I will tell you up front that I am not Catholic, and that the Vatican and I disagree on many issues, including birth control, abortion, and the role of women. Apparently I can add choosing to be childfree to my list.
Pope Benedict XVI has called the European trend toward having fewer children “dangerous individualism.” He said, “One must unfortunately note that Europe seems to be going down a road which could lead it to take its leave from history.”
What does that mean? If Europeans don’t hurry up and have more children, their population will vanish from the Earth?
I don’t think so.
There are plenty of people in every country around the globe who can carry on the human race. It is a simple math equation, really. There are more people having more children than ever before in our history, and it expands exponentially from there. End of story.
Having fewer children raises the standard of living, and reduces our obscene dependence on the world’s disappearing natural resources. This is a good thing. Right?
The bottom line for most religious rants about having more children means having more Catholic children, more Mormon children, more Presbyterian children, more Jewish children – you fill in the blank.
It is true that celibate sects, like the Shakers or Oneida Community, do eventually die out. But most religions are not in any danger of becoming extinct. If world domination is the goal, then all religions have a long way to go.
While our numbers are increasing, the childfree are still a vast minority. We will not be responsible for the end of the human race, because for every one of us, there are hundreds – if not thousands, worldwide – of people who are choosing to have children.
People should have children if they want them. If they don't, then they shouldn't. It is as simple as that.
The Pope shouldn’t worry about the population of Europe. There are far more important things to be concerned about. If my husband and I don’t have children, I think the world will keep turning.