Europeans Marching Against Abortion?

Some people are famous for being famous, and others are famous for being Christian. All I know about David Kuo, for instance is that he is a Christian, that he was hired to work for George W. Bush’s White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, but quit when he concluded Bush wasn’t serious about the White House’s "promise to help religious groups serve the poor, the homeless and drug addicts." He then wrote a book about his experience.

He’s still a Christian, though, and blogs about that fact. In a recent blog post, he relays the news that some American Christians seem to think Europe’s population crisis could help the pro-life movement:

The difference…between Europe’s abortion "wars" and US conflicts over abortion is motivation – European birth rates have been dropping and that has a lot of people – in government, in churches, in financial institutions – scared. Apparently, this growing move towards restricting abortion is an effort to address that problem. For a fascinating, detailed look at EU population issues (published by the EU), click here.

I’ll relay the link without comment. Oh, wait with two comments.

First, I wonder how many European will find jarring to see a website devoted to religion (beliefnet.com) that is plastered with bright, shiny ads from profit-oriented companies selling weight-loss products and web services?

Hitler_builds_the_autobahnSecond, Kuo reflects typically American wonderment at the notion that the government would actually pay somebody to have a baby. He deploys the "if Hitler did it, it must be bad" argument, noting sinisterly that the Nazis also had a policy of government rewards for particularly fertile mothers.

Now hold on a minute here — Hitler also built excellent roads. Sometimes personally (see left). Should we destroy them all? Hitler was really nice to dogs. Should I start torturing puppies? Hitler was a non-smoking vegetarian. Should I start feasting on steaks and roasting my lungs with Gauloises? Hitler never married until hours before his suicide. Umm, how do I do the opposite of that?

OK, I’m sorry I made fun of David Kuo, who is probably a nice enough guy. I am sure I share his opinion of George W. Bush. Everyone go to his website, read his post, and leave comments. Come to think of it, please go visit his post leave tons of comments in German! Yes! Be sure to use really long words and lots of exclamation points! Mention Hitler’s name over and over!

I bet that would brighten his day.

23 thoughts on “Europeans Marching Against Abortion?

  1. I assume we should also üse as many Umlauts as possible?

    I’ve read the article twice and I still don’t understand what’s so deeply un-Christian (no matter how twisted one’s understanding of ‘Christianity’ might be) about giving money to mothers that this guy feels obliged to pull a Hitler maneuver[*]. Maybe somebody can enlight me here.

    [*] the proper term is Reductio ad Hitlerum by the way.

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  2. The problem that I have with the government bribing, or rather trying to bribe couples into having children is that it is, as usual, trying to fix the symptoms instead of curing the disease, which is either proof of the government’s profound ineptitude or, I am afraid, profound cynicism and disdain for its populace.

    The disease being, in a word, “no future”. You can argue with economic statistics, government programs and foreign residents’ detached analyses, on the ground and in the midst of it you have to admit that the last bit of quality of life is being drained from an all to willing people obsessed with rationality, fear and continuity that still only sheepishly would mention words such as “soul”, “style” and “beauty” the way the a catholic priest would mention sex.

    While the media establishment can tune the ‘public’ discussion to any note they would like, low birth rates speak volumes about the reality in people’s minds about how optimistic they are for the future. And while you can bribe a coal miner into faking the continuity of his business or an “ABM” worker-for-the-dole into pretending he has a real job, I’m predicting this bribery won’t work.

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  3. The premise of the article – that the motivation for an anti-abortion trend in Europe is demographics – strikes me as nonsense. I still remember reading that the discussion in Italy about RU-486 was deeply influenced by religious positions, and I can’t for the life of me imagine “thousands” taking to the streets of Paris because they think something needs to be done about the French birth rate (and that is banning abortion). The author doesn’t offer any evidence whatsoever to support this claim, which is essentially the central statement of the whole article.

    As for the Hitler thing: the author mentions that Hitler handed out medals to mothers (Ehrenkreuz der deutschen Mutter: 4 children: bronze, 6 children: silver, 8 children: gold, racial and moral fitness assumed). Monetary aid was not immediately connected to this medal, it was a symbolic recognition of the value of motherhood and was part of a greater propaganda effort to honour and encourage motherhood in Germany. I would say that this part of the Nazi’s family policy is close to Kuo’s own ideas, who seems to value a moral reversal over monetary encouragement.

