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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Encourage marriage (among your own people)

This is slightly off topic, but the future of the Jewish people depends upon our marrying each other and producing future generations of Jews, without which Israel will not have a Jewish population, so perhaps it's not so far off topic.

Stacy McCain has some prescient comments on the marriage habits of various ethnic groups around the world. He starts out quoting Rabbi Dov Lior speaking out against intermarriage, and then he continues.
A conservative ought always to respect tradition, and I find it remarkable that even so widespread a tradition as the preference for marriage within one’s own ethno-religious group — which inevitably strikes some modern minds as barbaric tribalism, if not indeed hatefully “racist” — should be so controversial. Is it really bigotry for Jewish parents to prefer Jewish sons-in-law and daughters-in-law? But I digress . . .


We note from this article that the Jews are a group sufficiently small and consanguinous, afflicted with a number of distinctively Jewish hereditary disorders, that the reproductive union of two Jews whose genealogy is unknown poses a distinct medical risk to the offspring. That’s why this article about Rabbi Lior’s controversial opinions, which I first read a few days ago, came to mind today when I read Ann Barnhardt’s American Thinker article about the mating habits of Muslims:
In the Muslim culture, marriage and breeding between first cousins has existed since day one. Mohammed himself married Zaynab, who was his father’s sister’s daughter. Mohammed and Zaynab were direct first cousins.
Marrying your first cousin is the genetic equivalent of marrying your half-sibling. . . .
First cousin marriage for just one generation is extremely risky in and of itself. . . . Now, understanding that single-generational risk, understand that Muslims have been marrying their first cousins over and over again for 1,400 years. . . .
Barnhardt’s article — and please go read the whole thing — cites studies showing very high levels of inbreeding in Muslim nations due to marriages between cousins. It is reported by no less credible authority than the BBC that 55% (!) of Pakistanis living in Britain are married to their first cousins.

Now, one may attribute this to the Islamic religion, per se, or to the culture of specific nations. (We often see this argument about “honor killing,” which some Muslims insist is not so much Islamic as it is representative of certain tribal or ethnic cultures.) Nevertheless, Barnhardt is certainly correct in saying that the high frequency of cousin marriages in the Islamic world should be seen as highly significant.


We ought to encourage marriage, rather than discourage motherhood, but when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. The liberal hammer when it comes to teen pregnancy is “family planning” or “reproductive health” or “safe sex” – i.e., contraception and abortion. Heaven forbid we should tell young people to keep their britches on, or tell them to consider marriage as a feasible alternative to fornication and bastardy.

Read the whole thing. Stacy's head is on a lot straighter than a lot of Jews I know. And by the way, he has a wife and six children.

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