Monday, March 26, 2007

Pope Benedict And The End of Europe

Pope Benedict is concerned about other people not having enough children. Celibacy is something he values for himself, though.

But being child-free or childless is not for other people:

Europe appears to be losing faith in its own future, Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday, warning against "dangerous individualism" on a continent where many people are having fewer children.

"One must unfortunately note that Europe seems to be going down a road which could lead it to take its leave from history," the pontiff told bishops in Rome for ceremonies to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, a major step toward the creation of today's European Union.

Benedict said he was concerned about Europe's "demographic profile" – though he did not describe the trends that have alarmed the continent for decades.

I'm sorry, but I can't take his concern seriously, given that his position makes him singularly unsuitable for judging the reasons why people have or do not have children.

Don't you think that he would LOVE to blame feminists for this? Too bad for him that the countries with the lowest fertility rates are not at all feminist havens. Poland, a staunchly Catholic country, has the lowest birth rate in the European Union and is about as hostile to feminism as any developed country can be. The Poles are very socially conservative as the euphemism goes.

Hmm. Benedict must work harder to turn all this into something that can be put on the frail shoulders of us feminists.

Perhaps that reference to "dangerous individualism" is code for selfish and uppity women not having enough children. Or the reference I heard on Fox News about a year ago, where a conservative pundit explained the European low fertility rates as a consequence of people not wanting to get child saliva on their BMWs. See how easy it is to create an alternative reality where all Europeans are suddenly driving selfishly around in extremely expensive cars using gasoline that costs more than any American can imagine?

I'm not for a world of self-centered individuals gazing at their own navels. Such a world would be a terrible place to live in. But all my sensors start bleeping madly when someone with enormous power, wealth and influence starts blaming others for being overly individualistic. That usually means that someone else is going to get the steamroller treatment.