Postcards for Africa

Attacking a sound-bite straw man only masks the real evil

In a presentation at the Gates Foundation’s “Goalkeepers” last month, French President Emmanuel Macron made comments that appeared to be critical of large families: “One of the critical issues of African demography is that this is not chosen fertility… I always say: ‘Present me the woman who decided, being perfectly educated, to have seven, eight or nine children.’”

It took a few weeks, but a Twitter posse finally caught up with him and #PostcardsforMacron, with pictures of well-educated women and their large families, started popping up.

As beautiful as these “postcards” are, they fail to capture the crux of the issue.  In the same speech, in fact not even a minute later, Macron says, “I am fine with a lady having seven, eight children if it is her choice.  But education first.”  He made it clear that he was not attacking large families, but “unchosen fertility” and lack of “proper education.”  In other words, sending him pictures of large families with well-educated mothers only proves his point and actually lets him off the hook for the real problem.

Before getting to the crux of the issue, it is worth mentioning an ancillary issue.  The Macron flap is one instance in a long line of examples demonstrating the creation of sound-bite straw men.  One person takes something that a second person says and, ignoring the context, pounces.  Since we record and edit everything, this is easy.  Charity dictates that we make sure we have heard the entire argument before responding, especially with the newfound power of mobs on social media.  Clearly President Macron’s first language is not English and so context becomes more important, especially since he explained his comment shortly afterwards.

Getting caught up in what Macron wasn’t saying only serves to mask what he and his friends at the Gates Foundation are saying and doing.  The Gates Foundation dresses up colonialism in philanthropic wrapping.  Their goal is to colonize Africa with modern Western culture.  “Proper education” means not the classical three R’s but Western anti-values, especially the Western “arithmetic”  of addition by subtraction though abortion and contraception.  The Foundation’s proper education is really education in “chosen fertility” and little else.

Africans don’t want this thinly guised colonialism.  In Target Africa, Nigerian native Obianuju Ekeocha includes an open letter she wrote to Melinda Gates.  She tells Mrs. Gates that Africans “as a society love and welcome babies.”  In fact, on average, African women report their desired number of children to be 6.1.  That may be unfathomable to the Western mind but the “problem” is not education.  Despite not being very literate, they have humbly accepted the Church’s “hard to understand” teaching on Humanae Vitae.  But their illiteracy also means they can’t read Vogue and Cosmo, which is seen as a problem in the West.

Ms. Ekeocha pleads with Mrs. Gates to take the almost $5 billion pledged “to advance access to modern contraceptives for all girls and women who want them” through their FP 2020 program and spend it on good healthcare systems, food programs, higher education, chastity programs, and microbusiness opportunities for women.  Any person genuinely trying to help would provide such basic needs first.  But instead Macron and the “Goalkeepers” are like volunteers at a soup kitchen who stop serving soup and start  distributing condoms instead.  Their goal is to export the Sexual Revolution to Africa, ultimately trapping Africans in hedonistic chains.

Across history, one thing is clear.  As population increases within a society, economic conditions likewise increase.  This speaks to the greatness of human ingenuity.  As co-creators with God, men and women are able to produce far more than they consume.  The corollary is that when you want to keep a people in poverty, you limit their population.  Although Pharaoh may have been the first to implement this strategy when he killed all the male Hebrew children (cf. Exodus 1:9-22), he certainly was not the last.  Thanks to “progress,” today’s Pharaohs can just use condoms and contraceptives, and convince the poor they need to kill their children by abortion.  Any aid from Western countries, including the UN and USAid, always has a population-control rider attached to it.  This is cultural terrorism of the worst kind.

President Macron is not helping the people of Africa on their own terms.  Meanwhile, his enlightened and literally dying culture must assimilate other cultures in order to survive.

Rob holds an MA in Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary, with a concentration in moral theology. He has a passion for spreading the joy of the Catholic Faith through teaching and writing.

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