There are people who hate Christmas. I’m not talking about those who hate the music and the merchandising, and certainly not those who make us feel uncomfortable for saying “Merry Christmas” while they don’t mind exploiting our celebration for commercial purposes.
I’m not even talking about the people who hate Christianity in general or Catholicism in particular (for it was this Church that gave us Christ’s Mass on December 25), who loathe the very idea of the Incarnation.
No, I’m referring to those who hate Christmas without even knowing they hate Christmas. What they hate are not the obvious theological implications but the more subtle sociological implications of Christmas. We are, after all, celebrating the birth of a baby in a country where the federal government spends $1 billion on what it calls “reproductive health,” which means contraception, sterilization, and abortion. The Nativity could not be a more contrary celebration in a society that has such a bizarre attitude toward birth, broadly unwelcoming, but often narrowly and violently hateful.
I recently attended a talk by Stephen Mosher of the Population Research Institute, a courageous pro-life organization that fights the prevailing myths of overpopulation not just with refreshing facts but with a much more solid social theory, that is, the idea that babies are a blessing and not a curse in the world. Mr. Mosher asked the probing question, “What are the economic consequences of imposing contraception and sterilization upon third world women?” The U.S. Secretary of State has gone on record as saying that the only way to improve the status of women in the third world is through “reproductive freedom.” In other words, says Mr. Mosher, “our message to these countries is we do not want you to have children, and we will not help you if you do.” He suggests that we call this what it is: cultural imperialism.
But the culture that we are trying export by coercion (ironically calling it freedom) is the culture that is destroying us right here at home. We are literally killing ourselves by believing and enforcing a set of lies. One of those lies is the fallacy of driving down the birth rate in order to jump start the economy. The anti-people policy ignores the argument that children contribute to economic growth because a growing population means more economic activity, not only more work, but more importantly, more creativity. (And Christmas is a perfect example of economic activity based on more, not less children. After all, who do we buy the most presents for?)
Our anti-birth mentality is the result of devoting great energy and resources to a secondary problem while purposely avoiding the primary problem. I happened upon an article in a local paper that painfully illustrates the point. It was a report that Hennepin County, where I live, had just received a $17 million federal grant “to fight teen pregnancy.” I read the article with great interest because I wanted to know exactly how all this money was supposed accomplish this goal. Not surprisingly, the article told me almost nothing. There was, however, one very troubling quote from a County Commissioner: “Preventing teen pregnancies is arguably our most important job in Hennepin County.” Arguably, indeed, except when and where do we get to have this argument?
The report talked a lot about talking, but even then it was implied that “education” or “outreach” was only one aspect of this program. I did a little more research and found, as I feared I would, that much of this money will be used to support “accessible reproductive health services.” Translation: abortion. Also, money would go to “a clinic-based program for reducing sexually transmitted infections.” Somehow, fighting sexually transmitted infections got mixed up with fighting teen pregnancy. Well, perhaps the mix up has to do with the fact that the same technique is used for both: Contraception. The tool of “safe sex.”
And thus we get to the primary problem that we have been avoiding. A society that looks at pregnancy as simply one of the potential, but preventable hazards of having sex, is destined to spend a lot of money setting up a complicated structure that is designed to collapse. It is trying to operate on a philosophy that cannot be sustained because it refuses to deal with the most basic issues. No one is talking about what the purpose of sex is. No one is talking about what the proper context of sex is. They openly talk about “postponing pregnancy till adulthood,” but utterly refuse to discuss “postponing sex till marriage.” We are funding a program that undermines the very purpose of sex. We are officially underwriting immorality in an attempt to deal with the consequences of not supporting normal marriage. We have abandoned the family. We have twisted a natural process inside out. As G.K. Chesterton says, we exalt lust and forbid fertility.
Could anything be more contrary to this mentality than a celebration which centers around the Virgin Birth?
No wonder Christmas is controversial. No wonder there are no Nativity scenes in front of public buildings.
Once again Herod is threatened by the birth of a baby.