If people were pandas

The giant panda birth rate has been declining for some time. For whatever reason, giant pandas just aren’t getting busy like they used to, and this lack of panda romance has resulted in a sharp decrease in their population. Because of this, concerned citizens of the globe, environmentalists, scientists, animal rights activists and weird bestial perverts have all taken an intense interest in the sex habits of these Asian mammals. They have tried everything to encourage the cuddly beasts to make love and have little giant panda babies.

But why do we care about the giant panda birth rate? Why do we want them to reproduce? What does it matter if they go extinct? Well, because they’re cute, I guess. And they inspire mediocre animated DreamWorks films. And because — whether it’s pandas or seals or sloths — we never want to see any species fade out of existence.

Any species except our own, of course. For all our efforts to increase the Earth’s supply of furry woodland creatures and adorable arctic mammals, we still continue to view our own human fertility as an unfortunate medical condition that requires regular treatment, if not corrective surgery. When preventative measures fail, murder is an acceptable alternative to permitting another human parasite to plague the planet. We even tell fables about a mythical thing called “overpopulation,” a eugenic fairy tale propagated by modern Flat-Earthers who claim the world is running out of space simply because there are logical limits on how many of us can cram into a metropolis or an airport shuttle bus. But what’s worse than the historically low birth rate is the collective yawn that greets it. Some claim that our declining reproduction can be blamed on the troubled economy, but I think it has more to do with our troubled priorities. We’re told from a young age that unborn children are disposable, babies are a hassle, and “too much” human life is a hazard to our fragile ecosystem. There are “too many” people. Think about that statement. I’ve been hearing it for as long as I can remember. The secret to happiness, we’re told, is self-love, and we can express that self love by amassing material wealth. Babies can be an obstacle to our pursuit of physical luxuries, and they will interfere with our ability to focus on loving our own selves. I think these ideas — these poisonous, destructive ideas — are finally starting to sink in, which is why you hear them repeated everywhere from schools, to children’s TV shows, to churches.

And in Time magazine. This month’s cover features an image of a smiling young couple lounging peacefully on a white sandy beach under the headline, “The Childfree Life.” The caption reads: “When having it all means not having children.” The article goes on to discuss the choices of an increasing number of married couples to shirk parenthood in favor of more fun and more freedom. It paints these people as martyrs, describing the persecution they face from backwards fundamentalists who still make the horrible mistake of “equating womanhood with motherhood.” It’s not really clear what progressives think we SHOULD associate with womanhood, or even how we should define it. According to them, gender is subjective and negotiable, having little to do with one’s reproductive organs or physiological attributes. So you can’t assume a woman to have XX chromosomes and a vagina, and you certainly can’t assume her to be a wife and a mother, and you can’t tie her to any preconceived notions of femininity and grace. Womanhood, in our modern utopia, is an outdated term that means nothing and has no significance. Hooray! Everything is meaningless and nothing matters! Liberation!

Or something.

Look, obviously there are couples who physically and medically can’t have children. There are also individuals who, for whatever reason, never get married. I am not talking about the folks in either of these categories. But for everyone else — the fertile and capable married couples in our society — the question is whether or not the decision to be fruitless should be viewed as equal or superior to the choices of couples who embrace the procreative power of their marital union. I don’t care what anyone says or how much energy anyone exerts in attempting to pretend that everything is relative and subjective and nothing is right and nothing is wrong. The fact is that our ideological disputes — particularly in the realm of marriage and relationships — all boil down to an argument over IDEALS. What is the marital ideal? Why do we get married? What is our role in the marriage? What’s the point? What’s the purpose? What is love? How does it act? What does it do? These are the essential questions. The modern progressive might claim that there is no “right answer”, but then he will follow that up by asserting one. Only, the progressive answer isn’t really an answer so much as a negative dogmatic reaction to anything that reeks of tradition or religion. He can’t give you the exact ‘what’ and ‘why’ of marriage, but he can tell you what it shouldn’t be: It shouldn’t be structured in any way that puts the man in a position of leadership, it shouldn’t involve the woman “staying home,” and it shouldn’t be tied to procreation and parenting.

Allow me to be controversial by disagreeing with this modern wisdom, and instead aligning myself with biology, the Bible, billions of people from the past and present, logic, sound philosophy, and thousands of years of Judeo-Christian tradition. I still believe procreation to be a crucial facet of marriage. It’s not the “only” purpose, and it doesn’t mean we’re all supposed to have a thousand kids, but marriage is sacred because of its creative power. Marriage is the context in which we build families, and families are the foundation of civilization. When that crumbles, everything goes with it. Just ask Ancient Rome or Ancient Greece. Better yet, talk to modern Western Europe. We think we can separate marriage from family and family from marriage, but they are dimensions of each other.