    Why he thinks “Jesus has answers” is beyond me, though. Sexual love, marriage, family life, and parenthood are all but absent from Jesus’ own life, judging by what the gospels relate.

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  4. “The premise of the article – that the motivation for an anti-abortion trend in Europe is demographics – strikes me as nonsense. ”

    It strikes me as nonsense also, but something else puzzles me. The Argumentum ad Hitlerum is nonsense of course, as the vast majority of such arguments are. Why should anyone care about what David Kuo believes? Why does Andrew care enough to even take notice?

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  5. “Abortion wars” in Europe and abortion as an effort to address the “demographic” problem? What a nonsense.

    By the way, in 2006 secular France (the first country that legalizes the use of RU-486) had the highest birthrate in Europe:

    A factor in the increasing number of children is undoubtedly France’s generous social legislation, giving long maternity leaves, with assured return to work with posts and seniority intact. Governments with negative birthrates have investigated the French system, and Germany has just introduced new allowances for parents. “New Labour” introduced such measures in 2001 and Britain had its highest birthrate in 13 years last year.

    Another possible birth incentive in France, which may not be copied elsewhere, is its 35-hour workweek. It has been suggested that the French have so much leisure now that they have found nothing more interesting to do with it than have babies, combining fun with demographic patriotism.

    A new French exception? Having more babies

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  6. Sorry folks, again, some OT stuff, as Axel has a serious information deficit.

    IHT’s gutmensch spoke thusly:

    … France becomes one of the two European Union states with a positive birthrate; Ireland is the other … The increase in French births seems not to be disproportionately due to immigrant births, the conventional inference, but that the native-born are having more babies …

    This can’t be proven by statistics since, in the name of French “égalité,” French statistics do not take account of race or national origin …

    But children are thick on the streets of the most prosperous quarters of Paris. The city’s fashionable Luxembourg and Monceau gardens on Sundays are full of young families with double strollers and toddlers dashing about. My children’s school friends are having three and four children — or more.

    That’s great, though the author has no stats (or so he claims) he won’t rely on “conventional inference” – fair enough. So, hard facts being absent and hearsay shunned, what will the drunken sailor do? Why, that’s easy: Go for Monceau gardens’ anecdotal evidence, serious journalism’s ressource de rigeur to explain any unlikely miracle. Have no command of the trade’s tools? Ask the cabdriver. Why should we apply Occam’s razor or plain clear thinking, when drive-by journalism is an option?

    Though merely trendy and not outrightly posh, Jardin-du-Luxembourg-style, Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg borough claims the same babyboom, and, yes, if you stroll around Husemanplatz, Lychenerstraße or some other gathering place of Berlin’s young upward mobiles, you’ll see plenty of babyboom, and yes, there are syndicated braindeads who believe what they see, as investigative journalism is not what the intern is (not) paid for. However, even politically very correct taz knows better (“Der Babyboom in Prenzlauer Berg ist gar keiner, trotz langer Wartezeiten an Schaukeln und Rutschen”), so does FAZ.

    So, for a change, let’s have Le Figaro’s right-wing hate-mongers deal out some conspiracy theory:

    … Si l’analyse de la démographe Michèle Tribalat, qui met en garde contre des processus de substitution démographique et séparation territoriale dans certaines villes de France (bloc-notes du 12 janvier ), a été ignorée, les affirmations de l’Insee assurant que les Françaises battaient les records européens de fécondité (2 enfants par femme) ont été abondamment reprises.

    Or, ce fait est contesté par de nombreux démographes. Ainsi du professeur Gérard-François Dumont, directeur de Population et Avenir, dont le numéro de janvier donne des précisions. La fécondité des Françaises (y compris celles d’origines immigrées) serait en réalité de 1,8 enfant. Le chiffre de 2 ne serait atteint que grâce à l’apport des femmes maghrébines (3,25 enfants), africaines (4,07), turques (3,35), asiatiques (2,83). Selon Dumont, 50 % de l’accroissement serait dû à l’immigration.

