Category Archives: Children

Children and Hopelessness

Thus says the LORD:
“A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more.”

Thus says the LORD:
“Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears,
for there is a reward for your work, declares the LORD,
and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
There is hope for your future, declares the LORD,
and your children shall come back to their own country.
(Jeremiah 31:15-17 ESV)

Children are a sign of blessing and hope for the future. It is through children that men leave their legacy and by bringing forth children one shows hope that there is a future for your children. A society with hope for the future will usher forth many children.

On the other hand, failing to reproduce is a sign of despair. A society not reproducing itself has given up on itself. A society failing to reproduce is a society lost in hopelessness.

Our society has given up on itself.

They might not say it outside of private conversations or obliquely in public opinion polls, but everyone knows the West is dying. They despair for they know there is no hope for our civilization; winter is coming.

This is why they don’t reproduce, why we don’t reproduce.

We are stuck in the polar twilight, knowing the polar night is descending, but we do not wish to our children to have to endure the harsh, cold winter night. Instead, we enjoy the revelry of twilight, eating and drinking, for tomorrow we die.

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The saddest part of this twilight is the state of the church.

Christians have been given the first blessing and first command, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

We have been given a promise of a new life, yet we have given into the world’s despair.

This struck me recently at a church I occasionally visit. The priest was speaking on Psalm 137. During the sermon, he stated that ‘biblically, babies always mean hope‘.

This church is one of the few growing, young churches I know of. It’s congregation is composed of a couple hundred is mainly young adults. Despite the youth of the congregation, there are few young children. The church is perfectly poised to carry out the first command if only it would accept the first blessing. I still have some hope for it, but only some.

I talk with Christians. I asked my father if he had to do it over again, if he would get married or stay single.* He said he might marry but he wouldn’t have children in this age as our world is going to soon enter times of trouble.

I talk with other Christian men my age, some agree that children are a sign of hope, yet still are limiting the number of children they have. I talk with Christian women my age, children are a low priority for most. Their careers, teaching, music, writing, are more important to them at this point.

I talk with other Christians my age of the Kali Yuga, of our decline, none seem to actually reject the notion, some even embrace it. We talk of the dying church; everybody knows the church is dying, none dispute it. Yet, I talk of how the church could reinvigorate itself and retake our civilization if only Christians embraced the first blessing, yet there is always something more important.

I doubt any would say they despair, but the sinking nihilism of progressivism has taken hold.

The despair is not emotional, it is existential.

I despair for the church emotionally, yet there is existential hope.

The church has survived dark times before and can do so again.

Civilization has always re-arisen from the ashes.

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Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
(Jeremiah 29:4-7, 10-14 ESV)

This then is the reactionary project: show hope, have children.

Traditional communities in Idaho are okay, recreating gangs and tribes is excellent, but these are sideshows.

Winter is coming, the darkness descends. The collapse is inevitable. We need to write of the reasons for the decline and illuminate it as it occurs, so that future generations can learn from our mistakes, rebuild, and hopefully stave off a future decline.

We also need to reproduce so there is a future and raise our children right so they can look forward to a brighter future.

We need to have hope, endure, and out-wait the night.

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Finally, you don’t have anything more important to do than reproduce.

Only a fraction of a percent of the population has something more useful to impart to the future than children. Unless, in this hyperbolic world, your work is regularly described as “ground-breaking”, “world-changing”, and/or “revolutionary”, it’s probably not anywhere near as important as another well-raised child or two would be.

Are you Norman Borlaug?

All the jobs, all the economic activity, everything we build is made for people. Without people they are worthless. Are teachers of any value if there’s no one to teach? Is writing of any value if there’s no one to read? Is a bridge of any value if there’s no one to drive over it?

We build things, we create, we save, so that future generations can benefit from them. All worthwhile economic activity is for future generations. What isn’t for the future is empty consumerism.

The choice for the vast majority of people is reproduction or consumerism. For the exceptional, such as the aforementioned Borlaug, important improvements for future generations.

If demographics is destiny; children are the weapons of ideological war.

Evangelicals often complain of how the US is no longer a Christian country. Well, they make up a quarter of the country; if every evangelical followed the first command, had five children, and trained them up in the way they should go, the US would be a Christian country within two generations. If evangelicals in their 20s and 30s were fruitful, they could all live to see the re-Christianization of the US. They would win the culture war within my lifetime.

Will anything you do: your career, finding yourself, your hobbies, etc. have more impact than that? Probably not. If you are a Christian and you aren’t a missionary, evangelist, or priest, your children are the most important thing you can do for the furtherance of the Kingdom.

If you think something you do is more important than reproduction, in all likelihood your priorities are wrong. You are probably thinking in selfish, narcissistic terms, where “important” is defined as what you think feels good for now rather than what’s good for the future.

Also, even if you think it feels good now, it probably won’t in the long run.

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* I asked a number of my married friends this as well. The general response was; being married is different but not necessarily better, you gain some, but sacrifice some. Although none regretted it.

