While in Vienna recently, I had the chance to meet a young man who has been married for nearly four years. He and his wife are waiting to have a baby because they simply, according to him, cannot afford it right now. His wife just got a job and has a lifelong contract, but he said that if she immediately became pregnant her employer would do all they could to make sure that at the end of her pregnancy leave she was demoted and would not like the job she had and thus would leave. His solution? NO BABY NOW.
But in the process of telling us this, he also said:
WE JUST GOT TWO KITTENS SO THAT WE WOULD KNOW HOW IT FEELS TO HAVE A BABY.
I nearly laughed. But I controlled myself and continued to listen.
He branched out into a diatribe about costs, the Austrian economy and the Austrian population-negation problem. His main concern was that nobody of Austrian descent is having any children! And he was not referring to the child preparation mode he has engaged in by doing a trial run with kittens.
He went into a long explanation of how concerned he was about caring for those in the Austrian population who are aging, as he said, FASTER EVERY MINUTE. He told us that though he knew the state was obliged to care for them, he also knew that the costs were going to become prohibitive.
If this sounds familiar to you, read on!
He then explained to us that he was equally concerned about the Muslim population in his country, because THEY HAVE FIVE CHILDREN OR MORE PER FAMILY AND WE DO NOT! CLEARLY THEY WILL OVERTAKE US AND SOON TAKE OVER OUR COUNTRY!
I wished I had had several hours to spend with him so that I could explain the reasons why his thinking was off – way off. But since I only had a few hours, I decided it best to listen, closely, and try to absorb the contradictions.
You see, he was our tour guide and so well versed on the past 2,000 years of history that I could not understand why he could not connect the dots.
I say this because his description of the OTTOMAN empire, and the two attempts they made to conquer Austria, should have given him a clue! He expressed pride over the fact that twice the Austrians had driven them back and, in fact, the OTTOMAN empire had never taken Austria.
It boggled my mind that he could not see the contrast. In the earlier centuries, the OTTOMANS had tried by force to take Austria. Now in the 21st century, the Muslims were going to do it simply by having more babies! The OTTOMAN empire was, in case you did not know, MUSLIM.
But how do you explain this to a young man with little to no faith in God and no confidence in his ability to be a provider? My husband has often said to me the real problem with young people today is that they really have no grounding principles. They have nothing upon which to rely in order to shape their perspectives. They may claim a religion as part of their identity, but that is not the same as having a strong faith.
Our tour guide proved that this is precisely what the problem is. There is a forest; there are trees; and then there is self-interest. Quite a combo! Oh yes, and there are also two kittens.