James McHenry is a lesser known American founder. A Scottish-Irish Presbyterian born in County Antrim, Ireland, he came to the colonies in 1771, just five years before independence.
McHenry eventually became a military surgeon, signatory to the Constitution, and Secretary of War to Presidents Washington and Adams. Fort McHenry, of American flag fame, bears his name. James McHenry was from the early American elite. He wrote:
“The Holy Scriptures … can only ensure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability and usefulness.”
Holy Scripture? How awake can you become?
Should we assume McHenry was racist, “homophobic”, nativist or an adult? Can you imagine a member of the Biden cabinet referring to Holy Scripture? Well, that would be a violation of “separation of church and state,” the Jeffersonian doctrine that was meant to prevent the government from interfering in matters of faith. Today, that doctrine has been completely transmuted, armed to eradicate religious expression from the public square.
McHenry was not the only American founder whose words canceled him today. What about the “father of our country” George Washington? Here is what Washington said at a rally of Delaware Indian leaders:
It will be good if you want to learn our arts and our way of life and above all the religion of Jesus Christ. It will make you a bigger and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything in its power to assist you in this wise endeavor.
A compilation of religious sentiments by early American leaders would consume more interventions than MercatorNet can handle. Needless to say, the founders were people of faith. At that time, the West was commonly referred to as Christianity. As far as I know, no one found it offensive.
What does any of this have to do with demographics?
Well, according to the World Atlas, “American women who reached fertile age in 1800 had an average of seven to eight live births over the course of their reproductive lives.” In 1800, America was mostly rural and exercise Christian.
In the early 1800s, two overarching factors influenced family life. The first was faith. The biblical command “And you, be fruitful and multiply; give birth in abundance to the earth and multiply thereon. ” (Genesis 9: 7, KJV) was taken quite seriously.
Also having children was healthy economy. Kids meant more hands on the deck at the farm and family business. It was early American family planning.
From 1800 onwards, however, American fertility gradually declined, reaching the bottom in the 1940s. Then the post-war “baby boom” brings a 60% bump. The decline has since resumed, attributed to better public health (lower child mortality), urbanization, industrialization, higher incomes and women in the labor force.
One, however very meaningful reason for fewer children is usually omitted from demographic analyzes: secularism.
What is secularism?
The term was created c.1850 to indicate a system that sought to order and interpret life on the basis of principles taken exclusively from this world, without invoking faith in God and a future life. It is now used in a more general sense of the tendency to ignore the principles of supernatural religion, if not to deny it.
– The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
According to Merriam-Webstersecularism is “indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations. ”
The USA is today’s secularist empire. Secularism is a major contributing factor, commonly overlooked, to persistent under-replacement fertility worldwide.
It is no secret that religious people, on average, have more children than non-religious people. Why? Often people of faith seriously follow the biblical command to go on and multiply. They believe in salvation and are usually somewhat less egocentric and materialistic than the average modern Joe.
But today we are in the era of Economic Man, defined by Merriam-Webster as
… An imaginary individual who was created in the classical economy and who is regarded as acting rationally, regularly and predictably in his economic activities with motives that are selfish, acquiring and short-term.
By adopting the model of the Economic Man, Western societies abandoned the belief that mankind’s intellectual, spiritual, and moral being was in the image of God, a view they held for at least 18 centuries. This stone-cold secularism would eventually lead to Communism and the many other atheistic ideologies we suffer from today.
Major General JFC Fuller, in volume 3 of him Military History of the Western Worldargued that “the myth of the economic man [was] the fundamental factor in capitalism, socialism and communism. ”
We are also addicted to the idea of progress, defined by the web Conservapedia as
Wêreld a worldview promoted primarily by globalists and liberals who argue “that the human condition has improved and will continue to improve over the course of history.”
It is closely connected with the concept that man is perfect and will in fact be perfect at some point in the future. Although popular in contemporary culture, this idea has several serious flaws.
Truly flawed. Shallow belief in the inevitability of human progress and unlimited temporary progress disregard the transcendent, giving rise to the “prosperity gospel” and rank materialism.
Many prospered, but prosperity after World War II appears to be short-lived. Something is missing. This is why China makes Confucius popular, Russia subsidizes Orthodoxy and Hungary promotes Catholicism in hopes of increasing birth rates. The US gives a mandate for wokeism and relies on immigration.
Today, politicians rarely invoke religious beliefs, except in discard lines for public consumption. People made of stricter stuff like James McHenry and George Washington are vilified and canceled, their names removed and statues removed. What will tomorrow’s children know about their heritage?
Yes, we are o-so-modern, high-tech, sophisticated and secular. Having children is oncool. Modernity is slowly but surely killing us. The idea of progress that honors Mammon, has radical environmental awareness, egocentrism and alertness Homo sapiens on the road to extinction. But as the old saying goes, “Vice is the last to see the water.”