A Glimpse Of A Childless Society


There’s been one DVD watched on repeat these school holidays, when the mercury too often climbed above 40 degrees, and one I remember fondly from my childhood; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Of course, on the surface it’s a frivolous musical, full of fun, folly and adventure. But as I watch it now, through the lens of an older and pro-life woman I can’t help but see it as a stark portrayal of a society that spurns children.

Baron Bomburst and his wife, the Duchess, passed a law exiling all children from Bulgaria. They are both repulsed and frightened by children, in general, a fear deliciously displayed by the Duchess complete with fainting and shaking hands.

The exiled children live on mass in dark and depressing surroundings. A child catcher is employed by the Baron to track down children and remove them from society.

The society left behind is a bleak one, full of fear, distrust and a bitterness towards the authorities for the forced removal of their offspring.

The upper echelons of society however, embodied by the older yet infantile Baron, is a narcissistic one. All about enjoyment and acquisition of items. In the Baron’s case, toys. A childless society for the upper class means a lifestyle of selfish pursuits, free from responsibility and accountability.

A society that sees the Baron remove anything that he no longer fancies, even his wife (although his attempts to remove her provide some of the best comic relief).

A society that we seem to embody more and more.

Children have become something of a commodity today, an eventuality avoided or prevented by contraception or erased by ‘choice’. Children are feared for their dependence on us; their arrival means that we must focus on someone else other than ourselves.

Our carefree and narcissistic existence torn asunder by the vulnerable new life. They are seen as a drain on our time and resources, both in the family home and outside.

And yet, in avoiding children has our society not become more childlike? But not in the Biblical, become more like a child in order to enter into Heaven (cf. Mt 18:2-4 ) but more in the selfish and wilful nature that parents try hard to mould into more selfless and obedient one.

Children are a tremendous blessing but, those of us on the ground know, their care involves a lot of work. The kind of work that can leave us emotionally and physically exhausted. The kind of work that is both monotonous and endless.

But the kind of work that sanctifies us; that is worth it.

The Baron and the Duchess have nothing to fear from children and perhaps, had their union been open to life, they might have experienced the profound joy of bringing a whole new person into the world.

And it might just have redeemed them.




Filed Under: FaithFeaturedSocial Issues

About the Author: Emily is a former ACPA award winning editor and journalist turned stay at home mum and blogger. She lives on a farm in regional NSW with her husband and their five children where she spends the time she should be doing housework reading books and writing posts.

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