If we can somehow learn to have the same respect for human life that we have for panda or dolphin life, maybe we’ll begin to rediscover why it’s important to embrace the full nature and power of the love between husband and wife. I know we really hate the “D” word in this culture, but if we only valued human existence in the same way that we value endangered tortoise existence, I think we’d begin to understand that there is also a certain duty involved here. We have a duty to protect the environment, and maybe we have duty to save various animal critters from extinction, but we also have a duty to give new human life to the world. Boys have a duty to become men, and most men will become husbands, and most husbands have a duty to become fathers. I know that statement will seem utterly grotesque to many of the people who read it, but there it is. I wanted to have kids. But I didn’t just have them because I wanted them. I had them because I wanted them, and because I should have them, and because the world needs them.

If my kids were endangered African Baobab Trees, every liberal would agree vehemently with my sentiments. Instead, they’re just people, and the world has too many people already, or so I’m told.

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56 Responses to If people were pandas

  1. Sherry Potter says:

    Matt, you are truly gifted. I cannot imagine the backlash you must receive as a young, conservative, Christian man in this “progressive” dominated society. Keep up the fight, your voice is being heard…God Bless!!

  2. Judi says:

    I always end up saying the same old thing…Great column, Matt

  3. Melinda Hires says:

    Wow, this is amazing! I hate how women have come to this idea of thinking it’s “beneath” them to be mothers and take care of their husbands! I’m 22 and I have never wanted anything more than being a stay-at-home mother and a wife who puts her husband over herself. My husband and I have one baby girl so far and it’s pretty much looked down upon especially at my “extremely young” age. Everyone tells you if you MUST have kids, “live” first. That’s just not living to me. Thanks for the article!

    • tdstray4 says:

      I’m twice your age, Melinda. I never wanted to be a stay at home mom, wanted to marry the man I loved and travel and go places and just BE with him and only him. Then, along came our daughter. Totally unplanned. Then, the boy. Totally planned. I now feel the way you do, never wanting anything more. I have a part time job, my husband has lost his job, so I want to take care of everyone by helping out financially. He cooks, he cleans, we get by. I am so happy to read your post and the fact that you love your kids and that you don’t feel that “living” would have been to “wait” to have them. That you couldn’t live without them. You make me so hopeful and proud.

  4. Brieana says:

    I found it endlessly fascinating that, after having a girl and a boy, people from all my circles would make comments along the lines of, “You’re done, right?” or “Oh, how nice, the perfect set. Now you can stop.” There were lots of surprised people when the third, and fourth, and fifth came along. My response to them was always that we liked them not because they completed a gender set, but as PEOPLE. But I see now where I was wrong.

  5. Lisa says:

    “Marriage is sacred because of its creative power.” Bravo.Thank you for your boldness and passion for speaking the truth!

  6. srbboo says:

    I never wanted children because, in my teens, I developed anxiety which led to alcoholism. (A family trait.) A good man, whom I will never be able to praise enough, stood by me through it. God intervened when I was 30 years old, cleaned me and prepared me as a sacred vessel, made sure a seed was planted, and our only son was born. I was overwhelmed with the power of a motherly love that I had never known. Still am. I was cured of the anxiety- stopped looking inward and started looking outward (taking care of this new miracle that I thought I never wanted.) I still have the man, who is better than ever; and the son, whom we both love so much it hurts. If I could do it all over again I’d have four more. I envy folks who have so many kids the house is overflowing with bodies, laughter, and love. There are a lot of reasons people don’t have children. If we didn’t have this ponzi scheme entitlement society that we are all slaves to, it wouldn’t matter if our population growth was zero. But Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare and other “programs” demand a growing population base. It’s going to collapse under its’ own weight; it can’t do anything else, because there are not enough producers to keep building the foundation. Stock up on toilet paper, because in times of war and chaos, it is a luxury.

  7. Bose says:

    I do think the world is overpopulated. This is absolutely, crystal clear to me any time I go back to visit my birth country of India. It’s a nation 1/3 the size of America trying to deal with over 3 times the population. There’s just not enough space, infrastructure, or resources to support it; and you see that evidenced in the sheer scale of the poverty there.

