The Quiverfull Movement

You thought octuplets were scary?

Quiverfull is worse:

Quiverfull women accept as many children as God gives them as a demonstration of their radical faith and obedience as well as a means to advance his kingdom: winning the country for Christ by having more children than their adversaries. This self-proclaimed “patriarchy” movement, which likely numbers in the tens of thousands but which is growing exponentially, bases its arguments on Psalm 127: “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They shall not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.” Quiverfull women commonly give birth to families of eight, 10 and 12 children, or more.

Imagine the Duggars as the model family for evangelical Christians, inspiring families to have as many children as possible so that the future is that much more Christian than it is now. It’s nice to know some women are leaving the movement and denouncing it… but not nearly enough to counteract the Christian baby boom.

(Meanwhile, atheists continue — for the most part, anyway, in my experience — to procreate responsibly, use birth control, and not overpopulate the planet.)

The author of that article, Kathryn Joyce, has written a new book about the movement: Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement. Just based on the description, this may be the most frightening book I’ll ever read.

I’ve managed to get an interview with the author.

What questions would you like me to ask her about the Quiverfull movement?

  • The Unbrainwashed

    It’s interesting that a strong correlation exists between religiosity and lower intelligence. So if religious people continue to dominate new births, religion will not only fester, but we’ll become dumber as well.

    Can’t wait for the “Idiocracy” or “The Marching Morons”!!!

  • http://evilburnee.co.uk PaulJ

    It seems like a very effective means to get what you want in a democracy. Just breed more voters!

    Incidentally, what struck me about a recent BBC TV programme, “Deborah 13: Servant of God”, was that this 13-year-old evangelist was one of 11 children.

  • http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.com Neuroskeptic

    “What questions would you like me to ask her about the Quiverfull movement?”

    What’s their main source of recruits/converts? How do people find their way into a movement like this? In particular, do they start out as “mainstream” Christians who then become “quiverfull” or do they start out irreligous and get “saved” right into the movement?

  • Kate

    It’s interesting that a strong correlation exists between religiosity and lower intelligence.

    Empirical proof?

  • Weemaryanne

    I have a dreadful feeling that I already know the answer to my question:

    What kind of education do “quiverfull” children receive? Do a significant percentage of them go to college? Do females get the same opportunities for education as males?

    And a related question: How many of them marry and start their own families before the age of 25?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/ElusiveAnole Matt

    Are any of the members of this movement actually adopting, or are they simply reproducing?

  • http://www.purduenontheists.com Jennifurret

    I’m honestly a bit torn about the Quiverfull movement. The feminist part of me tries to tell myself that I should be supportive of whatever choice a woman makes, whether it be to have no kids or many kids, go work or stay home in a traditional way, etc…

    But the other part of me (the larger part) thinks Quiverfull is ridiculous and irresponsible to the population, the environment, the children, etc… And while I want to tell myself this is the woman’s choice, is it really? How much choice does one have when the alternative is the wrath of God? And maybe even the wrath of your husband, but I won’t speculate on that since I can’t judge all the husbands from sweeping generalizations.

  • Devysciple

    It seems like a very effective means to get what you want in a democracy. Just breed more voters!

    PaulJ

    I think it is even worse. They also breed more followers for their religion, as the children are indoctrinated with what their parents consider to be the word of god.

    This brainwashing should be prohibited the same way alcohol, pornography, or driving cars are not allowed for minors. Unfortunately, there is no viable way to prevent parents from conditioning their children.

  • http://humanistdad.blogspot.com HumanistDad

    For the 4th time this week, I’m passing on this documentary on Patriarchy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdaYlSAUr94&feature=PlayList&p=0EF65036D32CF582&index=0&playnext=1

    Probably the most important video a woman could watch?

  • Saint Splattergut

    just wait till one of them Quiverfull people have a Harlequin baby. Then let them try to theorize on how that poor child is god’s gift. most of those poor things don’t live long (with one exception becoming an athelete)!

  • mikespeir

    At some level, these people are just proving that they subscribe to our conviction that religion is determined largely by when and where one is born. These Christian women fully expect to produce Christian children. But I’d like to check back in 20 years and see how many of these kids have remained faithful to that religion. These women, I think, are setting themselves up for a lot of sorrow in the future when many of their “babies” run into the realities of 21st century thinking and “fall away.”

