Don't just mourn, have babies!

By Leila Marie Lawler (articles ) | Jul 14, 2003

It's good that the Pope is reminding Europeans about Christian culture, their culture. Have you seen Mostly Martha? It's a beautiful movie. I don't want to give away the end or anything, but suffice it to say that it evokes the warm-extended-family-at-a-long-table-under-the-trees-in-sunny-Italy picture that we all have tucked away somewhere in our hearts.

And that picture, an idisputable ideal of Catholic culture, has one essential element: children. Making it quite ironic that we always associate it with Italy, which has the lowest birthrate in Europe.

Although his words have a melancholic, valedictory tone, the Pope must mean this as well: to have culture, have children!

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: leila - Jul. 15, 2003 10:12 PM ET USA

    But maybe if people ever heard this message: "have babies!" rather than that dismal default position embraced even by Catholics -- "how can we not have babies?" at least some would recognize within themselves something that they didn't want to admit they already feel: that's what they want to do! So we shouldn't wait to get them out of their funk and adopt a more Christian view, we should just proclaim (not argue!) "why don't you have babies?"

  • Posted by: - Jul. 15, 2003 2:10 PM ET USA

    Having babies is probably the most transforming experience in the life of a couple. Having three daughters my self I can attest to the civilizing, moral and spiritual transformation that having children brings. Selfishness, Hedonism, and other forms of reckless and undisciplined behavior are blessedly reduced and most parents tend to behave and act as to give good example, guidance and much love to their children. Having babies gives us a glimpse and we share of the awesome creative power of God and it invites us to reflect in the triune family of God, teaching us selfless love and willing sacrifice. Unfortunately the crux of the matter is that the modern Western outlook is that having children is a curtailing of ones own freedom and according to the feminist view children are a millstone around a womans neck in preventing her from reaching her human potential. This pagan view, hostile to children and that originates in the very bowels of hell is the prevailing attitude of the Western modern culture. Thus arguing with modern Europeans (and Westerners in general) to have more children is a self-defeating proposition until the West adopts again a Christian view that cherishes children and that teaches us that sacrifice for the sake of the little ones is a form of imitation of Christ.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 14, 2003 9:42 PM ET USA

    If you're interested in supporting movies about the Church, especially saints, try this site:

  • Posted by: - Jul. 14, 2003 7:11 PM ET USA

    "Generously welcome children" is the counter-cultural solution to the Catholic ennui that afflicts our Church. It is the general and particular rule for our common obligation to respond to the re-Christianization of the West and the world. It applies to lay or clerical, single or married, secular or religious. Generosity with life has been characterized as stupidity and yet it is the most obvious characteristic of our God. Drs. Kasun and Simon are great references. God loves children.