Drugged and Indoctrinated

I’ve written before that it’s all related. Little of what I write is a thought unto itself, which is why I try to consistently link back to my previous thoughts throughout my many blog posts.

I came across an article illustrating how its all related. Here is one Belinda Luscombe arguing why she needs to drug her kids even if ADHD doesn’t exist.

At this point, it sounds insane enough, but that is literally the title of the article: “It Doesn’t Matter if ADHD Doesn’t Exist, My Son Still Needs Drugs”

The article starts sane enough, she doesn’t want to drug her kid and Dr. Saul is arguing ADHD does not exist. Her son comes from a “bookish home” and had tutors, but is dyslexic. The son gets in trouble at school and has trouble reading and writing and the school tries to convince the parents to drug the son, but the parents resist. Not untypical.

But then you begin to see the pathological insanity of the system, but you have to look close.

One interesting wrinkle is here:

We may have stood our ground forever, except for the aforementioned “charming” part. Turns out our son was something of a pied piper. If he decided to wander off task, he took half the class with him. The nice folks at the nice school pointed out it wasn’t very fair to the other parents.

The kid is a natural born leader. The charismatic-type who people will naturally follow. Naturally, this is used against the child: He’s a natural leader, therefore it is all the more important to drug him.

But, in any case, what modern parent can approach the specter of a child who doesn’t learn with any equanimity? Even a not-very-attentive adult can see that the knowledge sector of the economy is the safest haven in downturns. The gap between those with college degrees and those without is ever widening. Not just in income, but also in life areas like successful marriages and health. The option for a kid who can’t sit and learn is not a slightly less lucrative career, it’s a much more miserable existence.

How much pathological modernism can be forced into a single paragraph? Understand the (barely) implicit script presented here:

The child must go through public schooling so he can get into college so he can get into an office job so he can survive the failing economy so he can be healthy and have a decent marriage.

First thing to note is the fear. She states “the cold hand of impending doom got us by the neck and squeezed.” The system is working quite well when it can instill actual dread in a parent when the public education system is failing him.

The second thing to note is that all these correlations she’s pointing to are probably genetic in origin. In other words, its not the education and college degree that makes someone healthy, marriageable, and successful, it is the person underneath, and given that he was such a naturally charismatic child, he probably would have done alright. So her fear is rather unfounded.

Third, look at the implicit assumption that college and an office job is the correct path. No consideration he could go into sales (which would seem an obvious path for a charismatic child), trades, or entrepreneurship. Nope college and an office job or bust.

Fourth, the implicit assumption that if a kid can’t learn in our public schools the child is wrong, not the schools.

She pretty much accepts that her child must be drilled complacency to be a good office drone or he will be a total failure at life. Pathological modernism.

Either he needs a class size of about six, with an incredibly adept and captivating teacher, or he needs a little help.

Could we get our kid through school another way? Maybe. Perhaps spend half the day in P.E. Or get him a governess instead of a classroom. Or find a teaching style that is different, somehow, more kinesthetic or less visual or uses blocks or therapy monkeys. But they’re all just maybes and he’s not our only kid and he’s not our only life challenge and his useful school years are slipping away. The meds work, are almost free of side effects and, far from being handed out willy-nilly, are a huge pain to get every month.

Notice what’s not on that list?

Home-schooling. She’d rather drug her kid than leave her job and reduce her families consumption. Either that or the thought of home-schooling enver even entered her head. I’m not sure which one would be more sad.

When I asked our now 16-year-old son if he liked taking his meds, he said “Sure. They help me concentrate.” And when I followed up with, “Would you rather be able to concentrate without them?” he gave me one of those specially-reserved-for-moronic-parents-looks and replied, nice and slow, so I’d get it. “Wouldn’t anybody?”

At least he’s happy.

She did get one thing right though: “But if we want to eradicate a chemical solution to what might be a behavioral disorder, we’ve got a whole economy and education system to reorganize.

It seems there might be something needing changing with a system that requires drugging 14% of our boys to work. I am shocked by this.

Of course, she then states “While you guys get on that, I’ve got to get my kid through school.

How cauterized does someone’s soul have to be to be to look to your kid, know the system is destroying him enough that he needs drugs to simply cope, and then say, meh, I’d rather drug him than change it or remove him from it?

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So, in one article about a dozen paragraphs long we have: public education, ADHD and medical over-prescription, the tuition bubble, white collar uber alles, the declining economy, nontraditional sex roles, failing marriage, consumerism, and the economic fracturing of our society. All are linked together to force one young boy to drug himself, and like it, so he can continue the consumerist rat race in the future. It’s all related.

Goldie Blox

Aaron linked to this ad for toys called Goldie Blox.

Unlike Aaron, I’m not quite so dismissive. I like the commercial, but I’ve always had a fondness for Rube Goldberg machines.

I also think the toys are a theoretically good idea. While most women don’t like math and won’t go into non-biology STEM, a few do and will. Why not make toys for those atypical girls?

