". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


As Birth Rates Decline, Politico Claims Wanting More Babies Is a ‘Far Right’ Conspiracy

May 8, 2024

Children are a gift from God. We see this throughout Scripture, as well as in the way Jesus treated them during His earthly ministry. In the creation account, God told Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28 to “be fruitful and multiply.” This command to Adam and Eve was the moment “God set in motion His plan to fill the world He created with people.” Isaiah 45:18 says the Lord established the earth — “He did not create it empty, He formed it to be inhabited!” Biblically, there are many passages that explain the beauty of children and family.

Even politically, this concept is often embraced, because you don’t need to be a Christian to see how having children and creating a strong family unit are crucial for a healthy society. Concerned with declining birth rates, the Natal Conference meets annually with the purpose of, according to its website, “gathering the brightest minds in the world in search of new solutions” to this problem of birth rates falling below the population replacement level in America and other countries. In light of this, the conference description made clear its primary objective:

“Natal Conference has no political or ideological goal other than a world in which our children can have grandchildren. If you are concerned about collapsing fertility, the economic challenges of having children, the increasing difficulty of dating for men and women, we want to hear from you.”

Relationships and parenting are hard work, to be sure. And because of this, many doubts creep in for couples before marriage, or spouses before having children, that compete with the true joy a healthy marriage and a strong family unit entail. So, the 2024 Natal Conference made it a point to highlight that the hard work associated with encouraging a healthy marriage and having children is worth it. In short, those who meet for the NatalCon show up to promote something beautiful and something practical. And yet, there always seem to be those who take something simple and twist it into something it’s not.

One such instance is Politico writer Gaby Del Valle, who had many thoughts on this year’s Natal Conference. In a lengthy article, she mapped out a number of grievances, starting with the headline of the article, which suggests it’s a “far right” conspiracy to want a world with more children and stronger families. “The threat, we are told here this weekend,” Del Valle wrote, “is existential, biological, epoch-defining. Economies will fail, civilizations will fall, and it will all happen because people aren’t having enough babies.”

But the main point threading through Del Valle’s article is that “natalism is often about more than raising birth rates.” No, for this Politico reporter, it’s inherently political, where “the ultimate goal is a total social overhaul, a culture in which child-rearing is paramount.” She characterizes the issues brought up by the conference speakers as “anxieties” and depicts the event as a sort of panic-fest. And while I’m sure much could be said in an attempt to dissect Ms. Del Valle’s article, that’s not the main objective here. Rather, I want to resurface the beauty Del Valle seemed to have buried amid her mocking.

Like this Politico writer, there will always be people who exist simply to degrade what is beautiful and true, especially if its foundation comes from the word of God. Sadly, they’re comfortable making fun of those who cherish children, marriage, and the things that build a healthy society. They neglect to see the irony of their ways. Because these are often the same people whose worldview views unborn babies as nothing but a clump of inconvenient cells, are comfortable saying men can be women and vice versa, and who don’t seem to have a problem with high school, middle school, and elementary school students attending drag shows. The list goes on.

But what do true experts in this field have to say, those who’ve dedicated their lives to proclaiming the truth and exposing falsehoods? In comments to The Washington Stand, Mary Szoch, who serves as Family Research Council’s director of the Center for Human Dignity, shared, “I think the major thing missing from the reporting I’ve seen on the Natalist Conference is that children are a good in and of themselves.”

She continued, “Democrats in America didn’t always see children as solvers of a problem or a problem to be solved. At one point, Americans generally agreed that children were simply a gift. Many people who have large families do so because they see children as a blessing — especially in America, the land of opportunity.”

Additionally, Joseph Backholm, FRC’s senior fellow for Strategic Engagement and Biblical Worldview, weighed in about why we see this sort of backlash from the Left when people fight to protect good things such as the family unit. “What you’re identifying here is the way people try to smear people making an argument rather than engaging with the argument,” he observed. “Rather than addressing the concerns related to an aging and declining population, they prefer to smear those concerns as ‘far-right.’ This is really typical stuff.”

Backholm highlighted that, if you look at their responses to the claims conservatives make, it follows a pattern: When we say, “Kids should have a mom and dad,” they call us “bigots.” When we emphasize you can’t change your sex, they call us “transphobes.” And most tragically, when we say, “Babies are good. We should have lots of them,” they consider that “extreme.” The pattern, as Backholm explained, is “never addressing the argument being made and always attacking the person making the argument.”

From a personal perspective, Szoch explained how each time she’s been pregnant, “now four times, the grace that comes from the blessing of each baby has been overwhelming,” and the love she’s “felt for each of those children is overpowering.” For Szoch, it truly is a terrifying and beautiful thing to be a parent. The children she’s had, far from being a part of a political agenda, have brought immense joy. “Each time I’ve held one of them,” she added, “the gift that child is or was has been both terrifying and unfathomably beautiful. Perhaps people are having large families because they, too, recognize the awesome privilege it is to be a parent.” But this is an understanding someone focused on scoffing such a beautiful truth misses out on.

So, what does it come down to? As far as Backholm is concerned, it’s probably best we just ignore those who choose to make fun of that which is truly beautiful and continue to be joyful as we proclaim truth, which some may hear and be willing to actually listen. As Backholm put it, “While the loudest voices typically aren’t looking for a respectful exchange of ideas, there are always people who are. When it comes to persuading those who are simply observing a debate, the happiest people are almost always the most persuasive.”

He concluded, “As logical as we all believe ourselves to be, mostly we just want to find happiness. So, we are drawn to people who appear to have found happiness.” As Christians, “our job needs to be to ignore the [loud critics] and let our lives and our joy be the best argument we have.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.