “Red Families vs. Blue Families,” Naomi Cahn and June Carbone remark that a “resurgence in illegitimacy happened during the first five years in which gay marriage had become the most prominent marriage issue in America.” The ripples on the moral pond touch everyone and everything in their wake.
As of late, Americans have been defined by their color. Not that of their skin, but rather the tone of their voting habits and lifestyle choices that are closely linked with political philosophy. We are now red states and blue states; red being largely Conservative and blue being mostly Liberal. There are a number of fascinating findings that have come from this classification. In the General Social Survey, a tool used widely by social scientists, it was shown in 2004 that blue-stater Liberals had a fertility rate of around 1.47%. Red-state Conservatives were at 2.08%. The National Annenburg Election Survey of 2008 supported those findings in their post-Obama survey which showed a nearly 45% gap in the birth rates of very Conservative vs. Liberal women. The reddest states, such as Utah, have the highest birth rates, while the bluest states, such as Vermont have the lowest. It is important to note that Vermont was the first state to give legal status to gay marriage. Birth rate statistics correlate with the highest rates of marriage according to religious denominations. In first place are Mormons whose adult population enjoys a marriage rate of 71%. Second are Evangelical Protestants at 59%. Those adults unaffiliated with a religion have a marriage rate of less than 40%. These figures show a collapse within certain demographic populations of marriage and the nuclear family. And whether or not you believe in Darwinism, even the evolution guy himself would agree that the dissolution of the most effective survival adaptation devised by any living creature in the entire history of life on Earth is not good for the species.
There would be much cause for rejoicing among Conservatives and Republicans if this were a simple numbers game. If Liberals continue to embrace practices and policies that are harmful to marriage and which discourage large families, they will naturally become extinct at some future time. That would ensure indefinite political dominion of the Conservative Right over their nemeses of the Left. It would be the ultimate revenge of the Natalists against their enemies who have disparaged, dismissed, and accused them of harming the planet simply because they place procreation at the pinnacle of their priorities. But this is more than a numbers game. The forces that target human life are many. Embryonic stem cell research, abortion on demand, the one child policy in China, and the rejection of procreative practices by educated and prosperous adults in industrialized nations, all imply demographic catastrophe for nations and extinction for genetic lineages.
The Natalists will surely not celebrate the decline of their political or religious antipodes whose family names will end in a generation. But is the Natalists, those who embrace human life and the procreation thereof, who will ensure the survival of future generations. Families with a mother and a father, who gladly welcome children into their hearts and homes, are the best and surest answer to the threat of human species decline.
The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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