Good times for dogs, not so good for babies. A Reflection on the Perversity of Modern Culture


In moral decline, both personal and cultural, the problem is not only that we desire what is evil, but that we also stop desiring that which is good and holy. Of the first tendency, pride, greed, lust, and gluttony, are at the heart of desiring what is evil, or what is good, but desired in excess. Sloth and envy are more directly involved in no longer desiring what is good.

Hence Sloth is a kind or sorrow or aversion to the good things God offers to us, involving everything from the life of prayer to virtues such as moderation and chastity, generosity and forgiveness. Envy is sorrow or anger at the goodness or excellence others manifestly have, become I take it to lessen my own standing. Thus the soul, or culture, in moral decline no longer desires what is good, and even detests it.

No matter how you look at it, moral decline is an ugly business. Consider the following example of a cultural trend where what is good (having children) is no longer desired by an increasing number in our culture. A New York Post Column recently read: More Women Choosing Dogs Over Motherhood. The Article begins:

America’s next generation of youngsters should be called “Generation Rex.” If you’re wondering why playgrounds around the city are so quiet and dog runs are packed, a new report has an answer: More and more US women are forgoing motherhood and getting their maternal kicks by owning handbag-size canines…..Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that a big drop in the number of babies born to women ages 15 to 29 corresponds with a huge increase in the number of tiny pooches owned by young US women….“I’d rather have a dog over a kid,” declared Sara Foster, 30, a Chelsea equities trader who says her French bulldog, Maddie, brings her more joy than a child. “It’s just less work and, honestly, I have more time to go out. You . . . don’t have to get a baby sitter.” [1]

Well you get the point. The article is pretty much downhill from there.

One may hope that when these women hit 30 they will think differently. However, even among the married, more (as many as 20%] are choosing the childless route. Last summer  a Time Magazine cover story was on “The Childfree Life” and its Web edition was subtitled: The American birthrate is at a record low. What happens when having it all means not having children? The Article begins:

[At] 50, Angela Scott [who is married 24 years and intentionally childless, says she] is more than fine: she’s fulfilled. And she’s not alone. The birthrate in the U.S. is the lowest in recorded American history. From 2007 to 2011, the fertility rate declined 9%. A 2010 Pew Research report showed that childlessness has risen across all racial and ethnic groups, adding up to about 1 in 5 American women who end their childbearing years maternity-free, compared with 1 in 10 in the 1970s…. [2]

We have discussed here before the demographic harm low birthrates have. But if you want to read a thoughtful article from a Catholic demographers, see the CARA Blog Post. Ang his observations Author Mark Gray writes:

The effects of fertility decline are not just limited to the state budget and care for seniors. A future of fewer people year-over-year will also be one of perpetual economic stagnation or recession for all. Currently it costs a middle class family $245,340 to raise a single child to the age of 18 in the United States. If a couple has two kids that’s close to half a million dollars they inject into the economy. A skeptic might say they would have just spent that money on something else if they had no children. Perhaps but as most parents know having a child can “encourage” you seek out more income out of necessity (e.g., dads, on average, make more than non-dads and the combined incomes of a mom and dad outpace a couple with no children). As I write Japan is again in a recession. Downturns and anemic growth have become the normal way of life there for decades and will be so for the foreseeable future until they begin to grow demographically again (innovations and exports have been insufficient).

Read the original article here

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12 Responses to Good times for dogs, not so good for babies. A Reflection on the Perversity of Modern Culture

  1. johnhenrycn says:

    “Of the first tendency, pride, greed, lust, and gluttony, are at the heart of desiring what is evil, or what is good, but desired in excess.”

    I’m alright then. Only under the spell of three of those.


  2. johnhenrycn says:

    Has anyone here ever gone to Confession with something like this:

    “Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:50 pm:
    I have never ever ever in my entire life hurt an animal. Nor would I ever hurt an animal. And this after thinking how horrible my boyfriends father was for kicking his dog. Yesterday I was in a very strange state of mind. It was my first day back from a long trip. That night I found out my stepdads fish had died. I started to sob and ran to my room. As i entered my room my dog grabbed my rabbits apple and ran off. She had stolen his cantaloupe earlier in the day. I don’t understand what happened to me. I got so upset I yelled “Go off with your prize!” and I kicked her in her bottom/tail area. I have never ever hurt an animal. Ever. There is nothing to excuse what I did. I am a monster, and that is all there is too it.”

