This is a subject I have been wondering about for some time, and mostly am asking because of some of the views that my FIL has.
Don't get me wrong-- I love my in-laws, they are great people, but my husband and I don't always agree with all their views. They both come from Christian families and my FIL comes from a Catholic family. My FIL is also a practicing Catholic, who did marry outside his faith but raised his children Catholic. I don't want this thread to sound like I am talking badly about them, but I am just trying to determine how their views fit in light of various moral paradigms.
My FIL is very against large families. In this context, I'm going to have the definition of "large family" be more than 2 children (since that is what my FIL seems to imply).
Here are some of the reasons why my FIL thinks large families are actually *im*moral:
He considers it irresponsible to have more children than you can afford to feed. Even if you are living below your means, to him that means your children are causing you to live well below your means instead of the couple being able to naturally adjust their living expenses and not have to be dirt poor. My husband has relatives who have a large family-- I believe more than 5 children--and my FIL does not think very highly of them. The only time FIL thinks it's acceptable to have many children is if you make LOTS of money. As in 6 figures from one person.
FIL believes people who have large families are a burden to taxpayers because if push comes to shove, they will eventually due to need have to apply for public assistance, public health insurance, etc. He doesn't believe anyone should be forced to shoulders the responsibilities of someone who made the choices to have many children that they couldn't afford. FIL is also a huge fiscal conservative.
This may not be entirely related, but FIL has noticed that oftentimes with larger families the wife is a SAHM. He doesn't really agree with that either because his motto is "if you are able to work, you should." He believes that if you are physically and mentally able to bring in income when you need it so you don't have to be dependent on public assistance, or have to live so low-income, you should work. Even in the "good old days," his own mom never stayed at home. She worked. My MIL never stayed at home, because she worked. In his opinion, my FIL doesn't understand why someone would not step up to the responsibility of working when they know that their family is struggling financially or is coming short every month.
I don't agree with some of these views. For one, there are many people out there who have lots of children but are able to make ends meet well above the poverty line because they make smart choices. My husband once tried to tell him that you have to have faith that your needs will be provided, to which FIL retorted that faith can't pay the bills. When my husband and I told him the ideal minimum number of children we'd like to have, he balked. Let's just say it was more than 2:)
I do agree that if you cannot reasonably afford to care for the children you have, you should be taking responsible steps which are in accordance to Catholic teaching. FIL thinks that NFP is a joke because he's never heard of a couple that was able to use it to space children, without "randomly" getting pregnant.
I have some mixed thoughts about some of the other things. Sometimes families need assistance for a short time to help make ends meet. And sometimes families have the SAHM because the children need a parent around.
What do you all think? Are large families worth it? I would like to think so.