A friend sent me a link to a frightening video that I view with the same blend of skepticism and concern I try to apply to all apocalyptic warnings. There were elements of the presentation that I need to verify from other sources. I don’t just swallow things whole.
However, a single statistic did capture my attention and my concern. It is a statistic I have seen elsewhere. I used to see it reported about the population of Europe, and now I see it reported about the population of the USA.
US Fertility Rate = 1.6.
This is a number to make any thinking person get busy thinking a lot more.
The reason this number gives me pause is another statistic. The birth rate required for a culture to sustain itself is 2.11. The consequence of a birth rate less than 2.11 is the death of a culture. I won’t try to predict what follows the death of the culture we know, but as far as I can tell, the culture I once thought was the USA is truly dying. If the birth rate continues at the rate of 1.6 then there will come a time when the USA that led an alliance to set a whole world free of tyranny in World War II will be a dim memory, if it is remembered at all.
I was captivated by this number. US Fertility Rate = 1.6. During the election campaign of 2012, a dominant theme was the so-called “war on women.” The primary issue in that so-called war was a newly discovered universal human right to contraception, abortion and sterilization. The one thing everyone came to know about the new healthcare law, scornfully labeled Obamacare, is that it requires every employer to provide preventive health services for women that include contraception, abortion and sterilization at no charge to the patients. A lot of time was spent during the campaign maligning anyone who suggested that contraception is not health care or a preventive health service. Any candidate who proposed that people pay for their own contraception would have been hooted off the stage.
This campaign only highlighted the fact that in the USA, abortion and contraception have become almost interchangeable issues, and nobody seems to correlate this emphasis with the decline in the birth rate that means the culture cannot sustain itself. I’m no statistician, but those who are say that to date, no culture has ever rebounded from a birth rate of 1.6, although the rate from which it is supposedly mathematically impossible to recover is a bit lower.
What happens if the birth rate of the US remains at 1.6? What happens if it becomes even lower?
What bothers me is that people seem to be very concerned that somebody will interfere with contraception and abortion, and nobody seems to be concerned that this country will not be recognizable in a couple of generations if this birth rate continues. It appears to me that nobody cares that the culture of the USA will soon be only a memory, and that the people who will likely fill the gap really won’t care at all to preserve that memory.
If you have read this far and have asked yourself, “What does this have to do with being Christian?” my answer is this: about 70% of people in the US self-identify as Christians, and they are part of the statistic on the fertility rate. Self-identified Christians make up more than half of the US population, and it appears that Christians are just as interested in preventing or terminating pregnancy as the rest of the population. The national issues that have grown out of the passage of the Affordable Care Act make it clear that many Christians see no conflict with their faith in the emphasis on contraception, abortion and sterilization. The conversation about these issues, however, never seems to include any reference to the fact that before this act was even passed, our national fertility rate was low enough that the end of the culture that passed the act was already inevitable. Viewed that way, one wonders what is the reason for all the excitement. The people who worry about the doom of the culture are completely out-numbered by those who believe that prevention and termination of pregnancy are essential to the national well-being. Those who want pregnancy under control will absolutely get their wish according to the statistics. If Christians do nothing different from whatever they are doing now, American Christians are already a dying breed.
I must ask why abortion and contraception are so important to our government and our national leaders. I must ask why the female leaders in our nation not only support but also energetically advocate abortion and contraception. I must ask why so many Christians support an agenda to prevent or terminate pregnancy. Why?
I will write more on this subject later, but for now I simply ask this question: What becomes of our country if there is no next generation? What becomes of Christianity in the US if there is no next generation of Christians?
- Hobby Lobby Will Defy ACA Requirement for Free Contraception (crooksandliars.com)
- U.S. birth rate plummets to its lowest level since 1920 (dailyitem.com)
- Religious Convictions Vs. The ‘Morning After Pill’ (libertycrier.com)