How Many Kids?

In all the hubbub about Sarah Palin (which is getting a bit tiresome), one of the things that have come up is the variety of reactions that people have had to her family of five kids. It’s not a big secret that there is a correlation between regiliosity and fertility. It’s not clear whether there is any causation there, but I have seen some Christians push the notion that having lots of children be a normative thing. The two major reasons that I see advanced for this are 1) people should continue with being fruitful and multiplying; and 2) a pragmatic desire to shape society by outbreeding everyone else.

Reason #1 strikes me as a simple lack of thinking. There are enough human beings, more than enough. We have multiplied. To continue to do so above the replacement rate (2.1 kids per woman) would be akin to continuing to pour water in a bucket that was full because we were told to fill a bucket. We have finished the task of populating the earth.

The second reason is a bit silly given that people switch religious affiliations rather easily in North America. It’s also cynical to me – using your children to advance your socio-political agenda. Why not just have them earn you some extra money by working in a sweat shop?

I suppose if you oppose birth control, then that’s a third reason. I don’t oppose it, I think it’s great. I can barely afford life as it is, throw a kid into the mix and I’m screwed. I guess it’s easy when you’re the pope tell other people they better have all the kids they can.

So I suppose all this is to say that I see no reason at all why Christians ought to have large families. What do you say?