For some reason, I get the impression that both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the editorial board of the NYT need a lesson in the birds and the bees.
The NYT criticizes Putin’s plan to address falling population levels in Russia “with a wide range of subsidies and financial incentives, along with improved health care, a crackdown on illicit alcohol, improved road safety and the like.”
Thankfully for the future of humanity, the NYT has a different suggestion: “Perhaps another approach would be to see whether the population could be increased through improved democratic institutions.”
I hate to have to point this out, but populations don’t increase through government programs, policies, or “improved democratic institutions.” They increase as the aggregate result of the successful procreative acts of human beings as blessed by God.
The Times suggests that if Russian citizens were to “share in the country’s governance, riches, debates and dreams, maybe the drinking and poverty would give way to larger families.” The NYT doesn’t seem to realize that countries with “democratic institutions” that function perfectly well, at least according to the Times’ definition (such as in the rest of Europe), also face demographic declines.
What we have here is a spiritual problem that requires a spiritual solution. Yes, material factors can contribute to the aggravation or the relief of the issue, but alone they cannot be the solution.
“God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'” (Genesis 1:28 NIV)