    Actually, I think in 20 years it’ll be hard to find anyone who has heard of or remembers the Quiverfull movement.

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    What questions would you like me to ask her about the Quiverfull movement?

    I’d be interested to know where/how she got her data for statements like this:

    …likely numbers in the tens of thousands but which is growing exponentially

  • beckster

    I know many of those that participate in the quiverfull movement also adopt. Many of them adopt older kids that would not otherwise have a home.

    What I am curious about is whether their desire to adopt is to help children or to convert them to their form of christianity? What do they do if their adopted children do not accept the religion that is pushed onto them?

  • J. J. Ramsey

    How do these families in the Quiverfull movement manage to support all these children? Or do they?

    Also, what toll do all these births have on the mother?

  • http://darwinsdagger.blogspot.com Darwin’s Dagger

    I think this movement will backfire on these people. They are going to raise a generation of angry, dysfunctional children. Some of them will become warriors for Christ who will be perpetually segregated from the larger secular society and some significant number will react negatively against Christianity. This will be the upside for the atheist movement, a large number of angry new atheists.

  • http://atheistmidwife.wordpress.com Michelle Bell

    I haven’t read Quiverfull in it’s entirety. But I have a couple of questions that perhaps she addresses in the book.

    1. What can we do when women want to leave this? How can we ensure that the daughters and sons of these women and men get assistance out?

    2. Are these people on some sort of public assistance? If so, what’s being done about it?

    3. How do we advertise what these people are selling in a manner that other religious people look at this and see a threat to their freedom and agency? Are there allies within the religious congregations that perceive this as a threat?

  • pb

    …likely numbers in the tens of thousands but which is growing exponentially

    From her recent article on Salon, it seems that there are newsletters/magazines/homeschooling organizations for Quiverfull families, so you could make rough guesses using their subscription/membership numbers.

    As for the power of exponents — that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

  • NateDawg

    If one of these children decide to become an atheist it would seem that the parents would be much less likely to accept them for their religious differences since the only reason the parents had the child in the first place was to spread Christianity.

  • justin jm

    What questions would you like me to ask her about the Quiverfull movement?

    Is the movement actually increasing the number of evangelicals? The recent American Religious Identification Survey shows a decrease in the percentage of Americans who identify as Christian. Of course, the actual numbers could have increased while the percentage decreases, but the Quiverfull movement seems like a really inefficient and irresponsible means of achieving political dominance.

  • http://stereoroid.com/ brian t

    PaulJ said:

    It seems like a very effective means to get what you want in a democracy.

    Not just in a Democracy: have you seen the demographic figures for the Gaza Strip? Yasser Arafat explicitly told the Palestinians to breed:

    The womb of the Arab woman is my best weapon.

    It’s working: the average woman in Gaza has 5 children, more than double the rate in Israel. Fertility, more than any other weapon, will decide the future of the state of Israel.

  • SarahH

    Like others, I’m most interested in what the kids are like when they grow up. How many stray from the fold? Do the girls grow up to be Quiverfull moms? Perhaps not enough time has passed for much information on this, but it’s what I’m most interested in – is it “working” or not?

  • AmberEyes

    My mother is part of a “Quiverfull” family. My grandmother had 7 children before her husband was killed in a car crash, and she fully intended to have more. Two of the seven have turned away from their christian upbringing, my mother being one of them. She’s now into paganism which, though still isn’t that great, is a hell of a lot better for her emotionally than christianity. The other turned to drugs as an escape, and lives on the streets. The others, most of which are pretty good people, attend church on a regular basis. One of them has his family locked up in a house where the kids are homeschooled in a 100% “Christian setting.” My atheist sister and I are banned from seeing them, and it worries me what they’re telling their kids.

    The movement is disgusting. I’ve seen what it does to families on a very personal level. It leaves members feeling downright evil if they don’t agree with the rest of their relatives. You have no idea how many times I’ve cried over people I’m not “allowed” to see anymore.

  • http://gretachristina.typepad.com/ Greta Christina

    My question: What can we do to counteract this? This scares me a certain amount, since (as others here have pointed out), one’s religion is largely determined by the religion you were brought up in. Other than having eight kids myself (which I’m not about to do), is there anything she suggests for how we might counter this?

