Should humanity exist? If you think so, you might be “far right,” according to a recent report in Politico. Gaby Del Valle recently covered the first Natal Conference in Austin, Texas, and what she saw disturbed her. Pro-natalists worry about the falling birthrates across the globe, where many countries are experiencing a population implosion. Myriad economic and political problems result from the “birth dearth”: Social welfare programs rely on a large younger population to support the older, the market itself requires both producers and consumers to thrive, and the population crunch pushes regimes to desperate behavior. Pro-natalists think that, some way, somehow, people must be encouraged to have children. Crazy thought, I know.

Now, there are other responses to some of the economic woes due to declining birthrates. For example, to avoid raising wages and provide enough labor, many leaders have promoted automation and mass immigration. As another WORLD Opinions contributor has observed, automation only provides production (not consumption) whereas, in the case of immigration, eventually you run out of other peoples’ children (especially as the dip in births manifests itself globally). Moreover, certain immigration policies destabilized countries and have been poorly received by the citizenry.

And this, by the way, is where certain voices in the natalist world can get dicey. Del Valle definitely wants us to know this. Sadly, some self-described natalists hold to eugenicist and racist beliefs. They don’t just want the earth to be filled with people. They want it to be filled with the “right kind” of people—people like them, where likeness has more to do with genetics than moral principles or faith. There are some natalists who just want to outbreed other ethnicities. Additionally, some pro-natal voices favor unethical practices to amend the problem, including (but not limited to) IVF and surrogacy. It’s not pleasant to think what the morally unmoored might do if the medical world finally perfects the artificial womb.

The errors here should be obvious to the Christian. Racial bigotry has its roots in covetousness and hatred of neighbor. We cannot wink at this. It is evil in and of itself, and a gateway to atrocities. Nor can we condone the severing of the conjugal union from procreation, as so often happens in the fertility industry.

That minivan packed with kids going to church on Sunday morning? It’s an affront to the secularist mythology, a galling reminder of the ugliness of the secularist error.

However, herein lies an important snag. Most people in the United States who are pro-natal, broadly speaking, are not bigoted Social Darwinists or weird technophiles. Instead, they are religiously devout social conservatives. Christians, for instance, find an inherent worth in human life (regardless of ethnicity). After all, men bear the image and likeness of God, and the Lord Himself took up into Himself full humanity in the Incarnation. God commissioned humanity to multiply and fill the earth, exercising a godly dominion as stewards of creation. Some of the highest and most noble consolations are to be found in family life, and God Himself has redemptive purposes for the household. So, of course, in the Christian political vision—as in many other religious perspectives—child-rearing must be paramount for a culture to truly flourish, thrive, and be worthy of continuance.

The folks at Politico would like us to think that anyone who wants “a culture in which child-rearing is paramount” is “far right,” and thus a menace to be eschewed. They would have us think that concern over the birth dearth is for oddballs. But such a belief isn’t “new right” or “far right.” It is an ancient and permanent feature of any sane and virtuous society. And the fact that societies around the globe have embraced life scripts that undermine child-rearing should be seen as an urgent dilemma. Anyone who wants to condemn natalism in toto is bringing a fire extinguisher to a flood.

But we shouldn’t be surprised that pro-natal religious conservatism unsettles progressives. For one thing, if the religious keep having more kids than non-believers, and those kids remain religious, the religious will literally inherit the earth within a generation or two. Granted, the cultural warfare script of “outbreed the enemy” can run into profound problems on the parenting front. But the potential demographic shift spells certain doom for the secularist and his progressive worldview of ever-decreasing piety.

For another thing, religious people seem to have children because they have hope and perceive higher goods that are worth sacrificing oneself for. As Tim Carney recently quipped, “The secular story, the godless story, ends up being too sad to want to continue the human race.” That minivan packed with kids going to church on Sunday morning? It’s an affront to the secularist mythology, a galling reminder of the ugliness of the secularist error.

While Christians need to exercise vigilance against toxic errors on the fringe, we also don’t need to take our cues from Politico. Let’s stick to what God says.