Barren or Child Free: You Decide

R. Albert Mohler, Jr. president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, has decided to open up a can of whup-ass on the child-free lifestyle in the pages of Touchstone magazine.

According to Mohler, such couples are living in moral rebellion against God, and "defraud the creator of his joy and pleasure in seeing the saints raising his children."

Here's a taste of Dr. Mohler's butt-kicking:

This rebellion against parenthood is nothing less than an absolute revolt against God’s design. The Scripture points to barrenness as a great curse and children as a divine gift. The Psalmist declares: “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3–5).

Apparently, Dr. Mohler didn't read the "quiver is full" part, because according to his bio he's got only two kids. So either he and his wife had very little sex, used contraception of some sort, or had low fertility. (The other option, is that they were infertile and adopted two kids.) So is he partially living in rebellion against God? Apparently no one at Touchstone thought to ask him.

Also, aside from a brief mention, Mohler doesn't deal with the issue of infertility—assuming that those who are "barren" are cursed by God. There are more than a few "child free couples" who can't have children, (as many as one in six) but that's just too damn bad, according to Mohler. And if those couples tried, God forbid, reproductive technology like in-vitro fertilization, he'd probably kick them again, for "killing babies" if they had left-over embryos.

BTW, any one who's spent five minutes, or five years, or five decades being "barren" will tell you that it feels like being cursed; they don't need Mohler's to remind them of it.

Let's think for a few minutes about other reasons why people don't have kids. Perhaps some of those child-free couples have post-partum depression or post partum psychosis in their family, so that having a child can be a death sentence for a mother?
Or heck, maybe they're too poor to support kids. Maybe they are not emotionally or psychologically well enough to have kids, or have a deadly genetic disease lurking in their genes, ready to spring forth upon any children they may have. They may even have waited, in purity and chastity, to have sex until they were married, and now are too old to have kids.

Those thoughts never occured to the good doctor. He's not interested in a conversation about the complexities of being childless, or of choosing when to have kids, or how many kids to have. He's content to whack people upside the head and go along his merry, self-righteous way.

The folks at Touchstone pride themselves as being curmudgeonly.

Sometimes, they're just jerks.


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