Thursday, September 10, 2009

God's plan for women, zero population growth rant

This is the Q&A link from the website for the movie Demographic Winter. I haven't researched this, but I believe it is probably true. This is an example of why we as children of a Heavenly Father don't know best. Look, God gives us free will. We can do whatever we want and if we are his child, he loves us anyway. He probably shakes his head at the things we do, just like we shake our heads at our own children. God knows EVERYTHING. Yet, we still think we should control our own lives. Many of us think the bible is obsolete. I think as Christians we have forgotten the old testament. Hey people, there is a reason for the old testament. There was a reason for all the laws and guidlines. We are not under the old law. I realize that. But did maybe we stop to think there were reasons we were told how to live. Here are some examples of scientific and medical foreknowledge in the bible. Just in case there is someone reading this who might still doubt that God knows EVERYTHING. Even when we think some old testament guidlines are silly, such as circumcision on the eighth day, we find out recently that God had a reason for that. How many other things are we accidently ignoring, that may be very important, not just for our physical well being, but for our emotional well being and that of our children, especially.

Here are some examples of foreknowledge in the bible:

Before the learned ancients surmised that the earth was spherical, the divinely inspired Isaiah wrote "It is He who sits above the circle of the earth...(NKJ, Isaiah 40:22)". In addition, from the Book of Job we have "He stretches out the north over empty space; he hangs the earth on nothing (NKJ, Job 26:7)". It should be noted that just last century scientists believed space consisted of a hypothetical substance called Ether (not the chemical), which was the medium between the celestial bodies. Also, the pagans of that time believed in such things as a mythical Atlas character who supported the pillars that held heaven and earth apart, and later carried the earth around on his shoulders. Another interesting tidbit that illuminates the divine nature of Job 26:7 is the recent discovery of a huge hole in space in the direction of the northern hemisphere

Scientists have only recently discovered springs of water in the depths of the oceans4. Perhaps this is what the Bible is referring to in the following: "Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths? (NKJ, Job 38:16)".

Researchers at NASA's Ames Research Center confirmed that every element in man can be found in the soil, prompting one of the scientists to say "...the biblical scenario for the creation of life turns out to be not far off the mark"5.

The dimensions of Noah's Ark as described in the Bible are ideal for stability. In fact, South Korean architects who examined the dimensions found that the boat was virtually impossible to capsize! Their modeling and analysis found that the ark could survive waves higher than 30 meters! (note that a typical tsunami is only 10 meters high) Many other cultures have flood legends similar to the account in the Bible, but their ark descriptions were never palatable. For example, the Babylonian Gilgamesh Flood legend described an ark that was shaped like a cube, which would be horrible for stability.

Hyssop oil was charged by God to Moses to be used as a purifying agent. Hyssop oil has been shown to contain 50% antifungal and antibacterial agents (Numbers 19:18, Psalm 51:7).

For centuries scholars must have been perplexed by God's law of circumcision which required the procedure to be performed on the 8th day after birth (Gen 17:12, Gen 21:14, Lev 12:3, Luke 2:21). Medical researchers recently discovered that the two main blood clotting factors, Vitamin K and Prothrombim, reach their highest level in life, about 110% of normal, on the 8th day after birth. These blood clotting agents facilitate rapid healing and greatly reduce the chance of infection. You can verify with any Obstetrician that the 8th day of life is the ideal time for a circumcision, and that any circumcision done earlier requires an injection of Vitamin K supplement. By the way, this is a favorite of mine!

By the 1980s, all the health organizations of the United States had adopted low-fat, high fiber dietary guidelines. This was the culmination of numerous scientific studies that had demonstrated that diets high in vegetables, fruits, and grains reduced the risk of heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases. Secular physicians generally agree that these dietary guidelines that were producing longer life spans were first developed by religious movements founded in the 1800s, particularly by the Seventh-day Adventists. Where did the Seventh-day Adventists get their guidelines? From a meticulous and careful study of the Bible. It appears man has finally caught up to the dietary recommendations given by God to the Israelites some 3500 years ago!

Is it at all possible that we are ignoring important instructions from God and what might the consequences be? What about God's intention/plan for a woman's body? Let's start from the birth of a baby.