    « Cela fait vingt-cinq ans que l’on ment sur les flux migratoires », assure le démographe, rejoint par ceux qui dénoncent les analyses idéologiques de l’Insee et de l’Institut national d’études démographiques (Ined). « La situation n’est pas satisfaisante dans notre pays », reconnaît Sarkozy dans la Revue générale de stratégie, qui estime « essentiel de rendre à l’Ined sa vocation d’outil scientifique et impartial, au service de la connaissance des réalités démographiques ». En attendant, la désinformation continue.

    “Substitution démographique,” c’est drole, n’est-ce pas? Of course, it’s just plain old Islamophobia that’s doing the “désinformation,” so, good night, sleep tight.

    PS:
    à propos disinformation – French TV channel Canal+ couldn’t tolerate to have some gentlemen denouncing the French Prime Minister as “Juif, Sarkozy” (that’s what I can clearly hear, some even claim that’s it’s a “sale Juif” being yelled at), so they fixed that with funny subtitles. While Sarkozy was wrong and certainly unprofessional when labeling rioting anti-Semites as raccaille, I feel that it was a minor gaffe, considering that French Muslim quarters are “judenfrei” by now, except for the eventual Jewboy who learned his lesson, keeping his mouth shut and leaving the Kippa at home.

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  7. @Marek,

    so, if the number amongst non-immigrant “real” French is 1.8, not 2.0, that’s still a lot more than Germany and most other European countries. And although we can’t read French minds, the 35 hour work week sounds like an attractive proposition for peolpe trying to “have a life”, as opposed to Germany’s right-wing “work more” propaganda that firmly splits the population into two groups: Those that have no time and those that have no money.

    As for your accusation of drive-by journalism, the IHT journalist clearly says that there are no race-based statistics because “French statistics” (I suspect he means official government statistics from birth records) do not note race. So where does Dumont have his numbers from?

    But nevermind, even according to him, only 50% of the growth in birth rate, which is what we are talking about here, can be attributed to immigration which means we can attribute the other 50% to changes in French society, which would support the IHT and Alex’ comment.

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  8. @martin,

    the “French statistics” mentioned in the article are the official INSEE French census statistics, here is a summary in English. Because I suppose that Marek has a serious information deficit and doesn’t know the differences between an annual census and newspaper articles here are some further information dealing with the methodology.

    Yes, it’s a real disinformation campaign. Don’t read Laurent Toulemon’s 2004 article “La fécondité des immigrées, nouvelles données, nouvelle approche” [Fertility among immigrant women : new data, a new approach, PDF in English] in Population and societies! Oh, this is the monthly newsletter of the Institut national d’études démographiques – merde!

    I’m absolutely convinced: Expecially US readers of “German Joys” are shocked that official French statistics do not use the category of “ethnic French” (or “rassische Herkunft” like in the Berlin “Erklärung zum Einbürgerungsantrag” [Tagesspiegel]) and that the French-born children of immigrant parents are “French” and not immigrants. Absolutely…

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  9. The vendetta between the forces of good and evil goes on:

    >doesn’t know the differences between an annual census and newspaper articles ….
    >Oh, this is the monthly newsletter of the Institut national d’études démographiques – merde!

    Merde quoi? The data is not contended, the lack of specification is – and the analysis.

    >I’m absolutely convinced: Expecially US readers of “German Joys” are shocked that official French
    >statistics do not use the category of “ethnic French” (or “rassische Herkunft” …

    You might want to absolutely think again: have a look at what the US Census Bureau has to say on the subject – “White persons”, “Black persons”, “American Indians” and “Pacific Islanders”, anyone? Not that I cherish racial or ethnic profiling. Had we had US-style immigration policy for the last 50 years, Europe wouldn’t need to worry about a growing Muslim -horribile dictu- unterschicht, US Muslim immigrants having income and education above average – as immigrants tend to have, when sane procedure is applied. Not being much of a reactionary, I don’t cherish Islam elsewhere anyway, mind you.

