Pope Francis Is Wrong About My Child-Free Life

From The Daily Beast:  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/06/pope-francis-is-wrong-about-my-child-free-life.html

06.06.14

The pope may pooh-pooh the decision to remain childless, but the world needs more people who choose pets over kids.

Pope Francis came into office on a wave of hope that finally the world would have a progressive pope instead of the string of throwbacks with retrograde ideas who had come before. He’s since then been busy dashing those hopes, one speech at a time, demonstrating that he has zero intention of actually bothering to learn about people’s real lives and needs before telling them how to live their lives. Now he’s moved on to picking on childless couples, with a little extra shade thrown at pet ownership. Oh goody, just in time for Adopt-A-Cat Month.

Speaking from his home in the Vatican on Monday, Pope Francis warmed up by shaming people for enjoying their lives. “This culture of well-being from 10 years ago convinced us: It’s better not to have children! It’s better! You can go explore the world, go on holiday, you can have a villa in the countryside, you can be care-free.” Then he dragged Fido into, griping, “Maybe it is better, more convenient, to have a little dog, two cats; and the love goes to the two cats and the little dog.”

Then came the warning of the miseries that await you foolish vacation-having cat owners if you don’t get with the “fruitful” marriage: “Then, in the end this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness.” Ah yes, the threat wielded against the deliberately childless since time immemorial: Conform or you will regret it!

My first instinct, as a deliberately childless person myself, upon reading Pope Francis’s remarks was to think, “If you think having children is so important, then why don’t you go first?” But while sarcasm is a satisfying hobby, it’s perhaps better to look to empirical science to answer the question of whether or not it’s actually true that childless people will be punished with loveless marriages and age into loneliness.

Luckily, there’s been a lot of research into both those questions. In fact, the question of whether or not having kids makes marriages happier or not is one that has been looked at again and again, to the point where you start to wonder if they’re trying to get a different result this time. The answer keeps coming back the same: Childless couples have happier marriages, on average.

Continue reading at:  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/06/pope-francis-is-wrong-about-my-child-free-life.html

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