Let's start at the beginning. The real beginning. Genesis. Woman was created for man. To be his helpmeet. Many a feminist will fight against this, but if we believe the bible is the true, complete, infallable word of GOD, then we must believe this is what our purpose is. So we are to marry and be a helpmeet. Next we are to populate and subdue the earth which is also in Genesis. Many people think that we no longer need to subdue the earth, but maybe God didn't mean for us to stop when there were "enough" people. Maybe subdue the earth isn't about the number of people, but the number of people who serve the Lord. See the statistics below related to limiting the size of your family.

Question : What is population stability, and why is the number 2.1 so important?

Population stability is the point of equilibrium at which a country’s population is neither growing nor declining. In order to maintain current population, the average woman must have 2.1 children during her lifetime. Essentially, she needs to replace herself and a man. Because some children will die before reaching maturity, slightly more than two children are needed. Hence, 2.1.

A birthrate of more than 2.1 equals population growth. A birthrate of less than 2.1 means long term population decline. The rate of 2.1 is based on currently low infant mortality rates. In countries where infant mortality is higher, the birthrate required for population replacement would also be higher.

Question: What does the expression “Demographic Winter” mean?

“Demographic Winter” denotes the worldwide decline in birthrates, also referred to as a “birth-dearth,” and what it portends.

Demographer Philip Longman (author of “The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity”) observes: “The ongoing global decline in human birthrates is the single most powerful force affecting the fate of nations and the future of society in the 21st. century.”

Worldwide, birthrates have been halved in the past 50 years. There are now 59 nations, with 44% of the world’s population, with below-replacement fertility

Sometime in this century, the world’s population will begin to decline. At a certain point, the decline will become rapid. We may even reach population free-fall in our lifetimes.

For some countries, population decline is already a reality. Russia is losing three-quarters-of-a-million people a year. Its population (currently 145 million) is expected to fall by one-third by 2050.

The term “nuclear winter,” popularized in the 1980s, alluded to the catastrophic environmental impact of a nuclear war. The long-term consequences of demographic winter could be equally devastating.

Question: What is replacement fertility, and why is the number 2.1 so important?

Replacement fertility is the point of equilibrium at which a country’s population is neither growing nor declining. In order to maintain current population, the average woman must have 2.1 children during her lifetime. Essentially, she needs to replace herself and a man. Because some children will die before reaching maturity, slightly more than two children are needed. Hence, 2.1.

A birthrate of more than 2.1 equals population growth. A birthrate of less than 2.1 long-term means population decline.

Question: If birthrates are declining, why does the world’s population continue to grow?

If it’s already in motion, a car in neutral will continue moving for a while, especially if it’s going downhill, even if gas isn’t being injected into the engine.

Today’s population growth is due to two factors: 1. higher fertility rates in the 1950s and 60s, and 2. people living longer than ever before.

The thing to remember is this: Declining birthrates will equal a declining population worldwide at some point in the next few decades. In the West (especially in Europe) population decline will become a reality much sooner. In some countries, such as Russia, it’s already happening.

A nation’s demographic future can be seen in its current birthrate. In Europe, the number of children under 5 has declined by 36% since 1960. Worldwide, there are 6 million fewer children, 6 and under, today, than there were in 1990. If present trends continue, the United Nations estimates that by 2050 there will be 248 million fewer children in the world then there are now.

Question: Where are birthrates lowest?

Of the 10 countries with the lowest birthrates, 9 are in Europe. Overall, the European fertility rate is 1.3, well below replacement level (2.1). No European nation has a replacement-level birthrate.

Italy’s fertility rate is 1.2. Spain’s is 1.1. That means in the not-too-distant future, absent massive immigration, these countries will lose half of their people in every generation.

Russia’s birthrate fell from 2.4 in 1990 to 1.17 today – a decline of more than 50% in less than 20 years. Each year, there are more abortions than live births in the Russian Federation.

While birthrates are also plummeting in developing nations, most still have above-replacement fertility – for the time being.

The U.S. fertility rate is around 2.1, just about replacement level, and continues to hover around that rate, due in part to higher immigrant birthrates. How long this will continue is anyone’s guess.

Question: What are the consequences of demographic decline?

