So says Sarah Sentilles in this classic loony-left freakout over Douthat’s column on the birth dearth. There are serious reasons to disagree with Douthat; these are not them. Nor is Religion Dispatches, the Religious Left online magazine that published this, an imprint of The Onion, hard as that may be to believe. Excerpt:
Douthat seems nostalgic, sentimental over a time when fewer women earned college degrees, when husbands and wives believed children were the key to successful marriages, when gay marriage (which he condemns for “formally sever[ing] wedlock from sex differences and procreation”) was not a “no brainer,” and when women did the only thing they were good for—making more American babies.
Never mind the melting ice caps. Never mind mass extinction on a scale never seen before. Never mind the environment or pollution or climate change. Make more people! And if you don’t, shame on you. You’re selfish. You’re “decadent.”
This superfun writer, Sarah Sentilles, dropped out of Episcopal seminary before ordination and then wrote a book about her “break-up” with God. But boy, is she still mad:
I went to see a doctor about pain I was having in my lower back. “You’re getting older,” he said. “Do you plan to have kids?”
“I’m not sure,” I said.
“Do you want to be lonely when you’re old? Do you want to die alone?” he asked, and when I didn’t answer, he continued:
“When you get pregnant make sure you do Pilates. It will help your back get strong and keep your stomach flat after you have the baby. Then you should move to a different neighborhood with fewer migrant workers so your kids can go to better schools.”
And there it was, that strange and strangling knot of social pressure and racism and entitlement and fear all laid out on the table in the doctor’s office for me to examine—the pressure that will never stop no matter what I do, even if I follow the commandments shouted in advertisements and during family gatherings and in doctors’ offices when I’m sitting in a paper gown that opens in the back.
I don’t believe for one second that this exchange happened, but anyway, Sentilles sure is steamed at God for the “go forth and multiply” thing. And so she is telling women everywhere not to have sex with Ross Douthat. I am fairly certain that Mrs. Douthat will support that position.
Sentilles ends by saying that she’s not going to have any kids because she loves the animals with which she shares this planet:
I can hear birds now as I type this—cranes, flying, their v-shape slicing through the air, beating their wings to travel away from me. Listen. Can you hear them? Can you hear the spider spinning a web at the corner of my window? Can you hear the elephants, the polar bears, the blue whales, the wolves, the lions, tigers, cheetahs, gorillas, salamanders, frogs, coyotes, cougars?
I hear them all.
Actually, I hear the cats. Lots of kitties, all over her house.