  • http://www.CoreyMondello.com Corey Mondello

    The white folk are in fear of not being the master race….seeing as other countries, with civilians that have brown skin have more babies…hey and they probably have less infant deaths than we do in the USA, I know Cuba does, (there brownish right?) the white folk need to start getting their woman back into the kitchens, barefoot and pregnant…like my Italian grandmother who had 16 children survive out of 21 births once she moved to the USA.

    Wait a minute, Italians aren’t white, neither are Polish, Germans….oh damn….my whole theory is messed up….

    Simple: Whites want to stay in the Majority, fundamentalist Christiand fear Muslims/Brown folk, so these whites need to start humping like bunnies or the USA will fall too pieces…

    I do not think they got the memo, the USA has already fallen to pieces.

  • faraway

    My question:

    What are the parents doing to keep their daughters from leaving, as has been a problem with past generations raised in fundamentalist Christianity? Are the children now so isolated via strictly religious homeschooling, association with other churchmembers only, no college for women and little exposure to outsiders or media that they will be unable to ‘de-quiverfull’, which at least the less isolated upbringing of the previous generation sometimes allowed for?

  • Jen

    What Jennifurret said.

    As a feminist, I want to be down with all choices- one baby, seventeen babies. On the other hand, I hate the Dugger-like brainwashing. I am not clear that those kids are well-educated, and they certainly have no money to go to college. They also never seem to meet people who not like them I don’t think I have ever seen, say, a black lesbian single mother on that show. I think I object more to the brainwashing than number of kids. That said, my question is, “How does one raise so many kids while giving them each the love and attention they need?”

  • http://minerscanary.blogspot.com Zarathustra

    Hmmm… use of children as tools of a political movement… I’m not surprised. We’re dealing with the religious, okay? I won’t put anything past them. Jen is right, it’s not the number of kids, it’s the brainwashing that seems to go along with religious mandates of “as many children as possible.”

    On the other hand, it is amusing to watch what irrational measures fundies will take to have the final word over us heathens. It makes me all that much more convinced that extremism is the expression of a frustrated insecurity on the part of the god-fearing. These are, after all, people who still believe themselves to be oppressed after 1,600 years or so of running western civilization.

  • http://evilburnee.co.uk PaulJ

    Isn’t there something disturbing about the name given to this idea? A quiver – full of arrows – treating your kids as ammunition, presumably in a holy war. Children are not property. They are not dispensable artillery in some kind of evangelical arsenal.

    It seems to me that this betrays a basic misunderstanding of parental responsibility.

  • http://bookoftangents.blogspot.com josh

    they can bring as many people as they want into the world – that just makes more minds for me to subvert

  • http://noadi.blogspot.com Noadi

    I’m also torn about this because of course if a woman wants many children that is up to her. My paternal grandmother had 15 children which wasn’t unusual for farm families 50-60 years ago. While things were tough on them because money was always tight it was a loving supportive upbringing (also non-religious). So it can be a positive thing to grow up with lots of brothers and sisters.

    On the other hand the whole motivation behind Quiverfull seems to treat women as baby factories and children more as just another number to out breed the non-believers. It doesn’t to me seem to be a healthy way to raise a family, large or otherwise.

  • Christopher

    I don’t know that you can espouse to support a woman’s reproductive rights and then attack her choice to use those rights in a way you don’t approve of.

    It’s the same hypocrisy the fundies portray.

  • Kayla

    Man, I have NO doubt in my mind that ten years from now, random people I meet are going to think I’m part of this stupid movement.

    Not only do I and my future husband want to have as many children as we can afford/I can bear (we’ll be fostering and adopting too..) but we want to homeschool as well…

    No one is going to believe me when I say that I’m atheist. :(

  • faraway

    My main concern with this movement isn’t whether women should be allowed to have 16 kids or not; of course women should be able to choose their number of children for themselves. The women who spearhead this movement have chosen not to engage in birth control (and some previously did) whereas their daughters are being taught from birth that their wombs belong to God and controlling their fertility is categorically wrong. Is that kind of indoctrination a ‘choice’?

    One woman can’t take care of that many children by herself, which is why Quiverfull followers rely on daughters (these families are extremely gender-segregated) to carry an adult’s burden of child care, cooking and housekeeping from a very young age. It’s not seen as a problem if their formal education is neglected, since it’s ungodly for them to become anything but housewives and mothers anyway – it’s a favor to them! This movement relies on young girls whose options later in life will be extremely restricted. And they never had a ‘choice’ about having those children in the first place.