    >if the number amongst non-immigrant “real” French is 1.8

    Wrong. I was to lazy to translate the Figaro article, I should have done so. G.-F. Dumont doesn’t mention “real” nor false French, he speaks of French women, including those of migrant descent (“y compris celles d’origines immigrées”)

    >So where does Dumont have his numbers from?

    Tada: I don’t know. However, he teaches at the Sorbonne and is cited by a reputable paper, good enough for me to not discard his evaluation offhand. Besides, he’s a member of the Conseil national de l’information statistique, that’s the governmental body that checks, among other things, glorious INSEE’s data – which, again, neither I nor the Figaro have trouble with – it’s the conclusion, where we differ.

    >even according to him, only 50% of the growth in birth rate … can be attributed to immigration
    > …which would support the IHT and Alex’ comment.

    So he says, and so I quoted him. I have absolutely no beef with French-style maternity leaves, and I certainly would appreciate French-style full-time schooling, this being one of the few things we could do to foster, and, if needed, enforce, integration, which nevertheless went awfully awry in France too. Besides, even a 50% migration-related growth in birth rate will eventually confirm, what the Guardian’s do-gooder Timothy Garton Ash sums up like thus: “So the Muslims have won the Battle of Poitiers after all! Won it not by force of arms, but by peaceful immigration and fertility.” Oh my, even studied Islamversteher have understood that denial is becoming increasingly uncool.

    And yes, I firmly believe that Muslim majorities (and even substantial minorities) are a bad thing, as to date, Muslim majorities have created 57 whooping societies, whose single commonality is repression and authoritarian rule – Turkey, Indonesia, Irak and Lebanon being the exceptions, as they’re democracies, nominally. I don’t think highly of them, as neither Lebanon government’s system of proportional representation along 193x ethnic and religious trenches nor its continuous civil war instil much confidence, while 40% of Indonesians fancy Sharia, stoning and limb-chopping included. Turks even in 1993 had the good thinking of slaughtering 35 Alevite (*) heretics, police and army giving a helping hand. Besides, even today the event is to be referred to as “tragedy,” unless you fancy doing some time.

    Oh dear, I forgot democratic Palestine, where the electorate just can’t make up its mind, as both Panarabist Arabofascist Fatah and Islamist Hamas are appealing – ugh, make that appalling.

    * Should it not be known: Alevites are the good Muslims, the ones that shun Sharia and cherish gender equality. Needless to say, their number is waning (and there never were many anyway) – being considered despicable traitors by both Sunnies and Shiites doesn’t bode well.

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  10. @Marek,

    ok so excuse me for being slow but I’m only now getting it that you are hijacking a discussion about whether maternity leave and 35 hour work week are good for birth rates to advance your policy of religion-based selective immigration. I completely fail to feel threatened by the Muslim avalanche, both before and after your avalanche of scary statistics, but I’m sure outside this website’s elitist little club you will find plenty of gullible German minds eager to absord your propaganda. Religious indoctrination, the Bild Zeitung and everything else that is a cause for the boundless pessimism expressed in low birth rates will have done their job.

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  11. >you are hijacking a discussion
    You’re excused, and yes, I’m bad.

    >your policy of religion-based selective immigration
    Uh, no, it’s based on qualification and the applicant’s likeliness to integrate, as do the US, Australia, Canada or NZ, without being being likened to the Auschwitz ramp. However, and that’s contrary to both the Grundgesetz and the UN Declaration of Human Rights indeed, I certainly advocate for religion-based discrimination, Aum_Shinrikyo and Scientology come to mind. Both are evil, however, they are neither anti-Semite nor anti-American or tiers-mondiste, so do-gooders don’t mind a little discrimination and pull a rabbit out of the hat: religions advocating evil are no religions, QED. According to scholars of Religious studies that’s nonsense, but who cares. Theologians like Quaradawi add a twist to that good thinking: he who is evil is not Muslim – that comes in handy more often than not.

    >I completely fail to feel threatened by the Muslim avalanche
    I so wish elitist you were able to substantiate your reasoning.

