Atheism is doomed: the contraceptive Pill is secularism’s cyanide tablet

Atheism is doomed: the contraceptive Pill is secularism’s cyanide tablet, by Ed West. Across the western world the fertility rate of religious conservatives far outstrips that of non-believers, so much so that modern liberal secularism is endangered, according to a fascinating book by Eric Kaufmann called Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?

  • The Hutterites, numbering 400 at the end of the 19th century, are now almost 50,000, despite conversion being extremely rare (they speak an archaic form of High German and live in Dakota).
  • Mormons grow by 40 per cent every decade, largely thanks to a high birth rate. By 2080 there will be between 63 and 267 million Mormons.
  • The ultra-Orthodox account for 17 per cent of British Jewry, but 75 per cent of children.
  • Evangelical Christians now account for two thirds of white American Protestants.

The politically correct assume that

…just as liberal democracy meant the end of history, so it also meant the end of religion. Once people became rich, educated and sexually liberated, they left irrational beliefs and other such nonsense behind.

Not so. Admittedly the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Methodist Churches, and the Reform synagogues  accept secularism and rationality, so “their young people usually reach the logical conclusion of doubt – unbelief.” But:

More conservative religions do not have that problem. Only 5 per cent of the more traditional Amish leave the faith, and when a community’s birth rate outstrips the national average by 200 or 300 per cent they can easily afford to lose one in 20 of the flock. … Those religions that survive will become more conservative. …

[The] smaller, more orthodox Catholic Church will have a huge inbuilt advantage – what French Canadian Catholics used to call “revenge of the cradle”. Many orthodox Catholics I know have 3 or 4 children – that’s not a recklessly high number, but in a society where the atheist fertility rate is around 1 child per woman, that advantage will show over a few decades, especially since orthodox Catholics have a far smaller drop-off rate than their liberal brethren.

This explains a lot about Catholic doctrine:

It’s happened before: Kaufmann believes that Christianity’s rise from 40 followers to 6 million within three centuries had less to do with conversions that with higher birth rates, since the Christians rejected such pagan practises as polygamy and infanticide.

hat-tip Matthew