  • Christopher

    And I know plenty of single moms who rely on older siblings to help care for the younger ones too.

    Look, the idealogy behind the movement is goofy. Their motive for having a quiver full is nuts.

    But hypocrisy is sickening, and that’s all you can call it when people claim to be for a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices until she makes choices they don’t like or for reasons they don’t approve of.

  • http://blog.chungyc.org/ Yoo

    What is the mortality rate at birth and during childhood? How much does the movement depend on the outside world for things such as medicine, food, or power?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    winning the country for Christ by having more children than their adversaries.

    Why does she believe that religious belief is strictly hereditary?

  • Charles

    Why does she believe that religious belief is strictly hereditary?

    Because it effectively is, in fundie families. The children are not exposed to ideas that are counter to the indoctrination, and dissent is not accepted. Until they grow up and are able to see the world, and choose to do so, they may not doubt what they’ve been taught all their lives.

    My half-sister is married to a fundie Catholic. Yeah, they exist. They have two children, and I fear for their futures unless they are eventually allowed to see the world from a viewpoint other than their father’s. Thankfully both parents are geeks, and the kids already have their own computer. All I can hope is that the internet will slowly corrupt the kids… ;)

  • Lynx

    I’d like to know what it’s like for Quiverfull girls. When are they expected to marry? How much control do they have over who they marry and how much of their lives generally is controlled by their father/brothers?

    Also I’d like to know how hard it is to leave. Is it like FLDS, where rebels are pursued, coerced harassed and threatened or is it easier? Is there any group dedicated to helping those who leave the community?

  • MarcN

    (Meanwhile, atheists continue — for the most part, anyway, in my experience — to procreate responsibly, use birth control, and not overpopulate the planet.)

    I’m a atheist and we have six kids (but we rationalize 4 of them are ‘replacements’ for our gay and non-reproducing-by-choice friends)

  • absent sway

    I grew up around plenty of large, homeschooling families in a fundamentalist Christian setting and I would be interested to know to what extent “quiverfull” is just a progression of the values families like this were living 15 or 20 years ago and what would make it distinct as a movement from your garden variety large, homeschooling, fundamentalist Christian family. These families that I knew loved raising kids and spending time with them and more often than not the mothers were extremely strong figures. I agree that a large number of children in a family is a challenge but I fully support women who want to have large families. It’s just an old-fashioned way of doing things; it has its advantages and disadvantages. Side note: someone raised the issue of affording college for that many kids. College is unaffordable for most people even if there are only a couple kids to pay for.

  • GullWatcher

    @Christopher

    But hypocrisy is sickening, and that’s all you can call it when people claim to be for a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices until she makes choices they don’t like or for reasons they don’t approve of.

    It’s not hypocrisy, it’s skepticism. Combine a culture that says the man makes the decisions and has a track record of keeping people insulated from outside ideas (fundamentalist Christianity), with a philosophy that says it’s a family’s duty to have as many children as possible, and it’s reasonable to ask how much it really is the woman’s decision, and how likely it is to be an informed decision.

  • http://noadi.blogspot.com Noadi

    There’s absolutely no hypocrisy at all in saying you disapprove of someone’s choices while still believing they have the right to make that choice. For example I believe freedom of speech is an important right and I’d never support limiting speech but at the same time I despise racist speech as hateful, wrong and think people shouldn’t do it. Thinking someone shouldn’t doing something and thinking they shouldn’t be allowed are very different things.

  • Jeremy

    Why does she believe that religious belief is strictly hereditary?

    Because it effectively is, in fundie families. The children are not exposed to ideas that are counter to the indoctrination, and dissent is not accepted. Until they grow up and are able to see the world, and choose to do so, they may not doubt what they’ve been taught all their lives.

    My half-sister is married to a fundie Catholic. Yeah, they exist. They have two children, and I fear for their futures unless they are eventually allowed to see the world from a viewpoint other than their father’s. Thankfully both parents are geeks, and the kids already have their own computer. All I can hope is that the internet will slowly corrupt the kids… ;)

    Free thinkers can emerge from fundie backgrounds. I was a fundie homeschooled missionary kid. My family wasn’t Quiverfull, but met just about every other stereotype about intolerant and uninformed fundamentalists. However, due to the Internet and Star Wars books (reading about the Force got me interested in philosophy!), I became the first atheist I ever met.

