Scottish Cardinal to Catholics: Stop Being Stingy with Procreative Sex!

|

Neil Hrab hips us to the fact that Cardinal Keith O'Brien has celebrated his first anniversary as capo of Scotland's mackerel snappers by publicly fretting about his flock's commitment to one of the main tenets of popery. As The Scotsman relays it:

In remarks that risk sparking political anger, he said members of the Church hierarchy fear immigrant groups could "take over" in western European countries because they have more children than indigenous Christians….

Recalling a trip to Vienna, Cardinal O'Brien, the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, described the fears of a guide who showed him around the Austrian capital. "She said: 'You know, we are losing our Christian Catholic community. We are not having babies, but the immigrants, they love babies, love families, love family life, have many many children, and soon they will be taking over'," Cardinal O'Brien said, adding: "Basically, that reflects the views of some of our own Church leaders at this time."

What kind of crazy, mixed-up world is it where Catholics of all people need to be lectured on having kids?

Whole story here.

Reason Web editor Tim Cavanaugh–the skin on his shoulders still bearing the junior varsity stigmata from his boyhood scapulars–poured ice-cold holy water on the idea that anti-Catholicism was the "last acceptable prejudice" here.

NEXT: Gainful Employment

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I don’t have kids because I know I’m not competent to run anyone’s life but my own. But I have to admit that the exponential increase in the cost of children brought on by the State at all levels plays a hefty role as well, as does the almost certainty of the State’s agents finding any excuse to create some sort of post-birth nexus and suck you and your loved ones into their black hole. Jeff Snyder said “they will use what you love against you”, and I’m told few things hurt as much as seeing your child turned into a hostage and bargaining chip.

  2. “I don’t have kids because I know I’m not competent to run anyone’s life but my own. But I have to admit that the exponential increase in the cost of children brought on by the State at all levels plays a hefty role as well, as does the almost certainty of the State’s agents finding any excuse to create some sort of post-birth nexus and suck you and your loved ones into their black hole.”

    (Sarcasm Mode: ON)

    Well, you’re just being selfish! It is your duty, to yourself and the Western World, to get married and bring a child into the world. Submit yourself to the civilizing influences of family life… OR ELSE!

    (Sarcasm Mode: OFF)

  3. Blah,

    I have two small kids, and I don’t really see the State-imposed expenses. The tax breaks for having children are significant, and once both my kids are in school full-time (and I’m lucky to live in a town with extremely good public schools), my wife will go back to work. Except for the opportunity costs of one spouse not working (our choice), we found that kids aren’t really that expensive.

    If anything, childless citizens continue to subsidize families. And no, I don’t think that is fair, but I’m neither sufficiently wealthy nor enough of an ideologue to forego good educations for my children that don’t cost me anything more than what I’m already paying in taxes.

  4. What kind of crazy, mixed-up world is it where Catholics of all people need to be lectured on having kids?

    I’m sure you know the answer to that already Nick, but since you ask, I’ll answer it anyway. A world that changes.

    idea that anti-Catholicism was the “last acceptable prejudice”

    Ha! We all know “the last acceptable prejudice” is boomer-bashing!! 🙂

  5. If anything, childless citizens continue to subsidize families.

    Ya think?

    I mean, it wouldn’t have anything to do with paying school taxes, having all kinds of government benefit programs targeted to kids, and giving taxpayers with kids tax breaks, would you?

  6. Fyodor,

    I thought the last acceptable prejudice was against Modernists.

  7. You’ve heard the AA phrase “Fake it till you make it?”

    The casual use of “mackeral snapper” and the like in Reason posts is starting to become too easy, and it’s connotations are changing. Their context doesn’t render them obviously absurd in this post.

    It doesn’t look like you’re using the terms ironically anymore.

  8. joe,

    Oh, they just hate everyone. That’s why Bagge is the resident cartoonist!!

  9. Cast a vote here for Southerners as the “last acceptable prejudice”.

  10. Um, wouldn’t the head of the Catholic Church in as Calvinist a place as Scotland *welcome* mass immigration of Catholic East Europeans? Cardinal O’Brien’s very name says something about how indigenous Catholicism is to Scotland. Does he envision some kind of eugenics program by which the small minority of native Catholics will eventually outbreed the Presbyterians?

  11. Ironchef, yer right, the real last acceptable prejudice is agin Southerners.

    What do Southern girls say after having sex for the first time?

    “Get offa me daddy, yer crushin’ my smokes.”

    I rest my case.

  12. Look, you lost the war, deal with it…

  13. You’re all wrong. The last acceptable prejudice is against prejudice.

  14. “giving taxpayers with kids tax breaks,”

    Incentives to taxpayers to breed is a better idea than just subsidising pro-creation. I would expect taxpayers to raise future taxpayers.

    Of course you could just off-shore to whole procreation task. I’m sure that many would be happy to move to the USA, although they may want to rethink the SS transfers from the young to the old. They may even vote that the old be more heavily taxed on their retirement benefits and investments.

  15. This is exactly the same fear that permeates California. It is articulated in bars and living rooms, but never in public or in print (because of obvious racial overtones).

    And there is a certain amount of merit to the claim that the faces are changing. The decendants of the Dutch, English, and even Italians & Mexicans are having less kids or moving away. The influx from Asia and the rest of the Americas has significantly altered demographics and family size. You see it in schools and on the soccer fields.

