Can We Justify Bringing Children into This Dark World?

Jul 26, 2019 by

by Haley Stewart, Public Discourse:

BirthStrikers protest climate change by vowing not to have children. Christians are called to a different response—a courageous one, built on hope rather than despair.

A wise priest once told me that, in this day and age, having children seems like an act of insanity. It appears foolishly audacious, he said, to bring new life into such a dark world of suffering, evil, and injustice. Yet, he explained, it is precisely this kind of foolishness that is built on the defiant hope of the Gospel. Without believing that God has not abandoned us, how could one justify having children?

Judging by the existence of BirthStrike, a growing movement of women who are choosing not to have children as a way to protest the climate crisis, it seems that many can’t.

When I heard about BirthStrike founder Blythe Pepino’s decision to be childless in spite of her desire to be a mother, I didn’t find her fear of environmental disaster unreasonable. I’m a millennial. My children’s lives will be affected by the climate crisis. As a mother of four young kids, I would be lying if I did not admit that this reality causes significant dread as I look toward their future. I find the evidence pointing toward climate catastrophe both credible and demanding of a radical response. Still, the question whether or not you should accept the scientific consensus on environmental issues is outside the scope of this short essay.

Instead, I want to explain why—even though I sympathize with the fears of the BirthStrikers—I think their form of protest is deeply flawed. Although they don’t realize it, their movement reveals that our culture is reaching the depths of despair. We are beginning to embrace the suicide of the human race itself. If an environmental crisis will cause humanity to suffer, the reasoning goes, it is better to accept the bleak, dying world of Children of Men than to bring more children into it.

Read here

See also: Without children, the future holds no hope, by Will Jones, Faith and Politics

The turn against motherhood, by Frank Furedi, spiked

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