    • BettySue says:

      But other countries with more people/mile do not have those problems (Japan for example). It’s not that there are too many people. It’s the type of government and the impoverishing religion and culture that are the problem.

      • Bose says:

        China and India are the two most populous nations on earth, and they are both facing the problem. I think Japan has a greater GDP per-capita, and so doesn’t see the poverty as in China and India. But remember that Japan is in debt up past its eyeballs right now.

        I agree, if India could get its per-capital GDP up to the level of Japan, and had a more efficient (and less corrupt) government in place, it would be a much better situation, but in reality that won’t happen — and maybe a GDP of the size necessary to achieve that isn’t even possible…

      • Danny says:

        Well it’s not like India and China can invade other countries to take their land…and we know for sure other countries won’t just give away land…so what is your solution?

        It’s not just overpopulation in some countries, but also the fact that there are people reproducing who have no business doing so.

        I think the author does a disservice with the blanket statements that he is making here.

  8. Momofsix says:

    You say you had kids because you wanted them, should have them and the world needed them. However, having a child should be about them – not you. Being human does not automatically make us good parents. Individuals need to be responsible- they need to be physically, mentally, emotionally, financially stable to provide a loving, stable, nurturing home and enviroment for a baby (babies) In you blog you refer and excuse people for having a child that can not physically have children or are not (by your standards) married but you do not consider there are many adults, single and married that should NOT reproduce because they are not physically, mentally, financially, emotionally competent and stable to a be a parent. People chose to not have a child/children for many, many reasons! Honestly, I am truely grateful for those that for whatever reason choose to not reproduce because those are the children that are neglected and abused not just physically but emotionally.
    I have enjoyed reading your opinions and just wanted to share my perspective!

    • Nate says:

      Although you make some good points, I don’t think the author’s intention in writing this article was to persuade those who feel “physically, mentally, emotionally” etc UN-stable to go ahead and have kids cause they should.

      That being said, none of us are ever perfect or completely “stable” in all the areas you mentioned and sometimes having children with the best of intentions is still a leap of faith.

      However, back to my first point, I think the author’s intention here is to point out there are MANY couples who are quite stable physically/mentally/emotionally/financially and could be good parents who simply choose not to have children in favor of more “freedom.” It’s the societal trend he’s pointing out, and our shifting values as a whole, as a community, ESPECIALLY in the areas of the world that enjoy greater stability (speaking generally of course) in comparison to less stable parts of the world.

  9. Stephie says:

    Thank you so much for writing this, you motivated me to delurk and add my .02.

    In the last few months the Daily Mail has had numerous editorial writers discussing this very topic, many of them describing the pain they feel as women who reach their 40s, only to discover that fertility has passed them by. There seems to be a large number of women who enter an educational and career track and find that it is never convenient to have children until it is too late. Some of these women are those who thought they didn’t want children in their early years, only to find out later that a life of vacations and socializing with friends is actually quite lonely and empty.

    I agree with you that the crux of this issue is religious. If you believe in God you probably believe there is something more to life than parties, material things and career success. Children are the natural answer to the question, “What should my life be about?” Isn’t it interesting that in the story of the Garden of Eden one of the first commandments God gave Adam and Eve was, “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.” I am a Mormon and our interpretation of the Garden of Eden story is that this commandment could not be fulfilled until they took of the Tree of Knowledge, which then led to this fallen world. We believe it was a necessary step for human beings to grow and develop into what God wants us to become. Becoming parents and all that entails is a huge part of that process. To willfully reject it, in my opinion, shrinks our souls from what they could be and prevents us from experiencing much of the joy God wants us to have.

  10. J Johnson says:

    Ditto! God bless you, Matt.

  11. psudrozz says:

    “idiocracy” captured this sentiment, in a way.

  12. Grant says:

    I once saw a bumper sticker years ago depicting a human infant dressed as a baby seal. The caption read, “Save the baby seals.” I have never forgot it. Sadly, this illustration is more relevant today than it was 20 years ago…

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you AGAIN.

    Your words of wisdom are so rare. Or maybe the rarity is that you actually use your brain and have an amazing way of articulating your thoughts. Either way you are full of uncommon sense 😉

    I’m a mother of five children and I get treated like I just don’t know how to use birth control, because who would choose this right? I get gasps when people learn that both myself and my partner don’t use birth control to prevent an ‘accident’….none of them are accidents, we don’t need birth control…we understand how babies are made and managed to have 2 five year gaps between babies; we just don’t make one if we don’t want one. Imagine that!!