    >Religious indoctrination, the Bild Zeitung and
    >everything else that is a cause for the boundless
    >pessimism expressed in low birth rates will have done their job
    Wacky demographers teach that a high enough income lowers birth rates, thus explaining what happened in the last 200 years in all industrialised countries. They should have asked Martin to wisen up: it’s the Pope and the Bildzeitung who are too blame, when Swedish, Australians or the Swiss don’t do it Burkina Faso style. Vicious Benedict XVI should stop handing out contraceptives to teenagers.

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  12. Hi, I don´t want to hijack anything here but… let´s take Portugal as an example that they cranky Mr. Kuo might be wrong: If Europe is marching against abortion, why there was a referendum to legalize abortion after the 10th week of pregnancy in the conservative Roman Catholic Portugal last weekend? Much more “liberal” countries like Brazil (about 1 million illegal abortions per year!) didn´t had the chance to a referendum like that.

    Yes, the conservative Portugal, with a 1.47/Woman Birth Rate, and a quite old Population (note in the article that about 85% of portuguese are allowed to vote, which means that 85% are sound people above 18.) is struggling against all pro-life, Church, Nuns, Fathers and angry bishops to provide decent abortion to those who mostly have to do it in Spain or the Netherlands.

    Well, Mr. Kuo must read the article, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070211/ap_on_re_eu/portugal_abortion

    If Portugal is still trying to legalize the abortion, why would other countries like the Netherlands, Germany and France go against it?

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  13. @Marek,

    excuse me while I’m interrupting, but what’s that selection based on “likeliness to integrate” that Australia applies to its immigrants? I’d find that very interesting for personal reasons. I know they are asking to be able to speak basic English but that’s hardly discriminating.

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  14. >excuse me while I’m interrupting

    Hendrik, you’re quite welcome, I’m glad somebody deigns my enraged wish-wash worthy a sensible reaction; slow but elitist clubber Martin couldn’t really be bothered. Anyway – Vive l’interruption!

    So, here we are: what’ll it be? Subclass 134 or subclass 496? Something inbetween? Or is it the “Skilled Independent Overseas Student,” subclass 880? “Skilled Independent visa?” Have subclass 136, Squire. Want the missus to come along? So, pray you, how, when and where did you first met, and how did your relationship develop? Any future plans? Admittedly, they’re being nosy, and sometimes they do fail miserably, e.g. with this worthy spiritual leader, who doesn’t really mind his flock’s gang rapes, as mostly heathen women’s uncovered meat is to blame. A former Aussie Prime Minister covered his arse, when Islamophobia’s demented ire would have him deported for claiming publicly that “Jews were attempting to control the world using sexual perversion, promoting espionage, treason and economic hording” – the spiritual leader had some souls to peddle on voting day. Nobody’s perfect, but should you one day try to have yourself aussified, you’ll notice that they really try hard to assure quality.

    Did I say ossify? At least that comes to mind when the gerontocrats of the European Parliament try to get going with migration. zirkuläre Migration is the bright idea of the day. It was called Rotationsprinzip in the Wirtschaftswunder days of yore. Italians, Greeks and Yugoslavians were not being overly cherished by the Arbeitgeberverbände, as they mostly knew how to mind their business, labour-union-wise. Thus, when the Yanks prodded their new friends, the Turks, (whose eastern Anatolian landmass made for an excellent aircraft carrier, to hassle their old friends, the Soviets, with) to join the European Gastarbeiter programme, the Arbeitgeberverbände where more than happy: Centuries of peonage under their Ottoman landlords had taught these guys to obey where obedience was due, and not to waste their precious daylight time with, say, schooling. Atatürk, who was a enthusiastic admirer of Hitler -and vice versa!-, didn’t really fancy insolence neither, though he had some, ugh, good sides; e.g. he really did his best to empower Turkish women, however, the results were only skin deep, as recent polls revealed depressingly.

    Anyway, WWII having eaten away severely at our stash of cannon fodder, German conveyor belts soon rattled busily, serviced by mustachioed and obedient Orientals, supposed to “rotate” every two or three years, as racism and nationalism wouldn’t have them staying for good. In 2007 history will repeat itself as farce, “zirkuläre Migration” being the path to new glory, as Dagos, Huns and ze Frogs can’t really be confronted with reality: Maghrebine and Anatolian immigration so far having been somewhat traumatic (gutmenschen know that, but they’re good at denial: that’s why they’re the good menschs…), better laid plans will fail, too, “zirkuläre Migration” not being one them.

