Mark Steyn has another one of those fascinating columns of his that, as usual, says a lot more about him than the world he thinks he’s writing about. In this case it’s about wimmins, and what’s up with them? It’s like they’re from Venus and he’s from Canada.
First there is Fatma An-Najar, a 64-year-old grandmother who recently became the world’s oldest not-living suicider:
An-Najar gave birth to her first child at the age of 12. She had eight others. She had 41 grandchildren. Keep that family tree in mind. By contrast, in Spain, a 64-year old woman will have maybe one grandchild. That’s four grandparents, one grandchild: a family tree with no branches.
Maybe she was just tired of the incessant cries of “Nana” and slipping 41 $5 bills into 41 birthday cards every year. And don’t even get me started on the babysitting every time her grown kids wanted to go to a Death To Israel block party. The important point that Mark is making is that An-Najar and her brood liked to do the ‘two-backed Steyn’, if you get my drift.
Which leads us on to Katharine Jefferts Schori, the new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church who had the audacity to point out to Mark that Episcopalians aren’t “doing it” as much as Mark would like to imagine they are doing it (“….mmmmmm…Episcopalian sex“):
She was asked a simple enough question: “How many members of the Episcopal Church are there?”
“About 2.2 million,” replied the presiding bishop. “It used to be larger percentage-wise, but Episcopalians tend to be better educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than other denominations.”
This was a bit of a jaw-dropper even for a New York Times hackette, so, with vague memories of God saying something about going forth and multiplying floating around the back of her head, a bewildered Deborah Solomon said: “Episcopalians aren’t interested in replenishing their ranks by having children?”
“No,” agreed Bishop Kate. “It’s probably the opposite. We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion.”
Now, that may or may not be a great idea, but it’s nothing to do with Christianity, only for eco-cultists like Al Gore. If Bishop Kate were an Episcogorian, a member of the Alglican Communion, an elder of the Church of Latter-Day Chads, this would be an unremarkable statement. But, even in their vigorous embrace of gay bishoprics and all the rest, I don’t recall the Episcopalians formally embracing the strategy that worked out so swell for the Shakers and enshrining a disapproval of reproduction at the heart of their doctrine.
One imagines the government setting up National Episcopalian Preserves for the few remaining specimens who still wander the earth. Held captive in tasefully appointed homes full of Ethan Allen furniture, they will be subjected to a controlled breeding program where they will be forced to watch American Catholic sex-ed tapes (thoughtfully donated by the Catholic League) to learn the One True Position… but unfortunately they’ll keep nodding off and the experiment will be deemed a failure.
Next we have this lovely little naughty bit from Mark about our favorite gal-pal as of late:
Which brings me to our third Jill in the jeep: Scarlett Johansson. Like every other sad middle-aged loser guy, I fell in love with Scarlett’s fetchingly pert bottom in the opening of ”Lost In Translation,” and it pains me to discover she’s no different from Bishop Kate’s generation when it comes to being in thrall to the cobwebbed pieties of the 1960s. In a bit of light Bush-bashing the other day, she attacked the president for his opposition to “sex education.” If he had his way, she said, “every woman would have six children and we wouldn’t be able to have abortions.” Whereas Scarlett is so “socially aware” (as she puts it) she gets tested for HIV twice a year.
Well, yes. If “sex education” is about knowing which concrete condom is less likely to disintegrate during the livelier forms of penetrative intercourse, then getting an AIDS test every few months may well be a sign that you’re a Ph.D. (Doctor of Phenomenal horniness). But, if “sex education” means an understanding of sexuality as anything other than an act of transient self-expression, then Scarlett is talking through that famously cute butt.
I’m not sure what Mark’s point is about Scarlett other than the fact that she is obviously having sex with LOTS of men (or women, if we want to be open-minded about this, and trust us, we do) and none of these people with whom she is having sex is named Mark Steyn whose sperm is so powerful that it would cause her to spontaneously give birth to quintuplets named Mark Jr, Mark III, Mark IV, Mark V, and Steve…thereby saving the human race and Christianity . Is he bitter? Hey, does he look like a hobbit? Of course he is and does.
And then there is this:
Here’s the question for Bishop Kate: If Fatma An-Najar has 41 grandchildren and a responsible “better educated” Episcopalian has one or two, into whose hands are we delivering “the stewardship of the earth”? If your crowd isn’t around in any numbers, how much influence can they have in shaping the future?
Well, the Episcopal head honcho and even Scarlett Johansson are not the most powerful figures in the world, so let’s usher on our fourth Jill: Condoleezza Rice.
“The great majority of Palestinian people,” said the secretary of state to Cal Thomas the other day, “they just want a better life. This is an educated population. I mean, they have a kind of culture of education and a culture of civil society. I just don’t believe mothers want their children to grow up to be suicide bombers. I think the mothers want their children to grow up to go to university. And if you can create the right conditions, that’s what people are going to do.”
Cal Thomas asked a sharp follow-up: “Do you think this or do you know this?”
“Well, I think I know it,” said Dr. Rice.
“You think you know it?”
“I think I know it.”
Fortunately, Steyn cut off the interview between Cal Thomas and Condoleezza Rice because, if they were going to start talking about sex, well, that would make all of us stop having sex just like the Episcopalians and nobody wants that.
Least of all, Mark Steyn.