says Mark Shea of patheos.com in a blog entry reacting to a Breitbart.com article about Jonathan V. Last’s new book, What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Disaster.
Shea, in addition to making the wild assumption that childfree people in general want no children to be born to anyone anywhere in America ever again (some extremists do, but they’re hardly the majority), writes, “I regard the childfree movement as an archetype of evil” and assumes the childfree are also child-haters who would be content to see them all burn. Burn! (He doesn’t say that outright, but I’m sure he thinks it.)
One of the misconceptions that has to be cleared up with people who have no understanding of the childfree is that we don’t want to burn children. We don’t hate them, sneer at them (unless they’re being annoying, because annoying people of any age get sneers – no special passes for annoying people under 14), put poxes on them, or in any other way wish for their demise or misfortune.
Another misconception is that we want the entire population to die out. In fact, we’re happy that people who actually want children are having them.
If anything is “evil,” it’s wishing children on people who don’t want them, and wishing unwilling, resentful, unhappy parents on the poor kids who would be born to them.
“Evil” is holding up the Bible while casting the most un-Jesus-like judgment on others. A word as strong as “evil” for something as harmless as not wanting children is not only extremely offensive, it’s unkind, uncharitable, and unjustified.
They are simply narcissists who value their comfort and their appetites over the claims that children make on them and who have decided to try to pretend that this is noble by posing as some sort of grand sociel [sic] reformer in order to shout down their conscience when it tells them how selfish they are.
Mr. Shea, I do value my comfort and my appetite over the claims children would make on me. That’s why I don’t have them. You wanted to have children (I assume you have them, and I assume that you wanted them), so you did. Each of us has chosen paths according to what we believed would please us. I am no more selfish for not having children than you are for having them.
I know many parents who delight in their children and in their roles as parents, who would say that their children add to their comfort. These parents respect the decisions of the childfree and agree that the lifestyle simply isn’t attractive to everyone. If you view parenting as a burden that deprives people of their “comfort and appetites,” you of all people should understand why some would opt out. I hope it’s not been too much of a burden for you, but if it has, you have to take responsibility for your choice to have children instead of lashing out at those of us you just might envy a little bit.