    Oh dear, oh dear, propagandising again – so sorry, but whenever the perspicaciousness of our political class (and its electorate) hits the fan of history, I just get carried away with sheer bliss. May be I should join Martin’s posh club, sipping some Milch der frommen Denkungsart might soothe my nerves.

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  15. >they are asking to be able to speak basic English but that’s hardly discriminating

    No, that’s legitimate selectiveness, aka common sense. We won’t have none of that over here.

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  16. Marek matey,

    you have a lot of words but no content. The question was, let me repeat from my comment one page down:
    what’s that selection based on “likeliness to integrate” that Australia applies to its immigrants
    … apart from being able to speak basic (!) English? Their English requirement even only applies to the principal, their family will get government English classes once they arrive. And “basic” means 5 on a scale from 1 to 9, which is the sort of English that makes my toenails curl up.
    But I digress. Somehow I was thinking you’d have some religious or cultural background in mind. FYI, I’m a 136 and although it’s been a while that I filled out those forms, I can’t remember ticking my religion anywhere there.

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  17. >Somehow I was thinking you’d have some religious or cultural background in mind

    Hendrik, I know you do. And I certainly know, what you liked me to think, and say.

    >I can’t remember ticking my religion anywhere there.

    Neither can I, and I never said as much: I‘m the one, that would be willing to discriminate based on religion, while Aussies don’t do that, openly, that is. The ugly truth is, and you know that, too, as we’re sitting in the clever elitist corner of blogland, that Australia felix looks for qualified professionals, the simple idea being that these immigrants are less likely to eventually receive welfare benefits. Applying this procedure eventually leads to what we have down under: 1,5% of Muslim population, (0.58% green Kiwis) not 3,9% as over here. And most of these 1,5% are not a burden on the welfare state, which has a lot to do with their not being bilingual semi-analphabets, like presently 10% of children in Germany, 50% in Neukölln.

    Aussies and Kiwis cater to the clever ones, which leads to less Muslims, and those who get in are less likely to cause trouble. There you are, I said it after all. Why is the average Muslim not all that clever, you ask? – actually you don’t, but I’ll tell you anyway – or wait, I’ll have al-Jazeera rub it in to you:

    True democracy is absent and desperately needed. Most of the time human rights are no more than a poster hung in sham councils and organisations. The educational system is severely retarded; schools produce ignorant young men and women who excel in rote memorisation more than educated innovators. Most intellectuals, even if they deny it, realise that most of what was said in the most recent Arab Human Development Report is true.

    Retarded, ignorant, rote memorisation – dear, dear, those are harsh words, what a bunch of racist bigots those al-Jazeera guys are. I’m afraid the aforementioned spiritual leader is correct, al-Jazeera being a Zionist sham after all. So, let’s have the Economist’s assesment:

    The most delicate issue of all […] is the part that Islam plays in delaying and impeding the Arab world’s advance towards the ever-receding renaissance that its intellectuals crave. One of the report’s signed articles explains Islam’s support for justice, peace, tolerance, equilibrium and all good things besides. But most secularists believe that the pervasive Islamisation of society […] has played a significant part in stifling constructive Arab thought.

    Most delicate an issue, savour that. Know what? The RoP sucks, and heavily so. But we ain’t got many Arabs in Teutschland, we got Turks, and the Brits got Pakistanis. Lucky Brits, lucky Fritzs. btw: I so wished that our intellectuals could heed al-Jazeera’s call to honesty, too. Presently there are some EU-directives under way, calling Islam a welcome Bereicherung, again – not that the authors believe it, they lead a detached life in uptown Schaerbeek‘s fancy Art Nouveau villas, but we’re somewhat, ugh, honesty-challenged.

    >their family will get government English classes once they arrive

    Indeed they do, this being a very bright idea – which explains why we didn’t have that over here in the last 40 years (but for the few that were willing to take the initiative on their own), yielding excellent results.

    A lot of words but no content, again. Bismillah, this Marek Möhling guy sure is annoying.

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