    Large families are ok, nothing in life is free, but you make do and you get by no matter how many kids you have. Finances are just a cop out, your children don’t need everything you can buy them, they need what money can’t buy.

  14. v says:

    Um, why is it anyone else’s business if a couple decides have OR not to have children? It is no one’s “duty” to populate/over-populate the earth. No child deserves to be raised by parents who didn’t really want her/him, and who only created a life because they felt they “had” to. If couples decide to have children, great! If they don’t, great! What does it matter? Why must we constantly waste energy judging other people’s personal choices? Someone’s decision to have/not have children LITERALLY affects NO ONE ELSE. Stop shaming healthy and economically sound couples who choose not to have children. This article makes me sick to my stomach.

  15. Danny says:

    People who do not want kids, shouldn’t have them PERIOD.

    • Nate says:

      I recommend you read srbboo’s comment above. I thought she gave a great perspective – someone who DIDN’T want children at one point, but overcame the fears keeping her from wanting children and now feels infinitely grateful for her chance to be a mother and raise a child.

      I’m not disagreeing that many people shouldn’t have kids, especially those who have them for any reason other than to love and nurture them, and don’t intend to strive to be the best parent they can be.

      However, where I think the author hits the nail spot on is that as a society our values have shifted, and I honestly believe many who 50 years ago WOULD have had children and been great parents, simply choose not to nowadays because of how our priorities as a culture have changed. This only results in missed life experiences and missed joys for those people – something they may regret later on or may never realize, which to me, as a parent, is truly sad.

  16. Cyberguy64 says:

    Matt, while I agree that environmentalists often take things too far, I must disagree with your “Who cares?” attitude towards extinction. The Bible says that we’re supposed to be good stewards of the Earth, and that means protecting it;s inhabitants when they’re in danger, especially if we made a mistake that caused the danger.

    That said, people do take it too far and obsess over the animals above people, just like you’re saying. They go on to demonize the people who cause any sort of real or imagined environmental problem, consider real human issues to be beneath the horrors of someone eating fish, etc.

    A balance must be struck in order for there to be harmony. As long as people insist on tugging the pendulum as far to the left or right as they can, it’s just going to keep violently swinging around and knocking everyone involved over as it does.

    (Also, I must take issue with your assessment of the Kung Fu Panda films. They were very well crafted, well written, highly artistic, and overall good films. Then again, seeing your reaction to fiction elsewhere in your blog, I can see we’ll never see eye-to-eye on this subject.)

  17. A-mazing. I loved it. This the condensed version of everything I have been saying for the past 12 years. God bless your future endeavors and may your children be the ones who create simple solutions to big problems.

  18. Reblogged this on verbosevictoria and commented:
    He says a lot of what I think. Only with more style.

  19. Erika Woods says:

    Beautifully written, thank you for your very inspiring words.

  20. S. Holeman says:

    Thanks; this is why my brother has a bumper sticker with a baby white seal saying: “Save the baby humans!”

  21. finaorlena says:

    Thanks; this is why my brother has a bumper sticker with a baby white seal saying “save the baby humans!”

  22. Neil McManus says:

    Pandas refuse to mate because of an adaptation to prevent overpopulation. Before humans expanded into their territories, Pandas had no natural pressures to prevent overbreeding and being extremely reluctant to reproduce provided an evolutionary advantage (because overpopulation is as likely a path to extinction as you can find). They are now endangered because of dwindling habitat and encroachment from another species with no natural predators. We have nothing but our own intellect and wisdom to prevent overpopulation (or our own stupidity and rapaciousness in the form of wars). I think you make a false, indefensible claim in the rest of your argument (that humans are trying hard to limit our own reproduction is demonstrably untrue, just look at the population numbers over the last 100 years, we’ve seen nearly exponential growth since ~1920), but this first analogy reveals lamentable intellectual laziness. Why not actually go learn about pandas before basing an argument on them? Why not actually go learn about human population statistics before arguing about that? Overpopulation is a horrible way for a group of animals to die. There are good arguments for the reproductive and protective properties of marriage, but this is not one of them.

    Signed: a Catholic father of two –not a liberal– just someone who values intellectual honesty, knowledge, and who is genuinely aligned with logic and biology.