Economist Robert J. Samuelson wrote in a June 15, 2005 column in The Washington Post: “It’s hard to be a great power if your population is shriveling.” Samuelson warned: “Europe as we know it is going out of business…. Western Europe’s population grows dramatically grayer, projects the U.S. Census Bureau. Now about one-sixth of the population is 65 and older. By 2030, that could be one-fourth and by 2050, almost one-third.”

By the mid-point of this century, 16% of the world’s population will be over 65. By 2040, there will be 400 million elderly Chinese.

If present low birthrates persist, the European Union estimates there will be a continent-wide shortfall of 20 million workers by 2030.

Who will operate the factories and farms in the Europe of the future? Who will develop the natural resources? Where will Russia find the soldiers to guard the frontiers of the largest nation on Earth?

Who will care for a graying population? A burgeoning elderly population combined with a shrinking work force will lead to a train-wreck for state pension systems.

This only skims the surface of the way demographic decline will change the face of civilization. Even the environment will be adversely impacted. With severely strained public budgets, developed nations will no longer be willing to shoulder the costs of industrial clean-up or a reduction of CO2 emissions.

Question: What factors contribute to demographic decline?

A number of social trends of the post-war era have converged to create a perfect storm for Demographic Winter.

Men and women are delaying marriage, making it less likely they’ll have more than one or two children. Today in the West, almost one in two marriages ends in divorce. The children of divorce are less likely to marry and form families themselves.

More married women are putting off having children for careers. After 35, it becomes progressively harder for women to conceive.

The news and entertainment media tell young adults that satisfaction comes from careers, romance, travel and “personal growth” – not from having children. It’s rare that Hollywood even portrays large families (today, more than 2 children). The culture’s message is live-for-moment and live primarily for yourself, with no sense of obligation to generations past or concern for posterity.

The growth of cohabitation also has an impact. (In Scandinavia, almost as many couples are living together as married.) Cohabitation is not conducive to childbearing or childrearing.

For the past 20 to 30 years, children have been taught that over-population (the so-called population bomb) will wreak havoc on the environment and economic development. Not surprisingly, children thus indoctrinated frequently choose to have fewer children when they reach maturity.

Religious observance has been shown to correlate with higher birthrates. The increasing secularization of Western societies has been accompanied by lower birthrates.

Thus, every aspect of modernity works against family life and in favor of singleness and small families or voluntary childlessness.

Question: Can’t the problem be fixed by increased immigration?

In a demographic sense, this is robbing Peter to pay Paul.

The host country gains people, but the home country loses. The developing world, which has seen its own birthrate cut in half since 1970 (from almost 6 to barely 4), can ill afford to lose large numbers through emigration. The loss of labor from these countries adversely impacts their own economy and since the majority of those who leave are the men, many children are now growing up without a father, creating other social problems for these countries. The developing world is paying a high price to bail out the developed world’s lack of labor due to low fertility rates.

Mass immigration changes the national character of the host country. Immigrants tend to have a lower education level than natives. Many never learn the language of their new home or identify with its history and heritage.This changes the social and political makeup of the host countries, in some cases so dramatically that it is causing social and political unrest.

Question: Can’t demographic winter be countered by governments encouraging people to have more children?

This is being tried in Western Europe and Russia. The Russian Federation pays families a bonus of 250,000 rubles (the equivalent of $9,200) for every child after the first – in a nation where the average monthly wage is only $330. It’s not working.

Couples decide to have children for all kinds of reasons – religious, emotional, cultural, etc. Money doesn’t seem to be one of them, although money concerns are sometimes cited as a reason for having fewer children.

Children are a life-long commitment. While governments should make childrearing easier, by lowering the tax-burden on families (out of self-interest if not fairness), cash incentives so far haven’t worked.

Question: If the United States has near-replacement fertility, why should we care?

All of the factors that are leading Europe into the depths of Demographic Winter are present in the United States as well, including high divorce rates, the rise of cohabitation, families putting off procreation to pursue careers, an anti-family culture and voluntary childlessness.

We may be a few decades behind Europe, but we’re heading in the same direction.

National economies are interconnected to such an extent that the impact of economic collapse in one country or region can be felt around the world.

