One of the fundamental differences in our public life is between those who see human beings as liabilities — as mouths to be fed and souls to be policed — and those of us who see human beings as assets. The economist Julian Simon ran the numbers and made the case for human beings as assets. His “Simon Abundance Index” measures the availability of resources relative to population, and finds that with more people there are more resources. The Malthusians always forget to count the most dynamic and productive of all human resources: humanity.

One might be forgiven for seeing something providential in Representative Sims’s decision to attack a woman praying the Rosary, which points us toward a radically different understanding of childbirth and motherhood and fatherhood, one in which human beings participate in the creative work of the universe. It seems that none of Herod’s men ever thought to demand of Joseph or the Magi: “Are you going to pay for feeding that child? Huh? Huh?” It was understood. One need not be a Christian, or even religious, to grasp the moral philosophy illustrated there — or to be repulsed by the grotesque and vicious alternative to it personified by Representative Sims et al.