The Jews And Race Survival -- By: Edward M. Merrins

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 071:282 (Apr 1914)
Article: The Jews And Race Survival
Author: Edward M. Merrins


The Jews And Race Survival

Edward M. Merrins

II.

IV. The Birth Rate Of A Nation

“That our sons may grow up as the young plants, and that our daughters may be as the polished corners of the Temple.”

Jewish Psalm.

When family life deteriorates, the birth rate falls; and this is regarded as a sure sign of the actual or impending decline of the nation. Whatever else may have led to the passing of ancient civilizations, in each instance it was attended by a dearth of children. The steadily declining birth rate in Europe and America is therefore an ominous feature of Western civilization. It is so serious in English-speaking countries, particularly, as to strengthen the conviction that not only the political dominance but also the distinctive religion and culture of the Anglo-Saxon race are passing away.

On the other hand, it is argued: (1) that quality is of more importance than quantity, as a multitude of unprofitable children does not increase the strength of the nation but weaken it, and the fewer the children the better are their chances in life; (2) that the increase of population even at its present diminished rate, if unchecked by pestilence, war, famine, and other racial scourges, will soon lead to a vast

population which the earth will be unable to support;1 (3) that the decline which is causing so much alarm is due to causes at present inexplicable and beyond human control;2 (4) that it is simply the desire of warlike nations to bring their armies up to the greatest possible numerical strength in order to be prepared for war that lies behind the uneasiness over a falling birth rate; (5) that with regard to all forms of life, naturalists scoff at the idea that survival depends solely or mainly on numbers: “The thicker the grass, the easier it is mown”; “The wolf cares not how many the sheep may be.”

Notwithstanding all that may be urged in favor of a limited population, it must surely be granted that a declining birth rate is significant of national decay when the children that do come to the birth are not only fewer in number, but are also deteriorating in quality, and when the decline is due in no small degree to waning morality and patriotism. Official statistics prove that the decline is not due to a decrease in the number of the females of a child-bearing age; nor to a decrease in the number of marriages. The postponement of marriage until middle life is reached is responsible for only a very slight decrease, and there is also a slight decrease in the number of...

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