Thursday, March 09, 2006
The power of multiplication
Therefore, I (Yours in (In)Scrutability) would like to assist the experts and pundits who have been at a loss to understand the substantial growth in religious observance in our postmodern age. At a point in history when the intelligentsia have expected that religion would continue to wither towards death, the opposite seems to be occurring. Especially in the Islamic world, religious people are becoming more numerous and more militant.
So what's a postmodern thinker to make of all this? It seems like a very complex question, but as a matter of a fact it's quite easy to understand. The problem, you see, is one of arithmetic, or more specifically one of multiplication: some people multiply more effectively than others.
On one hand, consider the cultural movers and shakers of Western society: scientists, feminists, homosexual activists, media moguls and their minions, etc.. This is a bunch of really smart people, perhaps, but the fact is that they just don't multiply well at all. In the case of homosexuals, they don't multiply at all so long as they stick to partners of their preferred sex, but in other cases, the intellectual/political/artistic life is the very center of their existence, so the idea of having and raising children isn't very attractive to them. Many in fact choose to remain childless throughout life, whereas others restrict themselves to one or maybe two children. Birth control helps to keep this camp's multiplication in check, and abortion reduces their birth rate still further. Whatever the reason, this group of folks--the people who have been steering Western culture for many years--just aren't multiplying a whole lot.
For that matter, there's a lot of other Westerners who aren't multiplying very well, either. These are the little fish who are so wrapped up in personal fulfillment and happiness that having children is just a bother, so very often they don't bother. There's just too much to be enjoyed in the areas of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll to sacrifice the vast quantity of time and expense that's required to raise children. Although many of the couples in this group do have one or two kids, that's not enough to keep their numbers multiplying, either, so this group is continuing to shrink in proportion, power, and numbers.
On the other hand, there are other people who are doing a fine job of multiplication. For whatever reason--perhaps tradition, or perhaps deep-seated religious conviction--these folks are continuing to raise large numbers of children. We see such people in places such as India and Africa, albeit to a declining degree, but we see it most noticably amongst Muslims, conservative Christians, and members of other religious groups which adhere to some kind of "be fruitful and multiply." Instead of caring exclusively for their own personal felt needs, these people have a sense that to practice self-denial on behalf of their children is an inherently worthy way of life.
Thus, even while the experts, Hollywood pundits, and Emergent Church "prophets" continue to rattle on about self-esteem and personal fulfillment, their days are numbered. Before too much longer, their breed will die out due to insufficient reproduction, to be superseded by the offspring of others who have seen fit to care enough about future generations to raise them in growing quantities. If the offspring of these conservative religious folks follow in their parents'
footsteps, the power of multiplication will only continue to grow, until the voice of postmodern hedonism and liberalism will be little but a pipsqueak, victims of the success of their self-centered philosophy of life. Yes, the day is coming soon when the sheer force of demographics will bring about a return to old values and traditions that were so recently said to be "dead" by these experts who were too busy to get around to ensuring their legacy by having a quiverful of their own. Much like the Shakers and similiar groups who died out largely due to lack of spiritual and natural offspring, the day is at hand when our world will see a return to beliefs and habits that were thought outmoded if not dead.
So, my Christian friend, let us be diligent to obey the Lord's commandment to "be fruitful and multiply." As we raise large numbers of sons and daughters, taking care to train them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, we will be helping to set the stage for what might be a great revival of religion within the next generation or two. Let us be diligent, because the offspring of false religions will also grow in number. Simple multiplication demonstrates that our present liberal, hedonistic, and self-centered culture cannot endure much longer. Let us continue to pass the Gospel on to our sons and daughters that they might be prepared for the potentially huge demographic shift that may well already be in the making!