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    Jewish conspiracy to deal with membership shortfall

    Almost alone among my American friends, I’m not Jewish. It’s probably just as well, because if I were, I’d be spelling doom for the race (via Gay News):

    In addition to AIDS, Weiss [who owns a Jewish community newspaper that rejected an ad about the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus] said, she is also concerned about “the perpetuation of the Jewish people” in the face of demographic trends, including young Jews who stay in the gay lifestyle.

    “They can’t produce children,” she said. “And you can’t build a people with adoption.”

    Weiss said Jews everywhere are concerned about assimilation and the demographic numbers that show a decline in the growth of the Jewish community outside Israel.

    “All of the Jewish organizations are concerned,” she said, “because we’re going to need support in the future for all of the needs of our aging population. There are so many ramifications – there won’t be support for old people or for our institutions or for the State of Israel.

    I always find these sorts of arguments interesting. There have been plenty of childless people since time immemorial. In affluent societies, I daresay a greater proportion of adults have children than probably did at many other points in history, since medical advances cut down on the incidence of barrenness and childhood diseases, and a more complex set of status accoutrements can be used to attract a mate. As wealth rises, though, birthrates fall because the average couple has fewer children. Part of it is that people are busy with other things, part of it is that they marry later, and part of it is that it’s easier to pass on the psychological equipment needed for adulthood in a free society to three children than to 20.

    I’m not at all in favor of coercing the majority of straight people to have more children, but if we were really worried about keeping the birth rate at replacement levels, that’s what we would have to think about. The idea that the 3 or so percent of the population that’s gay is playing some major role in declining birth rates that must be contained immediately is just bizarre.

    2 Responses to “Jewish conspiracy to deal with membership shortfall”

    1. Alice says:

      The Jewish Orthodox population is still growing everywhere, because they follow the commandment to have lots of children.

      I think if a group of people wants to keep growing in size, they should take responsibility for doing it themselves, not pick on each other for not doing better.

      Things far more significant than homosexuality, as far as Jewish growth is concerned:

      1) marrying out- the biggie

      2) not having m/any children despite being married

      3) infertility- often related to marrying older

      If Jews want to perpetuate, they should get on with it! Blaming gay people is totally beside the point.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      It’s funny you should mention that, because one of the big jokes among my college friends is that more of us are Jewish now than were when we were graduated: three of the girls converted to marry three of the guys who are Jewish. (Well, okay, one of them is such an atheist she makes me look like Mary Tudor, so I think her conversion consisted of something like, “Uh, I promise not to worship any G-d that’s not Jewish.”) The other two are full-bore: they’ve taught Hebrew school, they have children, and the children go by their Hebrew names.

      Anyway, I know it frequently happens the other way, too, and I’m with you. Perhaps it would be nice if economic prosperity didn’t mean lower birthrates, but in practice it does, and people have to make their own decisions about where they best fit into the scheme to keep their civilization going.

      (Hope you and yours are doing well, BTW, Alice.)

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