    • Chad says:

      A thousand times this. I could not agree more. Matt’s blogs are refreshingly well-written, but he needed to do a little better research before he wrote this one. Fact: Pandas are not reproducing largely because of encroachment on their habitats by humans. Fact: The current Population of the Earth consumes natural resources at a rate that is faster than it’s natural rate of replenishment. This would indicate that either we, as a species need to dial down the reproduction rate, or we need to get a LOT more efficient in our resource consumption rate. Also, making a statement like “you are married, now you have to breed” is archaic and ridiculous. Especially when you read his recent blog on parenting where he states that people shouldn’t tell others how to parent and judge each other as bad parents. If that is true (and I believe it is), then why is it okay to tell others that they MUST become parents, just because they are married?

    • Lukep says:

      You won’t find a bit of intellectual honesty from any of matt’s posts. He is scared of citations (dang liberal progressive academics…)

    • Jocelyne says:

      Neil McManus, yours is the best response to Matt’s article I’ve read thus far. I lived a year in Uganda where the population growth rate currently sits at 3.1% and continues to climb. I wonder if people understand the implications of this kind of growth. The country’s current population of 37.5 million is projected to explode to nearly 130 million by 2050 (CIA World Factbook). The year 2050 is within my lifetime (assuming I achieve the average life expectancy of a Canadian woman). I’ve experienced the congestion and witnessed the poverty in Uganda’s capital city, Kampala, and I really cannot imagine what life will be like there in a quarter century if nothing is done to curb population growth. Matt, I’m afraid there’s really nothing “mythical” about overpopulation, and I suggest, if you haven’t already, that you step off your own continent to see what is going on in the rest of the world before you write so ignorantly about a most important topic.

      Like Neil, I have children of my own, and my concern is for their future as much as it is for my own. It’s rather self-centred to give birth to babies and then give little or no thought to the planet they will inherit.

    • Neil McManus, yours is the best response to Matt’s article I’ve read thus far. I lived a year in Uganda where the population growth rate currently sits at 3.1% and continues to climb. I wonder if people understand the implications of this kind of growth. The country’s current population of 37.5 million is projected to explode to nearly 130 million by 2050 (CIA World Factbook). The year 2050 is within my lifetime (assuming I achieve the average life expectancy of a Canadian woman). I’ve experienced the congestion and witnessed the poverty in Uganda’s capital city, Kampala, and I really cannot imagine what life will be like there in a quarter century if nothing is done to curb population growth. Matt, I’m afraid there’s really nothing “mythical” about overpopulation, and I suggest, if you haven’t already, that you step off your own continent to see what is going on in the rest of the world before you write so ignorantly about a most important topic.

      Like Neil, I have children of my own, and my concern is for their future as much as it is for my own. It’s rather self-centred to give birth to babies and then give little or no thought to the planet they will inherit.

  23. Deanna says:

    Wonderfully put! I have 5 children and people look at me like I’m crazy and talk about over-population. I try to not judge others on the size of their family – don’t judge me on the size of mine. If I can feed, care for and educate my 5 kids – then why shouldn’t I have them – every family is different – but I happen to love mine just the way it is!!

  24. Shannon says:

    Matt, I love your posts, but I have to disagree with this one. I don’t have children yet, and honestly still questioning if I want any. I can honestly say that if I DID have a baby, that baby would be born into poverty and all the struggles that comes with that. I decided long ago that I wouldn’t have a child until such a time as I could provide a stable and safe life for them. I honestly think that this is the right thing to do, and applaud anyone else who uses rational thinking when making choices about bringing another life into this world. Too many women get pregnant without knowing how they are going to live and provide for that baby, and with that brings a measure of stress and anxiety to a family that shouldn’t be discounted. There are a lot of reasons why people choose not to have children, and if they have a reason (any reason) then they are right not to. Anything that would make someone not want to have a child risks being a cause of resentment towards that child if they are born. That, my friend, is a real tragedy.

    As far as pandas vs people goes, pandas lack of breeding may cause their extinction soon, people abundance of breeding may cause ours. The world population has more than doubled since the 1960s, and the actions that are being taken to provide for that number of people is having a huge effect on the planet.

    Please, don’t get me wrong, if people want children, then they should have them. I adore my nieces and nephews and wouldn’t trade them for the world. But please don’t look down on those of us who choose not to have children. Your world is none the worse for it (except in the manner that srbboo stated “But Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare and other “programs” demand a growing population base. It’s going to collapse under its’ own weight; it can’t do anything else, because there are not enough producers to keep building the foundation.”, which means there is already too many people in my opinion.