    If fundie kids are interested in learning, and especially if they have the Internet at their disposal, they can overcome the brainwashing.

  • Godfrey

    When I first saw this, I was thinking “quakers”- quivering. Then I thought, “Cupid’s quiver”, which is a fine idea…but the vagina is not a clown car. It’s a crying shame that the women get trod on like this. Hopefully free access to the internet will stifle the movement, “subverting” the children. Knowledge IS power.

  • The Unbrainwashed

    fundamentalist Christiand fear Muslims/Brown folk

    I’m not very fond of fundy Jesus freaks, but it seems you’d just welcome a bunch of Muslim immigrants with open arms!!!

    See Denmark, recent immigration to.

    And blacks (or as you call them “Browns”) actually tend to be more religiously conservative than whites. Prop 8 in California was 51 to 49 amongst whites (in favor of gay marriage) and 30 to 70 amongst blacks.

  • Indigo

    “I don’t know that you can espouse to support a woman’s reproductive rights and then attack her choice to use those rights in a way you don’t approve of.”

    Sure I can. I can support the right to free speech while thinking that racists are bad people for using it how they do. I can support the right of my government to levy tax on its citizens while objecting to particular ways the money is used. And I can say that I disapprove of the way Quiverfull women make use of their reproductive freedom as ultimately destructive and irresponsible. It doesn’t mean I have any intent of forcing them to stop, which is all that freedom, in this context, entails.

  • The Unbrainwashed

    Not sure if my last one posted so here is it again.

    fundamentalist Christiand fear Muslims/Brown folk

    I’m not very fond of fundy Jesus freaks, but it seems you’d welcome a bunch of Muslim immigrants with open arms!!

    See Denmark, recent immigration to.

    And blacks (or “Brown”) tend to be more religiously conservative than whites. For Prop 8 in Cali, whites voted 51 to 49 in favor of gay marriage, while blacks voted 70 to 30 in favor of a ban.

  • http://universalheretic.wordpress.com/ Vic

    I wouldn’t consider Quiverfull to be a feminist choice at all. It’s indoctrination. Just reading the article gave me the shivers. These women are subjugated by their husbands and treated as nothing more than a baby birthing machines. I don’t know how they get into it other than being convinced that this is what God wants of them. They are referred to a “missionary mothers” ready to destroy their futures for the chance to serve.

    It seems like the women who choose to get out of it pretty much have to abscond in the dead of night to get away.

  • Julie Marie

    oh, I was so naive…several years ago I was very active in a church and was socializing with a couple who were fairly newly married, with several kids, and one on the way (by newly married I mean <5 years) and she said he wanted a “quiverfull”. I thought it was just a quaint hunting reference – seeing as how he was a hunter and all. Being a childless couple at the time, we didn’t wind up socializing too much with them, and I’ve since left the church. wow. I think if I’d have known what quiverfull meant, I’d have left much sooner.

  • http://www.fallenandflawed.com/ Demian Farnworth

    Hey, ask her how the quiverfull movement deals with the New Testament embrace of singleness–particularly with figures of Jesus and Paul being single.

    Thanks.

  • Tommy C

    If the movement succeeds, it’s a nice demonstration of evolution.

    If these particular Xtians develop a higher reproductive rate, and their offspring share their religious beliefs and reproductive tendencies, and if other groups (including us rational patients) keep their reproductive rates constant…

    Who’s with me in wanting to prevent spread of these memes/genes into the rest of the meme/gene pool? Let’s wall off the compound…

  • Chal

    Heh, if we make sure that they just keep interbreeding, we may one day see the split of the quiverfulls off from humanity. :P

  • Christopher

    (Meanwhile, atheists continue — for the most part, anyway, in my experience — to procreate responsibly, use birth control, and not overpopulate the planet.)

    If there ever was judgementalism, this is it. And hence why I find frustration that atheism, like every other ism, seeks to push their views on others.

    Christians do it. Muslims do it. Athiests do it.

    Having 2 kids is procreating responsibly? So in a hundred years when athiests outnumber theists, maybe we’ll have legislation saying that? Oh wait, another country is already doing that.

    Please, someone create the ism that says, “Hey, believe what you want. Live and let live.”

    I may think the quiverfull are a goofy lot. I think Mormons are a goofy lot. But if 4 wives makes them happy, have at it. If 12 kids makes you happy, have fun.

