Monday, January 26, 2009

Children are bad for our Economy? (And other rhetoric)

*Warning - I'm climbing on a not read if you do not share my political views.

I was recently given a book to read by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar on their family life and history. (Thanks, Cheryl, I need to send that back with Mike). I was STUNNED at some of the comments others have made when they simply SEE this cover. I almost covered it in a brown paper bag. ::snort:: I also wondered if those who were declaring how selfish Michelle must be, how wrong large families are, etc, remember that they are in the presence of a woman who HAS 9 children.... if every baby I'd conceived had been born I'd have 17 children. Do they think the same about our family? Do they think that I'm destroying my body? Do they think that I'm lazy? Do they think that I simply "birth children and force the older ones to parent them?" Hmmm.....

I read, Twenty and Counting, before I formed my opinion on the Duggars. I do not have television and haven't followed their story closely. Frankly, life is far too busy raising, mentoring, and educating my children. Not once in the book do either Jim Bob or Michelle say that "all" families must dress, eat, conceive, spend or educate as they do. Not once. I would not make all of the same choices on parenting or homeschooling that they have....but they don't SAY that all have to do it their way. They simply share their convictions. For that they are ridiculed on the internet. Unfortunately, all the comments I have received come from Christian women. When did it become unacceptable in America to live out and share one's convictions?

I am bombarded daily by the convictions of the culture around me. I'm told to be tolerant. Why in the world are parents of large families not afforded the same respect? I would NEVER say to another, "the choices you have made before God are selfish," or "you obviously don't value children because you x,y or z", or "your educational choices are wrong" why do others feel it is o.k. to make such comments to me? It really is very intolerant of them. ::snort::

I have discussed the thoughts I will share in the next paragraph with a couple of dear friends and Mike this week. I mentioned that my common comeback when told that, "large families are a drain on the economy," is to say, "Your tax dollars do not pay for my children's education, food, medical care, or housing." I also like to point out that MY LARGE FAMILY is doing our part to solve the social security imbalance in this country. ::snort::

I realized during this past week if America goes to nationalized health care, I will not be able to say, "Your tax dollars don't provide for my children." Hmmm....I further predicted to friends and Mike that if America goes to more nationalization of these services, there will first be complaints about how large families "use more resources" and then there will be pressure to limit family size for the "good of the economy".

I didn't expect these thoughts to be shared quite so quickly or blatantly. I was SHOCKED at the gym this a.m to hear Nancy Pelosi explain that the BAIL OUT/stimulus package contains dollars for contraceptives because, "The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now..." Speaker Pelosi goes on to say that, "...contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government." She said she has, "No apologies. . . we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy."

A friend actually sent me the above link and said, "I believe you predicted this". For the most part I stay away from politics on my blog. I do not want to drive folks away from Christ who I long to share more than any one political view. Comments generated by my reading choice, the executive orders concerning abortion coming out of Washington DC, my study of PS 127 and these comments by Speaker Pelosi convince me that this trend to devalue children will continue. I've watched this trend for 20 years. Regardless of your personal life choices...all who name the name of Christ should be able to agree on the fact that the Bible calls Children a BLESSING...again regardless of how many you have, how you educate them etc.

Our leaders want to blame America's Economic woes on CHILDREN? Shame on them. Yes, I realize that the quotes I shared do NOT quote Pelosi saying "children are at fault" but that is certainly the way it was being reported on various news channels this a.m. I have a newsflash:

America's citizens/states are in this situation because we have an
addiction to debt and spending....not because of anything any child has
done. Speaker Pelosi feels that a "consequence" of this downturn is to
limit children in America? I submit that it would make more sense to QUIT
OVERSPENDING at the personal, local, state and national levels.

Let me submit that Children are GOOD for our economy (if you wish to think in those terms):

  1. My large family spends MORE on expendable products that the average family of 4. Therefore, we help our economy.
  2. I pay property taxes that go towards the education of America's children, and yet I do not send my children to their schools. My large family helps the economy.
  3. Many in our large family work at a young age....they are productive members of this economy.
  4. We spend, we save...we simply don't do debt.
  5. My children and dh who work pay taxes - lots of taxes - which certainly helps the government to continue spending and helps to keep Social Security afloat.

Are you aware that JAPAN is telling it's citizens to have more children (as reported on FOX news this a.m.)? They've realized that Children are NOT bad for the economy. I pray that Americans slow down and think about the rhetoric before we continue to throw willy-nilly spending at an economic problem. If we want to see lasting stimulus to our economy we are going to have to address the issues that got us to this place.....plain and simple. I know many are struggling. I know that many saw their retirement savings take a huge slide. I sympathize and pray for real solutions to be voted on. I pray for our leaders (of both parties) to have wisdom as they seek to fix this problem.

CHILDREN did not create this economic climate...."adults" did.

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.


Becki said...

You weren't sitting in a church service in Idaho with me yesterday were you?

Great post. Thankyou for sharing, from one with "only" two, who desires more if it's in His will for us!

Renee said...

You go girl!! We were just talking at our youth group last night about the value of people. The speaker likened us to gifts under the Christmas tree. You've been told all contain $10million but some have less than pretty perfect wrapping paper (but who cares since they all have value)... same with people we all have value because God created us even if our packaging isn't always pretty and perfect. We all deserve to live

Anonymous said...

I also was getting ready to say "you go, girl!" I wanted to say something with more eloquence, but that's what on my tongue.
I'd like to link to your page today along with a few others. My words are lacking today -- but it looks like several others have all the right things to say.

Jason said...

Very well put, De'Etta!!

Jen's Whimsical Life said...