    On one more point of your post, about stay at home wives/mothers, if I ever do decide to have a child, I would want nothing more than to stay home with them. I believe that the lack of a constant parental presence in a child’s life is part of the problem with society these days. However, it is that very society and the pyramid scheme that it is built on that keeps families from being able to afford for one parent to stay home and care for the family. A sad truth. As for the parents who don’t WANT (not to be mistaken for those who must be away) to raise their family, then I fully believe they shouldn’t have one. Its the child that suffers in that scenario, and thus the problems of our society propagate themselves further.

    • faithcanmovemountains says:

      Agree with most of what you say. Only thing I disagree with, and hope you’ll consider some personal examples, is choosing to not have children because you’re poor.

      My father grew up in a VERY poor home. Obviously as you say, there were challenges and stresses that stemmed from his parent’s financial situation. However, they were loving and cared deeply for their children and my dad turned out great. He has been nothing but an amazing father to me and all my siblings.

      My grandfather grew up in a poor home, even a broken home with even worse challenges in many ways than my father’s, yet is one of the kindest, most loving, genuine people I’ve ever known. I can think of half a dozen similar examples.

      Granted, there are children who grow up in poor homes who suffer tremendously, more than they should, but in my mind this is never due to lack of money. Lack of mental or emotional stability maybe, but not money. If both parents sincerely love their children, teach them good moral values both by word and example, and do all they can for them, regardless of their financial situation, their children will be raised well and more often than not actually learn great lessons from growing up poor.

      Just wanted to encourage you that if your only hold back on having children is being “poor,” think more on it. It sounds like you’re a reasonable, loving person, and would probably make a great parent. Being prepared emotionally, mentally and spiritually for parenthood is much more important than the salary you make.

      • Shannon says:

        Thanks for the replay faith, and I definitely understand what you are saying here. I would never deny a loving family a child based on their financial status, though I definitely think that those parents should take their financial situation into consideration before having children. Its good to have a plan, even if it doesnt always work out that way. =)

        I too grew up in a very poor single parent home, and I think my mother did an amazing job with all of us kids. All she ever wanted was to be a mother, and she is an amazing one. Unfortunately there were some things in my life that suffered greatly because of our financial situation, things that I am still trying to overcome to this day. Those are my reasons for not wishing to have a child in the circumstances I am currently in. If I ever do have a child, I want to be able to protect them, teach them, spend time with them, and enjoy them. In my own life, I witnessed how the stresses of working too many hours to barely make ends meet effects the relationship with and growth of a child.

        I do appreciate your vote of confidence in my ability to be a good parent. One day I may hope to be able to live up to that standard. And if I do make a great parent, it will be because I had a great teacher.

        Blessings to you and yours!

  25. Lukep says:

    Listening to you explain (or put words in the mouth of…) progressive liberals is kind of like a parakeet explaining the human digestive system (polly want a cracker).

    Once again, you prey on people that only think in dichotomies.

    For generations people have been told that the “traditional” way of doing things is correct. Now that people are saying that there are other ways than the traditional, you’ve somehow taken enough offense to this to be purposefully “politically incorrect”.

    Yeah, gee matt, you have such a gift, ya know, standing up for what people have been shoving down throats for centuries because we’ve finally become a culture that is open to diversity.

    Once again you have created a war of “them vs. us” in your head. You should get out more. Talk to some real people. Not “conservative” people or “liberal” people, just go sit at a bar and have a conversation with a human. Turn off the glen beck (you know, the guy who has already stated ALL of your ideas…) for a little while, maybe switch to decaf.

    • Ross says:

      It is interesting that you speak of “them vs. us” when your reply is not an arguement but rather an attack on Matt’s right to express his opinion. Momofsix, CyberGuy64, and several others have done a very good job of disagreeing and contributing to the conversation is a positive way. A few others have made good points but have made insulting comments as well. But for some reason you feel the need to attack the person not refute the idea.

      I don’t agree with all of Matt’s post but I he does make some points worth my consideration. You know, ideas that make me think. By thinking about the topic I either believe more like Matt or I am more sure of my own opinion because I have examined the issue deeper and understand it better.

      I would love to read your opinion on why Matt is wrong and why your belief is better. Calling names and making attacks on someone for having an opinion that is different than your opinion is not the way to convince me that you have the better argument.

      I am impressed though that so many people on here who disagree are respectful in voicing their disagreement.

      • LukeP says:

        First, my use of “them vs. us” was not to align myself with either the “them” or the “us”. I used quotations because that is what Matt presented us with, not what I presented in my response.