The social, political and economic decline of previously stable nations can destabilize entire regions and create perils for neighbors and far-away allies. The United States is connected to Europe economically and through multiple security treaties.

Question: What Is “Demographic Winter: Decline of the Human Family”

“Demographic Winter: Decline of the Human Family,” is the first of two documentary films. Together they explore every aspect of demographic decline based on interviews with scholars, researchers, economists, demographers, government representatives, civil and religious leaders from 33 countries.

Produced by Barry McLerran and directed by Rick Stout, with executive director Steven Smoot, “Demographic Winter” brings together a number of disciplines to examine and analyze what could be the greatest threat confronting humanity in the 21st century.

No all this stuff is secular. It is not related to religion. It is just a fact. No the Lord did not say when we should quit populating the earth, but as early as the 1900s men and women started playing GOD and deciding how many children they needed to have. Now the bible tells us children are a gift from God. Who are we to deny the gifts of God and are there consequences? Of course there are.

For example, a woman waiting until she is over 30 to have her first child has greatly increased her risk for uterine cancer. What? you mean there are consequence for being a rebellious, willful child. Of course there are. Who are we to decide what is best for our bodies. God made them. He KNOWS. We just think we know. We find out more and more every year from the medical and scientific community that proves we should be doing exactly what the bible says. These are WORDS FROM GOD!!! Is anyone a little scared to live life differently than He planned? While we are on the subject of babies, what about breastfeeding. Many of us think it is a choice how we feed our babies. God decided how we SHOULD feed them. So what might the consequences be for choosing to do it our way. Well, increased risk for early breast cancer for women who do not choose extended breastfeeding. The risk of breast cancer goes down something like 25% for every 2 consecutive years you breastfeed. HMMM. You mean if I practiced natural child spacing, having at least 4 children and exclusively nursed my babies my chance of having early breast cancer are 0%. Gee, why would I do it anyother way. Oh, yes, I am being brainwashed the feminist in this country into thinking I am disposable and unnecessary to my children and if I want to give my baby formula in a bottle then it is just as good.
Well, it is not just as good. It is definitely worse, for the mom and the baby. Did you know that breastmilk causes cancer cells to implode. "The relative risk of childhood lymphoma is nine times higher in bottle-fed infants, and the risk for carcinoma is also elevated"). That is amazing! Because God is amazing. When he created us, he thought of everything. What if the reason we have to much cancer now, is not only because of the environment, but maybe it is because we are not killing it, when they are babies. This is just speculation on my part. Not like the breast cancer, that is an actual fact. Let's talk about breastfeeding some more. Breastfed babies have a lower SIDS rate, a lower hospitalization rate, they are less likely to have childhood cancers and juvenile diabetes. Now that is if you look at the studies using formula as the baseline. If you look at them using breastfeeding as the norm, then by using formula you are INCREASING your babies chances of being sick and sometimes even dying. Why isn't this common knowledge? In Bolivia, where they don't have access to such medical equipment as we do for premies, they use something called kangaroo care. This is where a baby is held, skin to skin, by its mother in a sling, so that it can stay warm and nurse frequently. Do you know, when this study was completed, the finding showed that the temperature of the mother's chest rose AND fell to keep the babies temp constant. We mothers are God's incubator. He thought of EVERYTHING. Also, the milk a mother produces for a preemie is different...exactly what that baby needs. How amazing is the LORD? I sing it all the time in church. How amazing is my God. But the miracle of life just hits it home. The Lord did all of this. and we have the nerve, the audacity, dare I say, the stupidity, to think we know better. No wonder we are compared to sheep. Left to ourselves, we can't survive.

Moving on. My OB says it is ideal to wait about a year to get pregnant after having a baby. Guess what people? If you have a baby and nurse it exclusively, more than likely you won't even have a cycle until that baby is 9-10 months old. Not everyone, but most people. This is God's birth control, cancer control, obesity control, detachment control, temperature control, my goodness, who knew so much hinged on one little decision? Not me. When my first baby was born, I did nurse him, but not exclusively. I won't go into the details, but I will say that if I had only nursed him then I wouldn't feel any doubt or guilt, or wonder if I had unintentionally messed something up.