    Forgive the poor girl. She can’t even manage a grocer’s apostrophe.

    In North America, we still abide by the teaching in Genesis – animals are meant to be used. Not abused, but to be used. When a cow says to me: “I’ve got rights!”, I say: “Get in the truck!”


  3. Daniel L says:

    How can innate animal desires be evil?


  4. kathleen says:

    @ Daniel

    In a nutshell Daniel (sorry, no time for more) because animal desires in animals are not evil, but simply natural instincts for the survival of the species.
    Man is the only being made in the Image and Likeness of God. IOW he is far more than a mere animal; he has been endowed with an immortal soul and the capability to distinguish Good from Evil. (Yes, even our earliest ancestors were given this amazing gift.)
    Our bodily needs and desires are certainly not evil in themselves, but if not controlled and channelled in the right direction will definitely become so. Only we (Mankind) are capable of putting them to evil ends; animals cannot do that. We have been given the Divine Law to follow, first in the Old Testament, and brought to its fulfillment with the coming of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

    2 Peter 1:3-4
    “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”


  5. Daniel L says:

    @ kathleen
    I do agree with you; it is our intelligence, and our ability to ponder and reflect on thoughts and ideas that allows humans to be evil. But much that we call evil is done by people with disturbed minds or ‘faulty’ brains.


  6. kathleen says:

    That may well be so Daniel. In which case, they will be judged accordingly by their diminished responsibility for their actions. That does not exonerate the rest of us who are fully compos mentis from our wrongdoing though, does it? 😉


  7. Daniel L says:

    No, but though we might do some shameful, or regrettable things, we don’t do ‘evil’.


  8. The Raven says:

    Indeed, Kathleen: it would be foolish to attribute evil acts just to the disturbed or the mad; many of the most evil acts of the twentieth century were committed by people in full possession of their faculties.


  9. kathleen says:

    @ Raven

    Yes it is amazing, isn’t it, that the ‘Daniels’ of the world are still excusing “evil acts” as having some understandable, underlying motive – “we don’t do ‘evil'” – rather than waking up to seeing the very real wickedness people will choose to commit with deliberate and calculated intention. These are the Laodicean times we are living in here in the West today. 😉

    @ Daniel

    Not bashing you personally Daniel; you are after all only voicing the current inclusive language of the day.


  10. johnhenrycn says:

    “In the first case of its kind, a New York appeals court has rejected an animal rights advocate’s bid to extend ‘legal personhood’ to chimpanzees, saying the primates are incapable of bearing the responsibilities that come with having legal rights.The unanimous ruling meant that Tommy, a 26-year-old chimpanzee is not entitled to the rights of a human and does not have to be freed by its owner. A five-judge panel of the Albany court on Thursday said attorney Steven Wise had shown that Tommy, who lives alone in a shed in upstate New York, was an autonomous creature, but that it was not possible for him to understand the social contract that binds humans together.”

    And here’s me thinking Planet of the Apes was just a movie. That a case like this could ever reach the Court of Appeal in any country almost makes me wish I’d been a lawyer in the mid-19th century when the serious human rights issue being litigated in cases such as The Amistad and Dred Scott was whether negroes were really human. If retained back then by the slavery lobby (and The Raven can tell you about what used to be the sacrosanct ‘Cab-rank’ rule insofar as it relates to the practice of law, although the application of that rule has been seriously diluted in our age of PC) I would have raised a “Slippery Slope” defence against humanizing negroes when I consider what this latest fiasco of “PETA gone mad” actually means, which is that (according to PETA) Africans, and by extension all humans, are no different that monkeys. If you believe that, you ought never to be allowed access to a court of law. To a mental asylum, yes, but not to a court of law.


  11. johnhenrycn says:

    Not sure why my Amistad and Dred Scott links above don’t work, but anyone reading this blog, with the exception of Bosco the Clown, will know how to access them.


  12. Brother Burrito says:

    There’s nothing new under the sun:

    The backing group seem strangely familiar.


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