Go De'etta! I totally agree with you. Our national problem is spending money we DON'T have. Our nation's "growth and prosperity" was a false one. All of those businesses that were growing bigger and bigger, were growing with people's borrowed money. They could only borrow so much until they reached their limits. Now it's time for people to pay it back...and of course no one likes to do that!

And to try and blame our children for that mess is just selfish and trying to pawn off the blame on someone else so that they don't have to take the responsibility.

Jen's Whimsical Life said...

I forgot to add...It's also a sense of entitlement that people have just because we're "Americans" and a lack of responsibility that has compounded our problems....and irresponsibility fostered and almost encouraged and rewarded by the government.

Linda said...

De'Etta, I'm always fascinated by large families. I don't look down upon them. Instead I look to them for hints about how a family can succeed! Many larger families I know are budget-minded, which is a GREAT thing to be able to see/learn. I also love seeing how they interact. Far from "the older ones parenting the younger ones" I see it as a tight-knit family. Because the older kids are taught familial responsibility early, they are part and portion of how the family succeeds or fails. Generally, the large families are much stronger, and the older siblings have the skills to grow their own families.

I've never read the book, but I know that I like to watch their program.

I just recently learned that a school friend of mine has 8 kids, and I think it's great! I don't have what it takes to parent more than what I have (in my mind, at least) but I don't begrudge anyone who can and does have more than 2 kids.

Having kids isn't an economic's people who can't or don't manage their money.

Anonymous said...

In Germany ,the gov. is giving young women $10,000 bonus to have a baby, because many Germans are not getting married or having children- and their gov. knows that they need children for their future.

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Yes, Mel - you can link to me....I um....hope it all came out "right". LOL

Anonymous said...

Great blog! Go ahead and pass the book along so others can enjoy it.

Therese said...

Here in Australia you get a baby bonus that keeps going up because the Govt want couples to have more children.

Someone needs to send Pelosi a copy of the video Demographic Winter.

Linda said...

I am simply shaking my head at all this DeEtta!

Herding Grasshoppers said...


With. You.


Stephanie said...

Sing it, sister! I'm honestly speechless at not only the news about Pelosi (though, not really surprised the more I think about it), bu also at yet another realization that Christians are just as quick to throw one of their own under the bus as any other group. Sad really. We only have three (2 are my stepkids, but I helped raise them!) but we pray that if God wills it we will have more through adoption. I wanted more than anything to have a large family, and it just breaks my heart to hear people belittle it. What's the saying... that instead of children being a blessing and debt being a curse our society considers children a curse and runs head long into debt by choice. Very sad, and very confusing.

Fabulous post. Very well put!

Jen said...

Uhg. I get to hear lots of comments from people about large families. I think people assume since I only have three that I will agree with their negative comments. One of these days I will come back with "yeah, isn't it great?!" When I hear, "can you believe they have so many kids..." about one local family or another. Usually, I am so stunned to hear the comment (as I am usually thinking, how cool! They are quiverful!) that I forget that most people think it's weird. But, then again, most people think I am weird for a number of reasons. :-)

Kathy in WA said...

Way to share from the heart, De'Etta! Like your passion.

I've never seen anything but a gracious smile on M. Duggar's face (in the various shows and clips I've seen). I wonder if we could say the same about those fussing about large families.


Anonymous said...

I only have four children and the looks and comments we get are so frustrating to all of us. There is one store all of my kids refuse to go in, they'd rather sit in the car. They can't stand the stare and general rudeness we experience at the store. The funniest comment I get is how old are you, and you do don't more children, do you? Oh gasp! When I tell them I'd have a bunch more but the Lord hasn't given us more, they are speechless. lol
Speaker Pelosi needs to be bathed in prayer. I can only pray that the people in her district will not vote for her again.
Laura J

Yvonne said...

Slam dunk, De'Etta! Excellent post...just excellent.

berrypatch said...

Amen - my mouth dropped open when I read what Nancy Pelosi said. ::sigh:: Do the math people! Even I can do the math & it's not my best subject. ;-) I always thought I'd only have two children - now I'd take as many as the Lord (and hubby) would allow me to have. Bring it on. Even with only three I STILL will get comments & if I have the toddlers that I babysit with me? It's a given someone somewhere will say something. I just wish more people would see children as the blessings that they truly are.

Anonymous said...

That's my girl! Go for it and know we pray for you and are so proud of you. love/preayrs Mom T.

Herd Momma said...

I adore big families. So does Tom. If we could we would continue. When I meet parents of large families I am always sure to say something like "You are so Blessed." Congratulations. I remember a post you had when I first started reading your blog. It was about the comments you have received. I want to give a positive. I saw a lady one day 4 small boys ages 5-8mo. I laughed with them. Told her how cute they are. Expressed how Blessed she is. She looked at me with the strangest look and said "Thank you." in a quiet voice.

Ruby said...

In total agreement re children post.
Here in Australia we have an aging population. So glad I can be a comfort to my own parents and will have the same pleasure, Lord willing, from my children and grandchildren, when my grey hairs come down.

Anonymous said...

preach it:-)

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you! My husband and I chose to have only one child, but I believe that others who choose to have more have that right in this country (at least so far.) I did catch myself wondering when the main stream media was reporting this morning that: "The woman who gave birth to octuplets this week already had six children but refused the option of reducing the number of embryos she was carrying last year, her mother said."(AP) I happened to be listening to "The Today Show"-- my mistake :-)--and Matt Lauer had an indignant tone as he reported it. In other reports, I heard them word it as now there would be 14 children living in a 3 bedroom house. Last I checked, the constitution does not call for a certain number of bedrooms per child! As concerned citizens, we need to continue to speak up!!! Thanks for addressing this on your blog.

Lepidoptera said...

Agreed. Children are not the problem; they are a heritage from the Lord. Well said.