COMMENT

Why we should celebrate not criticise Premier expecting another child

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and his wife Helen took to social media on Monday to announce that they are expecting their seventh child.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and his wife Helen took to social media on Monday to announce that they are expecting their seventh child.

Seven children sounds exhausting.

Yet pretty soon that is the number of little ones who will be running riot in the home of our new Premier.

Dominic and Helen Perrottet took to social media on Monday to announce that they are happily expecting the addition to their family.

Yet the most interesting part of the announcement may have been watching people's reactions to the news.

As you might expect, many people expressed genuine congratulations to the couple as they announced the good news.

Others used it as an opportunity for a bit of light-hearted fun.

More than a few added the classic 'don't they own a television?' (As if an episode of The Bachelorette could be more fun!)

Yet others saw the news as proof of the Premier's flawed character and used the announcement to launch into various criticisms.

Some felt it was immoral to bring a child into an over populated world.

Others claimed irresponsible to add another human who would inevitably contribute to our warming climate.

Still others wanted to question why so few people were concerned about his ability to balance the responsibilities of his job with his growing family responsibilities.

Now I am well aware that many of the people mocking the Premier are really just looking for a reason to have a dig at a socially conservative politician.

And no doubt his politics are absolutely fair game for discussion!

However whether these people really felt that this one child is going to add to the ills of our world which were highlighted is not the main point.

Whatever the motivation, I found myself wondering how we managed to reach a point that a new life is seen as anything other than a blessing?

Whatever the motivation, I found myself wondering how we managed to reach a point that a new life is seen as anything other than a blessing?

Surely even those who most despise the Premier's politics can be pleased for his family in this moment of joy and excitement.

Yet apparently some people this was a bridge too far.

Sadly, yet unsurprisingly, many of those who were critical of the Premier were quick to point out that his Catholic beliefs forbid the use of contraception.

Apart from his apparently enthusiastic acceptance of this teaching, it was assumed, no one would want so many children.

Yet here he is, blindly following a crazy, out of date, teaching.

And according to what seems to be at least a reasonably sizeable section of our society, by doing so he is acting in a foolish, if not immoral manner.

You may not agree with the Roman Catholic Church's views on contraception.

Like many Christians I simply can't see justification for prohibiting it within the Scriptures.

However behind this rule is a high view of the value of human life.

People are not a burden on society, a drain on resources, or an inconvenience to be avoided.

Rather, as Psalm 139 so beautifully phrases it: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

The 'you' is, of course, God.

No doubt it is truths such as this which lead the current Pope to exclaim: "All life has inestimable value even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God's creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect."

I am sure that as Dominic Perrottet continues in his new job he will say and do some things I will agree with and other things I will passionately disagree with.

Yet none of that will change that the little daughter he is expecting is a miracle of God, endowed with dignity and worthy of respect.

Just as is true of each and every one of us who God has made, whoever we might be.

David Robinson is the Anglican Minister in Glen Innes