    As we all know, people don’t like change, especially the kinds of change that created Little Saigon out of white middle class Westminster Ca. and spawned a popular bumper sticker: Last American Out Of (city name of your choice here) Bring The Flag.

    This is the fear that the head Cat Licker is talking about. His fear is palpable and his observation is probably accurate. But inevitably the fear will pass as the generations pass. Just as inevitably, it will be replaced by other fears yet unknown.

  16. Immigrants from Asia have changed the face of my city’s neighborhoods. Where there used to be good old red white and blue vacant storefronts with Irish and French names falling off the facades, now those same storefronts are full employees, businessowners, and customers. Jobs, taxes, goods, services, bulding renovations, construction workers – the bastards.

    Oh, and as for the flag – on 9/14/01, after a vigil/rally at City Hall, what looked like every white kid in the city started driving around, waving the flag out the window and whooping. The Asian kids lined up in front of the shitty tenements where they have to live, and whooped and waved the American flag right back at them. So I don’t see the last American leaving any time soon.

  17. There is a good reason to subsidize children through school taxes, etc.: So there will be someone of working age to pay the taxes to support the childless oldsters when they retire (and to keep the economy going so their 401k plans will be worth something).

  18. mccleary wrote:

    “Except for the opportunity costs of one spouse not working (our choice), we found that kids aren’t really that expensive.”

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!
    AH HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

    Wait’ll yours get a little older. Here’s what you have to look forward to:

    –Lessons, practices, performances, games, road trips (heh)
    –Braces and/or glasses or contacts (heheheheheh)
    –driving and car insurance (HAHAHAHA!!!!)
    –college, if you’re lucky (BWAHAHAHA!!!!)

    Here’s a hint from someone with a 21-year-old: the *real* costs start hitting once they’re in high school.

  19. “Here’s what you have to look forward to:”

    Don’t forget the loss in time and freedom that marriage and bringing a brat into the world entails.

  20. “Don’t forget the loss in time and freedom that marriage and bringing a brat into the world entails. ”

    “Loss,” “use,” whichever…

  21. I thought anti-smoking was the last acceptible prejudice. Also add anti-liberal. You southerners may think you guys are picked on, but when was the last time your state of origin was used as a pejorative in a presidential debate (apparently, Bush only wants to preside over 49 states).

    Once again, the Euros have leave the USA in the dust wrt to racist hysteria over changing faces. Unless you believe the fear of letting Turkey in is purely economic.

  22. “You southerners may think you guys are picked on, but when was the last time your state of origin was used as a pejorative in a presidential debate (apparently, Bush only wants to preside over 49 states).”
    Texas is a bad word in many circles.

  23. How many times did John Kerry bust on his opponent for being from Texas in the debates, vs. how many times Bush busted on Kerry for being from Massachusetts?

  24. Wait’ll yours get a little older. Here’s what you have to look forward to:


    –Lessons, practices, performances, games, road trips (heh)

    All optional, of course. You and your child can choose affordable activities. They may not match either of your wish lists, but that is a good lesson as well.


    –Braces and/or glasses or contacts (heheheheheh)

    True enough, though braces may be optional.


    –driving and car insurance (HAHAHAHA!!!!)

    Completely optional.


    –college, if you’re lucky (BWAHAHAHA!!!!)

    Also, surprisingly, optional in a lot of cases. In any case, current rates of tuition increase are simply not sustainable, and the pop articles that extrapolate them into the future are absurd.

  25. As to whether gov’t makes child-raising more expensive or less expensive:

    I’ve heard angry people without kids complain about subsidizing those with kids. And I’ve heard libertarians of various stripes complain that the gov’t makes it more expensive to have kids. I see 2 possibilities:

    1) The gov’t creates new costs and then forces non-parents bear a portion of those costs, so that in some sense both camps are right.

    2) Perhaps it’s all such a tangled mess that it’s impossible to figure out. When the gov’t is big enough you can blame it for anything and be sort of right.

    Not defending big gov’t, just trying to get my brain around the impacts of big gov’t and finding it all way too confusing.

  26. thoreau,

    #1 is certainly possible, creating costs is one of the government’s main jobs! 🙂 Still, I wonder what direct costs are levied on child bearers? Perhaps unfunded mandates such as child seats for cars?

  27. Mo,

    Pat Buchanan’s books beat this man’s comments by years.

    Anyone read the interesting story in the NYT (sorry, only read the print edition today; no link handy) about France’s (and Europe’s) efforts to train tolerant, Westernized Imams at state-run religious schools? There has been much about this in the French language press – particularly Le Figaro – so I am glad that the U.S. press is now covering it.

  28. fyodor-

    One might argue that gov’t mandates make education, even private education, more expensive. I’ve heard people argue that if taxes were lower then more families might be able to afford to get by on one income while the other parent stays home with the kids. (Not trying to open up all sorts of cans of worms there, simply observing that it’s a mode of parenting that most people can’t afford but some might freely choose if they could it.)

    One could certainly make a good case that medical care for kids (or anybody else) is more expensive due to regulations.

    I’ve heard LP candidates make all of these cases when arguing for why parents should vote LP. But I’ve also heard libertarians and Libertarians argue that parents are subsidized by taxpayers without kids. I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere out there a libertarian or Libertarian is trying to persuade environmentalists that the gov’t is responsible for population growth by subsidizing parents.

    If the gov’t is big enough you can blame it for any outcome that you want to blame it for.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.