I was going to gloss over Mark Steyn’s article decrying the fact that Christians aren’t breeding fast enough, because Amanda had already taken care of the angle about the obvious racism and sexism. Steyn doesn’t talk about white people, but the examples he gives of Christians who have few children are all from North America and Europe, even though Latin America and the Philippines’ high fertility cancels Europe’s low fertility.
But Echidne’s take got me thinking about the broader natalist angle. Steyn’s argument is similar to arguments conservative natalists make about fundamentalists versus secularists. When they say that conservatives are having more children than liberals (e.g. here), they brim with joy; but when they find that whites are having fewer children than non-whites, they go nuts.
In neither case is the hunch even right. Conservatives outbreed liberals in the US, but the US isn’t becoming less liberal, because conversions go conservative-to-liberal more than the other way around. The same applies to Christianity, which evangelizes throughout the world. Islam is growing faster, but religioustolerance.org quotes the US Center for World Mission as saying Christianity’s percentage of the world population is stable.
The average Christian is not like Scarlett Johansson, who Steyn deprecates for practicing birth control and not sharing his demented “understanding of sexuality as anything other than an act of transient self-expression.” Even if Scarlett Johansson gets HIV tests and makes sure she doesn’t get pregnant, the average Lucía Martinez and Mary Smith don’t.
Fear-based rhetoric about how the brown hordes are going to overrun Europe and North America is good at riling up hardcore racists and fascists, but bad at agreeing with reality. Amidst fears of a Hispanic takeover in the US, people forget that adding the percentage of self-reported Anglos in the US is 14.9%, slightly more than the percentage of Hispanics. The other non-Hispanic whites have ancestors who at various times in US history were hated for outbreeding Anglos and subverting American culture.
The same applies to misogynist rhetoric about women who shirk their duty to give birth to white babies. Sure, keeping women barefoot and pregnant will increase white birth rates; but the society it will create will look exactly like the one Steyn is complaining is outbreeding his. Steyn may like that society, since like many conservatives, he seems to have no problem with totalitarian societies that speak his language. But intellectual apologists for Western supremacism like Huntington spend a tremendous amount of time ranting about how women’s rights and freedom are fundamental Western values that non-Westerners are inferior for not adoping.
As I often say to people who insist on living the movement: becoming breeders in God’s name makes no sense. If you’re a woman who cares first and foremost about spreading Christianity, then have no kids, and donate the million dollars in lifetime earnings you’ll save to your missionary organization of choice. Considering that Christianity has never shied away from evangelizing-first arguments, there’s no question that promoting insanely high birth rates is not about promuglating the religion, but about keeping women barefoot and pregnant.
Note to Muslim-bashers: yes, Muslims have high birth rates. When they emigrate to first-world countries that don’t throw them into ghettos and then act surprised when they torch cars, their birth rates go down and they adopt Enlightenment values. If you’re worried for the future of democracy rather than for these of white hegemony and the patriarchy, you should welcome them in open arms and make sure they integrate as quickly as possible.