Rebecca Hagelin

When the U.S. population officially hit the 300-million mark last October, there weren’t any celebrations. Most news organizations took note of it and moved on. Environmentalists and other liberals crabbed about having more people around to consume precious resources.

Fortunately, not everyone harbored such a jaundiced view of this milestone.

“We should celebrate more people, not bemoan population growth,” said Dr. Allan Carlson, founder of the World Congress of Families. “With birth rates plummeting in the industrialized world, America’s population growth is a hopeful sign.”

He’s absolutely right. When societies forget the fact that families are the very basis of civilization -- that they are, in essence, society in a microcosm, reduced to its most fundamental building block -- it’s from that point that they begin a slow but unmistakable decline into helplessness and despair. That’s why the World Congress is sounding the alarm -- most notably at the May 11-13, 2007 “World Congress of Families IV,” to be held in Warsaw, Poland. It’s billed as “the world’s largest conference of pro-family leaders and grass roots activists.” And that’s exactly what we need -- an unprecedented push from the pro-family forces -- if we’re to have any hope of solving a problem of this magnitude.

For the time being, we’re doing okay, fertility-wise, here in the U.S. Our fertility rate is 2.11 births per woman, right at what demographers consider replacement level. But other parts of the world are in serious trouble. According to the World Congress, the overall fertility rate for Europe is only 1.3. In Italy, it’s 1.2. In Spain, 1.1.

These kinds of numbers, quite frankly, spell doom for a country if left unchecked. There’s a reason that columnist Mark Steyn, who spoke at The Heritage Foundation in January, calls his latest book “America Alone” -- we’re about the only Western nation not in the throes of what he calls a “death spiral.” Consider Russia, with a fertility rate of 1.2. Britain is also below replacement level, at 1.6 births per woman. So is France, at 1.89 -- and a third of those births are not of the French, but of the new Muslim community that has moved into the country. Plainly put, France will very soon become a country that is not French at all.

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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