JWK: China’s one-child policy is actually becoming a growing for the Chinese government.
KB: That’s come under recent attack internally because they see where these demographic shifts are driving them. A couple decades hence it will be a distant memory when we thought China was taking over the whole world economically because they’re going to be into this crisis like no other nation in history.
JWK: Because of the one-child policy?
KB: Well, yeah, but this is another interesting note. The one-child policy which has (included) draconian measures to suppress birth, to punish those and fine those who have more than one child, all those things that have been coming to bear have brought the fertility rate down to…roughly 1.6 in China but among college-educated affluent women in America it is also 1.6. We’ve done it to ourselves for completely different reasons. But it’s true across the globe and across the demographic categories economically. The driver of what’s happening in our future is fertility. It’s whether or not marriage and family are upheld as God designed it. I mean (the) fiscal cliff, all those things are symptoms (related) to the larger issue which is a demographic crisis. In these novels we attempt to depict where it’s going based on current projections. These aren’t outlandish speculations. This simply projecting 30 years (forward) where we’re heading and what is likely to occur — what conflicts will emerge.
JWK: While the books reflects your Bible-based beliefs, it’s actually based on hard demographic data.
KB: In fact many people will notice that these books could just as easily be read by a non-Christian as a Christians. Because while, of course, we understand God’s design for the family to be rooted in Christian understandings — they’re true for all humanity. Genesis 1 and 2 is the foundation of all humanity, God’s intention for the human race.
DJD: There was an article — a very revealing article — in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago and let me read just a paragraph of what the author wrote. He said “There’s been a great deal of political talk in recent years about whether America — once regarded as “a shining city on a hill’ — is in decline. But the decline isn’t about whether Democrats or Republicans hold power. It isn’t about political ideology at all. It is, at its most basic level, about the sustainability of human capital.” And that is the essence of our survivability.
KB: And, John, that’s rooted in, we believe, a spiritual battle that’s been going on since God created man and woman, brought them together and said “Be fruitful and multiply” and now form a family. If you read Genesis 1 and 2 carefully, that’s what’s described as God’s image on Earth. He created a family as the highest expression of his very image. And Satan hates that image of God. And so we believe that these attacks that (are) currently going on and that we depict in these novels is the attack of Satan against the very image of God on Earth.
JWK: In your view, what, at this point, can society do to change its current trajectory?
DJD: Well, for one thing, Washington does not seem to value the family. Every enterprise in this country has lobbyists who are there trying to get money and trying to talk our legislatures into favoring them. There are almost no lobbyists for the family. And, as a result, Congress for 40 years has passed legislation that makes it difficult for families to survive. Something called the “Marriage Penalty Tax” started in 1969 which actually raised the tax rates for those who are raising children and trying to put a roof over their heads, trying to feed them, trying to medicate them, trying to educate them. They paid higher taxes than those who were living together without (the) benefit of marriage. That’s been the way it is. (Though the tax was mitigated by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 ) we’re just about to go back to that now. They’re toying with the same thing. We need to support policies that make it easier for families to thrive– certainly economically easier. But there are other aspects to it. I think, rather than just phrase your question in regard to what’s happening in the culture or we can do in the culture that will change things, it has to come down to the individual.
KB: The individual family in particular.
DJD: Exactly. How much sacrifice are we willing to invest in the next generation? I’m telling you that’s worth a man and woman’s time.
JWK: Do you think, however, that culture influences those individual decision through movies, TV shows and books that push the idea the true fulfillment is something that is found outside the family — that portray the family as even a hindrance to fulfillment?