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Right-Wing Groups Use Decline of White Birthrates to Stoke Fear of Homosexuality, Feminism and Abortion

Right-wing groups warn that Western civilization is facing a ‘demographic winter,’ risking the destruction of what they call the natural family.

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‘The Roots of Demographic Winter’

Last week, the Family Research Council, a Washington, D.C.-based Christian conservative lobbying group, is sponsoring a presentation titled “The Roots of Demographic Winter and the Global Economic Crisis.” The promotional materials for the event point out that “Demographic Winter didn’t happen in a vacuum. Bad ideas and misguided policies have led to rapidly declining birthrates worldwide.”

The featured speaker is former syndicated columnist and Boston Herald editorial writer, Don Feder, who is president of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation as well as the communications director for the World Congress of Families. The World Congress of Families is made up of a formidable collection of Religious Right organizations (local and international) brought together by the Howard Center to celebrate and fight for the “natural” family (which according to the WCF Web site is the “union of a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage”). 

In January 2009, Feder spoke about demographic winter while addressing ( PDF) the 36th annual March for Life Rose Dinner, an affair which closes out the annual March for Life festivities in Washington, D.C. LifeSiteNews.com’s John-Henry Westen reported that Feder “suggested that the demographic problem of worldwide declining birthrates ‘could result in the greatest crisis humanity will confront in this century’ as ‘all over the world, children are disappearing.’" 

"In the Western world, birthrates are falling and populations are aging," said Feder. "The consequences for your children and grandchildren could well be catastrophic." Feder noted, "In 30 years, worldwide, birthrates have fallen by more than 50 percent. In 1979, the average woman on this planet had 6 children. Today, the average is 2.9 children, and falling." He explained the situation noting, "demographers tell us that with a birthrate of 1.3, everything else being equal, a nation will lose half of its population every 45 years." 

"Demographic Winter is the terminal stage in the suicide of the West -- the culmination of a century of evil ideas and poisonous policies,'" which includes abortion, contraception, delayed marriage, and a culture that devalues children.  

I wasn’t familiar with the concept of demographic winter until a few weeks ago when I was researching the Ruth Institute, a San Marcos, California-based organization, which, according to its Web site, is dedicated to “promot[ing] lifelong married love to college students by creating an intellectual and social climate favorable to marriage.” The Ruth Institute is a project of Maggie Gallagher’s highly controversial group, the National Organization for Marriage, one of the most significant organizations leading the charge against same-sex matrimony. 

In a document titled “Ruth Institute – Strategic Plan 2010-2013,” a statement affirms that the Institute “aims to work hand-in-hand with other organizations in the marriage movement to: Decrease the divorce rate; Increase the marriage rate; Decrease the cohabitation rate; Increase the number of children who grow up with both married parents; Reduce the lag time between the age of sexual initiation and the age of first marriage; Maintain at least a replacement-level birth rate, so that the devastation of a European-style ‘demographic winter’ is avoided.”

While most of the Institute’s goals are pretty straightforward, the last one, avoiding a “European-style demographic winter," was new to me. Rob Boston, a senior policy analyst with Americans for Separation of Church and State, remembered seeing Don Feder “giving a short talk on the subject” at the 2008 Values Voter Summit. Boston recalled that “Feder was upset because birthrates in some European nations have fallen below replacement levels, and while he never made an explicitly race-based argument, the clear implication seemed to be that the only way these countries would be able to keep a stable population and workforce would be through immigration – hence more non-whites, and this would not be a good thing.”

 
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