The Russian Demographic Crisis: Resisting the Influence of a Sexualized Culture

This past July, Russian president Vladimir Putin ignited outrage among the (primarily Western) pro-homosexual community by signing into law a ban on homosexual adoption. The new law also prohibits adoption by single parent households. Only a few days before, Putin also signed into law broad prohibitions against "gay propaganda," which included provisions that allow "the government to arrest and detain gay (or 'pro-gay') foreigners for up to 14 days before they would then be expelled from Russia" 

While these latter measures are no doubt draconian, they nonetheless represent a growing realization within Russian society, namely: sexual anarchy has proven devastating to the future of their civilization. Following the collapse of communism, Russia's fertility rate had fallen to a catastrophic low of 1.17 births to every woman of child-bearing age by 1999, far below the minimum replacement rate of 2.1 required to maintain population stability. Since then, Russia's birthrate has edged upward to 1.7 due in large part to pro-family policies, which were initiated in an emergency response to the pending demographic crisis.

Many pundits, determined to avoid the moral realities, will point to economic decline as the primary cause of low birth rates, and this no doubt has played a role, but the greater factor has been the abandonment of traditional marriage as the principal means for regulating sexual behavior. As Russian society abandoned traditional marriage, birth rates dropped, out-of-wedlock births rose, contraception and abortion increased, and the traditional family began to disappear.

You may ask, "What has this to do with homosexuality and the legitimization thereof?" In short, social acceptance of deviant sexual behaviors represents the final stages of a society working to rid itself of all traditional mores related to sexual conduct. The jettisoning of sexual morality renders the individual and its attendant society devoid of its productive energy. Such societies diminish because their collective creative energies are redirected toward the fulfillment of their personal sexual appetites (hedonism). This has been established as an indisputable fact throughout history as revealed in the monumental work of Joseph Daniel Unwin, which I have cited frequently elsewhere. The Russian government, however misguided in their response, simply recognizes the deleterious affects on marriage and society resulting from the normalization of any sexual behavior beyond marriage and the natural family.

One only need examine the birth rates among all Western nations – where the so-called sexual revolution has advanced over and against traditional morality – to see the universal social and demographic decay.

As famed Harvard sociologist, Pitirim Sorokin pointed out, when sex is divorced from marriage, "it is degraded to mere promiscuous sex relations, it loses its bliss, its holiness, and its value" (Sorokin, American Sex Revolution, 1956). Marriage, according to Sorokin, "is a social evidence of the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and civic maturity of the individual." Sorokin notes that "any change in marriage behavior, any increase in sexual promiscuity, and illicit relations is pregnant with momentous consequences. A sex revolution drastically affects the lives of millions, deeply disturbs the community, and decisively influences the future of society."

This is not mere conjecture but the result of serious sociological and historical data affirming the biblical prescription for human sexuality and social conduct. Human societies simply cannot flaunt their opposition to God's rightful authority over their lives and expect to flourish.

However, we must not conclude that the normalization of homosexuality is to blame for the decline of marriage; it isn't! The nation – both here and elsewhere – has contributed to the decline of marriage by indulging in promiscuous sex, cohabitation, and the promotion of easy divorce; and the church bears much responsibility by both its neglect and at times its wanton participation in the same sins. The normalization of homosexual acts is merely the final step in a long line of usurpations against the Creator God. Thus the burdens falls first upon the church to grieve over our own sin, repent, and begin once again to show the world how marriage and human sexuality flourish under the rule and reign of God.

S. Michael Craven is the President of the Center for Christ & Culture. Michael is the author of Uncompromised Faith: Overcoming Our Culturalized Christianity (Navpress). Michael's ministry is dedicated to renewal within the Church and works to equip Christians with an intelligent and thoroughly Christian approach to matters of culture in order to demonstrate the relevance of Christianity to all of life. For more information on the Center for Christ & Culture, visit: Michael lives in the Dallas area with his wife Carol and their three children.

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