    I just don’t get all the negativity.

  • GullWatcher

    What happens if it turns out that either one of the couple is infertile? If they are willing to accept 17 kids as “god’s plan” are they willing to accept zero, or do they go in for medical intervention? And what is their standing in the community if they can’t have kids?

  • GullWatcher

    @Christopher

    I just don’t get all the negativity.

    Because women and children are not property, and this movement comes perilously close (or possibly over the line) to treating them as such.

    And because the creation of human society involves treating strangers as though they are family, at least to a certain extent. So, if all men are brothers and all women are sisters, those kids being raised by these loons are my nephews and nieces, and I’m concerned, ok?

  • Christopher

    And because the creation of human society involves treating strangers as though they are family, at least to a certain extent. So, if all men are brothers and all women are sisters, those kids being raised by these loons are my nephews and nieces, and I’m concerned, ok?

    So fundies are justified when they are concerned about a gay couple raising a child? So now it’s our position to worry about how every family unit is raising its children and if we agree with the method or not?

    If it’s not physically abusive, if it’s not emotionally abusive, if it’s simply not our preference or within our understanding or what we feel is best for someone, is it really society’s business?

    Athiest means the belief that no deity exists. “Without god”. It doesn’t have to mean, “Against anyone who thinks otherwise”.

    I can reject their belief for myself while still supporting their right to exercise theirs.

  • GullWatcher

    @Christopher

    So fundies are justified when they are concerned about a gay couple raising a child? So now it’s our position to worry about how every family unit is raising its children and if we agree with the method or not? If it’s not physically abusive, if it’s not emotionally abusive

    But I believe that it may well BE emotionally abusive, not only to the children but to the wife. And yes, it does behoove us to be concerned about how every family is raising their children, because those children are members of our communities and our society. Not to the point of automatically taking them away, or passing laws against it as the fundies want to do to gay couples, but to the extent of making sure that children are not abused or neglected. That is everyone’s business.

  • Christopher

    We have human services departments that do that now. Every state has one.

    What you are reffering to seems to be a little bit farther. A little too Animal Farm for my preference.

  • faraway

    @ Christopher:

    I feel that you are setting up strawmen here. No one is advocating that Quiverfull be outlawed or their children taken away. (You’ll notice, however, that fundamentalists are eager to pass laws restricting gays’ rights to parent and all of us from using birth control). Expressing concern over how people are treated is thankfully allowed in a free society. I also have a right to judge the Taliban’s treatment of women and children – I don’t have to accept it as morally just because they think differently. Some issues of personhood and freedom are universal even within the context of cultural relativism.

  • Michelle

    I am a quiverfull believer. I feel that we are often lumped into one category and misjudged.
    –We are not necessarily lacking intelligence; I graduated college with a 3.9 GPA and am getting ready to work on my master’s degree.
    –We are not all against women’s choices. I have five daughters each of whom I will encourage to go to college if that is the path they feel led to take. They may marry or not as they choose. I will teach them what I believe, but ultimately the decision to follow my path will be theirs. I believe singleness is a godly choice as well as marriage.
    –Most of us are not following this path because we want to take over the world politically, wage a war, etc. That is crazy! Now if this world becomes more loving and Godlike because of my obedience and faith in a loving God who desires to bless us with children, that is wonderful. Jesus said that His kingdom is not of this world; our battle is spiritual not physical.
    –Most newbies to the quiverfull belief are women! The women are choosing this! On the message boards, it seems that most of the women come to this belief before their husbands or about the same time. So to say that men are treating their wives like baby machines is not showing the truth. I’ve heard of men and women lamenting the fact their spouse will not let them have more children. That saddens me. Life is precious, and we do not appreciate life. While women are paying thousands of dollars at fertility clinics, other women are taking for granted their fertility or are being kept from the joy of motherhood by their spouses.
    –To insinuate we brainwash our children–well, it is a matter of perspective. As a Christian, I feel that atheism is brainwashing. To a Muslim, a Buddist brainwashes their child. Now I do believe that those who raise their child in a fundamentalist home where the letter of the law is taught, and not the spirit, are doing damage to their child. But I also believe those who don’t teach a proper respect and love for God do the same.
    I believe there is a difference between teaching the child to respect God and obey Him out of love and joy with complete freedom of choice and teaching a child to be afraid of God and manipulating him or her with guilt. That is not the truly Christian way. Likewise, each Christian who chooses Quiverfull should do it out of love for God and a firm belief that it is truly God’s best for him or her. Not out of fear or guilt. Once I became Quiverfull, I began to see my children for the blessings they were and take so much joy in them.
    –Finally, quiverfull families are not all so destructive as some would think. They are usually more responsible with their resources and the earth’s resources because they have to be economical. They usually invest A LOT of time and energy in their children because children are important to them. This usually makes for many well-adjusted people. More people means more human capital for our economy. People often forget this.
    Yes, there are quiverfull families that are “out there” and abusive just like in almost any segment of society. They have bought into the philosophy out of pride or fear and not love and obedience to a good God because of faith in His Word. There is a difference folks. I say all of this with a spirit of love, and I hope no one sees this in any other light.