        My attack of the “person” as you say is not what I did. I attacked, as I have on other posts he has made, the laziness in his framing of the discussion. He puts words in the mouths of progressive liberals. For instance:

        “The modern progressive might claim that there is no “right answer”, but then he will follow that up by asserting one. Only, the progressive answer isn’t really an answer so much as a negative dogmatic reaction to anything that reeks of tradition or religion. He can’t give you the exact ‘what’ and ‘why’ of marriage, but he can tell you what it shouldn’t be: It shouldn’t be structured in any way that puts the man in a position of leadership, it shouldn’t involve the woman “staying home,” and it shouldn’t be tied to procreation and parenting.”

        Now, to this I would ask “which modern progressive ‘might’ do this?” I don’t know, and I don’t know that Matt does either. Apparently he is allergic to citing anything where I can get a concrete reference as to what he might mean. Therefore, I, as well as any other reader, am only hearing Matt’s argument as he refutes another entity which he has himself defined (modern progressives…).

        So, while this post may “make you think” as you say, it really only serves to think in dichotomies (hence the “them vs. us” remark). While I would expect something like this in a facebook post, if someone has a blog with their name on it I would hope that they would have enough respect for their audience to harbor an actual conversation. In other words, Matt Walsh can’t frame a conversation without creating the opposition himself. If he were to post a link to the TIME magazine article, refuting ONLY that article and why it is “destructive” or whatever it was that he was saying, then fine. At least we have a frame of reference outside of what Matt presents us with (his interpretation of an article…).

        If it seemed like I did not respond directly to his “argument”, its because his argument only works inside the confines of his own creation of those who disagree. Using the example I cited above, he seems to say that:

        Because TIME magazine had an article about child free marriage and framed it in a positive light, the “modern progressive” is telling us that men should not be the heads of households and women should not be stay at home moms.

        However, since I have not read the article, and Matt is not willing to actually post a link to it, I am FORCED to take that view of it if I want to refute his “argument”. However, since I don’t think only in terms of political dichotomies (“them vs. us”) my inclination is to say:

        Well, I don’t think that is what the “modern progressive” is saying at all. I live in a place where the traditional form of marriage that Matt delineates seems to work quite well for people. I have no problem with that and I don’t know anyone, progressive liberals or not, that do. Rather, I think that the purpose of this type of article may just be to show that there are people in the world for which a non traditional form of marriage works well for them.

        Just as Matt says that he has “heard all of his life” that there are too many people in the world, etc. I have always heard the opposite. It has always been pretty much expected of people to get married, the wife stay at home and have kids, etc. where I live. So where do I fit into Matt’s framing of discussion? Well, I don’t really think I do. I’m a father. My wife works, but doesn’t have to. She chooses it because it’s something she gets fulfillment out of.

        So, to summarize, I don’t think Matt’s framing of the “traditional marriage” is right or wrong. I’m glad it works for him. I wouldn’t want to take that away from him, I wouldn’t want to change the order for his family. Somehow, to Matt, apparently, that means that I am asserting (as he says in his post that “they will tell you there is no right answer, but then assert one…) that anything “traditional”(stay at home mom, dad “head of household”, etc.) about marriage should be avoided. He’s putting words in other peoples mouths. I’m not aware of ANYONE saying that marriage SHOULDN’T look a certain way (lord knows Matt wouldn’t link us to such an example, he’d rather just gives his impression of it— that is lazy journalism…). I’m only aware of it NOT looking a certain way for any particular successful marriage. Some marriages work in the traditional sense, some don’t. Some marriages work when the mother or woman is the main bread winner, some don’t.

        His claims on environmentalism are equally as assumptive and buried in political dichotomies that are not actually representative of reality. Now, I’m sure that somewhere in the world, there are “liberals” who think that the panda is more important than the human. I don’t know any, have never argued with any, but I can assume that in this big world we live in they exist somewhere. I do know a fair amount of people who consider themselves both liberals and conservatives. I’ve never met a liberal who thinks that humans should “fade out of existence.” I’ve never heard a liberal speak of human reproduction as “an unfortunate medical condition.”

        I’ve heard Matt several times reference over population as a “myth” (he elaborates a good bit in this post, calling people “flat earthers”), yet I’ve never heard him actually refute the idea of it, only present people who might think it is a real issue as…”modern flat earthers” or similar things he has said in other posts. That is not “disagreeing and contributing to the conversation” as you ask ME to do, it is simply name calling. That’s all it is. Matt loves to name call (the “liberals love to force their beliefs on us”post is quite thick with it) , but since he is the owner of this blog instead of just a poster like me, apparently he gets a free pass…?

