Father Abraham had many sons...

Muhammad is now second only to Jack as the most popular name for baby boys in Britain and is likely to rise to No 1 by next year, a study by The Times has found. The name, if all 14 different spellings are included, was shared by 5,991 newborn boys last year, beating Thomas into third place, followed by Joshua and Oliver.

Scholars said that the name’s rise up the league table was driven partly by the growing number of young Muslims having families, coupled with the desire to name their child in honour of the Prophet.

Overall, Muslims account for three per cent of the population, about 1.5 million people. However, the Muslim birth rate is roughly three times higher than the non-Muslim one.

It would seem that even if they consider the Torah as from God, but presently corrupted by man, some of Father Abraham's children do still take seriously the exhortation to "Be fruitful and multiply."

A Habitable World?

In London last week, the Optimum Population Trust called for Britons to have "one child less" because the United Kingdom's "high birth rate is a major factor in the current level of climate change, which can only be combated if families voluntarily limit the number of children they have."

Story by Mark Steyn.

Allan Carlson comments in his e-mail newsletter:

The Optimum Population Trust’s hysteria is occasioned by a recent blip in British child-bearing, which rose from 1.8 children per woman in 2005 to 1.87 in 2006. Demographers attribute the increase to more career women having children later in life.

This is still far below the post-World War II high for Britain, 2.93 in 1964. More significantly, it’s well below replacement level of 2.11. Even if the current rate is maintained, the United Kingdom will still see its population decline in every generation, absent massive immigration.


Report on contraception out soon

The report takes a comprehensive look at a myriad of birth-control options, offering both medical and spiritual perspectives. It was prepared by the Sanctity of Human Life Committee, a program of LCMS World Relief/Human Care, in response to Resolution 6-10, approved at the 2004 LCMS convention. The resolution requested a review of birth-control products and methods — including clarification on those that can act as abortifacients — and asked that this information be made available to LCMS pastors and laypeople.

The report examines everything from abstinence to the latest hormonal products and intrauterine devices. It opens with a discussion of “God's original design for the beautiful vocation of marriage and how that vocation has often been negatively affected and influenced by our sinful society,” said LCMS Life Ministries Director Maggie Karner.

The Sanctity of Human Life Committee charged three members with writing the report for committee approval. In addition to Karner, the report's authors are Rev. Dr. Kevin Voss, director of the Concordia Bioethics Institute and a Concordia University Wisconsin professor, and Dr. Sherry Prowatzke, an obstetrician/gynecologist in Waukesha, Wis.

The report will be available as a free download at http://worldrelief.lcms.org by mid-July.


Plan B Use Surges, And So Does Controversy

By Rob Stein

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 13, 2007; Page A01

The popularity of the morning-after pill Plan B has surged in the year since the federal government approved the sale of the controversial emergency contraceptive without a prescription.

Plan B sales have doubled since the Food and Drug Administration authorized the switch for women 18 and older last August, rising from about $40 million a year to what will probably be close to $80 million for 2007, according to Barr Pharmaceuticals, which makes Plan B.

Read on...