  • Pingback: Quiverfull Movement « Tiny Frog

  • MJ

    I am truly astounded at the fear many of you are bound by – and the accusations against the QF which you toss out like hand grenades,without any foundational knowledge with which to pull the pin.

    The movement is comprised of very loving families who, by and large, successfully raise their many children to become much more productive and responsible members of society than what the secular system is producing. I’ve already seen many children of QF families grow up and become happy, well adjusted citizens. My own dc (which stands for dear children) are well adjusted, college educated, QF adults now.

    I personally know *many* QF families (in fact, one family of eight children has willed all eight to us, should their parents both die at the same time). None of them are on public assistance (although I know many atheist and agnostic people who are on the dole), and many adopt handicapped children, which is more than most of you are doing as I can see by your posts.

    One of my friends and her dh (dear husband) decided to adopt after their two dc were adults (in their mid-twenties and on their own). They now have eight more children, all crack babies, all of whom have turned out healthy with the exception of one, who they have also loved and cared for – without public assistance.

    Listen, I was raised, and was for many years, an atheist, and I am okay with that – but the level of ignorance and fear here toward *all* people of any religion is so – bigoted and unfathomable that it is truly sad and would cause me great embarrassment if I were still an atheist today. I am amazed that you don’t seem to know enough to actually *be* embarrassed over the things you are saying. Perhaps if you replace the word, “Christian” or “religious” (or whatever term you choose to group THEM in) with something like, “Gays” or “Blacks” you might be able to *hear* yourselves a bit better. Fear and bigotry are still fear and bigotry no matter what group it is held against.

    I don’t have the time or interest to correct all the false notions about those who are QF that have been expressed here (mainly because so few of you have shown any intellectual curiosity at all, or even the ability, much less the desire, to objectively study the matter), but I can tell you that, sadly, many of you sound like a bunch of fearful old biddies running around saying the sky is falling.

    And from this vantage point, the vast majority of you sound pretty silly.

    Do you realize that?

  • marshall

    Here’s the deal with all you naysayers, I thought you were all for “freedom to choose” Seems like you are for “Choice” when they “Choose” your position. That’s hardly “Choice.”

  • Exile

    Many of the commenters are asking how one can claim to be “pro-choice” and pro-feminist and then disapprove of the way that the “quiverfull” women are living their life. I think the answer is that you’re looking at the wrong “victims.” Personally, I have no objection to the choices of the quiverfull wives, inasmuch as they are choices. My sister is part of this movement, and I believe she has a right to that.

    HOWEVER, quiverfull wives and mothers make up a very small percentage of the women affected by this movement. For every quiverfull mother, there are many quiverfull DAUGHTERS. It is these young women we need to be concerned about, and whose rights we need to protect. These daughters are raised in families that severely restrict their rights. In many cases, they are discouraged from choosing their own spouses (“courtship” requires the man to ask the father’s permission to marry his daughter and disallows the girl from making her own choice), and certainly have no practical freedom of religion. Girls are brainwashed into accepting the same lifestyles as their mothers, and severely punished socially if they reject their norms. For my own part, raised ina fundamentalist family, I found myself literally living on the streets with no survival skills when I decided to reject their lifestyle and religious choices by going to a secular college (incidentally, I also couldn’t continue going to college because they refused to sign off on my financial aid forms). If Quiverfull parents were encouraging their children to choose their own path, then I wouldn’t have a moral objection to their actions. But that’s not the case.

    Feminists need to take a strong stand against this movement not to “save the women from themselves,” but to save the children from a system that is fundamentally abusive.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X