        Why should I be held to a different set of rules than he is? Why does he get to frame a discussion in a way that is not representative of me, yet I am supposed to acknowledge what he says as an “argument”? If he wants to present an idea, fine. Why can’t he do that without falsely representing people that disagree? To me, that is lazy writing and lazy journalism, and it shows a lack of respect for you, the audience.

  26. Pingback: A Panda or a Parent? | Behold, the Lamb!

  27. Steven says:

    Matt, as a fellow man, I really admire how you bravely step up into your God-given role and don’t shirk from telling women what to do. Your wife, assuming she’s obedient, must feel so lucky. One issue with the article, though: you left out the barefoot and the in the kitchen part.

  28. Rachel says:

    I would hope my som looks back on his time on ‘gods earth’ to be one where after witnessing the destruction of the biosphere, and accepting value that is inherent in healthy ecosystems, humans decide to use their god given intelligence and creative capacity for solutions to not make the globe a monoculture with no clean air, water or diversity…Have children if you want to. Teach them about. the incredible beauty on gods earth…empower them to be stewards, not ignorant twats that cant appreciate attempts to raise awareness of human impact on the environment, and the death of a species forever. Its not trivial and ive never heard a conservation biologist say pandas are more important than humans. Its analogous to me saying all Christian men are prehistoric buffoons who use the bible to make up for their inability to recognise a womans power. I wouldnt say that.

  29. Lukep says:

    ” Its analogous to me saying all Christian men are prehistoric buffoons who use the bible to make up for their inability to recognise a womans power. ”

    Exactly. Well said.

  30. Tom says:

    Your writing style is brilliant, no doubt, you are crafty with words — but your voice is headstrong and so overly focused on what’s directly in front of you that you’re not seeing the bus speeding out of control toward you from the side. You speak to the “opposition” as idiotic which reads as arrogance rather than actually being informed — which then deflates everything you say. I’d like for you to convince me that you’re RIGHT, not just that you can push harder than I do. You make excellent points but they get lost in your disregard that there exists two sides to every story (if there’s not some degree of validity to your opposition, then WHY are you even talking?). You leave out any true representation for the other side, because you can — it’s your blog. You’re good at getting people who already agree with you revved up, and there’s ratings in that — I get it. But if you really are out to make a difference, than influence those who DON’T already agree with you — otherwise, you’re just an entertainer. You seem like you have it in you to be much more than that. I enjoy reading articles from people whose opinions differ strongly than mine — I search them out — I believe it’s how we learn and evolve (for those of us who are open to evolution). I’m disappointed. I read your blogs and I want to be more impressed by you, but you’re just throwing manic punches in the air — take the gun, aim at the target, and shoot to kill. Point it at me if you like. You write brilliantly — now write persuasively.

  31. Overpopulation is a myth. Just because some areas are densely populated, that doesn’t mean we are out of living space or arable land. You could fit the entire world’s population (with each person having 1/3 of an acre) in less than half of the U.S. and have all the rest of the world left over. Population is expected to peak around mid-century and then begin to decline. Fertility rates are below replacement rate in all or nearly all of the developed world and are dropping in the developing world. The UN has acknowledged this (“Demographic Decline in Asia and the Future Regional Security”) and two documentaries have been made about this (Demographic Winter and Demographic Bomb). As health, life expectancy, and education improve, women have fewer children. http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/ppt/WPP/WPP_2010_Methodology_2s.pdf

    • Shannon says:

      I dont think that overpopulation is about space, so much as it is about resources and the impact of the numbers on the rest of the ecosystem.

  32. tabarnouche says:

    *Slow claps”

    Bravo, my friend. Bravo!

  33. lizardesque says:

    Hey, if you want kids and have the means to care for them, then great. Have them. However, thinking that the world *needs* your children strikes me as the height of arrogance.

  34. Lauren Bender says:

    I wish I could have a baby with my husband. We both really want a little girl especially. Please pray for me to have patience until God says we are ready.

  35. Rachel Peterson says:

    Beautiful. I knew it was the right thing in my heart but I was often so afraid of the world’s judgement for having my first baby within the first year or so of my marriage with neither of us graduated from college yet. I thought I’d be scoffed at for saying that I’d always dreamed of being a wife and a mother and that our little one room apartment still felt empty without our little daughter. But this article reaffirms what I’ve always known to be true.

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