LCMS clergy family size decrease from 1890-1920

I finally got with Dr. Carlson regarding his Touchstone article mentioning LCMS clergy family size decrease from 1890-1920. He pointed me Alan Graebner's scholarly study entitled, "Birth Control and the Lutherans: The Missouri Synod as a Case Study," as the source of his figures. I pulled out my copy of the original Graebner paper from the Journal of Social History [vol. 2, no. 4, 1969] and, sure enough, there was the chart on the second to last page (331).

I don't know why or how I forgot reading this before, and I've read the Graebner article several times in the past. This does not, after all, represent something I've never encountered before in my studies of this issue as I previously indicated in the post below.

Graebner does qualify his figures relative to my questions. In the graph he identifies the figures as the "mean number of children by decennial marriage cohort," specifying even the number of children born in the first ten years of marriage. These factors eliminate my concern for the veracity of these figures in describing an increase in contraception among the LCMS clergy. The figures speak for themselves and he went to a great deal of trouble to tabulate them, as evidenced in a lengthy footnote.

Thanks to Dr. Carlson for bringing up this important precipitating factor in the change in teaching within the LCMS. Very enlightening (though equally disheartening).

The change in teaching obviously followed a change in personal belief and practice among the clergy. We shouldn't be surprised to see the same incipient pattern being followed toward various other false teachings today. First error seeks tolerance, then equality of footing, and finally supremacy.

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