My sisters had pastel-coloured Legos and they played war with them with my brother and me as we used our primary-coloured blocks. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with girl versions of boys’ toys.

On the other hand, there is something wrong with these toys.

THere is an interesting incongruity between the toys themselves and the purported feminist message. Whatever Goldie Blox’ intentions and advertisements and despite all the hype the toys are getting from the feminist-types, when you actually observe the toys you can’t help but notice the makers don’t really buy the message they’re selling.

Pastel Tinkertoys

These toys are essentially Tinkertoys and Tinkertoys have always been fairly gender-neutral, which makes them an odd target to feminize. Rather than being a leap forward for gender-neutral toys or equalism, these Goldie Blox are actually gendering toys and promoting inequality.

What idiot made Tinkertoys plastic and colourful?

The toy makers are banking on the fact that girls don’t want to play with gender-neutral Tinkertoys, but would instead prefer these gendered, feminine-themed Goldie Blox. That seems to be putting little girls even further into the gender box rather than moving them out of it.

Second, despite their anti-pink attitude, the colours of the toy are simply changed to other feminine colours, particularly a golden-yellow and a pastel purple. There’s not the primary colours of Legos and browns of (old, real) Tinkertoys. I don’t see how changing the gendered pink to gendered pastels is a particular “leap-forward” for getting girls out of the “pink ghetto”. Merely painting the ghetto a different colour is not going to change anything.

Third, look at the toys themselves. Tinkertoys are just Tinkertoys, they have no themes, while Lego’s are occasionally without theme but usually something boyishly cool like rockets, planes, or pirates. The Goldie Blox sets available are a parade float and a girly ribbon “spinning machine”.

Parade Floats – The Height of Imagination

The joy of Tinkertoys was simply building whatever came to your mind at the time. The imagination and the ability to build was the lure. Even with Legos sets, how many kids actually concentrated on the sets themselves, rather than tearing them apart as soon as they were built to build something else or play war?

These toys have been dumbed down. Look at how few pieces you get and how limited they are. And a parade float, really? You makes toys that can be used to build anything the imagination can conceive and a parade float is the best you can come up with? Is that the best you think young girls can aspire to?

I’ll see your parade float and raise you a rocket-ship.

How much of an “improvement” for gender neutrality in toys or for getting girls out of of the pink ghetto is it for little girls to simply be building girly things?

How much engineering/building skills and imagination will such simple, limited sets instill in young girls?

Finally, look at the sets, what do you see?

That bear has some swag.

Cute little animals. There’s a dolphin in a tutu, a bear in a pastel suit, and a cute little doggy with big floppy ears.

What do you see in Tinkertoys? Nothing but blocks and sticks (or plastic in the new and crappy form; that annoys more more than it should. At least I’m not the only one).

What do you see in Legos? Articulated figures capable of action (with guns and swords).

The girl-oriented engineering product is not enough of a draw in itself; it needs something cute, something personal to draw the little girls in. To increase the narrative and personalization, each even comes with it’s own storybook.

Every machine needs a back-story.

How much do you want to bet that most little girls who receive this toy will spend more time playing house or tea with the little animal figures rather than building, destroying, and re-building weird contraptions?

Here we can see the complete intellectual bankruptcy of the whole ‘girls and boys are equal meme’ displayed in one little children’s toy.

Even the equalists who specifically created a feminist-vaunted engineering toy to get girls into engineering know that most little girls don’t want to build and destroy for the sake of building and destroying like little boys do. They know full well they can’t just market Tinkertoys to girl straight-up; they know they can’t simply tell girls build this and make a profit.

So, to convince most girls to give an engineering toy a try they have to regender a gender-neutral toy, make the toys as girly as possible (while avoiding the dreaded pink), dumb the toy down while destroy the creativity of the toy, and introduce cute little animal figures in tutus simply to make them palatable to little girls.

I’m an evil supporter of the patriarchy and I would be hard-pressed to think up a toy that is more patronizing to little girls than this.

If you want pastels and dollies for your daughter buy some My Little Pony toys; there’s nothing wrong or inferior with young girls liking pink, pastels, and relationally-based toys.

But if you want an engineering toy by some Tinkertoys or Legos.

Uncountable hours of fun.

Avoid this drek; it’s insulting. “Hey little girl, you can’t handle 65 pieces of Tinkertoys ($16.40), so here’s 35 pieces to build a parade float ($20) because that’s all we expect you to be able to imagine and create. The boys will go over their and play with their underwater base.”

When even the gender-warriors implicitly state their cause is lost whenever it comes to something that actually effects reality, you know there’s something flawed with their ideology.

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I must say though, I do admire the business acumen of the creator. What an idea:

I’ll take a classic toy, make it worse, colour it in pastels, attach some feminist ideology to it, and sell less of it at a higher price, then have the feminist press rave about my awesome new toy providing scads of free publicity.

That’s a pretty good business plan.