vanishing act

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 26, 2006

Palestinian suicide bomber and grandma Fatma An-Najar shattered her self-composure last week in northern Gaza. Mark Steyn is there to pick up the pieces:

An-Najar gave birth to her first child at the age of 12. She had eight others. She had 41 grandchildren. Keep that family tree in mind. By contrast, in Spain, a 64-year old woman will have maybe one grandchild. That's four grandparents, one grandchild: a family tree with no branches.

Which brings me to our second Jill: the new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to run a national division of the Anglican Communion. Bishop Kate gave an interview to the New York Times revealing what passes for orthodoxy in this most flexible of faiths. She was asked a simple enough question: "How many members of the Episcopal Church are there?"

"About 2.2 million," replied the presiding bishop. "It used to be larger percentage-wise, but Episcopalians tend to be better educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than other denominations."

This was a bit of a jaw-dropper even for a New York Times hackette, so, with vague memories of God saying something about going forth and multiplying floating around the back of her head, a bewildered Deborah Solomon said: "Episcopalians aren't interested in replenishing their ranks by having children?"

"No," agreed Bishop Kate. "It's probably the opposite. We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion."

Now, that may or may not be a great idea, but it's nothing to do with Christianity, only for eco-cultists like Al Gore.


Here's the question for Bishop Kate: If Fatma An-Najar has 41 grandchildren and a responsible "better educated" Episcopalian has one or two, into whose hands are we delivering "the stewardship of the earth"?

Our recessional hymn will be, "Both People Who on Earth Do Dwell," Number 453 in the mauve song-books. Yes, Mrs. Fanshawe, you wished to make an announcement?

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  • Posted by: - Nov. 27, 2006 1:21 PM ET USA

    "Episcopalians tend to be better educated..." IQ of Nazi leaders: Hjalmar Schacht 143, Arthur Seyss-Inquart 141, Hermann Göring 138, Karl Dönitz 138, Franz von Papen 134, Erich Räder 134, Dr. Hans Frank 130, Joachim von Ribbentropp 129, Wilhelm Keitel 129, Albert Speer 128, Rudolf Hess 120 "... the most successful men in any sphere of human activity ... are apt to be above average intelligence." Gilbert, G. M.: Nuremberg Diary. New York: Signet Book 1947, p. 34;

  • Posted by: ladybird - Nov. 27, 2006 11:41 AM ET USA

    Um, I dunno, but I think Mrs. Fanshawe is past needing emergency contraception, if indeed she ever did! Ooops! Sorry, I do hope I haven't offended any of the ladies. But, seriously, I have never been able to understand why some "ladies" defend, cooperate with, and even promote, the institutionalized abuse and exploitation of our sisters! That's what contraception and abortion amount to...exploitation of our sexuality and our wombs! Why don't these "feminists" get it?!

  • Posted by: - Nov. 27, 2006 10:57 AM ET USA

    Liberals like Ms. Katie smugly congratulate themselves that they are doing the world a favour. Look at it from this angle, An-Najar and her whole family tree probably use less of the world's resources then the average 3 member suburban western Episcopalian family. It is not earth stewardship that drive these types not to have kids, it is the pursuit of worldly pleasures that kids get in the way of obtaining.