SANDY — The greatest crisis humanity will face in the 21st century, according to Don Feder, will not be global warming, disease, overpopulation, or any of the dystopian scenarios portrayed in science fiction.
Instead, Feder believes, the crisis will be the so-called “Demographic Winter” stemming from a worldwide decline in fertility rates.
“Sometime in this century we’re going to start running out of people,” said the director of communications for the World Congress of Families.
But the cause of the population crisis, he said, can be traced back to the sexual revolution, which has shaped the world more profoundly than anything since the industrial revolution.
"The sexual revolution has led to a crater-scarred landscape strewn with casualties," he said.
Feder said it may seem counter-intuitive that people having more sex is causing a crisis in child birth rates, but he points to the paradigm shift that has occurred in the public’s attitudes toward procreation and the family. Meanwhile, he said, in the past 50 years the fertility rate has dropped by more than 50 percent.
If having children was solely connected to a person’s sexual activity, he said, then college campuses would be centers of population growth.
“This sea change in attitudes and behavior includes at first, separating procreation from marriage, then separating sex from procreation and finally separating love or any sense of commitment from sex,” he said.
Feder was one of several speakers at the Stand for the Family Conference, held Friday at the South Towne Exposition Center. The event focused on the need for individuals to support pro-family efforts but also trumpeted conservative viewpoints on social and constitutional issues.
Remarks during the conference compared the lives lost each year to abortions to the bloodshed of World War II, dismayed the U.S. Postal Service’s decision to honor slain San Francisco politician Harvey Milk with a commemorative stamp, encouraged parents to instruct their children to date and marry virginal and chaste peers due to the lower rates of divorce in those unions, described public education as the primary source of child indoctrination and suggested that euthanasia and the rationing of medical services are the ultimate goals of Obamacare.
Shane Krauser, director of the American Academy for Constitutional Education, spoke on threats to religious freedom in today’s legal climate. He gave the example of several business owners around the country who are facing legal action for violating anti-discrimination ordinances by refusing to extend their services to same-sex couples.
“This is becoming the rule, not the exception,” he said. “We have to fight back against these ideas.”
He said this type of thinking, in which religious individuals are not granted exemptions from laws based on their beliefs, is contrary to the free exercise clause of the First Amendment and defies the original intent of the Founding Fathers.
As long as a behavior isn’t hurting another person, it would be inappropriate to force them to change that behavior, Krauser said. But he stopped short of specifying whether discrimination, whether institutional or individual, qualifies as hurting another person.
He also presented his argument as an “us” versus “them” without fully describing who or what are the opposition to his views.
“What the other side wants to do all too often is not engage in the marketplace,” he said. “They want to yell, they want to scream and ultimately use the force of government to change things.”
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